Non-coordinate expression of closely linked mouse casein genes

S George, A Springbett, A J Clark, A L Archibald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Expression levels of five mouse casein genes were analysed in the mammary gland of virgin, pregnant and lactating mice. We have already shown that the five murine casein genes are arranged in the order, alpha-beta-gamma-epsilon-kappa in a tandem array, very close to each other in a 250 kb DNA fragment of mouse genome. Northern blot analysis showed that, of the calcium-sensitive casein genes, the epsilon casein gene is expressed only during lactation unlike the alpha, beta and gamma casein genes which are expressed during pregnancy and lactation. Even though the alpha, beta and gamma genes exhibited a co-ordinated expression pattern from mid to the later stages of pregnancy, the mRNA levels varied considerably (60, 90 and 100% respectively) by the onset of lactation. The mRNA level of the calcium-insensitive kappa casein gene increased from mid-pregnancy but at a lower rate and reached approximately 60% by the first day of lactation. Considering the locations and closeness of the casein genes, a non-coordinate expression profile is exhibited by the mouse casein genes, particularly the epsilon casein gene.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-8
Number of pages6
JournalIndian journal of biochemistry & biophysics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001


  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Caseins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Lactation
  • Mammary Glands, Animal
  • Mice
  • Pregnancy
  • RNA
  • RNA, Messenger


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