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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal AgroParisTech Université Paris-Saclay


GABI : Génétique Animale et Biologie IntégrativeUnité Mixte de Recherche INRA - AgroParisTech

Implication of the KIT gene in the development of melanoma in the pig

The pig is considered as a good model for the development of cutaneous melanoma, found in man, but also in some breeds of pigs. An association between polymorphism in the KIT gene and the development of tumours has been identified, confirming the role of this gene in normal pathological melanocyte function.

Context and stakes

Cutaneous melanoma is a growing problem in public health, causing important losses in farming, a consequence of carcasses of affected pigs being seized. The GIS team of the UMR GABI uses a porcine biomedical MeLiM model, along with other pig breeds, to improve our understanding of the genetic mechanisms implicated in the susceptibility to the development of invasive melanoma. Several projects are underway. One of these projects concerns candidate genes and in particular genes that play a central role in melanocyte biology, the cell responsible for melanoma. One of these genes, KIT, is necessary for the survival and migration of melanoblasts during embryogenesis. It also regulates pigmentation.


Through gene sequencing polymorphisms have been identified amongst different pig breeds. An association analysis has been done between a non-synonsymous SNP located in exon 19 and the development and severity of melanomas. These results show a significant association between SNP and melanoma, with variable effects that depend on the breed of the animals.


This study will help focalize research on association signals around the KIT gene in man on a large population cohort  (in partnership with F. Demenais, INSERM U946). Finally, since the allele that predisposes for melanoma is mainly found in the Duroc pig sometimes affected with cutaneous melanoma, it may have an impact on animal production.


These studies have been accepted for publication in the journal Animal Genetics


Fernández-Rodríguez A., Estellé J., Blin A., Muñoz M., Créchet F., Demenais F., Vincent-Naulleau S., Bourneuf E. KIT and Melanoma Predisposition in Pigs : Sequence Variants and Association Analysis. Accepted for publication in Animal Genetics