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Article

A Heterozygous Missense Variant in the COL5A2 in Holstein Cattle Resembling the Classical Ehlers–Danlos Syndrome

1
Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, 40064 Ozzano Emilia (Bologna), Italy
2
Institute of Genetics, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
3
Institute of Animal Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to the work.
Animals 2020, 10(11), 2002; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112002
Received: 13 October 2020 / Revised: 26 October 2020 / Accepted: 28 October 2020 / Published: 30 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Congenital Malformation in Domestic Animals)
Genodermatoses represent inherited disorders of the skin that mostly follow a monogenic mode of inheritance. Heritable connective tissue disorders such as classical Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (cEDS) belong to this group of human rare diseases that sporadically occur in other species. Herein, affected cattle are reported showing skin lesions including cutis laxa clinically and pathologically resembling cEDS in humans. Microscopic findings in the deeper dermis were consistent with collagen dysplasia. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) identified a most likely disease-causing mutation in the COL5A2 gene. The COL5A2 gene is known to be associated with dominant inherited cEDS forms in mice and humans, but so far, it was not shown to cause a similar phenotype in domestic animals. The disease phenotype examined herein showed co-segregation with the identified missense variant within the maternal line across two generations and is most likely due to a spontaneous mutation event. Rare non-lethal disorders such as cEDS in livestock are mostly not diagnosed, but might affect animal welfare and thus lower the value of affected animals. WGS-based precision diagnostics allows understanding rare disorders and supports the value of surveillance of cattle breeding populations for harmful genetic disorders.
Classical Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (cEDS) is a heritable connective tissue disorder characterized by variable degrees of skin hyperextensibility and fragility, atrophic scarring, and generalized joint hypermobility. The purpose of this study was to characterize the clinicopathological phenotype of a cEDS-affected Holstein calf and to identify the causative genetic variant associated with the disorder by whole-genome sequencing (WGS). A 3-day-old female Holstein calf was referred because of easily induced skin detachment and hyperextensibility in the neck. A complete clinical investigation was performed in the calf, dam, and maternal-grandmother. The calf and dam showed hyperextensibility of the neck skin and atrophic scarring; additionally, the calf presented skin fragility. Moreover, the histopathology of biopsies from the calf and its dam showed that the collagen bundles in affected skin areas were wavy, short, thin, and surrounded by edema and moderate to severe acute hemorrhages. Genetic analysis revealed a private heterozygous missense variant in COL5A2 (c.2366G>T; p.Gly789Val) that was present only in the calf and dam. This confirmed the diagnosis of cEDS and represents the first report of a causal variant for cEDS in cattle and the first COL5A2-related large animal model. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bos taurus; collagen dysplasia; collagen V; connective tissue; precision medicine; skin fragility; whole-genome sequencing Bos taurus; collagen dysplasia; collagen V; connective tissue; precision medicine; skin fragility; whole-genome sequencing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jacinto, J.G.P.; Häfliger, I.M.; Veiga, I.M.B.; Letko, A.; Benazzi, C.; Bolcato, M.; Drögemüller, C. A Heterozygous Missense Variant in the COL5A2 in Holstein Cattle Resembling the Classical Ehlers–Danlos Syndrome. Animals 2020, 10, 2002. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112002

AMA Style

Jacinto JGP, Häfliger IM, Veiga IMB, Letko A, Benazzi C, Bolcato M, Drögemüller C. A Heterozygous Missense Variant in the COL5A2 in Holstein Cattle Resembling the Classical Ehlers–Danlos Syndrome. Animals. 2020; 10(11):2002. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112002

Chicago/Turabian Style

Jacinto, Joana G.P.; Häfliger, Irene M.; Veiga, Inês M.B.; Letko, Anna; Benazzi, Cinzia; Bolcato, Marilena; Drögemüller, Cord. 2020. "A Heterozygous Missense Variant in the COL5A2 in Holstein Cattle Resembling the Classical Ehlers–Danlos Syndrome" Animals 10, no. 11: 2002. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112002

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