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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) mutations and coat color in pigs.

The melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) plays a central role in regulation of eumelanin (black/brown) and phaeomelanin (red/yellow) synthesis within the mammalian melanocyte and is encoded by the classical Extension (E) coat color locus. Sequence analysis of MC1R from seven porcine breeds revealed a total of four allelic variants corresponding to five different E alleles. The European wild boar possessed a unique MC1R allele that we believe is required for the expression of a wild-type coat color. Two different MC1R alleles were associated with the dominant black color in pigs. MC1R*2 was found in European Large Black and Chinese Meishan pigs and exhibited two missense mutations compared with the wild-type sequence. Comparative data strongly suggest that one of these, L99P, may form a constitutively active receptor. MC1R*3 was associated with the black color in the Hampshire breed and involved a single missense mutation D121N. This same MC1R variant was also associated with EP, which results in black spots on a white or red background. Two different missense mutations were identified in recessive red (e/e) animals. One of these, A240T, occurs at a highly conserved position, making it a strong candidate for disruption of receptor function.[1]


  1. Melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R) mutations and coat color in pigs. Kijas, J.M., Wales, R., Törnsten, A., Chardon, P., Moller, M., Andersson, L. Genetics (1998) [Pubmed]
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