OMIA:002275-9615 : Coat colour, cocoa in Canis lupus familiaris (dog)

Categories: Pigmentation phene

Links to possible relevant human trait(s) and/or gene(s) in OMIM: 614072 (trait) , 606118 (gene)

Mendelian trait/disorder: yes

Mode of inheritance: Autosomal recessive

Considered a defect: unknown

Key variant known: yes

Year key variant first reported: 2020

Cross-species summary: Loss of function variants in the HPS3 gene encoding "HPS3 biogenesis of lysosomal organelles complex 2 subunit 1" may lead to a phenotype characterized by pigment dilution, (mildly) impaired visual acuity, nystagmus, and a (mild) bleeding disorder.

History: Kiener et al. (2020): "In order to clearly distinguish HPS3-related from the TYRP1-related brown coat color, and in line with the murine nomenclature, we propose to designate this dog phenotype as "cocoa", and the mutant allele as HPS3^co." Laukner et al. (2021) "studied the genotype-phenotype correlation regarding coat color in HPS3 mutant dogs that carried various combinations of mutant alleles at other coat color genes. Different combinations of HPS3, MLPH and TYRP1 genotypes resulted in subtly different shades of brown coat colors."

Molecular basis: Kiener et al. (2020) "sequenced the genome of a TYRP1+/+ brown French Bulldog and compared the data to 655 other canine genomes. A search for private variants revealed a nonsense variant in HPS3, c.2420G>A or p.(Trp807*). The brown dog was homozygous for the mutant allele at this variant." The authors genotyped a cohort of 373 French Bulldogs and found a strong association of the homozygous mutant HPS3 genotype with the brown coat color. The HPS3 gene encodes a subunit of a protein complex named "Biogenesis of Lysosome-related Organelles Complex-2 (BLOC-2)". This protein complex controls the sorting and transport of newly synthesized integral membrane proteins from early endosomes to both lysosomes and lysosome-related organelles, such as melanosomes and platelet-dense granules. Loss of function variants in HPS3 therefore may result in a syndromic phenotype that was initially recognized in humans with Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome 3. This phenotype is characterized by pigment dilution, mildly reduced visual acuity and a mild bleeding disorder due to the absence of platelet-dense bodies. "Based on the comprehensive knowledge on HPS3 function together with the observed genotype–phenotype association" Kiener et al. 2020 concluded that "HPS3:c.2420G>A is very likely the causative genetic variant for the brown coat color in the investigated French Bulldogs".

Clinical features: HPS3 deficient (cocoa) coloured dogs are born brown. Their colour darkens with age and they become slightly darker than TYRP1-deficient (chocolate) dogs as adults (Kiener et al. 2020). So far, it has not been investigated whether cocoa coloured dogs have any bleeding disorder or visual impairments, similar to what has been observed in human patients with Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome 3.

Pathology: Laukner et al. (2021): "As HPS3 variants in humans cause the Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome type 3, which in addition to oculocutaneous albinism is characterized by a storage pool deficiency leading to bleeding tendency, we also investigated the phenotypic consequences of the HPS3 variant in French Bulldogs on hematological parameters. HPS3 mutant dogs had a significantly lowered platelet dense granules abundance. However, no increased bleeding tendencies in daily routine were reported by dog owners."

Breed: French Bulldog (Dog) (VBO_0201455).
Breeds in which the phene has been documented. (If a likely causal variant has been documented for the phene, see the variant table breeds in which the variant has been reported).

Associated gene:

Symbol Description Species Chr Location OMIA gene details page Other Links
HPS3 Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome 3 Canis lupus familiaris - no genomic information (-..-) HPS3 Homologene, Ensembl , NCBI gene


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WARNING! Inclusion of a variant in this table does not automatically mean that it should be used for DNA testing. Anyone contemplating the use of any of these variants for DNA testing should examine critically the relevant evidence (especially in breeds other than the breed in which the variant was first described). If it is decided to proceed, the location and orientation of the variant sequence should be checked very carefully.

Since October 2021, OMIA includes a semiautomated lift-over pipeline to facilitate updates of genomic positions to a recent reference genome position. These changes to genomic positions are not always reflected in the ‘acknowledgements’ or ‘verbal description’ fields in this table.

OMIA Variant ID Breed(s) Variant Phenotype Gene Allele Type of Variant Source of Genetic Variant Reference Sequence Chr. g. or m. c. or n. p. Verbal Description EVA ID Year Published PubMed ID(s) Acknowledgements
1215 French Bulldog (Dog) Cocoa HPS3 HPS3^co nonsense (stop-gain) Naturally occurring variant CanFam3.1 23 g.43969695G>A c.2420G>A p.(T807*) XM_542830.6:c.2420G>A; XP_542830.3:p.(Trp807*) 2020 32526956

Cite this entry

Nicholas, F. W., Tammen, I., & Sydney Informatics Hub. (2021). OMIA:002275-9615: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals (OMIA) [dataset].


Note: the references are listed in reverse chronological order (from the most recent year to the earliest year), and alphabetically by first author within a year.

2022 [No authors listed] :
Canine coat pigmentation genetics: a review. Anim Genet 53:474-475, 2022. Pubmed reference: 35510419. DOI: 10.1111/age.13185.
Brancalion, L., Haase, B., Wade, C.M. :
Canine coat pigmentation genetics: a review. Anim Genet 53:33-34, 2022. Pubmed reference: 34751460. DOI: 10.1111/age.13154.
2021 Laukner, A., Truchet, L., Manukjan, G., Schulze, H., Langbein-Detsch, I., Mueller, E., Leeb, T., Kehl, A. :
Effects of Cocoa genotypes on coat color, platelets and coagulation parameters in French bulldogs. Genes (Basel) 12, 2021. Pubmed reference: 34356108. DOI: 10.3390/genes12071092.
2020 Kiener, S., Kehl, A., Loechel, R., Langbein-Detsch, I., Müller, E., Bannasch, D., Jagannathan, V., Leeb, T. :
Novel brown coat color (cocoa) in French bulldogs results from a nonsense variant in HPS3. Genes (Basel) 11, 2020. Pubmed reference: 32526956. DOI: 10.3390/genes11060636.

Edit History

  • Created by Frank Nicholas on 14 Jun 2020
  • Changed by Frank Nicholas on 14 Jun 2020
  • Changed by Tosso Leeb on 16 Jun 2020
  • Changed by Tosso Leeb on 17 Jun 2020
  • Changed by Imke Tammen2 on 13 Aug 2021