Testing of dogs: Myostatin Mutation ("Bully" Whippet)

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Myostatin Mutation ("Bully" Whippet)

Double muscle mass caused by mutation of myosatin (MSTN) gene described in several mammalian species for example in cattle, sheep and mice. Recently, new mutation in MSTN-gene has been discovered that causes doubling of the muscle mass in whippets, known as "bully" whippet.
Double-muscle dogs carry two copies of the two base-pair deletion in the third exon of MSTN-gene leading to a premature stop codon at amino acid 313. MSTN-gene belongs to the gene family transforming the growth factor b and encodes the myostatin gene. The myostatin protein that affects the amount and composition of muscle fibres is exprimed shorter by 17% in the presence of the deletion, which results in inactivation of its function.
Researches show that myostatin is a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. It controls the number of muscle fibres by regulation of the total number of myoblastst. In the absence of functional protein, a greater quantity of muscle fibres (microfibriles) than needed is produced.
Dogs carrying one mutation (heterozygotes) are more muscular than normal whippets and have higher athletic potential from which they derive benefit in competitive racing events.
Dogs with two copies of mutation (mutant homozygotes) are so-called „bully" whippets, extremely muscular dogs and are not suitable for races.
If two dogs carrying one mutation (so-called fast wippets) are mated, 25 % of the offspring in the litter are expected to be "bully" puppies (see table Dog mating).
„Bully" whippets suffer from muscle cramps in shoulder and thigh muscles and they often have prognathism. In spite of health and movement restrictions, the life expectancy of bully whippets is normal, provided they are not euthanized on request of the dog owner.

Table of whippet grading:

.

.

MH/MH

mutant homozygote

(bully whippet)

MH/N

heterozygote

(MH alelle carrier)

N/N

unaffected homozygot

(normal whippet)

MH/MH

mutant homozygote

(bully whippet)

100% MH/MH

50% MH/MH

50% MH/N

100% MH/MH

MH/N

heterozygote

(MH alelle carrier)

50% MH/MH

50% MH/N

25% N/N

25% MH/N

50% N/N

50% N/N

50% MH/N

N/N

unaffected homozygot

(normal whippet)

100% N/N

50% N/N

50% MH/N

100% N/N

.

References:

Mosher DS, Quignon P, Bustamante CD, Sutter NB, Mellersh CS, et al. (2007) A mutation in the myostatin gene increases muscle mass and enhances rating performance in heterozygote dogs. PLoS Genet 3(5): e79. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030079

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Usual turnaround time: 7 business days
1 test price: 45.00 $ without VAT