The rol-mutant is a single nucleotide substitution in a single collagen gene. The resulting single amino acid substitution is the smallest change to a protein that is possible. This mutant collagen gene creates a helical twist of the whole body structure along it's main axis. Therefore the longitudinal structure of the mutant animal    is similar to a flexible screw. Therefore the forward locomotion causes a rotation along it's main body axis as well as a circular crawling track. Interestingly, the animals are completely normal (they don't roll) if the corresponding´collagen gene is completely lost.
rol-6 has no direct importance for Alzheimer research, it is today generally used as a tool (marker) for DNA transformation experiments, because it can be recognised so easily.

Dr. Ekkehard Schulze
University of Gottingen
3rd. Dep. of Zoology-
Developmental Biology
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