Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mutated Gene Found in Dog Disease the Same in Humans

19.04.2011
Tibetian Terrier dogs could play key role in developing therapy for early-onset Parkinson’s

University of Missouri researchers believe both man and animal will benefit from their discovery that the same gene mutation found in Tibetan Terrier dogs can also be found in a fatal human neurological disorder related to Parkinson’s disease.

Fabiana Farias, a doctoral candidate in Area Genetics at the University of Missouri, found the mutation as part of her thesis research. Gary Johnson, associate professor of Veterinary Pathobiology; Martin Katz, professor of Veterinary Pathobiology, and Dennis O’Brien, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, along with a host of researchers from MU’s College of Veterinary Medicine; College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) and the Mason Eye Institute, recently published the findings in Neurobiology of Disease.

The disease in Tibetian Terriers is called adult-onset neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (NCL). Within the dogs’ cells in the brain and eye, material that should be “recycled” builds up and interferes with nerve cell function. Due to this buildup, around the age of five years old, the dog begins to exhibit dementia, impaired visual behavior, loss of coordination, and shows unwarranted aggression.

NCL ultimately took the life of Topper, a Tibetian Terrier owned by Lynn Steinhaus of Columbia. Steinhaus said Topper showed increased shyness around age five, and showed a loss of muscle control later. Topper also suffered seizures before he was euthanized in July of 2009. Topper’s DNA was used to further the study.

“This is really hard disease for dog owners to go through,” Steinhaus said. “Those seizures are just terrible.”

While there are many forms of NCL in humans, the symptoms of NCL are similar in people and dogs, and the disease is ultimately fatal for both. Utilizing the canine genome map and DNA samples from dogs diagnosed with NCL, the researchers were able to pinpoint the specific gene that causes NCL. The mutation they discovered in dogs, however, causes a hereditary form of Parkinson’s disease in humans. This suggests that the recycling that goes awry in NCL may also be involved in degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s.

Now, DNA from dogs can be tested to identify the presence of the mutated gene, and that test can ensure that Tibetan Terrier breeders do not pass it on to the next generation. The researchers also believe that they may be able to test -potential human therapies on the animal population because they can use the DNA test to identify affected dogs before they start to show symptoms.

“Looking through samples collected from hundreds of dogs over many years, we got to the point where we’re able to say this is a disease caused by the mutation of one gene,” Katz said. “Finding that gene was like finding a single house in a very large city – but we had the dog family history and the tools to look through the city in a systematic way to locate address of the mutation responsible for the disease.”

The publication is the result of almost 10 years of work, and the researchers believe it couldn’t have occurred without the unique combination of animal and human medical science at the University of Missouri.

“Dogs and people suffer from the same diseases, and it’s much easier to discover gene issues in dogs because of the unique genetics of pure-bred dogs,” O’Brien said. “Because we have a medical school and veterinary school near each other, we can find the genes in the dog and then find out if they cause a similar disease in people.”

Steven Adams | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.missouri.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>