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Mutation Causing von Willebrand's Disease in Scottish Terriers

Patrick J. Venta, Jianping Li, Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan, George J. Brewer, and William D. Schall

Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) in the Scottish Terrier breed is a serious, often fatal, hereditary bleeding disorder. Elimination of the mutated gene by selective breeding is an important goal for the health of this breed. Although the standard protein-based tests are accurate for identification of affected Scottish Terriers, they are not reliable for the identification of carriers of the mutant gene unless multiple replicate assays are performed. A simple, highly accurate test for carriers of the disease is needed so that veterinarians can counsel clients on which animals to use in their breeding programs. The complete coding region of von Willebrand factor (vWF) complementary DNA (cDNA) was sequenced from an affected animal, and a single base deletion in the codon for amino acid 85 of the prepro-vWF cDNA that leads to Scottish Terrier vWD was identified. A highly accurate polymerase chain reaction assay was developed that can distinguish homozygous normal animals from those that are homozygous affected or heterozygous. In a voluntary survey of 87 animals provided by Scottish Terrier owners, 15 were carriers and 4 were affected with vWD, 2 of which had previously been shown to have undetectable vWF. The determination of the complete canine vWF cDNA sequence should facilitate the identification of additional vWD alleles in other breeds and other species.

© 2000, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine