Articles | Volume 56, issue 1
10 Oct 2013
 | 10 Oct 2013

The equine DNAH3 gene: SNP discovery and exclusion of an involvement in recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) in European Warmblood horses

M. Shakhsi-Niaei, J. Klukowska-Rötzler, C. Drögemüller, V. Gerber, and T. Leeb

Abstract. Recurrent airway obstruction is one of the most common airway diseases affecting mature horses. Increased bronchoalveolar mucus, neutrophil accumulation in airways, and airway obstruction are the main features of this disease. Mucociliary clearance is a key component of pulmonary defense mechanisms. Cilia are the motile part of this system and a complex linear array of dynein motors is responsible for their motility by moving along the microtubules in the axonemes of cilia and flagella. We previously detected a QTL for RAO on ECA 13 in a half-sib family of European Warmblood horses. The gene encoding DNAH3 is located in the peak of the detected QTL and encodes a dynein subunit. Therefore, we analysed this gene as a positional and functional candidate gene for RAO. In a mutation analysis of all 62 exons we detected 53 new polymorphisms including 7 non-synonymous variants. We performed an association study using 38 polymorphisms in a cohort of 422 animals. However, after correction for multiple testing we did not detect a significant association of any of these polymorphisms with RAO (P>0.05). Therefore, it seems unlikely that variants at the DNAH3 gene are responsible for the RAO QTL in European Warmblood horses.