Agouti signaling protein (ASIP) is one of the key players in the modulation of hair pigmentation in mammals. Binding to the melanocortin 1 receptor, ASIP induces the synthesis of phaeomelanin, associated with reddish brown, red, tan, and yellow coats. We have sequenced 2.8 kb of the goat ASIP gene in 48 individuals and identified two missense (Cys126Gly and Val128Gly) and two intronic polymorphisms. In silico analysis revealed that the Cys126Gly substitution may cause a structural change by disrupting a highly conserved disulfide bond. We studied its segregation in 12 Spanish and Italian goat breeds (N = 360) with different pigmentation patterns and found striking differences in the frequency of the putative loss-of-function Gly126 allele (Italian 0.43, Spanish Peninsular 0.08), but we did not observe a clear association with coat color. This suggests that the frequency of this putative loss-of-function allele has evolved under the influence of demographic rather than selection factors in goats from these two geographical areas. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
- Agouti signaling protein
- Coat color