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  • 1 Chonbuk National University, 820-120 Hana-ro, Iksan, Jeonbuk 54531, Republic of Korea
  • 2 Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Jeonbuk, Republic of Korea
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Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterised by the accumulation of an abnormal prion protein isoform (PrPSc), which is converted from the normal prion protein (PrPC). Prion diseases have been reported in an extensive number of species but not in horses up to now; therefore, horses are known to be a species resistant to prion diseases. The prion-like protein gene (PRND) is closely located downstream of the prion protein gene (PRNP) and the prion-like protein (Doppel) is a homologue with PrP. Previous studies have shown that an association between prion diseases and polymorphisms of the PRND gene is reported in the main hosts of prion diseases. Hence, we examined the genetic variations of the PRND gene in Thoroughbred horses. Interestingly, polymorphisms of the PRND gene were not detected. In addition, we conducted a comparative analysis of the amino acid sequences of the PRND gene to identify the differences between horses and other species. The amino acid sequence of the horse PRND gene showed the highest identity to that of sheep (83.7%), followed by that of goats, cattle and humans. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first genetic study of the PRND gene in horses.

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