A MITF mutation associated with a dominant white phenotype and bilateral deafness in German Fleckvieh cattle

PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e28857. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028857. Epub 2011 Dec 12.


A dominantly inherited syndrome associated with hypopigmentation, heterochromia irides, colobomatous eyes and bilateral hearing loss has been ascertained in Fleckvieh cattle (German White Fleckvieh syndrome). This syndrome has been mapped to bovine chromosome (BTA) 22 using a genome-wide association study with the bovine high density single nucleotide polymorphism array. An R210I missense mutation has been identified within microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) as responsible for this syndrome. The mutation is located in the highly conserved basic region of the protein and causes a negative-dominant effect. SOX10 and PAX3 promoter binding site mutations in MITF could be ruled out as causative for the German White Fleckvieh syndrome. Molecular characterization of this newly detected bovine syndrome means a large animal model is now available for the Tietz syndrome in humans.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Deafness / genetics
  • Deafness / veterinary*
  • Exons / genetics
  • Female
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Gene Frequency / genetics
  • Genes, Dominant / genetics*
  • Genetic Association Studies*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome / genetics
  • Germany
  • Male
  • Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor / chemistry
  • Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Pigmentation / genetics*


  • Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor