Equine Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA) is a neurological disease found in Arabian horses. CA is characterized by post-natal degeneration of the Purkinje cells of the cerebellum. Signs of CA include ataxia, head tremors, and a lack of balance equilibrium. We have discovered a linkage of the CA phenotype to a microsatellite marker on ECA2 and identified a region of conserved homozygosity spanning approximately 142. kb. Complete sequencing of the four genes in this region identified one SNP found only in Arabian horses, located in exon 4 of TOE1 and approximately 1200 base pairs upstream of MUTYH, adjacent to a possible binding site for the transcription factor GATA2. qPCR analysis of cDNA from the cerebella of affected and unaffected horses suggested that MUTYH expression is down-regulated in affected horses. This SNP may therefore have a function effect on TOE1, or a regulatory effect on MUTYH by negatively affecting the binding affinity of GATA2.
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