Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by deletions or mutations of Survival Motor Neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. The nearly identical SMN2 cannot compensate for SMN1 loss due to exon 7 skipping. The allele C (C+/+) mouse recapitulates a mild SMA-like phenotype and offers an ideal system to monitor the role of disease-modifying factors over a long time. T-cell-restricted intracellular antigen 1 (TIA1) regulates SMN exon 7 splicing. TIA1 is reported to be downregulated in obese patients, although it is not known if the effect is gender-specific. We show that female Tia1-knockout (Tia1−/−) mice gain significant body weight (BW) during early postnatal development. We next examined the effect of Tia1 deletion in novel C+/+/Tia1−/− mice. Underscoring the opposing effects of Tia1 deletion and low SMN level on BW gain, both C+/+ and C+/+/Tia1−/− females showed similar BW gain trajectory at all time points during our study. We observed early tail necrosis in C+/+/Tia1−/−females but not in males. We show enhanced impairment of male reproductive organ development and exacerbation of the C+/+/Tia1−/−testis transcriptome. Our findings implicate a protein factor as a gender-specific modifier of a mild mouse model of SMA.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ravindra-singh/28/