From time to time, we update the Basepaws digital report of results for our Breed + Health Cat DNA Test. Today, we’d like to take a moment to share some details about two recent changes to our report—one for a genetic health marker linked to the common cat heart condition hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and one for a genetic trait marker associated with the Siamese colorpoint coat pattern.
Cat Heart Health
For the normal function of your kitty’s heart, their heart muscle must be able to relax and contract properly. An important protein that helps coordinate their heart muscle contraction is called cardiac troponin T. There’s a gene that provides the instructions needed to make cardiac troponin T—in both cats and in humans—and it’s called TNNT2.
Genes can have variants, which are permanent changes in their DNA sequence.
- In 2020, scientists thought that they found the first ever connection between a TNNT2 gene variant and the most common feline heart condition: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
- However, this study made this conclusion based on the DNA analysis of only one Maine Coon cat and the fact that a TNNT2 variant had previously been linked to HCM in humans.
New research findings can either reinforce an existing body of knowledge on a genetic marker’s link to a disease, or uncover new evidence suggesting that the suspected link may not exist or not be as clear-cut as originally thought.