Evaluation of a DLA-79 allele associated with multiple immune-mediated diseases in dogs
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Immune-mediated diseases are common and life-threatening disorders in dogs. Many canine immune-mediated diseases have strong breed predispositions and are believed to be inherited. However, the genetic mutations that cause these diseases are mostly unknown. As many immune-mediated diseases in humans share polymorphisms among a common set of genes, we conducted a candidate gene study of 15 of these genes across four immune-mediated diseases (immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, immune-mediated polyarthritis (IMPA), and atopic dermatitis) in 195 affected and 206 unaffected dogs to assess whether causative or predictive polymorphisms might exist in similar genes in dogs. We demonstrate a strong association (Fisher’s exact p = 0.0004 for allelic association, p = 0.0035 for genotypic association) between two polymorphic positions (10 bp apart) in exon 2 of one allele in DLA-79, DLA-79*001:02, and multiple immune-mediated diseases. The frequency of this allele was significantly higher in dogs with immune-mediated disease than in control dogs (0.21 vs. 0.12) and ranged from 0.28 in dogs with IMPA to 0.15 in dogs with atopic dermatitis. This allele has two non-synonymous substitutions (compared with the reference allele, DLA-79*001:01), resulting in F33L and N37D amino acid changes. These mutations occur in the peptide-binding pocket of the protein, and based upon our computational modeling studies, are likely to affect critical interactions with the peptide N-terminus. Further studies are warranted to confirm these findings more broadly and to determine the specific mechanism by which the identified variants alter canine immune system function.
KeywordsCanine Immune-mediated disease Dog leukocyte antigen Major histocompatibility complex class Ib
Compliance with ethical standards
This study was funded in part by a National Institutes of Health T32 training award provided to Dr. Friedenberg (5T32OD011130-07). Some DNA samples and associated phenotypic data were provided by the Cornell Veterinary Biobank, a resource built with the support of NIH grant R24-GM082910 and the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.
Informed consent was obtained from the owners of all animal participants included in the study.
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