2006 Volume 68 Issue 1 Pages 27-33
To assess relationships between nucleotide polymorphisms of the prion protein (PRNP) gene and susceptibility to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), we investigated polymorphisms in the open reading frame (ORF) and 2 upper regions of the PRNP gene from 2 Japanese cattle breeds: 863 healthy Holstein cattle, 6 BSE-affected Holstein cattle, and 186 healthy Japanese Black (JB) cattle. In the ORF, we found single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at nucleotide positions 234 and 576 and found 5 or 6 copies of the octapeptide repeat, but we did not find any amino acid substitutions. In the upper region, we examined 2 sites of insertion/deletion (indel) polymorphisms: a 23-bp indel in the upper region of exon 1, and a 12-bp indel in the putative promoter region of intron 1. A previous report suggests that the 23-bp indel polymorphism is associated with susceptibility to BSE, but we did not find a difference in allele frequency between healthy and BSE-affected Holstein cattle. There were differences in allele frequency between healthy Holstein and JB cattle at the 23- and 12-bp indels and at the SNPs at nucleotide positions 234 and 576, but there was no difference in allele frequency of the octapeptide repeat. We identified a unique PRNP gene lacking a 288-bp segment (96 amino acids) in DNA samples stocked in our laboratory, but this deletion was not found in any of the 1049 cattle examined in the present study. The present results provide data about variations and distribution of the bovine PRNP gene.