OMIA:001980-9615 : Ichthyosis, NIPAL4-related in Canis lupus familiaris (dog)

Categories: Integument (skin) phene

Links to possible relevant human trait(s) and/or gene(s) in OMIM: 612281 (trait) , 609383 (gene)

Links to relevant human diseases in MONDO:

Mendelian trait/disorder: yes

Mode of inheritance: Autosomal recessive

Considered a defect: yes

Key variant known: yes

Year key variant first reported: 2017

Species-specific name: autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis

Species-specific symbol: ARCI

Mapping: Linkage analysis with microsatellite markers derived from likely candidate genes demonstrated linkage of the ichthyosis phenotype with the NIPAL4 gene (Mauldin et al. 2015).

Molecular basis: Immunohistochemistry on skin biospies of affected dogs demonstrated a lack of NIPAL4 (also termed ichthyin) protein expression (Mauldin et al. 2015). The authors identified a 338 bp SINE insertion upstream of the NIPAL4 gene in affected American Bulldogs, which represents a strongly associated marker, but not the causative variant (Margret Casal, personal communication). By sequencing "six exons of NIPAL4 gene from DNA obtained from an ARCI affected dog, and its clinically healthy parents and littermates", Casal et al. (2017) identified "a homozygous single base deletion (CanFam3.1 canine reference genome sequence NC_06586.3 g.52737379del), the 157th base (cytosine) in exon 6 of NIPAL4 as the most likely causative variant in affected dogs. This frameshift deletion results in a premature stop codon producing a truncated and defective NIPAL4 (ichthyin) protein of 248 amino acids instead of the wild-type length of 404." Briand et al. (2019) reported the same likely causal variant in an affected American Bully.

Clinical features: The gross phenotype was manifest as a disheveled pelage shortly after birth, generalized scaling, and adherent brown scale with erythema of the abdominal skin (Mauldin et al. 2015).

Pathology: Affected dogs exhibited diffuse laminated to compact orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis with hypergranulosis and mild acanthosis. The epidermis had a prominent granular layer, and multifocal granular layer keratinocytes displayed a perinuclear clear space. Malassezia could be found within the corneal layer in at least one sample in approximately 60% of cases. The yeast were typically present without an inflammatory response. Ultrastructurally, the epidermis showed discontinuous lipid bilayers, unprocessed lipid within corneocytes, and abnormal lamellar bodies (Mauldin et al. 2015).

Prevalence: As reported by Casal et al. (2017), "Obligate carriers were confirmed to be heterozygous for this variant, and 150 clinically non-affected dogs of other breeds were homozygous for the wild-type gene. Among 800 American bulldogs tested, 34% of clinically healthy dogs were discovered to be heterozygous for the defective allele."

Breeds: American Bulldog (Dog) (VBO_0200034), American Bully (Dog) (VBO_0200036).
Breeds in which the phene has been documented. (If a likely causal variant has been documented for the phene, see the variant table breeds in which the variant has been reported).

Associated gene:

Symbol Description Species Chr Location OMIA gene details page Other Links
NIPAL4 NIPA-like domain containing 4 Canis lupus familiaris 4 NC_051808.1 (53184445..53171446) NIPAL4 Homologene, Ensembl , NCBI gene


By default, variants are sorted chronologically by year of publication, to provide a historical perspective. Readers can re-sort on any column by clicking on the column header. Click it again to sort in a descending order. To create a multiple-field sort, hold down Shift while clicking on the second, third etc relevant column headers.

WARNING! Inclusion of a variant in this table does not automatically mean that it should be used for DNA testing. Anyone contemplating the use of any of these variants for DNA testing should examine critically the relevant evidence (especially in breeds other than the breed in which the variant was first described). If it is decided to proceed, the location and orientation of the variant sequence should be checked very carefully.

Since October 2021, OMIA includes a semiautomated lift-over pipeline to facilitate updates of genomic positions to a recent reference genome position. These changes to genomic positions are not always reflected in the ‘acknowledgements’ or ‘verbal description’ fields in this table.

OMIA Variant ID Breed(s) Variant Phenotype Gene Allele Type of Variant Source of Genetic Variant Reference Sequence Chr. g. or m. c. or n. p. Verbal Description EVA ID Year Published PubMed ID(s) Acknowledgements
563 American Bulldog (Dog) American Bully (Dog) Ichthyosis, NIPAL4-related NIPAL4 deletion, small (<=20) Naturally occurring variant CanFam3.1 4 g.52737379del c.744delC p.(I249*) 2017 28122049

Cite this entry

Nicholas, F. W., Tammen, I., & Sydney Informatics Hub. (2019). OMIA:001980-9615: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) [dataset].


Note: the references are listed in reverse chronological order (from the most recent year to the earliest year), and alphabetically by first author within a year.

2021 Mauldin, E.A., Elias, P.M. :
Ichthyosis and hereditary cornification disorders in dogs. Vet Dermatol 32:567-e154, 2021. Pubmed reference: 34796560. DOI: 10.1111/vde.13033.
2019 Briand, A., Cochet-Faivre, N., Reyes-Gomez, E., Jaraud-Darnault, A., Tiret, L., Chevallier, L. :
NIPAL4 deletion identified in an American Bully with autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis and response to topical therapy. Vet Med Sci 5:112-117, 2019. Pubmed reference: 30741495. DOI: 10.1002/vms3.149.
2017 Casal, M.L., Wang, P., Mauldin, E.A., Lin, G., Henthorn, P.S. :
A defect in NIPAL4 is associated with autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis in American bulldogs. PLoS One 12:e0170708, 2017. Pubmed reference: 28122049. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0170708.
2015 Mauldin, E.A., Wang, P., Evans, E., Cantner, C.A., Ferracone, J.D., Credille, K.M., Casal, M.L. :
Autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis in American bulldogs is associated with NIPAL4 (ICHTHYIN) deficiency. Vet Pathol 52:654-62, 2015. Pubmed reference: 25322746. DOI: 10.1177/0300985814551425.
2013 Mauldin, E.A. :
Canine ichthyosis and related disorders of cornification. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 43:89-97, 2013. Pubmed reference: 23182326. DOI: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2012.09.005.

Edit History

  • Created by Tosso Leeb on 05 Jan 2016
  • Changed by Tosso Leeb on 05 Jan 2016
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 27 Jan 2017
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 15 Feb 2019