Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gene associated with eczema in dogs identified

Date:
May 9, 2013
Source:
Uppsala Universitet
Summary:
A novel gene associated with canine atopic dermatitis has been identified. The gene encodes a protein called plakophilin 2, which is crucial for the formation and proper functioning of the skin structure, suggesting an aberrant skin barrier as a potential risk factor for atopic dermatitis.

A novel gene associated with canine atopic dermatitis has been identified by a team of researchers led by professors Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, Uppsala university and Åke Hedhammar, SLU, Sweden. The gene encodes a protein called plakophilin 2, which is crucial for the formation and proper functioning of the skin structure, suggesting an aberrant skin barrier as a potential risk factor for atopic dermatitis.

Details appear today in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics.

Atopic dermatitis (or eczema) is an inflammatory, relapsing non-contagious skin disease affecting about 10-30 percent of the human population. It is not only humans that suffer from the disease: about 3-10 percent of dogs are also affected. The skin of a patient with atopic dermatitis becomes easily irritated by various allergens such as certain types of food, pollens or house mites. Such irritation causes very strong itching which leads to scratching, redness and flaky skin that becomes vulnerable to bacterial and yeast infections.

To-date, despite many scientific efforts, little has been known about the genetics of the disease. In their study, researchers from Uppsala University, SLU and Broad Institute, compared DNA samples from a large group of German shepherd dogs affected by atopic dermatitis with DNA coming from healthy dogs to reveal the specific DNA segment associated with the disease.

"With the help of pet owners, we have managed to collect a unique set of DNA samples from sick and healthy dogs which allowed us to gain insight into atopic dermatitis genetics," said first author Katarina Tengvall, Uppsala University.

Purebred dogs such as German shepherds have been selected for specific physical features for several generations. Selection led to an inadvertent enrichment for disease-risk genes in certain breeds. Moreover, the resulting architecture of canine DNA makes it easier to pinpoint segments that carry these disease risk-genes. This helped the researchers to reveal the genetics of atopic dermatitis. They found a region associated with the atopic dermatitis containing the gene PKP-2, which encodes Plakophilin-2, a protein involved in the formation and maintaining of the proper skin structure.

"The finding that certain variants of the PKP-2 gene may increase the risk of developing the disease opens new possibilities in understanding the disease mechanism leading to atopic dermatitis," continues Katarina Tengvall.

These findings will not only lead to better understanding of the disease, which may lead to better treatment strategies long term. It also opens up the possibilities of development of a genetic test for the disease.

"Our study suggests that plakophilin-2 and an intact skin barrier is important to avoid atopic dermatitis," says senior author, Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, professor at Uppsala University and Director of SciLifeLab Uppsala. "Another gene involved in the skin barrier has recently been linked to human atopic dermatitis emphasizing the similarity between canine and human atopic dermatitis" continues Kerstin Lindblad-Toh.

The study was supported by the European Commission (FP7-LUPA, GA-201370) and the Swedish Research Council Formas. KT was supported by the Uppsala University, MK was supported by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) grant and ÖC and KLT were supported by independent EURYI-Awards. FF was supported by the Swedish Institute Scholarship.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Uppsala Universitet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Katarina Tengvall, Marcin Kierczak, Kerstin Bergvall, Mia Olsson, Marcel Frankowiack, Fabiana H. G. Farias, Gerli Pielberg, Örjan Carlborg, Tosso Leeb, Göran Andersson, Lennart Hammarström, Åke Hedhammar, Kerstin Lindblad-Toh. Genome-Wide Analysis in German Shepherd Dogs Reveals Association of a Locus on CFA 27 with Atopic Dermatitis. PLoS Genetics, 2013; 9 (5): e1003475 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003475

Cite This Page:

Uppsala Universitet. "Gene associated with eczema in dogs identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509184641.htm>.
Uppsala Universitet. (2013, May 9). Gene associated with eczema in dogs identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509184641.htm
Uppsala Universitet. "Gene associated with eczema in dogs identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130509184641.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
California University Designs Sustainable Winery

California University Designs Sustainable Winery

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — Amid California's worst drought in decades, scientists at UC Davis design a sustainable winery that includes a water recycling system. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

Argentina Worries Over Decline of Soybean Prices

AFP (Sep. 27, 2014) — The drop in price of soy on the international market is a cause for concern in Argentina, as soybean exports are a major source of income for Latin America's third largest economy. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Mama Bear, Cubs Hang out in California Backyard

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 27, 2014) — A mama bear and her two cubs climb trees, wrestle and take naps in the backyard of a Monrovia, California home. Vanessa Johnston reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins