Details are given of 214 loci known to be associated with human hereditary disease, which have been mapped on both human and mouse chromosomes. Forty two of these have pathological variants in both species; in general the mouse variants are similar in their effects to the corresponding human ones, but exceptions include the Dmd/DMD and Hprt/HPRT mutations which cause little, if any, harm in mice. Possible reasons for phenotypic differences are discussed. In most pathological variants the gene product seems to be absent or greatly reduced in both species. The extensive data on conserved segments between human and mouse chromosomes are used to predict locations in the mouse of over 50 loci of medical interest which are mapped so far only on human chromosomes. In about 80% of these a fairly confident prediction can be made. Some likely homologies between mapped mouse loci and unmapped human ones are also given. Sixty six human and mouse proto-oncogene and growth factor gene homologies are also listed; those of confirmed location are all in known conserved segments. A survey of 18 mapped human disease loci and chromosome regions in which the manifestation or severity of pathological effects is thought to be the result of genomic imprinting shows that most of the homologous regions in the mouse are also associated with imprinting, especially those with homologues on human chromosomes 11p and 15q. Useful methods of accelerating the production of mouse models of human hereditary disease include (1) use of a supermutagen, such as ethylnitrosourea (ENU), (2) targeted mutagenesis involving ES cells, and (3) use of gene transfer techniques, with production of 'knockout mutations'.
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