OMIA 001199-9870 : Coat colour, extension in Rangifer tarandus

In other species: cattle , dog , horse , red fox , pig , sheep , jaguar , jaguarundi , American black bear , woolly mammoth , domestic cat , rabbit , domestic guinea pig , goat , Arctic fox , rock pocket mouse , oldfield mouse , gray squirrel , lesser earless lizard , little striped whiptail , water buffalo , domestic yak , alpaca , , coyote , Geoffroy's cat , Colocolo , ass , Arabian camel , Mongolian gerbil , raccoon dog , fallow deer , zebu

Possibly relevant human trait(s) and/or gene(s)s (MIM numbers): 266300 (trait) , 155555 (gene) , 203200 (trait)

Mendelian trait/disorder: yes

Mode of inheritance: Autosomal

Considered a defect: no

Key variant known: yes

Year key variant first reported: 2014

Cross-species summary: The extension locus encodes the melanocyte-stimulating hormone receptor (MSHR; now known as MC1R). This receptor controls the level of tyrosinase within melanocytes. Tyrosinase is the limiting enzyme involved in synthesis of melanins: high levels of tyrosinase result in the production of eumelanin (dark colour, e.g. brown or black), while low levels result in the production of phaeomelanin (light colour, e.g. red or yellow). When melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) binds to its receptor, the level of tyrosinase is increased, leading to production of eumelanin. The wild-type allele at the extension locus corresponds to a functional MSHR, and hence to dark pigmentation in the presence of MSH. As explained by Schneider et al. (PLoS Genet 10(2): e1004892; 2015), "The most common causes of melanism (black coat) mutations are gain-of-function alterations in MC1R, or loss-of function alterations in ASIP, which encodes Agouti signaling protein, a paracrine signaling molecule that inhibits MC1R signaling". Mutations in MC1R have been associated with white colouring in several species.

Molecular basis: Våge et al. (2014) reported two missense mutations "closely associated with a darker belly coat": c.218T>C; p.Met73Thr and c.839T>G; p.Phe280Cys. They noted that "The aa acid change p.Met73Thr affects the same position as p.Met73Lys previously reported to give constitutive activation of MC1R in black sheep (Ovis aries) [OMIA 001199-9940], whereas p.Phe280Cys is identical to one of two variants previously reported to be associated with dark coat color in Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) [OMIA 001199-494514]"

Associated gene:

Symbol Description Species Chr Location OMIA gene details page Other Links
MC1R Rangifer tarandus - no genomic information (-..-) MC1R Ensembl


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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.

Breed(s) Variant Phenotype Gene Allele Type of Variant Reference Sequence Chr. g. or m. c. or n. p. Verbal Description EVA ID Year Published PubMed ID(s) Acknowledgements
Coat colour, extension MC1R missense c.218T>C p.(M73T) 2014 25039753
Coat colour, extension MC1R missense c.839T>G p.(F280C) 2014 25039753


2014 Våge, D.I., Nieminen, M., Anderson, D.G., Røed, K.H. :
Two missense mutations in melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) are strongly associated with dark ventral coat color in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). Anim Genet 45:750-3, 2014. Pubmed reference: 25039753. DOI: 10.1111/age.12187.

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  • Created by Frank Nicholas on 30 Apr 2015