Genetic variability of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in wild ruminants from Italy and Scotland

Simone Peletto, Matteo Perucchini, Cristina Acin, Mark P. Dalgleish, Hugh W. Reid, Roberto Rasero, Paola Sacchi, Paula Stewart, Maria Caramelli, Ezio Ferroglio, Elena Bozzetta, Daniela Meloni, Riccardo Orusa, Serena Robetto, Silvia Gennero, Wilfred Goldmann, Pier Luigi Acutis

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The genetics of the prion protein gene (PRNP) play a crucial role in determining the relative susceptibility to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in several mammalian species. To determine the PRNP gene variability in European red deer (Cervus elaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), the PRNP open reading frame from 715 samples was analysed to reveal a total of ten single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). In red deer, SNPs were found in codons; 15, 21, 59, 78, 79, 98, 136, 168 and 226. These polymorphisms give rise to 12 haplotypes, and one of which is identical to the PRNP of American wapiti (Rocky Mountain elk, Cervus elaphus nelsoni). One silent mutation at codon 119 was detected in chamois and no SNPs were found in roe deer. This analysis confirmed that European wild ruminants have a PRNP genetic background that is compatible with TSE susceptibility, including chronic wasting disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Veterinary Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

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