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RNA-inherited Traits

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Third Peppermint
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Joined: 09/03/09
RNA-inherited Traits
I was just thinking about RNA-mediated inheritance today at work (mainly because I was working with some mice that are part of an epigenetics study) and wondered if there has been any hint of it in horse genetics. In a mouse study they found out that RNA was the cause of white spotting in mice while they were researching a KIT mutation. Apparently, some offspring tested as having two normal copies of KIT but still ended up with spots. Turned out that they had "inherited" some abnormal RNA that seemed to mess up the expression of KIT. I thought it was interested that they pointed out how normal two abnormal copies of this KIT mutation resulted in a pup that died shortly after birth (sound familiar?) Anyway, they crossed a heterozygous and a homozygous wildtype and ended up with nearly all of the offspring having the white spotting. So! Could this be happening in horses? A tell-tale sign is something that sometimes follows the regular rules of genetics, but sometimes doesn't.
Threnody
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Re: RNA-inherited Traits

Ooooooooo epigenetics the next genetic frontier... Now I'm imaging you all at the lab dressed up like members of the starship Enterprise. O.o

It could explain any horses who may appear dominant white but don't have any mutations identified on KIT? Don't know specifically if there were some like that found in recent studies or not. Really interesting.