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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Identification of a canine model of pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase 1 deficiency.

Exercise intolerance syndromes are well known to be associated with inborn errors of metabolism affecting glycolysis (phosphorylase and phosphofructokinase deficiency) and fatty acid oxidation (palmitoyl carnitine transferase deficiency). We have identified a canine model for profound exercise intolerance caused by a deficit in PDP1 (EC, the phosphatase enzyme that activates the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHc). The Clumber spaniel breed was originated in 1760 by the Duc de Noailles, as a hunting dog with a gentle temperament suitable for the 'elderly gentleman'. Here we report that 20% of the current Clumber and Sussex spaniel population are carriers for a null mutation in PDP1, and that homozygosity produces severe exercise intolerance. Human pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase deficiency was recently characterized at the molecular level. However, the nature of the human mutation (loss of a single amino acid altering PDP1 activity) made it impossible to discern the role of the second phosphatase isoform, PDP2, in the deficient phenotype. Here we show that the null mutation in dogs provides a valuable animal model with which to study the effects of dysregulation of the PDHc. Knowledge of the molecular defect has allowed for the institution of a rapid restriction enzyme test for the canine mutation that will allow for selective breeding and has led to a suggested dietary therapy for affected dogs that has proven to be beneficial. Pharmacological and genetic therapies for PDP1 deficiency can now be investigated and the role of PDP2 can be fully characterized.[1]


  1. Identification of a canine model of pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase 1 deficiency. Cameron, J.M., Maj, M.C., Levandovskiy, V., Mackay, N., Shelton, G.D., Robinson, B.H. Mol. Genet. Metab. (2007) [Pubmed]
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