Novel mutations in myelin and myelin-associated genes have provided important information on oligodendrocytes and myelin and the effects of their disruption on the normal developmental process of myelination of the central nervous system (CNS). We report here a mutation in the folliculin-interacting protein 2 (FNIP2) gene in the Weimaraner dog that results in hypomyelination of the brain and a tract-specific myelin defect in the spinal cord. This myelination disruption results in a notable tremor syndrome from which affected dogs recover with time. In the peripheral tracts of the lateral and ventral columns of the spinal cord, there is a lack of mature oligodendrocytes. A genome-wide association study of DNA from three groups of dogs mapped the gene to canine chromosome 15. Sequencing of all the genes in the candidate region identified a frameshift mutation in the FNIP2 gene that segregated with the phenotype. While the functional role of FNIP2 is not known, our data would suggest that production of truncated protein results in a delay or failure of maturation of a subpopulation of oligodendrocytes.
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