A canine BCAN microdeletion associated with episodic falling syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Episodic falling syndrome (EFS) is a canine paroxysmal hypertonicity disorder found in Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Episodes are triggered by exercise, stress or excitement and characterized by progressive hypertonicity throughout the thoracic and pelvic limbs, resulting in a characteristic 'deer-stalking' position and/or collapse. We used a genome-wide association strategy to map the EFS locus to a 3.48 Mb critical interval on canine chromosome 7. By prioritizing candidate genes on the basis of biological plausibility, we found that a 15.7 kb deletion in BCAN, encoding the brain-specific extracellular matrix proteoglycan brevican, is associated with EFS. This represents a compelling causal mutation for EFS, since brevican has an essential role in the formation of perineuronal nets governing synapse stability and nerve conduction velocity. Mapping of the deletion breakpoint enabled the development of Multiplex PCR and Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA) genotyping tests that can accurately distinguish normal, carrier and affected animals. Wider testing of a larger population of CKCS dogs without a history of EFS from the USA revealed that carriers are extremely common (12.9%). The development of molecular genetic tests for the EFS microdeletion will allow the implementation of directed breeding programs aimed at minimizing the number of animals with EFS and enable confirmatory diagnosis and pharmacotherapy of affected dogs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) suffer pain associated with Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia (CMSM). People suffer from a similar condition and describe numerous sensory abnormalities. Sensory changes have not been quantified in affected CKCS. OBJECTIVES:To use quantitative sensory testing (QST) to quantify thermal and mechanical thresholds in CKCS and to compare QST in dogs with and without syringomyelia (SM). ANIMALS:Forty-four CKCS. METHODS:Prospective study. Dogs underwent neurological examinations and craniocervical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Thermal testing was performed over the humerus and thorax (n?=?32); mechanical testing was performed on the paw and neck (n?=?44). Latencies, thresholds, and response rates were compared with presence and severity of SM on MRI, presence of pain reported by the owner and pain identified on examination. RESULTS:Thirty dogs had SM, 30 were painful on examination, 29 were owner-reported symptomatic. Thermal and mechanical variables were not significantly different based on presence or severity of SM. Dogs with pain on examination had decreased mechanical thresholds on the paw (0.38 kg, SD?= 0.18) and neck (2.05 kg, SD?= 0.74) compared to thresholds of dogs without pain on examination on the paw (0.60 kg, SD?= 0.30) and neck (2.72 kg, SD?= 0.57; P =?.021). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE:Mechanical and thermal sensitivity does not appear to be related to the presence of SM, but mechanical sensitivity appears to be related to the presence of pain and clinical signs. Mechanical testing may be useful for assessing sensory abnormalities during clinical trials.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Almost all elderly dogs develop myxomatous mitral valve disease by the end of their life, but the cavalier King Charles spaniel (CKCS) has a heightened susceptibility, frequently resulting in death at a young age and suggesting that there is a genetic component to the condition in this breed. Transcriptional profiling can reveal the impact of genetic variation through differences in gene expression levels. The aim of this study was to determine whether expression patterns were different in mitral valves showing myxomatous degeneration from CKCS dogs compared to valves from non-CKCS dogs. RESULTS:Gene expression patterns in three groups of canine valves resulted in distinct separation of normal valves, diseased valves from CKCS and diseased valves from other breeds; the latter were more similar to the normal valves than were the valves from CKCS. Gene expression patterns in diseased valves from CKCS dogs were quite different from those in the valves from other dogs, both affected and normal. Patterns in all diseased valves (from CKCS and other breeds) were also somewhat different from normal non-diseased samples. Analysis of differentially expressed genes showed enrichment in GO terms relating to cardiac development and function and to calcium signalling canonical pathway in the genes down-regulated in the diseased valves from CKCS, compared to normal valves and to diseased valves from other breeds. F2 (prothrombin) (CKCS diseased valves compared to normal) and MEF2C pathway activation (CKCS diseased valves compared to non-CKCS diseased valves) had the strongest association with the gene changes. A large number of genes that were differentially expressed in the CKCS diseased valves compared with normal valves and diseased valves from other breeds were associated with cardiomyocytes including CASQ2, TNNI3 and RYR2. CONCLUSION:Transcriptomic profiling identified gene expression changes in CKCS diseased valves that were not present in age and disease severity-matched non-CKCS valves. These genes are associated with cardiomyocytes, coagulation and extra-cellular matrix remodelling. Identification of genes that vary in the CKCS will allow exploration of genetic variation to understand the aetiology of the disease in this breed, and ultimately development of breeding strategies to eliminate this disease from the breed.
