PloS one

Variants in Nebulin (NEB) Are Linked to the Development of Familial Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma in Basset Hounds.

PMID 25938837


Several dog breeds are susceptible to developing primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG), which suggests a genetic basis for the disease. We have identified a four-generation Basset Hound pedigree with characteristic autosomal recessive PACG that closely recapitulates PACG in humans. Our aim is to utilize gene mapping and whole exome sequencing approaches to identify PACG-causing sequence variants in the Basset. Extensive clinical phenotyping of all pedigree members was conducted. SNP-chip genotyping was carried out in 9 affected and 15 unaffected pedigree members. Two-point and multipoint linkage analyses of genome-wide SNP data were performed using Superlink-Online SNP-1.1 and a locus was mapped to chromosome 19q with a maximum LOD score of 3.24. The locus contains 12 Ensemble predicted canine genes and is syntenic to a region on chromosome 2 in the human genome. Using exome-sequencing analysis, a possibly damaging, non-synonymous variant in the gene Nebulin (NEB) was found to segregate with PACG which alters a phylogenetically conserved Lysine residue. The association of this variants with PACG was confirmed in a secondary cohort of unrelated Basset Hounds (p = 3.4 × 10-4, OR = 15.3 for homozygosity). Nebulin, a protein that promotes the contractile function of sarcomeres, was found to be prominently expressed in the ciliary muscles of the anterior segment. Our findings may provide insight into the molecular mechanisms that underlie PACG. The phenotypic similarities of disease presentation in dogs and humans may enable the translation of findings made in this study to patients with PACG.