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Werewolf, There Wolf: Variants in Hairless Associated with Hypotrichia and Roaning in the Lykoi Cat Breed

Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
Veterinary Allergy and Dermatology Clinic, LLC., Overland Park, KS 66210, USA
Tellico Bay Animal Hospital, Vonore, TN 37885, USA
NeuroMyoGène Institute, CNRS UMR 5310, INSERM U1217, Faculty of Medicine, Rockefeller, Claude Bernard Lyon I University, 69008 Lyon, France
VetAgro Sup, University of Lyon, Marcy-l’Etoile, 69280 Lyon, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Membership of the 99 Lives Consortium is provided in the Acknowledgments.
Genes 2020, 11(6), 682;
Received: 12 May 2020 / Revised: 9 June 2020 / Accepted: 12 June 2020 / Published: 22 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coat Color Genetics)
A variety of cat breeds have been developed via novelty selection on aesthetic, dermatological traits, such as coat colors and fur types. A recently developed breed, the lykoi (a.k.a. werewolf cat), was bred from cats with a sparse hair coat with roaning, implying full color and all white hairs. The lykoi phenotype is a form of hypotrichia, presenting as a significant reduction in the average numbers of follicles per hair follicle group as compared to domestic shorthair cats, a mild to severe perifollicular to mural lymphocytic infiltration in 77% of observed hair follicle groups, and the follicles are often miniaturized, dilated, and dysplastic. Whole genome sequencing was conducted on a single lykoi cat that was a cross between two independently ascertained lineages. Comparison to the 99 Lives dataset of 194 non-lykoi cats suggested two variants in the cat homolog for Hairless (HR) (HR lysine demethylase and nuclear receptor corepressor) as candidate causal gene variants. The lykoi cat was a compound heterozygote for two loss of function variants in HR, an exon 3 c.1255_1256dupGT (chrB1:36040783), which should produce a stop codon at amino acid 420 (p.Gln420Serfs*100) and, an exon 18 c.3389insGACA (chrB1:36051555), which should produce a stop codon at amino acid position 1130 (p.Ser1130Argfs*29). Ascertainment of 14 additional cats from founder lineages from Canada, France and different areas of the USA identified four additional loss of function HR variants likely causing the highly similar phenotypic hair coat across the diverse cats. The novel variants in HR for cat hypotrichia can now be established between minor differences in the phenotypic presentations. View Full-Text
Keywords: atrichia; domestic cat; Felis catus; fur; HR; naked atrichia; domestic cat; Felis catus; fur; HR; naked
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Buckley, R.M.; Gandolfi, B.; Creighton, E.K.; Pyne, C.A.; Bouhan, D.M.; LeRoy, M.L.; Senter, D.A.; Gobble, J.R.; Abitbol, M.; Lyons, L.A.; 99 Lives Consortium. Werewolf, There Wolf: Variants in Hairless Associated with Hypotrichia and Roaning in the Lykoi Cat Breed. Genes 2020, 11, 682.

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