Project description:Coenzyme Q10 (Q10) is a mitochondrial cofactor and an antioxidant with the potential to combat oxidative stress in heart failure. This study aims to determine the pharmacokinetics of repeated oral dosing of Q10 in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) with spontaneous myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) and to evaluate echocardiographic parameters, circulating cardiac biomarkers, and quality of life (QoL) after treatment. The study is a randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blinded crossover study. Nineteen CKCS with MMVD were randomized to receive 100 mg Q10 (ubiquinone) bi-daily for three weeks, then placebo (or in reverse order). Clinical examination, blood sampling, echocardiography, and QoL assessment were performed before and after each treatment phase. Q10 plasma concentrations were determined in plasma using a validated high-performance liquid chromatography method using electrochemical detection (HPLC-ECD). Eighteen CKCS were included in the analyses. Total plasma concentration of Q10 increased significantly (p < 0.0001) from baseline (median, 0.92 µg/mL; interquartile range (IQR), 0.70-1.26) to after treatment (median, 3.51 µg/mL; IQR, 2.30-6.88). Thirteen dogs reached the threshold of a total plasma Q10 concentration of ?2.0 µg/mL. The average half-life (T1/2) of Q10 was 2.95 days (IQR, 1.75-4.02). No significant differences were observed in clinical MMVD severity, and the owner perceived QoL between Q10 and placebo treatment. The solubilized Q10 formulation was well-tolerated in the dogs. Individual variation in plasma concentrations was observed following oral treatment. A long-term placebo-controlled trial is warranted in dogs with MMVD to determine long-term efficacy on the clinical severity of MMVD.
Project description:Development and progression of myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) in dogs are difficult to predict. Identification at a young age of dogs at high risk of adverse outcome in the future is desirable.To study the predictive value of selected clinical and echocardiographic characteristics associated with MMVD obtained at a young age for prediction of long-term cardiac and all-cause mortality in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS).1125 privately owned CKCS.A retrospective study including CKCS examined at the age of 1-3 years. Long-term outcome was assessed by telephone interview with owners. The value of variables for predicting mortality was investigated by Cox proportional hazard and Kaplan-Meier analyses.Presence of moderate to severe mitral regurgitation (MR) (hazard ratio (HR) = 3.03, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 1.48-6.23, P = 0.0025) even intermittent moderate to severe MR (HR = 2.23, 95% CI = 1.48-6.23, P = 0.039) on color flow Doppler echocardiography was significantly associated with increased hazard of cardiac death. An interaction between MR and sex was significant for all-cause mortality (P = 0.035), showing that males with moderate to severe MR had a higher all-cause mortality compared to males with no MR (HR = 2.38, 95% CI = 1.27-4.49, P = 0.0071), whereas no difference was found between female MR groups. The risk of cardiac (HR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.14-1.63, P < 0.001) and all-cause (HR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.02-1.24, P = 0.016) mortality increased with increasing left ventricular end-systolic internal dimension normalized for body weight (LVIDSN ).Moderate to severe MR, even if intermittent, and increased LVIDSN in dogs <3 years of age were associated with cardiac death later in life in CKCS.
Project description:To better understand the roles of microRNAs in glial function, we used a conditional deletion of Dicer1 (Dicer-CKOMG) in retinal Müller glia (MG). Dicer1 deletion from the MG leads to an abnormal migration of the cells as early as 1 month after the deletion. By 6 months after Dicer1 deletion, the MG form large aggregations and severely disrupt normal retinal architecture and function. The most highly upregulated gene in the Dicer-CKOMG MG is the proteoglycan Brevican (Bcan) and overexpression of Bcan results in similar aggregations of the MG in wild-type retina. One potential microRNA that regulates Bcan is miR-9, and overexpression of miR-9 can partly rescue the effects of Dicer1 deletion on the MG phenotype. We also find that MG from retinitis pigmentosa patients display an increase in Brevican immunoreactivity at sites of MG aggregation, linking the retinal remodeling that occurs in chronic disease with microRNAs.
