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Quitt, Pia R.; Hytoenen, Marjo K.; Matiasek, Kaspar; Rosati, Marco; Fischer, Andrea and Lohi, Hannes (2018): Myotonia congenita in a Labrador Retriever with truncated CLCN1. In: Neuromuscular Disorders, Vol. 28, No. 7: pp. 597-605

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An eight week old Labrador Retriever puppy presented with stiff-legged robotic gait. Abnormal gait was most evident after rest and improved with prolonged activity. On occasions, initiation of sudden movements would result in collapse with rigidity of the trunk and stiff extended limbs for several seconds. Other clinical signs were excitement-induced upper airway stridor and oropharyngeal dysphagia. Myotonia congenita was diagnosed based on clinical signs, abundant myotonic discharges on electromyography and exclusion of structural myopathies on histology. Whole exome sequencing revealed a case-specific homozygous variant in CLCN1, c.2275A > T resulting in a premature stop codon, p.R759X. The CLCN1 variant was absent from the genomes of 127 Labrador Retriever controls and 474 control dogs from other breeds. This study expands the spectrum of identified canine CLCN1 mutations and the list of affected breeds in myotonia congenita and highlights the potential value of dogs as translational large animal models of human genetic diseases.

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