Partial deletion of the LAMA3 gene is responsible for hereditary junctional epidermolysis bullosa in the American Saddlebred Horse

Anim Genet. 2009 Feb;40(1):35-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2008.01795.x. Epub 2008 Nov 11.


Laminin 5 is a heterotrimeric basement membrane protein integral to the structure and function of the dermal-epidermal junction. It consists of three glycoprotein subunits: the alpha3, beta3 and gamma2 chains, which are encoded by the LAMA3, LAMB3 and LAMC2 genes respectively. A mutation in any of these genes results in the condition known as hereditary junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB). A 6589-bp deletion spanning exons 24-27 was found in the LAMA3 gene in American Saddlebred foals born with the skin-blistering condition epitheliogenesis imperfecta. The deletion confirms that this autosomal recessive condition in the American Saddlebred Horse can indeed be classified as JEB and corresponds to Herlitz JEB in humans. A diagnostic test was developed and nine of 175 randomly selected American Saddlebred foals from the 2007 foal crop were found to be carriers of the mutation (frequency of 0.026).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa, Junctional / genetics
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa, Junctional / veterinary*
  • Exons
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Horse Diseases / genetics*
  • Horses
  • Laminin / genetics*


  • Laminin
  • laminin alpha 3