A novel missense variant in endothelin‐2 ( EDN2 ) causes a growth and respiratory lethal syndrome in bovine

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The high level of fragmentation of the Spanish Lidia cattle breed, divided into lineages called ‘castas’ and into herds within lineages based on reproductive isolation, increases the risk of homozygosity and the outbreak of recessive genetic defects. Since 2004, an increasing number of calves have been identified in a Lidia herd with signs of severe growth retardation, respiratory alterations and juvenile lethality, which constitutes a novel inherited syndrome in cattle and was subsequently termed growth and respiratory lethal syndrome. We performed a genome-wide association study on a cohort of 13 affected calves and 24 putative non-carrier parents, mapping the disease to a wide 6 cM region on bovine chromosome 3 (p < 10−7). Whole genome re-sequencing of three affected calves and three putative non-carrier parents identified a novel missense variant (c.149G>A|p.Cys50Tyr) in exon 2 of the endothelin 2 (EDN2) gene. Bioinformatic analyses of p.Cys50Tyr effects predicted them to be damaging for both the structure and the function of the edn2 protein, and to create a new site of splicing that may also affect the pattern of pre-mRNA splicing and exon definition. Sanger sequencing of this variant on the rest of the sample set confirmed the segregation pattern obtained with whole genome re-sequencing. The identification of the causative variant and the development of a diagnostic genetic test enable the efficient design of matings to keep the effective population size as high as possible, as well as providing insights into the first EDN2-associated hereditary disease in cattle or other species.
CRUE-CSIC (Acuerdos Transformativos 2022)