A nonsense variant in the ST14 gene in Akhal-Teke horses with naked foal syndrome

Anina Bauer, Theresa Hiemesch, Vidhya Jagannathan, Markus Neuditschko, Iris Bachmann, Stefan Rieder, Sofia Mikko, M. Cecilia Penedo, Nadja Tarasova, Martina Vitková, Nicolò Sirtori, Paola Roccabianca, Tosso Leeb, Monika M. Welle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Naked foal syndrome (NFS) is a genodermatosis in the Akhal-Teke horse breed. We provide the first scientific description of this phenotype. Affected horses have almost no hair and show a mild ichthyosis. So far, all known NFS affected horses died between a few weeks and 3 yr of age. It is not clear whether a specific pathology caused the premature deaths. NFS is inherited as a monogenic autosomal recessive trait. We mapped the disease causing genetic variant to two segments on chromosomes 7 and 27 in the equine genome. Whole genome sequencing of two affected horses, two obligate carriers, and 75 control horses from other breeds revealed a single nonsynonymous genetic variant on the chromosome 7 segment that was perfectly associated with NFS. The affected horses were homozygous for ST14:c.388G>T, a nonsense variant that truncates >80% of the open reading frame of the ST14 gene (p.Glu130*). The variant leads to partial nonsense-mediated decay of the mutant transcript. Genetic variants in the ST14 gene are responsible for autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis 11 in humans. Thus, the identified equine ST14:c.388G>T variant is an excellent candidate causative variant for NFS, and the affected horses represent a large animal model for a known human genodermatosis. Our findings will enable genetic testing to avoid the nonintentional breeding of NFS-affected foals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1315-1321
Number of pages7
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Dermatology
  • Equus caballus
  • Genodermatosis
  • Hair
  • Skin
  • Whole genome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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