Clinical, histopathological and genetic characterisation of oculoskeletal dysplasia in the Northern Inuit Dog

R. Stavinohova*, C. Hartley, L.M. Burmeister, S.L. Ricketts, L. Pettitt, R.T. Pont, R.J. Hitti, E. Schofield, J.A.C. Oliver, C.S. Mellersh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Seven Northern Inuit Dogs (NID) were diagnosed by pedigree analysis with an autosomal recessive inherited oculoskeletal dysplasia (OSD). Short-limbed dwarfism, angular limb deformities and a variable combination of macroglobus, cataracts, lens coloboma, microphakia and vitreopathy were present in all seven dogs, while retinal detachment was diagnosed in five dogs. Autosomal recessive OSD caused by COL9A3 and COL9A2 mutations have previously been identified in the Labrador Retriever (dwarfism with retinal dysplasia 1—drd1) and Samoyed dog (dwarfism with retinal dysplasia 2—drd2) respectively; both of those mutations were excluded in all affected NID. Nine candidate genes were screened in whole genome sequence data; only one variant was identified that was homozygous in two affected NID but absent in controls. This variant was a nonsense single nucleotide polymorphism in COL9A3 predicted to result in a premature termination codon and a truncated protein product. This variant was genotyped in a total of 1,232 dogs. All seven affected NID were homozygous for the variant allele (T/T), while 31/116 OSD-unaffected NID were heterozygous for the variant (C/T) and 85/116 were homozygous for the wildtype allele (C/C); indicating a significant association with OSD (p = 1.41x10-11). A subset of 56 NID unrelated at the parent level were analysed to determine an allele frequency of 0.08, estimating carrier and affected rates to be 15% and 0.6% respectively in NID. All 1,109 non-NID were C/C, suggesting the variant is rare or absent in other breeds. Expression of retinal mRNA was similar between an OSD-affected NID and OSD-unaffected non-NID. In conclusion, a nonsense variant in COL9A3 is strongly associated with OSD in NID, and appears to be widespread in this breed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0220761
Number of pages22
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2019


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