Association of ARRDC3 and NFIA variants with bovine congestive heart failure in feedlot cattle

Michael P. Heaton, Gregory P. Harhay, Adam S. Bassett, Halden J. Clark, Jaden M. Carlson, Erin E. Jobman, Helen R. Sadd, Madeline C. Pelster, Aspen M. Workman, Larry A. Kuehn, Theodore S. Kalbfleisch, Heather Piscatelli, Michael Carrie, Greta M. Krafsur, Dale M. Grotelueschen, Brian L. Vander Ley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Bovine congestive heart failure (BCHF) has become increasingly prevalent among feedlot cattle in the Western Great Plains of North America with up to 7% mortality in affected herds. BCHF is an untreatable complex condition involving pulmonary hypertension that culminates in right ventricular failure and death. Genes associated with BCHF in feedlot cattle have not been previously identified. Our aim was to search for genomic regions associated with this disease. Methods: A retrospective, matched case-control design with 102 clinical BCHF cases and their unaffected pen mates was used in a genome-wide association study. Paired nominal data from approximately 560,000 filtered single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were analyzed with McNemar's test. Results: Two independent genomic regions were identified as having the most significant association with BCHF: the arrestin domain-containing protein 3 gene ( ARRDC3), and the nuclear factor IA gene ( NFIA, mid- p-values, 1x10 -8 and 2x10 -7, respectively). Animals with two copies of risk alleles at either gene were approximately eight-fold more likely to have BCHF than their matched pen mates with either one or zero risk alleles at both genes (CI 95 = 3-17). Further, animals with two copies of risk alleles at both genes were 28-fold more likely to have BCHF than all others ( p-value = 1×10 -7, CI 95 = 4-206). A missense variant in ARRDC3 (C182Y) represents a potential functional variant since the C182 codon is conserved among all other jawed vertebrate species observed. A two-SNP test with markers in both genes showed 29% of 273 BCHF cases had homozygous risk genotypes in both genes, compared to 2.5% in 198 similar unaffected feedlot cattle. This and other DNA tests may be useful for identifying feedlot animals with the highest risk for BCHF in the environments described here. Conclusions: Although pathogenic roles for variants in the ARRDC3 and NFIA genes are unknown, their discovery facilitates classifying animals by genetic risk and allows cattle producers to make informed decisions for selective breeding and animal health management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2024 Heaton MP et al.


  • ARRDC3
  • Bovine
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • GWAS
  • NFIA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics


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