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Nature. 1999 Mar 11;398(6723):152-6.

The mouse mahogany locus encodes a transmembrane form of human attractin.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5428, USA.

Abstract

Agouti protein and agouti-related protein are homologous paracrine signalling molecules that normally regulate hair colour and body weight, respectively, by antagonizing signalling through melanocortin receptors. Expression of Agouti is normally limited to the skin, but rare alleles from which Agouti is expressed ubiquitously, such as lethal yellow, have pleiotropic effects that include a yellow coat, obesity, increased linear growth, and immune defects. The mahogany (mg) mutation suppresses the effects of lethal yellow on pigmentation and body weight, and results of our previous genetic studies place mg downstream of transcription of Agouti but upstream of melanocortin receptors. Here we use positional cloning to identify a candidate gene for mahogany, Mgca. The predicted protein encoded by Mgca is a 1,428-amino-acid, single-transmembrane-domain protein that is expressed in many tissues, including pigment cells and the hypothalamus. The extracellular domain of the Mgca protein is the orthologue of human attractin, a circulating molecule produced by activated T cells that has been implicated in immune-cell interactions. These observations provide new insight into the regulation of energy metabolism and indicate a molecular basis for crosstalk between melanocortin-receptor signalling and immune function.

PMID:
10086356
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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