A frameshift mutation in MOCOS is associated with familial renal syndrome (xanthinuria) in Tyrolean Grey cattle

Murgiano, Leonardo; Jagannathan, Vidhya; Piffer, Christian; Diez-Prieto, Inmaculada; Bolcato, Marilena; Gentile, Arcangelo; Drögemüller, Cord (2016). A frameshift mutation in MOCOS is associated with familial renal syndrome (xanthinuria) in Tyrolean Grey cattle. BMC veterinary research, 12(276), p. 276. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12917-016-0904-4

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Renal syndromes are occasionally reported in domestic animals. Two identical twin Tyrolean Grey calves exhibited weight loss, skeletal abnormalities and delayed development associated with kidney abnormalities and formation of uroliths. These signs resembled inherited renal tubular dysplasia found in Japanese Black cattle which is associated with mutations in the claudin 16 gene. Despite demonstrating striking phenotypic similarities, no obvious presence of pathogenic variants of this candidate gene were found. Therefore further analysis was required to decipher the genetic etiology of the condition.


The family history of the cases suggested the possibility of an autosomal recessive inheritance. Homozygosity mapping combined with sequencing of the whole genome of one case detected two associated non-synonymous private coding variants: A homozygous missense variant in the uncharacterized KIAA2026 gene (g.39038055C > G; c.926C > G), located in a 15 Mb sized region of homozygosity on BTA 8; and a homozygous 1 bp deletion in the molybdenum cofactor sulfurase (MOCOS) gene (g.21222030delC; c.1881delG and c.1782delG), located in an 11 Mb region of homozygosity on BTA 24. Pathogenic variants in MOCOS have previously been associated with inherited metabolic syndromes and xanthinuria in different species including Japanese Black cattle. Genotyping of two additional clinically suspicious cases confirmed the association with the MOCOS variant, as both animals had a homozygous mutant genotype and did not show the variant KIAA2026 allele. The identified genomic deletion is predicted to be highly disruptive, creating a frameshift and premature termination of translation, resulting in severely truncated MOCOS proteins that lack two functionally essential domains. The variant MOCOS allele was absent from cattle of other breeds and approximately 4% carriers were detected among more than 1200 genotyped Tyrolean Grey cattle. Biochemical urolith analysis of one case revealed the presence of approximately 95% xanthine.


The identified MOCOS loss of function variant is highly likely to cause the renal syndrome in the affected animals. The results suggest that the phenotypic features of the renal syndrome were related to an early onset form of xanthinuria, which is highly likely to lead to the progressive defects. The identification of the candidate causative mutation thus enables selection against this pathogenic variant in Tyrolean Grey cattle.

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:

Murgiano, Leonardo, Jagannathan, Vidya, Drögemüller, Cord


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




BioMed Central




Cord Drögemüller

Date Deposited:

12 Dec 2016 16:12

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:00

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