Project description:The domestic dog (Canis familiaris) segregates more naturally-occurring diseases and phenotypic variation than any other species and has become established as an unparalled model with which to study the genetics of inherited traits. We used a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and targeted resequencing of DNA from just five dogs to simultaneously map and identify mutations for two distinct inherited disorders that both affect a single breed, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. We investigated episodic falling (EF), a paroxysmal exertion-induced dyskinesia, alongside the phenotypically distinct condition congenital keratoconjunctivitis sicca and ichthyosiform dermatosis (CKCSID), commonly known as dry eye curly coat syndrome. EF is characterised by episodes of exercise-induced muscular hypertonicity and abnormal posturing, usually occurring after exercise or periods of excitement. CKCSID is a congenital disorder that manifests as a rough coat present at birth, with keratoconjunctivitis sicca apparent on eyelid opening at 10-14 days, followed by hyperkeratinisation of footpads and distortion of nails that develops over the next few months. We undertook a GWAS with 31 EF cases, 23 CKCSID cases, and a common set of 38 controls and identified statistically associated signals for EF and CKCSID on chromosome 7 (P(raw) 1.9×10(-14); P(genome)?=?1.0×10(-5)) and chromosome 13 (P(raw) 1.2×10(-17); P(genome)?=?1.0×10(-5)), respectively. We resequenced both the EF and CKCSID disease-associated regions in just five dogs and identified a 15,724 bp deletion spanning three exons of BCAN associated with EF and a single base-pair exonic deletion in FAM83H associated with CKCSID. Neither BCAN or FAM83H have been associated with equivalent disease phenotypes in any other species, thus demonstrating the ability to use the domestic dog to study the genetic basis of more than one disease simultaneously in a single breed and to identify multiple novel candidate genes in parallel.
Project description:Craniocervical junction (CCJ) anomalies and secondary syringomyelia are commonly diagnosed in Cavalier King Charles spaniel (CKCS). Familiarity with the natural history of these abnormalities is vital to understanding the disease syndrome.To evaluate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) predictors of worsening clinical signs, syringomyelia, and morphology in CKCS longitudinally.Fifty-four client-owned CKCS, 5-13 years old; 50% currently symptomatic.Longitudinal observational study. We enrolled CKCS with an MRI of the CCJ performed ?3 years earlier. We used questionnaires and neurologic examinations to grade initial and current clinical status. Dogs that could be anesthetized were reimaged. Morphologic assessments included the presence and severity of: Chiari-like malformations, medullary position, atlantooccipital overlapping (AOO), dorsal atlantoaxial bands, and syringomyelia. Cranial cavity volumes and foramen magnum height were measured.Clinical status was evaluated in 54 dogs; 36/54 were reimaged. Mean follow-up was 71 months. Of initially asymptomatic dogs, 32% were symptomatic at re-evaluation. Of initially symptomatic dogs, 56% had worsened; 13% had improved with medical management. The morphology of the CCJ at initial imaging did not predict development of either new or worsened signs or syringomyelia by the time of re-evaluation.Craniocervical junction anomalies assessed in this study did not appear predictive of future clinical status or syringomyelia in our cohort. The impacts of syringomyelia, AOO, and atlantoaxial bands on future clinical status merit further study in larger groups of CKCS. Clinical progression in our cohort of medically managed CKCS did not differ substantially from published reports of those treated surgically.
