Streptozotocin (STZ) has been widely used to induce diabetes in rodents. Strain-dependent variation in susceptibility to STZ has been reported; however, the gene(s) responsible for STZ susceptibility has not been identified. Here, we utilized the A/J-11 SM consomic strain and a set of chromosome 11 (Chr. 11) congenic strains developed from A/J-11 SM to identify a candidate STZ-induced diabetes susceptibility gene. The A/J strain exhibited significantly higher susceptibility to STZ-induced diabetes than the A/J-11 SM strain, confirming the existence of a susceptibility locus on Chr. 11. We named this locus Stzds1 (STZ-induced diabetes susceptibility 1). Congenic mapping using the Chr. 11 congenic strains indicated that the Stzds1 locus was located between D11Mit163 (27.72 Mb) and D11Mit51 (36.39 Mb). The Mpg gene, which encodes N-methylpurine DNA glycosylase (MPG), a ubiquitous DNA repair enzyme responsible for the removal of alkylated base lesions in DNA, is located within the Stzds1 region. There is a close relationship between DNA alkylation at an early stage of STZ action and the function of MPG. A Sanger sequence analysis of the Mpg gene revealed five polymorphic sites in the A/J genome. One variant, p.Ala132Ser, was located in a highly conserved region among rodent species and in the minimal region for retained enzyme activity of MPG. It is likely that structural alteration of MPG caused by the p.Ala132Ser mutation elicits increased recognition and excision of alkylated base lesions in DNA by STZ.
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