Objective: To evaluate the coding region of the cardiac actin gene in Doberman Pinschers with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) for mutations that could be responsible for the development of the condition
Animals: 28 dogs (16 Doberman Pinschers with DCM and 12 mixed-breed control dogs).
Procedure: Ten milliliters of blood was collected from each dog for DNA extraction. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers were designed to amplify canine exonic regions, using the sequences of exons 2 to 6 of the cardiac actin gene. Single-stranded conformational polymorphism analysis was performed for each exon with all samples. Autoradiographs were analyzed for banding patterns specific to affected dogs. The DNA sequencing was performed on a selected group of affected and control dogs.
Results: Molecular analysis of exons 2 to 6 of the cardiac actin gene did not reveal any differences in base pairs between affected dogs and control dogs selected for DNA evaluation.
Conclusions: Mutations in exons 5 and 6 of the cardiac actin gene that have been reported in humans with familial DCM do not appear to be the cause of familial DCM in Doberman Pinschers. Additionally, evaluation of exons 2 to 6 for causative mutations did not reveal a cause for inherited DCM in these Doberman Pinschers. Although there is evidence that DCM in Doberman Pinschers is an inherited problem, a molecular basis for this condition remains unresolved. Evaluation of other genes coding for cytoskeletal proteins is warranted.