Inheritance and expression of tissue-specific catalase activity during development and aging in mice

Publication: Genome
October 1987


The catalase activity in the liver, kidney, lung, and blood hemolysate was measured in newborn, 21-, 70-, 175-, and >400-day-old mice from the strains BALB/c, Csb, C3H/HeSnJ, C3H/S, C57BL/6J, SW, and 129/ReJ. Catalase activity was found to be highest in the liver (~0.33 U/mg protein) followed by the kidney (~0.13 U/mg protein), lung (~0.05 U/mg protein), and blood hemolysate (~0.03 U/mg protein). ANOVA analysis indicated significant differences in enzyme activity among strains and age groups studied. The developmental profiles of enzyme activity were tissue and strain specific. Catalase activity in the blood, for example, was generally higher at birth and at old age, whereas the kidney catalase activity was low at birth and increased substantially with age. Strains could be classified as normal (129/ReJ, BALB/c, C3H/HeSnJ, C3H/S), hypocatalasemic (C57BL/6J, SW), and acatalasemic (Csb) with respect to enzyme activity and it was on this basis that the inheritance of the catalase phenotype was studied using appropriate crosses. The enzyme activity level in each tissue appears to be governed by a unique set of genetic regulators/modifiers that interact with a single structural gene (Cs) or its product to produce the catalase phenotype. Some of these (e.g., Ce-1 and Ce-2) have been previously described but based on the results of various crosses reported here, more must exist that remain still uncharacterized at the molecular level. Models proposed for the inheritance of the catalase phenotype vary in complexity from single allelic differences between strains (e.g., BALB/c × Csb; blood) to a system of multiple interacting genetic determinants (e.g., BALB/c × Csb; liver) each having dominant (e.g., C57BL/6J over BALB/c; liver) and recessive components (e.g., gene(s) conferring the acatalasemic phenotype in BALB/c × Csb; blood and kidney). Such results are important and offer an interesting model to further characterize aspects of eukaryotic gene regulation.
Key words: catalase, inbred mice, tissue specificity, developmental profile, inheritance.


L'activité catalase dans le foie, les reins, les poumons et les hémolysats de sang a été mesurée chez des souris naissantes, puis aux âges respectifs de 21, 70, 175 et 400 jours; ces souris étaient issues des souches BALB/c, Csb, C3H/HeSnJ, C3H/S, C57BL/6J, SW et 129/ReJ. L'activité catalase la plus élevée a été trouvée dans le foie (~0,33 U/mg de protéine), suivie des reins (~0,13 U/mg de protéine), des poumons (~0,05 U/mg de protéine) et des hémolysats de sang (~0,03 U/mg de protéine). L'analyse ANOVA a révélé des différences significatives dans l'activité de l'enzyme entre les souches et les groupes d'âges étudiés. Les profils de développement de l'activité de l'enzyme se sont révélés spécifiques aux tissus et aux souches. Par exemple, l'activité de la catalase dans le sang fut plus élevée à la naissance et aux âges avancés, comparativement aux reins où l'activité fut plus faible à la naissance et a augmenté de façon substantielle avec l'âge. Par rapport à l'activité de l'enzyme, les souches ont pu être catégorisées comme normales (129/ReJ, BALB/c, C3H/HeSnJ, C2H/S), hypocatalasémiques (C57/BL/6J, SW) et acatalasémiques (Csb); c'est sur cette base que l'hérédité du phénotype catalase fut étudiée, suite à des croisements appropriés. Dans chaque tissu, le niveau d'activité de l'enzyme semble être régi par un groupe unique de régulateurs/modificateurs génétiques qui interagissent avec un seul gène structural (Cs), ou son produit, pour la production du phénotype catalase. Certains de ces gènes (par ex, Ce-1 et Ce-2) ont été antérieurement décrits mais, d'après les résultats des divers croisements rapportés ici, il existe encore sûrement beaucoup à caractériser au niveau moléculaire. Les modèles proposés relativement à l'hérédité du phénotype catalase varient en complexité, depuis les simples différences alléliques entre souches (par ex., BALB/c × Csb; pour le sang) vers un système de déterminants génétiques multiples interagissants (par ex., BALB/c × Csb; pour le foie), chacun possédant des composants dominants (par ex., C57BL/6J sur BALB/c; pour le foie) et des composants récessifs (par ex., un ou des gènes qui confère(nt) le phénotype acatalasémique chez BALB/c × Csb; pour le sang et les reins). De tels résultats offrent un modèle d'intérêt pour caractériser plus avant les aspects de la régulation eucaryotique des gènes.
Mots clés : catalase, souris consanguines, spécificité des tissus, profils de développement, hérédité.
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cover image Genome
Volume 29Number 5October 1987
Pages: 748 - 760


Version of record online: 15 February 2011


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