Combined pituitary hormone deficiency (CPHD) is an autosomal recessive inherited disease of German shepherd dogs characterized primarily by dwarfism. In mice and humans a similar genetic disorder has been described that results from an alteration in the gene encoding the transcription factor Pit-1. In this study we characterized the canine Pit-1 gene, determined the chromosomal localization of the Pit-1 gene, and screened dwarf German shepherd dogs for the presence of mutations in this gene. The full-length canine Pit-1 cDNA contained an open reading frame encoding 291 amino acids, 92 bp of 5′-untranslated region, and 1959 bp of 3′-untranslated region. The deduced amino acid sequence was highly homologous with Pit-1 of other mammalian species. Using a Pit-1 BAC clone as probe, the Pit-1 gene was mapped by FISH to canine Chromosome (Chr) 31. In dwarf German shepherd dogs a C to A transversion was detected, causing a Phe (TTC) to Leu (TTA) substitution at codon 81. This alteration was present neither in other canine breeds analyzed nor in other mammalian species. However, healthy German shepherd dogs were also homozygous for the mutant allele, indicating that it is not the primary disease-causing mutation. In addition, linkage analysis of polymorphic DNA markers flanking the Pit-1 gene, 41K19 and 52L05, revealed no co-segregation between the Pit-1 locus and the CPHD phenotype. These findings suggest that a gene other than Pit-1 is responsible for the pituitary anomaly in dwarf German shepherd dogs.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 27, 2014
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