The identification of novel genes underlying complex mouse behavioral traits remains an important step in understanding normal brain function and its dysfunction in mental health disorders. To identify dominant mutations that influence locomotor activity, we performed a mouse N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) forward mutagenesis screen and mapped several loci as quantitative traits. Here we describe the fine-mapping and positional cloning of a hyperactivity locus mapped to the medial portion of mouse chromosome four. We employed a modified recombinant progeny testing approach to fine-map the confidence interval from ≈20 Mb down to ≈5 Mb. Whole exome resequencing of all exons in this region revealed a single missense mutation in the adhesion G protein-coupled receptor brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor 2 (Bai2). This mutation, R619W, is located in a critical extracellular domain that is a hotspot for mutations in this receptor class. We find that in two different mammalian cell lines, surface expression of Bai2 R619W is markedly reduced relative to wild-type Bai2, suggesting that R619W is a loss-of-function mutation. Our results highlight the powerful combination of ENU mutagenesis and next-generation sequencing to identify specific mutations that manifest as subtle behavioral phenotypes.
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