The QIl1 gene produces a component of the Mitochondrial Contact Site and Cristae Organizing System that forms and stabilizes mitochondrial cristae junctions and is important in cellular energy production. We previously reported a family of Rhodesian Ridgebacks with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. Here, we performed whole genome sequencing on a trio from the family. Variant calling was performed using a standardized bioinformatics approach. Variants were filtered against variants from 247 dogs of 43 different breeds. High impact variants were validated against additional affected and unaffected dogs. A single missense G/A variant in the QIL1 gene was associated with the cardiac arrhythmia (p < 0.0001). The variant was predicted to change the amino acid from conserved Glycine to Serine and to be deleterious. Ultrastructural analysis of the biceps femoris muscle from an affected dog revealed hyperplastic mitochondria, cristae rearrangement, electron dense inclusions and lipid bodies. We identified a variant in the Q1l1 gene resulting in a mitochondrial cardiomyopathy characterized by cristae abnormalities and cardiac arrhythmias in a canine model. This natural animal model of mitochondrial cardiomyopathy provides a large animal model with which to study the development and progression of disease as well as genotypic phenotypic relationships.
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- Mitochondrial cristae
- Rhodesian ridgeback