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Vol. 102, No. 1-4, 2003
Issue release date: 2003
Cytogenet Genome Res 102:211–216 (2003)

Molecular characterization and mutational screening of the PRKAG3 gene in the horse

Park H.B. · Marklund S. · Jeon J.T. · Mickelson J.R. · Valberg S.J. · Sandberg K. · Andersson L.
aDepartment of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden); bUniversity of Minnesota, Veterinary Pathobiology and Clinical and Population Sciences, St. Paul MN (USA); cDepartment of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala (Sweden)

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The PRKAG3 gene encodes a muscle-specific isoform of the regulatory γ subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). A major part of the coding PRKAG3 sequence was isolated from horse muscle cDNA using reverse-transcriptase (RT)-PCR analysis. Horse-specific primers were used to amplify genomic fragments containing 12 exons. Comparative sequence analysis of horse, pig, mouse, human, Fugu, and zebrafish was performed to establish the exon/intron organization of horse PRKAG3 and to study the homology among different isoforms of AMPK γ genes in vertebrates. The results showed conclusively that the three different isoforms (γ1, γ2, and γ3) were established already in bony fishes. Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), five causing amino acid substitutions, were identified in a screening across horse breeds with widely different phenotypes as regards muscle development and intended performance. The screening of a major part of the PRKAG3 coding sequence in a small case/control material of horses affected with polysaccharide storage myopathy did not reveal any mutation that was exclusively associated with this muscle storage disease. The breed comparison revealed several potentially interesting SNPs. One of these (Pro258Leu) occurs at a residue that is highly conserved among AMPK γ genes. In an SNP screening, the variant allele was only found in horse breeds that can be classified as heavy (Belgian) or moderately heavy (North Swedish Trotter, Fjord, and Swedish Warmblood) but not in light horse breeds selected for speed or racing performance (Standardbred, Thoroughbred, and Quarter horse) or in ponies (Icelandic horses and Shetland pony). The results will facilitate future studies of the possible functional significance of PRKAG3 polymorphisms in horses.   

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