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Title: Gene expression patterns of chicken neuregulin 3 in association with copy number variation and frameshift deletion
Authors: Abe, Hideaki
Aoya, Daiki
Takeuchi, Hiro-aki
Inoue-Murayama, Miho
Author's alias: 阿部, 秀明
村山, 美穂
Keywords: Alternative splicing
Copy number variation (CNV)
Gallus gallus
Neuregulin 3 (NRG3)
Premature stop codon
Retained intron
Issue Date: 21-Jul-2017
Publisher: Springer Nature
Journal title: BMC Genetics
Volume: 18
Thesis number: 69
Abstract: [Background]Neuregulin 3 (NRG3) plays a key role in central nervous system development and is a strong candidate for human mental disorders. Thus, genetic variation in NRG3 may have some impact on a variety of phenotypes in non-mammalian vertebrates. Recently, genome-wide screening for short insertions and deletions in chicken (Gallus gallus) genomes has provided useful information about structural variation in functionally important genes. NRG3 is one such gene that has a putative frameshift deletion in exon 2, resulting in premature termination of translation. Our aims were to characterize the structure of chicken NRG3 and to compare expression patterns between NRG3 isoforms. [Results]Depending on the presence or absence of the 2-bp deletion in chicken NRG3, 3 breeds (red junglefowl [RJF], Boris Brown [BB], and Hinai-jidori [HJ]) were genotyped using flanking primers. In the commercial breeds (BB and HJ), approximately 45% of individuals had at least one exon 2 allele with the 2-bp deletion, whereas there was no deletion allele in RJF. The lack of a homozygous mutant indicated the existence of duplicated NRG3 segments in the chicken genome. Indeed, highly conserved elements consisting of exon 1, intron 1, exon 2, and part of intron 2 were found in the reference RJF genome, and quantitative PCR detected copy number variation (CNV) between breeds as well as between individuals. The copy number of conserved elements was significantly higher in chicks harboring the 2-bp deletion in exon 2. We identified 7 novel transcript variants using total mRNA isolated from the amygdala. Novel isoforms were found to lack the exon 2 cassette, which probably harbored the premature termination codon. The relative transcription levels of the newly identified isoforms were almost the same between chick groups with and without the 2-bp deletion, while chicks with the deletion showed significant suppression of the expression of previously reported isoforms. [Conclusions]A putative frameshift deletion and CNV in chicken NRG3 are structural mutations that occurred before the establishment of commercial chicken lines. Our results further suggest that the putative frameshift deletion in exon 2 may potentially affect the expression level of particular isoforms of chicken NRG3.
Rights: © The Author(s). 2017
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
DOI(Published Version): 10.1186/s12863-017-0537-z
PubMed ID: 28732471
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