The role of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) receptor in bovine coat color determination

Mamm Genome. 1995 Sep;6(9):636-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00352371.


The melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) receptor has a major function in the regulation of black (eumelanin) versus red (phaeomelanin) pigment synthesis within melanocytes. We report three alleles of the MSH-receptor gene found in cattle. A point mutation in the dominant allele ED gives black coat color, whereas a frameshift mutation, producing a prematurely terminated receptor, in homozygous e/e animals, produces red coat color. The wild-type allele E+ produces a variety of colors, reflecting the possibilities for regulating the normal receptor. Microsatellite analysis, RFLP studies, and coat color information were used to localize the MSH-receptor to bovine Chromosome (Chr) 18.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cattle
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA
  • Frameshift Mutation
  • Hair Color / genetics
  • Hair Color / physiology*
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Receptors, Pituitary Hormone / genetics
  • Receptors, Pituitary Hormone / physiology*


  • Receptors, Pituitary Hormone
  • MSH receptor
  • DNA