Navigation Links
Researchers Discover the Tale Behind Short Dogs
Date:7/30/2009

Dachshunds, corgis and others may trace their height to an evolutionary event

THURSDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Certain breeds of dogs may have developed distinctively short legs following a single change to the genetic code during their evolution, according to a finding that may also help explain a type of human dwarfism.

Researchers with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) found that about 20 short-legged dog breeds, including dachshunds, corgis and basset hounds, have two copies of a gene that play a role in production of the protein fibroblast growth factor 4 (FGF4). The copies are not identical, though, as one lacks some essential parts of the DNA code, according to the study published July 16 in the online edition of Science.

"Our findings suggest that retrogenes may play a larger role in evolution than has been previously thought, especially as a source of diversity within species," study first author Heidi G. Parker, of NHGRI, said in a news release from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. "We were surprised to find that just one retrogene inserted at one point during the evolution of a species could yield such a dramatic physical trait that has been conserved over time."

Retrogenes occur when a transcription error in the creation of DNA code causes a functional, but imperfect duplicate of a gene to be inserted into the code. A type of virus, called a retrovirus, often causes the error to occur. The team theorizes that this one-time mutation may have occurred early in the breeds' transformation from wild to domesticated animals.

The retrogene in the short-legged dogs produces too much of the FGF4 growth protein, which the team believes may cause growth receptors to be switched on at the wrong time during fetal development. This may be behind the known calcification of growth plates that prevents these breeds' legs from growing, a condition known as disproportional dwarfism, or chondrodysplasia, that is distinctive to these breeds.

Humans can have a similar condition called hypochondroplasia, one of several conditions generally referred to as dwarfism. Researchers have linked two-thirds of the human cases to a different gene, but the cause of the remaining third is unknown.

"This study points to a new gene that should be investigated for its possible role in human hypochondroplasia," study author Elaine Ostrander, a senior investigator in NHGRIs Division of Intramural Research, said in the same news release. "Our findings may prove valuable to scientists studying other aspects of human growth and development. The work also underscores the value of canine studies for uncovering new biological mechanisms that are likely relevant to human disease."

More information

The Human Growth Foundation has more about growth disorders in people.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: U.S. National Institutes of Health, news release, July 2009


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford researchers find culprit in aging muscles that heal poorly
2. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
3. Mayo Clinic researchers discover new diagnostic test for detecting infection in prosthetic joints
4. Bipolar disorder relapses halved by Melbourne researchers
5. Cell that triggers symptoms in allergy attacks can also limit damage, Stanford researchers find
6. High and mighty: first common height gene identified by researchers behind obesity gene finding
7. Researchers estimate about 9 percent of US children age 8 to 15 meet criteria for having ADHD
8. Majority of 2.4 Million U.S. Children With ADHD Not Diagnosed or Consistently Treated, According to New Gold Standard Study by Cincinnati Childrens Researchers
9. Researchers develop long-lasting growth hormone
10. Jefferson immunology researchers halt lethal rabies infection in brain
11. Purdue researchers develop technology to detect cancer by scanning surface veins
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers Discover the Tale Behind Short Dogs 
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ProVest Insurance Group, ... Dallas, Miami, and Raleigh regions, is organizing an extended charity drive to benefit ... deadly chromosome abnormality. , After struggling since birth with several health challenges, T.J. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The ... to promote standards of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces the ... – 25, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many ... dementia. However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the ... 90-day elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... be giving viewers the lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success ... focuses on current events and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San ... using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are ... cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/27/2017)... and NEW YORK , Sept. 27, 2017 ... mobile health and big data solutions, today announced that its MyDario product ... check your local TV listings for when The Dr. Oz Show airs ... The ... this month. ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , Sept. 22, 2017  As ... by Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and ... Kalorama Information notes that the medical device industry is ... the medical device tax, the 2.3% excise tax on ... Act.  But they also want covered patients, increased visits ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... KALAMAZOO, Mich. , Sept. 18, 2017  PMD ... OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, Mich. ... strategic hub service that expedites and streamlines patient and ... Spiro PD 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... medical device used to measure lung function for a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: