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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Waved with open eyelids 2 (woe2) is a novel spontaneous mouse mutation in the protein phosphatase 1, regulatory (inhibitor) subunit 13 like (Ppp1r13l) gene

Joseph Toonen1, Lina Liang1 and Duska J Sidjanin12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Medical College of Wisconsin, 8701 Watertown Plank Rd, Milwaukee, WI, 53226, USA

2 Human and Molecular Genetics Center, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA

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BMC Genetics 2012, 13:76  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-13-76

Published: 28 August 2012



Waved with open eyelids 2 (woe2) is a novel autosomal recessive mouse mutation that arose spontaneously in our animal facility. Upon initial evaluation, mutant mice exhibited eyelids open at birth (EOB) and wavy fur phenotypes. The goals of this study were to phenotypically characterize the woe2 mice and to identify the gene harboring the mutation responsible for the woe2 phenotype.


Histological analysis of woe2 embryos identified the failure of embryonic eyelid closure. Clinical and histological analysis of woe2 adult eyes identified severe corneal opacities, abnormalities of the anterior segment of the eye, and the absence of meibomian glands. Abnormalities in the fur texture and the absence of meibomian glands prompted us to evaluate other epidermal appendages: skin, teeth, and nails--as well as lacrimal, mammary, salivary, sebaceous and sweat glands. No obvious morphological differences between WT and woe2 mice were identified in these tissues. However, the analysis of woe2 identified cardiac abnormalities. Positional cloning of the woe2 locus identified a 1308 bp deletion in the Ppp1r13l gene. The deletion resulted in an aberrant Ppp1r13lΔexon9-11 transcript that lacks exons 9, 10 and 11 resulting in a premature stop and a loss of 223 amino acids from the C-terminal end of the putative mutant PPP1R13L protein. Immunohistological analysis during eye development identified expression of PPP1R13L in the palpebral epidermis, palpebral and bulbar conjunctiva, corneal epithelium and meibomian glands.


The woe2 mouse harbors a novel deletion within the Ppp1r13l gene, likely resulting in a complete loss of PPP1R13L function. Results from this study provide evidence that PPP1R13L has an essential role in embryonic eyelid closure as well in development of meibomian glands and the anterior segment of the eye. The woe2 mice are a useful model for investigation of the role of PPP1R13L, especially during ocular and eyelid development.

EOB; Eyelid; Embryonic; Meibomian; Mapping; Microsatellite; Locus; Mutation; Deletion