Molecularly-guided trials (i.e. PMed) now seek to aid clinical decision-making by matching cancer targets with therapeutic options. Progress has been hampered by the lack of cancer models that account for individual-to-individual heterogeneity within and across cancer types. Naturally occurring cancers in pet animals are heterogeneous and thus provide an opportunity to answer questions about these PMed strategies and optimize translation to human patients. In order to realize this opportunity, it is now necessary to demonstrate the feasibility of conducting molecularly-guided analysis of tumors from dogs with naturally occurring cancer in a clinically relevant setting.
Musladin-Lueke Syndrome (MLS) is a hereditary disorder affecting Beagle dogs that manifests with extensive fibrosis of the skin and joints. In this respect, it resembles human stiff skin syndrome and the Tight skin mouse, each of which is caused by gene defects affecting fibrillin-1, a major component of tissue microfibrils. The objective of this work was to determine the genetic basis of MLS and the molecular consequence of the identified mutation.
The size, shape, and behavior of the modern domesticated dog has been sculpted by artificial selection for at least 14,000 years. The genetic substrates of selective breeding, however, remain largely unknown. Here, we describe a genome-wide scan for selection in 275 dogs from 10 phenotypically diverse breeds that were genotyped for over 21,000 autosomal SNPs. We identified 155 genomic regions that possess strong signatures of recent selection and contain candidate genes for phenotypes that vary most conspicuously among breeds, including size, coat color and texture, behavior, skeletal morphology, and physiology. In addition, we demonstrate a significant association between HAS2 and skin wrinkling in the Shar-Pei, and provide evidence that regulatory evolution has played a prominent role in the phenotypic diversification of modern dog breeds. Our results provide a first-generation map of selection in the dog, illustrate how such maps can rapidly inform the genetic basis of canine phenotypic variation, and provide a framework for delineating the mechanistic basis of how artificial selection promotes rapid and pronounced phenotypic evolution.
We have leveraged the reference sequence of a boxer to construct the first complete linkage map for the domestic dog. The new map improves access to the dogs unique biology, from human disease counterparts to fascinating evolutionary adaptations. The map was constructed with approximately 3000 microsatellite markers developed from the reference sequence. Familial resources afforded 450 mostly phase-known meioses for map assembly. The genotype data supported a framework map with approximately 1500 loci. An additional approximately 1500 markers served as map validators, contributing modestly to estimates of recombination rate but supporting the framework content. Data from approximately 22,000 SNPs informing on a subset of meioses supported map integrity. The sex-averaged map extended 21 M and revealed marked region- and sex-specific differences in recombination rate. The map will enable empiric coverage estimates and multipoint linkage analysis. Knowledge of the variation in recombination rate will also inform on genomewide patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD), and thus benefit association, selective sweep, and phylogenetic mapping approaches. The computational and wet-bench strategies can be applied to the reference genome of any nonmodel organism to assemble a de novo linkage map.
Coat color and type are essential characteristics of domestic dog breeds. Although the genetic basis of coat color has been well characterized, relatively little is known about the genes influencing coat growth pattern, length, and curl. We performed genome-wide association studies of more than 1000 dogs from 80 domestic breeds to identify genes associated with canine fur phenotypes. Taking advantage of both inter- and intrabreed variability, we identified distinct mutations in three genes, RSPO2, FGF5, and KRT71 (encoding R-spondin-2, fibroblast growth factor-5, and keratin-71, respectively), that together account for most coat phenotypes in purebred dogs in the United States. Thus, an array of varied and seemingly complex phenotypes can be reduced to the combinatorial effects of only a few genes.
A crippling dwarfism was first described in the Miniature Poodle in Great Britain in 1956. Here, we resolve the genetic basis of this recessively inherited disorder. A case-control analysis (8:8) of genotype data from 173 k SNPs revealed a single associated locus on CFA14 (P(raw) <10(-8)). All affected dogs were homozygous for an ancestral haplotype consistent with a founder effect and an identical-by-descent mutation. Systematic failure of nine, nearly contiguous SNPs, was observed solely in affected dogs, suggesting a deletion was the causal mutation. A 130-kb deletion was confirmed both by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis and by cloning the physical breakpoints. The mutation was perfectly associated in all cases and obligate heterozygotes. The deletion ablated all but the first exon of SLC13A1, a sodium/sulfate symporter responsible for regulating serum levels of inorganic sulfate. Our results corroborate earlier findings from an Slc13a1 mouse knockout, which resulted in hyposulfatemia and syndromic defects. Interestingly, the metabolic disorder in Miniature Poodles appears to share more clinical signs with a spectrum of human disorders caused by SLC26A2 than with the mouse Slc13a1 model. SLC26A2 is the primary sodium-independent sulfate transporter in cartilage and bone and is important for the sulfation of proteoglycans such as aggregan. We propose that disruption of SLC13A1 in the dog similarly causes undersulfation of proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix (ECM), which impacts the conversion of cartilage to bone. A co-dominant DNA test of the deletion was developed to enable breeders to avoid producing affected dogs and to selectively eliminate the mutation from the gene pool.
Short tandem repeat polymorphisms (STRPs) are robust and informative markers for a range of genetic applications. STRPs are advantageous in experimental designs that derive power from sampling many individuals rather than many loci (e.g., pedigree-based studies, fine-scale mapping, and conservation genetics). STRPs have proven useful for vetting samples prior to costly high-density SNP analysis. Here we present validated STRPs (n = 1,012) spanning the canine genome (2.1 +/-1.4 Mb; 2.1 +/-2.1 cM). Standardized design, pre-multiplexing, M13-based dye-labeling, and selection for loci amenable to semi-automated allele-scoring minimize cost and facilitate efficient genotyping. The markers are leveraged from the canine linkage map, and thus are backed by genetic data useful for parametric multipoint analysis and assessment of empiric coverage. We demonstrate several applications with different marker subsets. The complete set provides a genome scan for linkage at ?5 cM resolution. A subset of the markers measures molecular diversity between domestic and wild canid populations. Another subset reflects ancestry within breeds, uncovering hidden stratification and flagging genetic outliers prior to SNP genotyping. Thus, the markers described here add flexibility and cost effectiveness to several genetic applications in the dog that complement genome-wide SNP genotyping studies. Supplemental material is available for this article. Go to the publishers online edition of Animal Biotechnology.
Domestic dogs can suffer from hearing losses that can have profound impacts on working ability and quality of life. We have identified a type of adult-onset hearing loss in Border Collies that appears to have a genetic cause, with an earlier age of onset (3-5 years) than typically expected for aging dogs (8-10 years). Studying this complex trait within pure breeds of dog may greatly increase our ability to identify genomic regions associated with risk of hearing impairment in dogs and in humans. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to detect loci underlying adult-onset deafness in a sample of 20 affected and 28 control Border Collies. We identified a region on canine chromosome 6 that demonstrates extended support for association surrounding SNP Chr6.25819273 (p-value = 1.09 × 10(-13)). To further localize disease-associated variants, targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) of one affected and two unaffected dogs was performed. Through additional validation based on targeted genotyping of additional cases (n = 23 total) and controls (n = 101 total) and an independent replication cohort of 16 cases and 265 controls, we identified variants in USP31 that were strongly associated with adult-onset deafness in Border Collies, suggesting the involvement of the NF-?B pathway. We found additional support for involvement of RBBP6, which is critical for cochlear development. These findings highlight the utility of GWAS-guided fine-mapping of genetic loci using targeted NGS to study hereditary disorders of the domestic dog that may be analogous to human disorders.
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