Multilocus OCA2 genotypes specify human iris colors.

DNAPrint Genomics, Inc, 1621 W. University Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34243, USA.
Human Genetics (Impact Factor: 4.52). 12/2007; 122(3-4):311-26. DOI: 10.1007/s00439-007-0401-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Human iris color is a quantitative, multifactorial phenotype that exhibits quasi-Mendelian inheritance. Recent studies have shown that OCA2 polymorphism underlies most of the natural variability in human iris pigmentation but to date, only a few associated polymorphisms in this gene have been described. Herein, we describe an iris color score (C) for quantifying iris melanin content in-silico and undertake a more detailed survey of the OCA2 locus (n = 271 SNPs). In 1,317 subjects, we confirmed six previously described associations and identified another 27 strongly associated with C that were not explained by continental population stratification (OR 1.5-17.9, P = 0.03 to <0.001). Haplotype analysis with respect to these 33 SNPs revealed six haplotype blocks and 11 hap-tags within these blocks. To identify genetic features for best-predicting iris color, we selected sets of SNPs by parsing P values among possible combinations and identified four discontinuous and non-overlapping sets across the LD blocks (p-Selected SNP sets). In a second, partially overlapping sample of 1,072, samples with matching diplotypes comprised of these p-Selected OCA2 SNPs exhibited a rate of C concordance of 96.3% (n = 82), which was significantly greater than that obtained from randomly selected samples (62.6%, n = 246, P<0.0001). In contrast, the rate of C concordance using diplotypes comprised of the 11 identified hap-tags was only 83.7%, and that obtained using diplotypes comprised of all 33 SNPs organized as contiguous sets along the locus (defined by the LD block structure) was only 93.3%. These results confirm that OCA2 is the major human iris color gene and suggest that using an empirical database-driven system, genotypes from a modest number of SNPs within this gene can be used to accurately predict iris melanin content from DNA.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: DNA phenotyping is a rapidly developing area of research in forensic biology. Externally visible characteristics (EVCs) can be determined based on genotype data, specifically based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). These SNPs are chosen based on their association with genes related to the phenotypic expression of interest, with known examples in eye, hair, and skin color traits. DNA phenotyping has forensic importance when unknown biological samples at a crime scene do not result in a criminal database hit; a phenotypic profile of the sample can therefore be used to develop investigational leads. IrisPlex, an eye color prediction assay, has previously shown high prediction rates for blue and brown eye color in a Dutch European population. The objective of this work was to evaluate its utility in a North American population. We evaluated six SNPs included in the IrisPlex assay in population sample collected from a USA college campus. We used a quantitative method of eye color classification based on (RGB) color components of digital photographs of the eye taken from each study volunteer so that each eye was placed in one of three eye color categories: brown, intermediate, or blue. Objective color classification was shown to correlate with basic human visual determination making it a feasible option for use in future prediction assay development. Using these samples and various models, the maximum prediction accuracies of the IrisPlex system after allele frequency adjustment was 58% and 95% brown and blue eye color predictions, respectively, and 11% for intermediate eye colors. Future developments should include incorporation of additional informative SNPs, specifically related to the intermediate eye color, and we recommend the use of a Bayesian approach as a prediction model as likelihood ratios can be determined for reporting purposes.
    Forensic Science International: Genetics 03/2014; 9C:111-117. · 3.86 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mutations within the OCA2 gene or the complete absence of the OCA2 protein leads to Oculocutaneous Albinism type 2. The OCA2 protein plays a central role in melanosome biogenesis, and it is a strong determinant of the eumelanin content in melanocytes. Transcript levels of the OCA2 gene are strongly correlated to pigmentation intensities. Recent studies demonstrated that the transcriptional level of OCA2 is to a large extent determined by the non-coding SNP rs12913832 located 21.5 kb upstream of the OCA2 gene promoter. In this review, we discuss current hypotheses and the available data on the mechanism of OCA2 transcriptional regulation and how this is influenced by genetic variation. Finally, we will explore how future epigenetic studies can be used to advance our insight into the functional biology that connects genetic variation to human pigmentation.
    Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research 01/2014; · 5.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: How many distinct molecular paths lead to the same phenotype? One approach to this question has been to examine the genetic basis of convergent traits, which likely evolved repeatedly under a shared selective pressure. We investigated the convergent phenotype of blue iris pigmentation, which has arisen independently in four primate lineages: humans, blue-eyed black lemurs, Japanese macaques, and spider monkeys. Characterizing the phenotype across these species, we found that the variation within the blue-eyed subsets of each species occupies strongly overlapping regions of CIE L*a*b* color space. Yet whereas Japanese macaques and humans display continuous variation, the phenotypes of blue-eyed black lemurs and their sister species (whose irises are brown) occupy more clustered subspaces. Variation in an enhancer of OCA2 is primarily responsible for the phenotypic difference between humans with blue and brown irises. In the orthologous region, we found no variant that distinguishes the two lemur species or associates with quantitative phenotypic variation in Japanese macaques. Given the high similarity between the blue iris phenotypes in these species and that in humans, this finding implies that evolution has used different molecular paths to reach the same end. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Physical Anthropology 05/2013; 151(3). · 2.51 Impact Factor