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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

EHBP1L1 Frameshift Deletion in English Springer Spaniel Dogs with Dyserythropoietic Anemia and Myopathy Syndrome (DAMS) or Neonatal Losses

Jensen, Sarah Ostergard; Christen, Matthias; Rondahl, Veronica; Holland, Christopher T.; Jagannathan, Vidhya; Leeb, Tosso; Giger, Urs


Hereditary myopathies are well documented in dogs, whereas hereditary dyserythropoietic anemias are rarely seen. The aim of this study was to further characterize the clinical and clinicopathological features of and to identify the causative genetic variant for a dyserythropoietic anemia and myopathy syndrome (DAMS) in English springer spaniel dogs (ESSPs). Twenty-six ESSPs, including five dogs with DAMS and two puppies that died perinatally, were studied. Progressive weakness, muscle atrophy-particularly of the temporal and pelvic muscles-trismus, dysphagia, and regurgitation due to megaesophagus were observed at all ages. Affected dogs had a non-regenerative, microcytic hypochromic anemia with metarubricytosis, target cells, and acanthocytes. Marked erythroid hyperplasia and dyserythropoiesis with non-orderly maturation of erythrocytes and inappropriate microcytic metarubricytosis were present. Muscle biopsies showed centralized nuclei, central pallor, lipocyte infiltrates, and fibrosis, which was consistent with centronuclear myopathy. The genome sequencing of two affected dogs was compared to 782 genomes of different canine breeds. A homozygous frameshift single-base deletion in EHBP1L1 was identified; this gene was not previously associated with DAMS. Pedigree analysis confirmed that the affected ESSPs were related. Variant genotyping showed appropriate complete segregation in the family, which was consistent with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. This study expands the known genotype-phenotype correlation of EHBP1L1 and the list of potential causative genes in dyserythropoietic anemias and myopathies in humans. EHBP1L1 deficiency was previously reported as perinatally lethal in humans and knockout mice. Our findings enable the genetic testing of ESSP dogs for early diagnosis and disease prevention through targeted breeding strategies.


Canis lupus familiaris; canine; metarubricytosis; microcytosis; centronuclear myopathy; megaesophagus; cardiomyopathy; perinatal death; precision medicine; animal model

Published in

2022, Volume: 13, number: 9, article number: 1533
Publisher: MDPI

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Genetics and Breeding
    Clinical Science

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