Rab proteins constitute a family of GTP-binding proteins that are located in distinct intracellular compartments and play a role in the regulation of vesicular trafficking. Yeast mutations in Rab gene homologs cause defects in vesicular transport similar to those observed in beige (bg) mice. To investigate Rab genes as candidates for mouse mutations characterized by defects in vesicular trafficking, we utilized an intersubspecific backcross [C57BL/6J-bgJ × (C57BL/6J-bgJ × CAST/Ei)F1] segregating for the bg locus. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) were obtained through Southern hybridization of F1 and C57BL/6J chromosomal DNA with the coding sequences of Rab genes. These RFLPs and 12 polymorphic microsatellites were used to determine the segregation of the Rab genes in 93 backcross mice. Rab4a, Rab4b, Rab7, Rab10, Rab22, and Rab24 were localized on mouse chromosomes 8, 7, 9, 12, 2, and 13, respectively. Although the results exclude these loci as candidates for bg, they demonstrate a wide dispersion of Rab genes throughout the mouse genome and reveal that Rab4b and Rab24 are possible candidates for the mouse mutations reduced pigmentation (rp) and purkinje cell degeneration (pcd), respectively.
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