FGF4 retrogene on CFA12 is responsible for chondrodystrophy and intervertebral disc disease in dogs.
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Chondrodystrophy in dogs is defined by dysplastic, shortened long bones and premature degeneration and calcification of intervertebral discs. Independent genome-wide association analyses for skeletal dysplasia (short limbs) within a single breed (PBonferroni = 0.01) and intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) across breeds (PBonferroni = 4.0 10-10) both identified a significant association to the same region on CFA12. Whole genome sequencing identified a highly expressed FGF4 retrogene within this shared region. The FGF4 retrogene segregated with limb length and had an odds ratio of 51.23 (95% CI = 46.69, 56.20) for IVDD. Long bone length in dogs is a unique example of multiple disease-causing retrocopies of the same parental gene in a mammalian species. FGF signaling abnormalities have been associated with skeletal dysplasia in humans, and our findings present opportunities for both selective elimination of a medically and financially devastating disease in dogs and further understanding of the ever-growing complexity of retrogene biology.
author list (cited authors)
Brown, E. A., Dickinson, P. J., Mansour, T., Sturges, B. K., Aguilar, M., Young, A. E., ... Bannasch, D. L.
complete list of authors
Brown, Emily A||Dickinson, Peter J||Mansour, Tamer||Sturges, Beverly K||Aguilar, Miriam||Young, Amy E||Korff, Courtney||Lind, Jenna||Ettinger, Cassandra L||Varon, Samuel||Pollard, Rachel||Brown, C Titus||Raudsepp, Terje||Bannasch, Danika L