ABSTRACT: The sequence of the prion protein gene (PRNP) affects susceptibility to spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases in many species. In white-tailed deer, both coding and non-coding single nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified in this gene that correlate to chronic wasting disease (CWD) susceptibility. Previous studies examined individual nucleotide or amino acid mutations; here we examine all nucleotide polymorphisms and their combined effects on CWD. A 626 bp region of PRNP was examined from 703 free-ranging white-tailed deer. Deer were sampled between 2002 and 2010 by hunter harvest or government culling in Illinois and Wisconsin. Fourteen variable nucleotide positions were identified (4 new and 10 previously reported). We identified 68 diplotypes comprised of 24 predicted haplotypes, with the most common diplotype occurring in 123 individuals. Diplotypes that were found exclusively among positive or negative animals were rare, each occurring in less than 1% of the deer studied. Only one haplotype (C, odds ratio 0.240) and 2 diplotypes (AC and BC, odds ratios of 0.161 and 0.108 respectively) has significant associations with CWD resistance. Each contains mutations (one synonymous nucleotide 555C/T and one nonsynonymous nucleotide 286G/A) at positions reported to be significantly associated with reduced CWD susceptibility. Results suggest that deer populations with higher frequencies of haplotype C or diplotypes AC and BC might have a reduced risk for CWD infection – while populations with lower frequencies may have higher risk for infection. Understanding the genetic basis of CWD has improved our ability to assess herd susceptibility and direct management efforts within CWD infected areas.
- synonymous polymorphism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Infectious Diseases