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Open Access Research article

Genomic characterisation, chromosomal assignment and in vivo localisation of the canine High Mobility Group A1 (HMGA1) gene

Claudia Beuing1, Jan T Soller12, Michaela Muth2, Sigfried Wagner2, Gaudenz Dolf3, Claude Schelling4, Andreas Richter2, Saskia Willenbrock12, Nicola Reimann-Berg12, Susanne Winkler2, Ingo Nolte1, Jorn Bullerdiek12 and Hugo Murua Escobar12*

Author Affiliations

1 Clinic for Small Animals and Research Cluster of Excellence "REBIRTH", University of Veterinary Medicine Hanover, Bischofsholer Damm 15, 30173 Hanover, Germany

2 Centre for Human Genetics, University of Bremen, Leobener Str ZHG, 28359 Bremen, Germany

3 Institute of Animal Genetics, Nutrition and Housing, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland

4 Department of Animal Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and Vetsuisse Faculty Zurich, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

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BMC Genetics 2008, 9:49  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-9-49

Published: 23 July 2008



The high mobility group A1 proteins (HMGA1a/HMGA1b) are highly conserved between mammalian species and widely described as participating in various cellular processes. By inducing DNA conformation changes the HMGA1 proteins indirectly influence the binding of various transcription factors and therefore effect the transcription regulation. In humans chromosomal aberrations affecting the HMGA1 gene locus on HSA 6p21 were described to be the cause for various benign mesenchymal tumours while high titres of HMGA1 proteins were shown to be associated with the neoplastic potential of various types of cancer. Interestingly, the absence of HMGA1 proteins was shown to cause insulin resistance and diabetes in humans and mice.

Due to the various similarities in biology and presentation of human and canine cancers the dog has joined the common rodent animal model for therapeutic and preclinical studies. Accordingly, the canine genome was sequenced completely twice but unfortunately this could not solve the structure of canine HMGA1 gene.


Herein we report the characterisation of the genomic structure of the canine HMGA1 gene consisting of 7 exons and 6 introns spanning in total 9524 bp, the in vivo localisation of the HMGA1 protein to the nucleus, and a chromosomal assignment of the gene by FISH to CFA12q11. Additionally, we evaluated a described canine HMGA1 exon 6 SNP in 55 Dachshunds.


The performed characterisations will make comparative analyses of aberrations affecting the human and canine gene and proteins possible, thereby providing a basis for revealing mechanisms involved in HMGA1 related pathogenesis in both species.