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Nature communications

Functionally reciprocal mutations of the prolactin signalling pathway define hairy and slick cattle.


PMID 25519203

Abstract

Lactation, hair development and homeothermy are characteristic evolutionary features that define mammals from other vertebrate species. Here we describe the discovery of two autosomal dominant mutations with antagonistic, pleiotropic effects on all three of these biological processes, mediated through the prolactin signalling pathway. Most conspicuously, mutations in prolactin (PRL) and its receptor (PRLR) have an impact on thermoregulation and hair morphology phenotypes, giving prominence to this pathway outside of its classical roles in lactation.