Characterization of Bsk mice: I. The Bsk mutation does not involve a recombination of cornea-specific keratin 12 and skin-specific hair keratin genes. Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: Bsk (bare skin) is an autosomal dominant mutation linked to the Krt 1 (type 1 keratin) locus of mouse chromosome 11. The adult Bsk mouse manifests hair loss and corneal opacity. To identify and characterize the keratin genes involved in this mutation, we examined the hypothesis proposing that the Bsk mutation might involve a recombination event between cornea-specific (K12) and hair-specific (mHa 1, 2, 3 and 4) type I keratin genes. METHODS: The Bsk phenotype was examined by histochemical analysis, using light and electron microscopy. RFLP was used for their genotyping, and possible keratin gene expression was examined by immunohistochemical staining, Western analysis, RT-PCR and Northern hybridization. RESULTS: Northern hybridization, RT-PCR and Western blot analysis revealed that mHa 1, 2, 3 and 4 keratins are expressed in the skin, but not in cornea, whereas the expression of K12 is limited to the corneas of the Bsk mice. These data ruled out the hypothesis that Bsk phenotype results from a recombination event between K12 and mHa 1, 2, 3 and 4. Ultrastructural and biochemical analyses also indicated that Bsk does not involve negative dominant mutations of keratin 12, mHa 1, 2, 3 and 4, epidermal-specific keratin 10, or basal cell-specific keratin 14. Expression of an acidic 50 kD keratin, recognized by monoclonal antibody AK 2, was up-regulated in the injured corneas of normal mice as well as Bsk corneas. CONCLUSION: The gene linked to the Bsk mutation remains unknown. The pathological changes in the skin and corneas may be secondary to the loss of protecting hairs and lashes by an unknown mechanism.

published proceedings

  • Curr Eye Res

author list (cited authors)

  • Shiraishi, A., Kao, C. W., Ishizaki, M., Zhang, Z., Converse, R. L., Tseng, S. C., Svoboda, K. K., & Kao, W. W.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Shiraishi, A||Kao, CW||Ishizaki, M||Zhang, Z||Converse, RL||Tseng, SC||Svoboda, KK||Kao, WW

publication date

  • May 1998