Molecular and behavioral analysis of the intron 2 repeat polymorphism in the canine dopamine D4 receptor gene

K. Hejjas, E. Kubinyi, Z. Rónai, A. Székely, J. Vas, A. Miklósi, M. Sasvári, E. Kereszturi

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37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Genetic polymorphisms in the human dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene, especially the exon 3 variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR), have been related to several psychiatric disorders and personality traits. A homologous exon 3 VNTR has been described in dogs, and we previously showed an association between the DRD4 exon 3 polymorphism and activity/impulsivity trait in German shepherds. In this study, we present a detailed analysis of the intron 2 VNTR of the DRD4 gene. A short and a long form of the intronic variation were identified in 678 unrelated dogs from five breeds and in 22 wolves. For molecular analysis, the intron 2 region was cloned into a promoterless luciferase reporter vector that led to an elevation in transcriptional activity. Moreover, an allelic difference in promoter activity was detected, and a repressive effect of the long allele was observed. Behavioral analysis of 96 unrelated German shepherds showed a significant association between the social impulsivity endophenotype of the Greeting Test and both the exonic (P = 0.002) and the intronic (P = 0.003) VNTRs of the DRD4 gene. Moreover, an additive effect of the two polymorphisms was also shown (Spearman's rho = 0.356, P = 0.0004). In conclusion, these results give further support to our previous findings that the DRD4 gene is associated with dog behavior. We also present molecular evidence for the functional role of the intron 2 VNTR in the canine DRD4 gene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-336
Number of pages7
JournalGenes, Brain and Behavior
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

Fingerprint

Dopamine D4 Receptors
Minisatellite Repeats
Introns
Canidae
Exons
Impulsive Behavior
Genes
Dogs
Endophenotypes
Personality Disorders
Genetic Polymorphisms
Luciferases
Psychiatry
Alleles

Keywords

  • Canine
  • Dopamine D4 receptor
  • Endophenotype
  • Exon 3 VNTR
  • German shepherd
  • Intron 2 VNTR
  • Social impulsivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Genetics
  • Neurology

Cite this

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title = "Molecular and behavioral analysis of the intron 2 repeat polymorphism in the canine dopamine D4 receptor gene",
abstract = "Genetic polymorphisms in the human dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene, especially the exon 3 variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR), have been related to several psychiatric disorders and personality traits. A homologous exon 3 VNTR has been described in dogs, and we previously showed an association between the DRD4 exon 3 polymorphism and activity/impulsivity trait in German shepherds. In this study, we present a detailed analysis of the intron 2 VNTR of the DRD4 gene. A short and a long form of the intronic variation were identified in 678 unrelated dogs from five breeds and in 22 wolves. For molecular analysis, the intron 2 region was cloned into a promoterless luciferase reporter vector that led to an elevation in transcriptional activity. Moreover, an allelic difference in promoter activity was detected, and a repressive effect of the long allele was observed. Behavioral analysis of 96 unrelated German shepherds showed a significant association between the social impulsivity endophenotype of the Greeting Test and both the exonic (P = 0.002) and the intronic (P = 0.003) VNTRs of the DRD4 gene. Moreover, an additive effect of the two polymorphisms was also shown (Spearman's rho = 0.356, P = 0.0004). In conclusion, these results give further support to our previous findings that the DRD4 gene is associated with dog behavior. We also present molecular evidence for the functional role of the intron 2 VNTR in the canine DRD4 gene.",
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AU - Hejjas, K.

AU - Kubinyi, E.

AU - Rónai, Z.

AU - Székely, A.

AU - Vas, J.

AU - Miklósi, A.

AU - Sasvári, M.

AU - Kereszturi, E.

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N2 - Genetic polymorphisms in the human dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene, especially the exon 3 variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR), have been related to several psychiatric disorders and personality traits. A homologous exon 3 VNTR has been described in dogs, and we previously showed an association between the DRD4 exon 3 polymorphism and activity/impulsivity trait in German shepherds. In this study, we present a detailed analysis of the intron 2 VNTR of the DRD4 gene. A short and a long form of the intronic variation were identified in 678 unrelated dogs from five breeds and in 22 wolves. For molecular analysis, the intron 2 region was cloned into a promoterless luciferase reporter vector that led to an elevation in transcriptional activity. Moreover, an allelic difference in promoter activity was detected, and a repressive effect of the long allele was observed. Behavioral analysis of 96 unrelated German shepherds showed a significant association between the social impulsivity endophenotype of the Greeting Test and both the exonic (P = 0.002) and the intronic (P = 0.003) VNTRs of the DRD4 gene. Moreover, an additive effect of the two polymorphisms was also shown (Spearman's rho = 0.356, P = 0.0004). In conclusion, these results give further support to our previous findings that the DRD4 gene is associated with dog behavior. We also present molecular evidence for the functional role of the intron 2 VNTR in the canine DRD4 gene.

AB - Genetic polymorphisms in the human dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) gene, especially the exon 3 variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR), have been related to several psychiatric disorders and personality traits. A homologous exon 3 VNTR has been described in dogs, and we previously showed an association between the DRD4 exon 3 polymorphism and activity/impulsivity trait in German shepherds. In this study, we present a detailed analysis of the intron 2 VNTR of the DRD4 gene. A short and a long form of the intronic variation were identified in 678 unrelated dogs from five breeds and in 22 wolves. For molecular analysis, the intron 2 region was cloned into a promoterless luciferase reporter vector that led to an elevation in transcriptional activity. Moreover, an allelic difference in promoter activity was detected, and a repressive effect of the long allele was observed. Behavioral analysis of 96 unrelated German shepherds showed a significant association between the social impulsivity endophenotype of the Greeting Test and both the exonic (P = 0.002) and the intronic (P = 0.003) VNTRs of the DRD4 gene. Moreover, an additive effect of the two polymorphisms was also shown (Spearman's rho = 0.356, P = 0.0004). In conclusion, these results give further support to our previous findings that the DRD4 gene is associated with dog behavior. We also present molecular evidence for the functional role of the intron 2 VNTR in the canine DRD4 gene.

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