A nonsense mutation in B3GALNT2 is concordant with hydrocephalus in Friesian horses

B.J. Ducro, A. Schurink, J.W.M. Bastiaansen, I.J.M. Boegheim, F.G. van Steenbeek, M. Vos-Loohuis, I.J. Nijman, G.R. Monroe, I. Hellinga, B.W. Dibbits, W. Back, P.A.J. Leegwater

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Abstract

Background Hydrocephalus in Friesian horses is a developmental disorder that often results in stillbirth of affected foals and dystocia in dams. The occurrence is probably related to a founder effect and inbreeding in the population. The aim of our study was to find genomic associations, to investigate the mode of inheritance, to allow a DNA test for hydrocephalus in Friesian horses to be developed. In case of a monogenic inheritance we aimed to identify the causal mutation. Results A genome-wide association study of hydrocephalus in 13 cases and 69 controls using 29,720 SNPs indicated the involvement of a region on ECA1 (P T corresponding to XP_001491595 p.Gln475* was identical to a B3GALNT2 mutation identified in a human case of muscular dystrophy-dystroglycanopathy with hydrocephalus. All 16 available cases and none of the controls were homozygous for the mutation, and all 17 obligate carriers (= dams of cases) were heterozygous. A random sample of the Friesian horse population (n¿=¿865) was tested for the mutation in a commercial laboratory. One-hundred and forty-seven horses were carrier and 718 horses were homozygous for the normal allele; the estimated allele frequency in the Friesian horse population is 0.085. Conclusions Hydrocephalus in Friesian horses has an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. A nonsense mutation XM_001491545 c.1423C>T corresponding to XP_001491595 p.Gln475* in B3GALNT2 (1:75,859,296–75,909,376) is concordant with hydrocephalus in Friesian horses. Application of a DNA test in the breeding programme will reduce the losses caused by hydrocephalus in the Friesian horse population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number761
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Genomics
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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