Nucleotide sequences of the prion protein gene PRNP have been obtained in order to assess potential genetic predisposition to the deadly prion chronic wasting disease (CWD) in three regional groups of wild reindeer and two regional groups of domesticated reindeer Rangifer tarandus in the northern European part of Russia. We report identification of seven single nucleotide polymorphisms corresponding to the substitutions in six codons of the prion protein PrP, namely 2(V/M), 129(G/S), 138(S/N), 169(V/M), 176(N/D), and 225(S/Y). Six alleles of the PrP protein have been described. The genotypes with asparagine (N) in codon 138 (138NN and 138SN), which are associated with higher resistance to CWD, were detected in 8.7, 14.3, and 18.2% of animals in the wild reindeer groups from Novaya Zemlya, Kola Peninsula, and the forest regions of Arkhangelsk oblast and the Komi Republic. It has been found that the frequency of these genotypes in domesticated reindeers from the Komi Republic and Kolguev Island was higher, 37.5 and 42.1%, respectively. It has been noted that due to the predominance of PrP genotypes with serine in codon 138 (138SS), which are associated with increased susceptibility to CWD, and the detection of this disease in reindeer, moose, and red deer in Scandinavia, there exists a real danger that CWD will spread among the reindeer inhabiting the European part of Russia.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Baeten, L.A., Powers, B.E., Jewell, J.E., Spraker, T.R., and Miller, M.W., A natural case of chronic wasting disease in a free-ranging moose (Alces alces shirasi), J. Wild. Dis., 2007, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 309–314.
Basu, U., Almeida, L.M., Dudas, S., Graham, C.E., Czub, S., Moore, S.S., and Guan, L.L., Gene expression alterations in rocky mountain elk infected with chronic wasting disease, Prion, 2012, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 282–301.
Benestad, S.L., Mitchell, G., Simmons, M., Ytrehus, B., and Vikoren, T., First case of chronic wasting disease in Europe in a Norwegian free-ranging reindeer, Vet. Res., 2016, vol. 47, no. 88, pp. 1–7.
Efimov, V.A., Reindeer of the European North of Russia: population status and conservation problems, Vestn. Okhotoved., 2010, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 178–182.
Ermolaev, V.T., Makarova, O.A., Novikov, B.V., and Tikhonov, A.A., Reindeer of the Kola Peninsula in the end of 20th–beginning of 21st century, in Severnyi olen’ v Rossii 1982–2002 gg (Reindeer in Russia in 1982–2002), Moscow: Brifstil’, 2003, pp. 81–91.
Hall, T.A., BioEdit: a user friendly biological sequence alignment editor and analysis program for Windows 95/98/NT, Nucleic Acids Symp. Ser., 1999, no. 41, pp. 95–98.
Happ, G.M., Huson, H.J., Beckmen, K.B., and Kennedy, L.J., Prion protein genes in caribou from Alaska, J. Wild. Dis., 2007, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 224–228.
Hoover, C.E., Davenport, K.A., Henderson, D.M., Denkers, N.D., Mathiason, C.K., Soto, C., Zabel, M.D., and Hoover, E.A., Pathways of prion spread during early chronic wasting disease in deer, J. Virol., 2017, vol. 91, no. 10, p. 91. e00077-17. https://doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00077-17
Jewell, J.E., Conner, M.M., Wolfe, L.L., Miller, M.W., and Williams, E.S., Low frequency of PrP genotype 225SF among free-ranging mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) with chronic wasting disease, J. Gen. Virol., 2005, vol. 86, pp. 2127–2134.
Krasnaya kniga Rossiiskoi Federatsii (zhivotnye) (The Red Data Book of the Russian Federation (Animals)), Moscow: AST, 2001.
Mamontov, V.N. and Khokhlov, R.V., Status of the wild reindeer population (Rangifer tarandus L.) in the Vodlozerskii National Park, in Nauchnye issledovaniya v zapovednikakh i natsional’nykh parkakh Rossii: Vseros. Nauchno-Prakt. Konf. (Petrozavodsk, 29 avgusta–4 sentyabrya 2016 g.), Tezisy dokladov (Research in Reserves and National Parks of Russia: All-Russia Sci.-Pract. Conf. (Petrozavodsk, August 29–September 4, 2016), Abstracts of Papers), Petrozavodsk, 2016, pp. 149–150.
Miller, M.W., Williams, E.S., Hobbs, N.T., and Wolfe, L.L., Environmental sources of prion transmission in mule deer, Emerg. Infect. Dis., 2004, vol. 10, pp. 1003–1006.
