Thursday, July 09, 2009

Genetic variability of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in wild ruminants from Italy and Scotland

J Vet Sci. 2009 Jun;10(2):115-120 DOI: 10.4142/jvs.2009.10.1.115 Genetic variability of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in wild ruminants from Italy and Scotland

Simone Peletto1,*, Matteo Perucchini2, Cristina Acin3, Mark P. Dalgleish4, Hugh W. Reid4, Roberto Rasero5, Paola Sacchi5, Paula Stewart2, Maria Caramelli1, Ezio Ferroglio5, Elena Bozzetta1, Daniela Meloni1, Riccardo Orusa1, Serena Robetto1, Silvia Gennero1, Wilfred Goldmann2, Pier Luigi Acutis1

1Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d¡¯Aosta, 10154 Turin, Italy 2Neuropathogenesis Division, The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9PS, UK 3Department of Animal Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zaragoza, 50013 Zaragoza, Spain 4Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ, UK 5Department of Animal Productions, Epidemiology and Ecology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Turin, 10095 Grugliasco, Italy * mhtml:%7B33B38F65-8D2E-434D-8F9B-8BDCD77D3066%7Dmid://00000160/!

The genetics of the prion protein gene (PRNP) play a crucial role in determining the relative susceptibility to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in several mammalian species. To determine the PRNP gene variability in European red deer (Cervus elaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), the PRNP open reading frame from 715 samples was analysed to reveal a total of ten single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). In red deer, SNPs were found in codons 15, 21, 59, 78, 79, 98, 136, 168 and 226. These polymorphisms give rise to 12 haplotypes, and one of which is identical to the PRNP of American wapiti (Rocky Mountain elk, Cervus elaphus nelsoni). One silent mutation at codon 119 was detected in chamois and no SNPs were found in roe deer. This analysis confirmed that European wild ruminants have a PRNP genetic background that is compatible with TSE susceptibility, including chronic wasting disease.

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