What is the 99 Lives Cat Initiative?
This project aims to sequence the complete genomes of at least 99 cats to find new mutations responsible for diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Over 50 cats have already had their genomes sequenced!
Who is running the Initiative?
The 99 Lives Cat Initiative is coordinated by the Feline Genetics Laboratory of Prof. Leslie Lyons at the University of Missouri, USA. This laboratory has been responsible for the discovery of many genetic mutations in cats, such as polycystic kidney disease (1), hypokalaemia (2) and Persian progressive retinal atrophy. You can view a video explaining the project here
How can you help?
Sequencing complete cat genomes is expensive (~$7,000 each). The 99 Lives Cat Initiative has secured funding from several sources including The Winn Feline Foundation and Zoetis. Recently the initiative launched a crowdfunding website with the aim of raising $121,000 to sequence 17 cat genomes. Donations can be made here
What are Langford Veterinary Services doing?
Langford Veterinary Services are proud to support the 99 Lives Cat Initiative. We already collaborate with the Feline Genetics Laboratory of Prof. Leslie Lyons and have been involved in the discovery of several genetic mutations (2-4). Langford Veterinary Services will be making a donation of $2,000 to the 99 Lives Cat Initiative.
1. Lyons L.A., Biller D.S., Erdman C.A., Lipinski M.J., Young A.E., Roe B.A., Qin B. and Grahn R.A. (2004). Feline Polycystic Kidney Disease Mutation Identified in PKD1. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. 15, 2548-2555.
2. Gandolfi B., Gruffydd-Jones T.J., Malik R., Cortes A., Jones B.R., Helps C.R., Prinzenberg E.M., Erhardt G. and Lyons L.A. (2012). First WNK4 - Hypokalemia Animal Model Identified by Genome-wide Association in Burmese Cats. PLoS ONE. 7(12): e53173.
3. Grahn R.A., Grahn J.C., Penedo M.C.T., Helps C.R. and Lyons L.A. (2012). Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency Mutation Identified in Multiple Breeds of Domestic Cats. BMC Veterinary Research. 8, 207.
4. Gershony L.C., Penedo M.C.T., Davis B.W., Murphy W.J., Helps C.R. and Lyons L.A. (2014). Who’s behind that mask and cape? The Asian leopard cat’s Agouti (ASIP) allele likely affects coat colour phenotype in the Bengal cat breed. Animal Genetics. 45, 893-897.