THE CANINE GENETICS PROJECT
The "Canine genetics" team led by Catherine ANDRE is composed of 23 persons (geneticists, veterinarians, bioinformaticians, technicians, Post-doc, students...). The team works hard since 20 years on human/dog homologous genetic diseases and on the analysis of the canine genome (mapping, sequencing, genome annotation, CNV catalogue...) and has set up a National canine sample biobank. The objective being to precisely characterize natural models of human genetic diseases in dogs, to propose homologous models of the diseases and gain knowledge on genetics and therapies benefitting both biomedical and veterinary medicine. The team is enriched by a unique expertise on the canine genome and development of NGS analyses led by C. Hitte (IR) and a National BRC of canine samples (Cani-DNA), led by L. Lagoutte (CDD IE). The biobank is part of a National funding and structure PIA1 (2008-2020) "Programme Investissement d’Avenir" (projet CRB-Anim), with an international visibility. Owing to the development of these two specific expertises, the team has developed numerous projects, around rare diseases in dermatology, neurology, ophthalmology…; these aspects are led by Pascale Quignon (MC) ; and projects around cancers; these aspects are led by Benoit Hedan (IR).
The past 5 years were dedicated to the characterization of the canine disease models, with major findings in dermatology conditions (with the identification of the same altered genes in humans and a novel function, and a patented genetic test), and in cancers (demonstrating identical and novel genetic alterations in melanomas, sarcomas), with ongoing drug tests on cell cultures developped in the team.
Such results, based on an great and dynamic team, secured fundings up to 2017 and a strong support of IGDR and CNRS, now constitutes a solid basis with several relevant canine models and dedicated local, national and international collaborations in the medical and veterinary fields.
The team objectives for the next years are to decipher the genetic features of the studied diseases (predisposing genes, somatic alterations, gene/environment interactions) and to propose therapeutic targets, clinical trials "first in dogs" and pronostic markers and genetic tests to the medical and veterinary communities.