The curly coat phenotype of the Ural Rex feline breed is associated with a mutation in the lipase H gene

Anim Genet. 2020 Aug;51(4):584-589. doi: 10.1111/age.12958. Epub 2020 May 28.


Mutations in lipase H (LIPH) and lysophosphatidic acid receptor 6 (LPAR6), which are essential for the lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) signalling pathway, are associated with hypotrichosis and wooly hair in humans. Mutations in LPAR6 and keratin 71 (KRT71), result in unusual fur growth and hair structure in several cat breeds (Cornish Rex, Devon Rex and Selkirk Rex). Here, we performed target sequencing of the LIPH, LPAR6 and KRT71 genes in six cat breeds with specific hair-growth phenotypes. A LIPH genetic variant (LIPH:c.478_483del; LIPH:p.Ser160_Gly161del) was found in Ural Rex cats with curly coats from Russia, but was absent in all other cat breeds tested. In silico three-dimensional analysis of the LIPH mutant protein revealed a contraction of the α3-helix structure in the enzyme phospholipid binding site that may affect its activity.

Keywords: LIPH; cat; hair coat; lysophosphatidic acid; rex phenotype.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats / genetics*
  • Hair / anatomy & histology*
  • Keratins, Hair-Specific / genetics*
  • Keratins, Hair-Specific / metabolism
  • Lipase / genetics*
  • Lipase / metabolism
  • Mutant Proteins / genetics
  • Mutant Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutation*
  • Receptors, Lysophosphatidic Acid / genetics*
  • Receptors, Lysophosphatidic Acid / metabolism
  • Species Specificity


  • Keratins, Hair-Specific
  • Mutant Proteins
  • Receptors, Lysophosphatidic Acid
  • Lipase