Hypopigmentation in the Prader-Willi syndrome correlates with P gene deletion but not with haplotype of the hemizygous P allele

Am J Med Genet. 1997 Jul 11;71(1):57-62. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-8628(19970711)71:1<57::aid-ajmg11>3.0.co;2-u.


The Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) usually results from a paternal deletion of 15q11-q13 or maternal disomy for chromosome 15. Reduced pigmentation of skin, hair, and eyes is common in PWS and was suggested previously to be associated with the 15q11-q13 deletion. The P gene, located in this same region, is associated with OCA2, an autosomal recessive disorder that is the most frequent form of tyrosinase-positive oculocutaneous albinism. We studied 28 individuals with PWS and found that hemizygosity for the P gene was significantly correlated with the occurrence of hypopigmentation among PWS patients. However, we found little or no relationship between the occurrence of hypopigmentation and the polymorphism haplotype of the intact P allele. Thus, our results indicate that hypopigmentation is likely the result of deletion of the P gene in the context of PWS but do not support the linked hypothesis that hypopigmentation results from hemizygosity for variant P alleles with reduced function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 15*
  • Gene Deletion*
  • Haploidy
  • Humans
  • Hypopigmentation / complications*
  • Hypopigmentation / genetics
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome / complications*
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome / genetics


  • Monophenol Monooxygenase