Genetic Studies in Dogs Implicate Novel Genes Involved in Atopic Dermatitis and IgA Deficiency
Sammanfattning: This thesis presents genetic studies of atopic dermatitis (AD) and IgA deficiency in dogs.AD is a chronic inflammatory and pruritic skin disorder caused by allergic reactions against environmental allergens. Both genetic and environmental factors are involved in the development of Canine AD (CAD) and human AD. In Paper I, we performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and identified a locus on chromosome 27 significantly associated with CAD in German shepherd dogs (GSDs). The locus contains several genes and fine-mapping indicated strongest association close to the candidate gene PKP2. In Paper II, we performed additional fine-mapping and identified four highly associated SNPs located in regions with transcriptional regulatory potential in epithelial and immune cells. The risk alleles were associated with increased transcriptional activity and the effect on expression was cell-type dependent. These data indicate that multiple cell-type specific enhancers regulate the expression of PKP2, and/or the neighboring genes YARS2, DNM1L and FGD4, and predispose GSDs to CAD.IgA deficiency is the most common primary immune deficiency disorder in both humans and dogs, characterized by a higher risk of recurrent mucosal tract infections, allergic and other immune-mediated diseases. In Paper III, we performed the widest screening (to date) of serum IgA levels in dog breeds (Ndogs=1267, Nbreeds=22) and defined eight breeds as predisposed to low IgA levels. In Paper IV, we performed GWAS in four of the breeds defined as prone to low IgA levels. We used a novel percentile groups-approach to establish breed-specific cut-offs to perform analyses in a close to continuous manner. In total, 35 genomic loci were suggestively associated (p<0.0005) to IgA levels, and three genomic regions (including the genes KIRREL3 and SERPINA9) were genome-wide significantly associated with IgA levels in GSDs. A ~20kb long haplotype on chromosome 28, significantly associated to IgA levels in Shar-Pei dogs, was positioned within the first intron of the gene SLIT1 overlapping with a possible dog domestication sweep.This thesis suggests novel candidate genes involved in two immune-mediated disorders in the dog. Hopefully, these results will become an important resource for the genetic research of the corresponding human diseases.
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