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Open Access Research article

Motor coordination deficits in Alpk1 mutant mice with the inserted piggyBac transposon

Muyun Chen and Rener Xu*

Author Affiliations

Institute of Developmental Biology & Molecular Medicine, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China

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BMC Neuroscience 2011, 12:1  doi:10.1186/1471-2202-12-1

Published: 5 January 2011



ALPK1 (α-kinase 1) is a member of an unconventional alpha-kinase family, and its biological function remains largely unknown. Here we report the phenotypic characterization of one mutant line, in which the piggyBac (PB) transposon is inserted into the Alpk1 gene.


The piggyBac(PB) insertion site in mutants was mapped to the first intron of the Alpk1 gene, resulting in the effective disruption of the intact Alpk1 transcript expression. The transposon-inserted Alpk1 homozygous mutants (Alpk1PB/PB) displayed severe defects in motor coordination in a series of behavioral analysis, including dowel test, hanging wire test, rotarod analysis and footprint analysis. However, the cerebellar architecture, Purkinje cell morphology and electrophysiology of the Purkinje cells appeared normal in mutants. The motor coordination deficits in the Alpk1PB/PB mice were rescued by transgenic mice expressing the full-length Alpk1-coding sequence under the control of the ubiquitous expression promoter.


Our results indicate that ALPK1 plays an important role in the regulation of motor coordination. Alpk1PB/PB mice would be a useful model to provide a clue to the better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of ALPK1 in the control of fine motor activities.