In vitro and in vivo analysis of differential gene expression between normal norfolk terrier dogs and those with an autosomal recessive mutation in KRT10
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Natural diseases caused by keratin mutations are rare and have only been reported in humans. We have recently identified a heritable skin disorder in Norfolk terriers caused by a mutation in KRT10. Affected dogs have a tendency to form shallow erosions or blisters following mild trauma, which is first noted after the birthing process. As the dogs age, they display generalized hyperpigmentation and scaling that is most severe in the axillary and inguinal regions. The main histologic and ultrastructural features include: marked hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, prominent vacuolation of the upper suprabasal layers, eosinophilic intracytoplasmic aggregates (keratin bundles), numerous and frequently enlarged keratohyaline granules, and epidermal hyperplasia. Analysis of an extended pedigree through seven generations confirmed an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. The keratin 10 mutation was defined as a G-T point mutation in intron 5 that affected splicing at the boundary of exon 4 and intron 5. The primary outcome of the mutation was a 35 bp deletion in exon 4 caused by use of a cryptic splice site. Real-time PCR quantitation of KRT10 confirmed that this mutation led to premature mRNA decay and an average 35-fold decrease in KRT10 message. Organotypic cell culture techniques were used to establish in vitro models for normal and affected Norfolk terriers. After 21 days of culture, normal epidermis was cornified with a compact and multifocally parakeratotic stratum corneum. Affected epidermis largely reproduced the expected morphologic alterations. Immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry for keratin 10 protein and real-time PCR quantitation of KRT10 message showed significantly less keratin expression in vitro than in vivo suggesting that the differentiation program in vitro underwent significant alterations. A diagnostic PCR assay was established for detection of the carrier state. Global analysis of gene expression between normal, carrier and affected dogs was performed with DermArray cDNA microarrays. Affected and carrier dogs showed differential regulation of 320 and 298 genes, respectively, between normal dogs. In affected dogs, 217 were upregulated and 103 were downregulated. In carrier dogs, 222 were upregulated and 76 were downregulated. 72 genes (65 upregulated, 7 downregulated) were altered in both affected and heterozygous dogs.
Barnhart, Kirstin Faye (2004). In vitro and in vivo analysis of differential gene expression between normal norfolk terrier dogs and those with an autosomal recessive mutation in KRT10. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from