Agouti (gene)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Agouti gene)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

agouti is a gene that controls the distribution of the natural pigment, melanin, in the hair of mammals and helps determine their coat color patterns.[1][2] The main product of the agouti gene is the agouti signalling peptide but there are a number of other products. The mechanisms of the gene have been extensively studied in many domestic mammals as they are good models for biomedical research.

In horses, the agouti gene suppresses the action of the extension locus that produces black pigment (eumelanin) into point coloration on the mane, tail, lower legs and tips of the ears, thus allowing the underlying red pigment, pheomelanin, to appear on the body. This produces the color known as bay.[3]

In dogs, the agouti gene is associated with various coat colors and patterns.[4]

In cats, the dominant form of the agouti gene causes the tabby pattern, while the recessive form allows non-tabby coats.[5]

Mice that are heterozygous for the agouti yellow allele have yellow coats and are more prone to obesity. Mice that are homozygous for the agouti yellow allele die during embryonic development because the yellow allele is a recessive lethal allele. Mice that are homozygous for the non-agouti alleles have non-agouti coat colors like black.[6]


  1. ^ Meneely, Philip (2014). Genetic Analysis: Genes, Genomes, and Networks in Eukaryotes. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199681266.
  2. ^ Griffiths, Anthony JF; Miller, Jeffrey H.; Suzuki, David T.; Lewontin, Richard C.; Gelbart, William M. (2000). "Gene interaction in coat color of mammals".
  3. ^ "Horse Genome Project - Coat Color Genetics". Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  4. ^ "Dog Coat Colour Genetics". Retrieved 2017-09-25.
  5. ^ Kaelin, Christopher B.; Xu, Xiao; Hong, Lewis Z.; David, Victor A.; McGowan, Kelly A.; Schmidt-Küntzel, Anne; Roelke, Melody E.; Pino, Javier; Pontius, Joan (2012-09-21). "Specifying and Sustaining Pigmentation Patterns in Domestic and Wild Cats". Science. 337 (6101): 1536–1541. doi:10.1126/science.1220893. ISSN 0036-8075. PMC 3709578. PMID 22997338.
  6. ^ Millar, S. E.; Miller, M. W.; Stevens, M. E.; Barsh, G. S. (October 1995). "Expression and transgenic studies of the mouse agouti gene provide insight into the mechanisms by which mammalian coat color patterns are generated". Development. 121 (10): 3223–3232. ISSN 0950-1991. PMID 7588057.