01341-A: Sample Collection, Pedigree Analysis and Candidate Gene Screen for Protein-Losing Enteropathy in Yorkshire Terriers

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,722
Dr. Nate Sutter, PhD, Cornell University
June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2011
Sponsor(s): Friends of Havanese, Nancy Simpson
Breed(s): Yorkshire Terrier
Research Program Area: Prevention

Project Summary

Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) is a life threatening condition diagnosed in many breeds including Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Basenji, Lundehund, Chinese Sharpei and Yorkshire Terrier. The syndrome is particularly prevalent in Yorkshire Terriers. These dogs commonly suffer from chronic diarrhea and lose protein into the intestine. A variety of abnormalities in the intestinal lining are thought to be involved. While dietary changes sometimes help, treatment is supportive rather than curative. As many as half or more of all Yorkshire Terriers diagnosed with PLE ultimately succumb to it. Long term we want to identify the genetic risk factor or factors that predispose Yorkshire Terriers to this syndrome. These genetic factors may also be present in other breeds, a hypothesis that can be tested once the factors are identified in Yorkshire Terriers. Here, the investigators have collected sample data from Yorkshire Terriers to enable a future genome-wide association scan to identify these risk factors. They have collected blood samples to use as a source of genomic DNA, pedigrees and clinical data from affected and unaffected Yorkshire Terriers. They also tested a candidate gene, syndecan 1, with the hypothesis that sequence variation in this gene contributes to PLE risk in Yorkshire Terriers. The gene is a key player in PLE risk in people. The investigators sequenced portions of the gene including exons, intron boundaries to exons and promoter sequence. They did not detect any association between Yorkshire Terriers PLE and sequence variation in the gene and can therefore exclude it as a candidate for the disease. The investigators will continue to collected DNA samples and when enough samples have been collected, they will pursue a genome-wide association scan which is the logical next step.

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