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PLoS Genet. 2014 May 15;10(5):e1004370. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004370. eCollection 2014.

A mutation in the FAM83G gene in dogs with hereditary footpad hyperkeratosis (HFH).

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Institute of Genetics, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; DermFocus, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
Clinic for Reproductive Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
CNRS, UMR 6290, Institut Génétique et Développement de Rennes, Rennes, France; Université Rennes 1, UEB, Biosit, Faculté de Médecine, Rennes, France.
Antagene, Animal Genetics Laboratory, La Tour de Salvagny, France.
DermFocus, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; Institute of Animal Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
DermFocus, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; Division of Clinical Dermatology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


Hereditary footpad hyperkeratosis (HFH) represents a palmoplantar hyperkeratosis, which is inherited as a monogenic autosomal recessive trait in several dog breeds, such as e.g. Kromfohrländer and Irish Terriers. We performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in both breeds. In Kromfohrländer we obtained a single strong association signal on chromosome 5 (p(raw) = 1.0×10(-13)) using 13 HFH cases and 29 controls. The association signal replicated in an independent cohort of Irish Terriers with 10 cases and 21 controls (p(raw) = 6.9×10(-10)). The analysis of shared haplotypes among the combined Kromfohrländer and Irish Terrier cases defined a critical interval of 611 kb with 13 predicted genes. We re-sequenced the genome of one affected Kromfohrländer at 23.5× coverage. The comparison of the sequence data with 46 genomes of non-affected dogs from other breeds revealed a single private non-synonymous variant in the critical interval with respect to the reference genome assembly. The variant is a missense variant (c.155G>C) in the FAM83G gene encoding a protein with largely unknown function. It is predicted to change an evolutionary conserved arginine into a proline residue (p.R52P). We genotyped this variant in a larger cohort of dogs and found perfect association with the HFH phenotype. We further studied the clinical and histopathological alterations in the epidermis in vivo. Affected dogs show a moderate to severe orthokeratotic hyperplasia of the palmoplantar epidermis. Thus, our data provide the first evidence that FAM83G has an essential role for maintaining the integrity of the palmoplantar epidermis.

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