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Neurogenetics. 2010 May;11(2):185-91. doi: 10.1007/s10048-009-0219-8. Epub 2009 Oct 1.

A Copine family member, Cpne8, is a candidate quantitative trait gene for prion disease incubation time in mouse.

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  • 1Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, UK. s.lloyd@prion.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Prion disease incubation time in mice is determined by many factors including genetic background. The prion gene itself plays a major role in incubation time; however, other genes are also known to be important. Whilst quantitative trait loci (QTL) studies have identified multiple loci across the genome, these regions are often large, and with the exception of Hectd2 on Mmu19, no quantitative trait genes or nucleotides for prion disease incubation time have been demonstrated. In this study, we use the Northport heterogeneous stock of mice to reduce the size of a previously identified QTL on Mmu15 from approximately 25 to 1.2 cM. We further characterised the genes in this region and identify Cpne8, a member of the copine family, as the most promising candidate gene. We also show that Cpne8 mRNA is upregulated at the terminal stage of disease, supporting a role in prion disease. Applying these techniques to other loci will facilitate the identification of key pathways in prion disease pathogenesis.

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