Lois Balmer, Edith Cowan UniversityFollow
Caroline Ann O’Leary
School of Medical and Health Sciences
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Genetic variants that are associated with susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (T2D) are important for identification of individuals at risk and can provide insights into the molecular basis of disease. Analysis of T2D in domestic animals provides both the opportunity to improve veterinary management and breeding programs as well as to identify novel T2D risk genes. Australian-bred Burmese (ABB) cats have a 4-fold increased incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) compared to Burmese cats bred in the United States. This is likely attributable to a genetic founder effect. We investigated this by performing a genome-wide association scan on ABB cats. Four SNPs were associated with the ABB T2D phenotype with p values < 0.005. All exons and splice junctions of candidate genes near significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were sequenced, including the genes DGKG, IFG2BP2, SLC8A1, E2F6, ETV5, TRA2B and LIPH. Six candidate polymorphisms were followed up in a larger cohort of ABB cats with or without T2D and also in Burmese cats bred in America, which exhibit low T2D incidence. The original SNPs were confirmed in this cohort as associated with the T2D phenotype, although no novel coding SNPs in any of the seven candidate genes showed association with T2D. The identification of genetic markers associated with T2D susceptibility in ABB cats will enable preventative health strategies and guide breeding programs to reduce the prevalence of T2D in these cats.
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