Wednesday, March 18th at SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main St.),
and a second one on Wednesday, March 25th at Shiells Park, in the parking lot, located at 649 C St., Fillmore.
Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.
∙ Researchers have sequenced the whole genome — the entire DNA sequence — of 100 dogs, including 10 from screwtail breeds. All the participating dogs were privately owned pets seen at the UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, whose owners agreed to participate. Graduate students Tamer Mansour and Katherine Lucot, with C. Titus Brown, associate professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Genome Center, searched through the DNA sequences to find changes associated with screwtail breeds.
From more than 12 million individual differences they were able to identify one mutation, in a gene called DISHEVELLED 2 or DVL2. This variant was found in 100 percent of the bulldogs and French bulldogs sampled, and was very common in Boston terriers.
This kind of whole genome comparison is relatively new, Bannasch said.
“Normally, we would have first had to identify a region DNA and work from there,” she said. “We could look at breed-specific traits, but not as well as we can now.”
Professor Henry Ho at the UC Davis School of Medicine studies similar genes in humans. Mutations in the related DVL1 and DVL3 genes are known to cause Robinow syndrome, a rare inherited disorder in humans characterized by strikingly similar anatomical changes — a short, wide “babyface,” short limbs and spinal deformities. In addition, Robinow patients and the screwtail breeds also share other disease traits, such as cleft palate. In both humans and dogs, DVL genes are part of a signaling pathway called WNT involved in development of the skeleton and nervous system, among other things, said Peter Dickinson, professor of surgical and radiological sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine. By characterizing the screwtail DVL2 protein product, Sara Konopelski, a graduate student in the Ho lab, pinpointed a key biochemical step in the WNT pathway that is disrupted by the mutation. This finding further suggests that a common molecular defect is responsible for the distinct appearances of both Robinow patients and screwtail dog breeds.
The DVL2 screwtail mutation is so common in these breeds, and so closely tied to the breed appearance, that it would be difficult to remove it by breeding, Dickinson said. Other genes are known to contribute to short, wide “brachycephalic” heads in dogs, and there are likely multiple genes that contribute both to appearance and to chronic health problems in these breeds.
Understanding a common mutation in popular dog breeds may, however, give more insight into the rare Robinow syndrome in humans. Only a few hundred cases have been documented since the syndrome was identified in 1969.
“It’s a very rare human disease but very common in dogs, so that could be a model for the human syndrome,” Bannasch said.
∙ The 3rd Annual National Police K-9 Memorial Service will be presented by the National Police Dog Foundation, FOP DC Lodge #1, Courageous Tails, and United for Blue.
The memorial service will include a wreath laying ceremony to honor the memory of fallen police K-9s (download list) who have given their lives in the line of duty during 2019.
To be held on Monday, May 11, 2020, the ceremony will begin at 1:00 pm and will be held at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, 450 F St. NW Washington DC, 20001.
The National Police Dog Foundation has established the K-9 Memorial Fund to honor these fallen K-9 heroes. Consider a donation to the K-9 Memorial Fund for the continuation of this event and keep our K-9 units strong. Donations help to maintain the center.
For more information, contact [email protected] or at (888) 459-7768.