Computational tools can markedly accelerate the rate at which murine genetic models can be analyzed. We developed a computational method for mapping phenotypic traits that vary among inbred strains onto haplotypic blocks. This method correctly predicted the genetic basis for strain-specific differences in several biologically important traits: It was also used to identify an allele-specific functional genomic element regulating H2-Eα gene expression. This functional element, which contained the binding sites for YY1 and a second transcription factor that is probably serum response factor, is located within the first intron of the H2-Eα gene. This computational method will greatly improve our ability to identify the genetic basis for a variety of phenotypic traits, ranging from qualitative trait information to quantitative gene expression data, which vary among inbred mouse strains.
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