The recently discovered locus for copper toxicosis (CT) in Bedlington terriers (BT) has a 13-kb deletion enveloping the 187-bp exon-2 of the MURR1 gene. This MURR1 gene is not only involved with biliary copper excretion but also associated with HIV-1 replication. The microsatellite C04107 lying in an intron of the MURR1 gene is highly associated with the disease but shows haplotype diversity. The only solid molecular test for the disease is by showing the deletion in exon-2 in cDNA in liver tissue; this test is not robust on RNA from peripheral leukocytes because of their low MURR1 expression level. Because of these drawbacks, we developed a new quantitative PCR (Q-PCR) protocol. Here we show that the MURR1 exon-2/exon-3 ratio measured by Q-PCR on genomic DNA correlates perfectly with the microsatellite marker and with RT-PCR data from blood samples, buccal swabs, and liver biopsies. In view of the important role of MURR1 in cells of many tissues, this new test has a wide range of applications in comparative biomedical research. Furthermore, Q-PCR on DNA may be a new tool in general to analyze mutations that cannot be approached by standard methods.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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