Complex Structural Variant Associated with Non-syndromic Canine Retinal Degeneration.

Murgiano, Leonardo; Becker, Doreen; Torjman, Dina; Niggel, Jessica K; Milano, Ausra; Cullen, Cheryl; Feng, Rui; Wang, Fan; Jagannathan, Vidya; Pearce-Kelling, Sue; Katz, Martin L; Leeb, Tosso; Aguirre, Gustavo D (2019). Complex Structural Variant Associated with Non-syndromic Canine Retinal Degeneration. G3 Genes Genomes Genetics, 9(2), pp. 425-437. Genetics Society of America 10.1534/g3.118.200859

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Rod and cone photoreceptors are specialized retinal neurons that have a fundamental role in visual perception, capturing light and transducing it into a neuronal signal. Aberrant functioning of rod and/or cone photoreceptors can ultimately lead to progressive degeneration and eventually blindness. In man, many rod and rod-cone degenerative diseases are classified as forms of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Dogs also have a comparable disease grouping termed progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). These diseases are generally due to single gene defects and follow Mendelian inheritance.We collected 51 DNA samples from Miniature Schnauzers affected by PRA (average age of diagnosis ∼3.9 ±1 years), as well as from 56 clinically normal controls of the same breed (average age ∼6.6 ±2.8 years). Pedigree analysis suggested monogenic autosomal recessive inheritance of PRA. GWAS and homozygosity mapping defined a critical interval in the first 4,796,806 bp of CFA15. Whole genome sequencing of two affected cases, a carrier and a control identified two candidate variants within the critical interval. One was an intronic SNV in , and the other was a complex structural variant consisting of the duplication of exon 5 of the gene along with a conversion and insertion (named ). was confirmed homozygous in a cohort of 22 cases, and 12 more cases were homozygous for the CFA15 haplotype. Additionally, the variant was found homozygous in 6 non-affected dogs of age higher than the average age of onset. The variant was found heterozygous (n = 4) and homozygous wild-type (n = 1) in cases either homozygous for or for the mapped CFA15 haplotype. We detected the wildtype and three aberrant transcripts in isolated white blood cell mRNA extracted from a PRA case homozygous for , and the aberrant transcripts involved inclusion of the duplicated exon 5 and novel exons following the activation of cryptic splice sites. No neurological signs were detected among the dogs homozygous for the variant. Therefore, we propose as causative for a non-syndromic form of PRA (PRA ) that shows incomplete penetrance in Miniature Schnauzers, potentially related to the presence of the wild-type transcript. To our knowledge, this is the first case of isolated retinal degeneration associated with a variant.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Genetics
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Jagannathan, Vidya and Leeb, Tosso


500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Genetics Society of America




Tosso Leeb

Date Deposited:

08 Apr 2019 18:11

Last Modified:

27 Oct 2019 08:19

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

PRA complex variant dog palmitoyl protein thioesterase progressive retinal atrophy retinal degeneration whole genome sequencing




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