PloS one

Fine mapping for Weaver syndrome in Brown Swiss cattle and the identification of 41 concordant mutations across NRCAM, PNPLA8 and CTTNBP2.

PMID 23527149


Bovine Progressive Degenerative Myeloencephalopathy (Weaver Syndrome) is a recessive neurological disease that has been observed in the Brown Swiss cattle breed since the 1970's in North America and Europe. Bilateral hind leg weakness and ataxia appear in afflicted animals at 6 to 18 months of age, and slowly progresses to total loss of hind limb control by 3 to 4 years of age. While Weaver has previously been mapped to Bos taurus autosome (BTA) 4∶46-56 Mb and a diagnostic test based on the 6 microsatellite (MS) markers is commercially available, neither the causative gene nor mutation has been identified; therefore misdiagnosis can occur due to recombination between the diagnostic MS markers and the causative mutation. Analysis of 34,980 BTA 4 SNPs genotypes derived from the Illumina BovineHD assay for 20 Brown Swiss Weaver carriers and 49 homozygous normal bulls refined the Weaver locus to 48-53 Mb. Genotyping of 153 SNPs, identified from whole genome sequencing of 10 normal and 10 carrier animals, across a validation set of 841 animals resulted in the identification of 41 diagnostic SNPs that were concordant with the disease. Except for one intergenic SNP all are associated with genes expressed in nervous tissues: 37 distal to NRCAM, one non-synonymous (serine to asparagine) in PNPLA8, one synonymous and one non-synonymous (lysine to glutamic acid) in CTTNBP2. Haplotype and imputation analyses of 7,458 Brown Swiss animals with Illumina BovineSNP50 data and the 41 diagnostic SNPs resulted in the identification of only one haplotype concordant with the Weaver phenotype. Use of this haplotype and the diagnostic SNPs more accurately identifies Weaver carriers in both Brown Swiss purebred and influenced herds.