A series of mouse-hamster somatic cell hybrids containing a variable number of mouse chromosomes and a constant set of hamster chromosomes have been used to determine the chromosomal location of a family of hormone-inducible genes, the murine caseins. Recombinant mouse cDNA clones encoding the alpha-, beta-, and gamma-caseins were constructed and used in DNA restriction mapping experiments. All three casein cDNAs hybridized to the same set of somatic cell hybrid DNAs isolated from cells containing mouse chromosome 5, while negative hybridization was observed to ten other hybrid DNAs isolated from cells lacking chromosome 5. A fourth cDNA clone, designated pCM delta 40, which hybridized to an abundant 790 nucleotide poly(A)RNA isolated from 6-d lactating mouse mammary tissue, was also mapped to chromosome 5. The chromosomal assignment of the casein gene family was confirmed using a mouse albumin clone. The albumin gene had been previously localized to mouse chromosome 5 by both breeding studies and analogous molecular hybridization experiments. An additional control experiment demonstrated that another hormone-inducible gene, specifying a 620 nucleotide abundant mammary gland mRNA, hybridized to DNA isolated from a different somatic cell hybrid line. These studies represent the first localization of a peptide and steroid hormone-responsive gene family to a single mouse chromosome.

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