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-
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