Project description:Inherited bleeding disorders including abnormalities of platelet number and function rarely occur in a variety of dog breeds, but are probably underdiagnosed. Genetically characterized canine forms of platelet disorders provide valuable large animal models for understanding similar platelet disorders in people. Breed-specific disease associated genetic variants in only eight different genes are known to cause intrinsic platelet disorders in dogs. However, the causative genetic variant in many dog breeds has until now remained unknown. Four cases of a mild to severe bleeding disorder in Cocker Spaniel dogs are herein presented. The affected dogs showed a platelet adhesion defect characterized by macrothrombocytopenia with variable platelet counts resembling human Bernard-Soulier syndrome (BSS). Furthermore, the lack of functional GPIb-IX-V was demonstrated by immunocytochemistry. Whole genome sequencing of one affected dog and visual inspection of the candidate genes identified a deletion in the glycoprotein IX platelet (GP9) gene. The GP9 gene encodes a subunit of a platelet surface membrane glycoprotein complex; this functions as a receptor for von Willebrand factor, which initiates the maintenance of hemostasis after injury. Variants in human GP9 are associated with Bernard-Soulier syndrome, type C. The deletion spanned 2460 bp, and included a significant part of the single coding exon of the canine GP9 gene on dog chromosome 20. The variant results in a frameshift and premature stop codon which is predicted to truncate almost two-thirds of the encoded protein. PCR-based genotyping confirmed recessive inheritance. The homozygous variant genotype seen in affected dogs did not occur in 98 control Cocker Spaniels. Thus, it was concluded that the structural variant identified in the GP9 gene was most likely causative for the BSS-phenotype in the dogs examined. These findings provide the first large animal GP9 model for this group of inherited platelet disorders and greatly facilitate the diagnosis and identification of affected and/or normal carriers in Cocker Spaniels.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Syringomyelia (SM) is a debilitating condition in the cavalier King Charles spaniel (CKCS) that results in neuropathic pain and diminished quality of life. Von Frey aesthesiometry (VFA) is a method of mechanical quantitative sensory testing that provides an objective sensory threshold (ST) value and can be used to quantify neuropathic pain (NP) and monitor response to therapy. The utility of VFA has been previously established in client-owned dogs with acute spinal cord injury but the technique has not been evaluated in dogs with SM. The goal of this study was to evaluate ST, as determined by VFA, in dogs with and without SM, to assess the utility of VFA in quantifying NP in SM-affected dogs. We hypothesized the SM-affected CKCS would have lower ST values, consistent with hyperesthesia, when compared to control CKCS. Additionally, we hypothesized that ST values in SM-affected dogs would be inversely correlated with syrinx size on MRI and with owner-derived clinical sign scores. RESULTS:ST values for the thoracic and pelvic limbs differed significantly between the SM-affected and control CKCS (p?=?0.027; p?=?0.0396 respectively). Median ST value (range) for the thoracic limbs was 184.1?g (120.9-552) for control dogs, and 139.9?g (52.6-250.9) for SM-affected dogs. The median ST value (range) for the pelvic limbs was 164.9?g (100.8-260.3) in control dogs and 129.8?g (57.95-168.4) in SM-affected dogs. The ST values in SM-affected dogs did not correlate with syrinx height on MRI (r?=?0.314; p?=?0.137). Owner-reported clinical sign scores showed an inverse correlation with pelvic limb ST values, where dogs with lower ST values (hyperesthesia) were reported by their owners to display more frequent and severe clinical signs (r?=?-?0.657; p?=?0.022). CONCLUSION:ST values were lower in SM-affected CKCS compared to control dogs, suggesting the presence of neuropathic pain. Dogs with lower ST pelvic limb values were perceived by their owners to have more severe clinical signs classically associated with SM. Our results suggest that VFA might offer quantitative assessment of neuropathic pain in SM-affected dogs and could be useful for monitoring response to therapy in future clinical studies.
Project description:The widespread application of high-throughput sequencing methods is resulting in the identification of a rapidly growing number of novel gene fusions caused by tumour-specific chromosomal rearrangements, whose oncogenic potential remains unknown. Here we describe a strategy that builds upon recent advances in genome editing and combines ex vivo and in vivo chromosomal engineering to rapidly and effectively interrogate the oncogenic potential of genomic rearrangements identified in human brain cancers. We show that one such rearrangement, an microdeletion resulting in a fusion between Brevican (BCAN) and Neurotrophic Receptor Tyrosine Kinase 1 (NTRK1), is a potent oncogenic driver of high-grade gliomas and confers sensitivity to the experimental TRK inhibitor entrectinib. This work demonstrates that BCAN-NTRK1 is a bona fide human glioma driver and describes a general strategy to define the oncogenic potential of novel glioma-associated genomic rearrangements and to generate accurate preclinical models of this lethal human cancer.