Journal of Human Genetics

, Volume 53, Issue 11–12, pp 966–971 | Cite as

Association of the SLC45A2 gene with physiological human hair colour variation

  • Wojciech Branicki
  • Urszula Brudnik
  • Jolanta Draus-Barini
  • Tomasz Kupiec
  • Anna Wojas-Pelc
Original Article


Pigmentation is a complex physical trait with multiple genes involved. Several genes have already been associated with natural differences in human pigmentation. The SLC45A2 gene encoding a transporter protein involved in melanin synthesis is considered to be one of the most important genes affecting human pigmentation. Here we present results of an association study conducted on a population of European origin, where the relationship between two non-synonymous polymorphisms in the SLC45A2 gene — rs26722 (E272K) and rs16891982 (L374F) — and different pigmentation traits was examined. The study revealed a significant association between both variable sites and normal variation in hair colour. Only L374F remained significantly associated with hair colour when both SNPs were included in a logistic regression model. No association with other pigmentation traits was detected in this population sample. Our results indicate that the rare allele L374 significantly increases the possibility of having black hair colour (OR = 7.05) and thus may be considered as a future marker for black hair colour prediction.


Pigmentation SLC45A2 Association study E272K L374F Phenotype prediction 


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Copyright information

© The Japan Society of Human Genetics and Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wojciech Branicki
    • 1
  • Urszula Brudnik
    • 2
  • Jolanta Draus-Barini
    • 1
  • Tomasz Kupiec
    • 1
  • Anna Wojas-Pelc
    • 2
  1. 1.Section of Forensic GeneticsInstitute of Forensic ResearchKrakowPoland
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyCollegium Medicum of the Jagiellonian UniversityKrakowPoland

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