Miller, M.W. and Wild, M.A., Epidemiology of chronic wasting disease in captive white-tailed and mule deer, J. Wild. Dis., 2004, vol. 40, pp. 320–327.
Mitchell, G.B., Sigurdson, C.J., O’Rourke, K.I., Algire, J., Harrington, N.P., Walther, I., Spraker, T.R., and Balachandran, A., Experimental oral transmission of chronic wasting disease to reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus), PLoS One, 2012, vol. 7, no. 6. e39055. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039055
Nei, M., Genetic distance between populations, Am. Nat., 1972, vol. 106, pp. 283–392.
Panchenko, D.V., Danilov, P.I., and Tirronen, K.F., Status and use of populations of members of the family Cervidae in the Republic of Karelia, Tr. Kar. Nauchn. Tsentra Ross. Akad. Nauk, 2018, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 105–114.
Peakall, R. and Smouse, P.E., GENALEX 6: genetic analysis in Excel. Population genetic software for teaching and research, Mol. Ecol. Notes, 2006, vol. 6, pp. 288–295.
Plummer, I.H., Johnson, C.J., Chesney, A.R., Pedersen, J.A., and Samuel, M.D., Mineral licks as environmental reservoirs of chronic wasting disease prions, PLoS One, 2018, vol. 13, no. 5. 0196745. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196745
Prusiner, S.B., Prions, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., 1998, vol. 95, pp. 13363–13383.
Pulford, B., Spraker, T.R., Wyckoff, A.C., Meyerett, C., Bender, H., Ferguson, A., Wyatt, B., Lockwood, K., Powers, J., Telling, G.C., Wild, M.A., and Zabel, M.D., Detection of PrP CWD in feces from naturally exposed Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) using protein misfolding cyclic amplification, J. Wild. Dis., 2012, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 425–434.
Robinson, S.J., Samuel, M.D., Katherine, I., O’Rourke, K.I., and Johnson, C.J., The role of genetics in chronic wasting disease of North American cervids, Prion, 2012, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 1–10.
O’Rourke, K.I., Besser, T.E., Miller, M.W., Cline, T.F., Spraker, T.R., Jenny, A.L., Wild, M.A., Zebarth, G.L., and Williams, E.S., PrP genotypes of captive and free-ranging rocky mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) with chronic wasting disease, J. Gen. Virol., 1999, vol. 80, pp. 2765–2769.
Sigurdson, C.J., A prion disease of cervids: chronic wasting disease, Vet. Res., 2008, vol. 39, no. 41, pp. 1–12.
Vikøren, T., Vage, J., Madslien, K.I., Røed, K.H., Rolandsen, C.M., Tran, L., Hopp, P., Veiberg, V., Heum, M., Moldal, T., das Neves, C.G., Handeland, K., Ytrehus, B., Kolbjørnsen, Ø., Wisløff, H., Terland, R., Saure, B., Dessen, K.M., Svendsen, S.G., Nordvik, B.S., and Benestad, S.L., First detection of chronic wasting disease in a wild red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Europe, J. Wild. Dis., 2019, vol. 55, no. 4 (in press).
Wik, L., Mikko, S., Klingeborn, M., Stéen, M., Simonsson, M., and Linné, T., Polymorphisms and variants in the prion protein sequence of European moose (Alces alces), reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and fallow deer (Dama dama) in Scandinavia, Prion, 2012, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 256–260.
Williams, E.S., Chronic wasting disease, Vet. Pathol., 2005, vol. 42, pp. 530–549.
The authors are grateful to S.L. Kal’nov for his suggestion to perform this study; to V.V. Elsakov, A.V. Davydov, K.F. Tirronen, and other colleagues for their help with the material collection; and to I.G. Meshchersky and P.A. Sorokin for their assistance in the laboratory work.
This work was carried out in the Molecular Diagnostic Center, of the Center for Collective Use “Instrumental Methods in Ecology,” of Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences.
This work was supported in part by the “Biodiversity of Natural Systems: Biological Resources of Russia. Status Assessment and Fundamental Bases of Monitoring” Fundamental Research Program of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences (topic 52) and in part by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 14-04-01135).
Conflict of interest. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Statement on the welfare of animals. This article does not contain any studies involving animals performed by any of the authors.
Translated by E. Martynova
About this article
Cite this article
Kholodova, M.V., Baranova, A.I., Mizin, I.A. et al. A Genetic Predisposition to Chronic Wasting Disease in the Reindeer Rangifer tarandus in the Northern European Part of Russia. Biol Bull Russ Acad Sci 46, 555–561 (2019) doi:10.1134/S1062359019060074