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Red Hair Variant Arg160Trp

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  • Red Hair Variant Arg160Trp

    Here's a photo from a few years ago of three of my grandkids, the children of my youngest son. The two boys have had their DNA tested with Family Tree DNA. Both of them carry the red hair variant Arg160Trp, which I carry, their dad carries, and my dad carried. You can bet their sister carries it, too (just look at her). I am EXTREMELY proud of and pleased with them. They are super grandkids. Wish I could see them every day, but they live near Roanoke, and that's a three-hour drive from me.Stevens kids Sep 2015 Fredericksburg, Virginia.png

  • #2
    Nice set of grandkids! Did you or your father have that shade of red hair, besides carrying the Arg160Trp variant? If so, did the red shade change over your lifetime? Some notes I took from SNPedia.com long ago (when my father and I tested at 23andMe) show that Arg160Trp (or R160W) is associated with red hair in an Irish population, which is my paternal ancestry.

    My father had only one variant for red hair that was in his 23andMe results: Arg151Cys (or R151C), which is SNP rs1805007. At one point, I had seen a post at the FTDNA "Red Hair Variants" groupactivity feed (not sure how, as you have to be a member now, and I'm not), saying that the 23andMe blog said of Arg151Cys: “it is most frequent in Ireland, but overall it is less prevalent, and found in a limited range: mostly Ireland, the UK, and France, Switzerland, and Belgium."

    My father had one C allele for Arg151Cys, and one T, the T being the one for red hair. He did not seem to pass it to his children, however. My mother's paternal grandmother was said to have had red hair, but my mother didn't do any DNA testing; she didn't have noticeably red hair, but perhaps had a dark auburn or other hint of red in her brown hair when younger. One of my siblings has a red patch at the nape of her neck, but that's it for any of the children.

    I think that 23andMe tests for the following "red hair" SNPs (at least they did back in 2012):
    Gene Position SNP Alternate Name for Mutation Versions
    MC1R 89985913 rs34474212 S83P T to C
    MC1R 89985918 rs1805006 D84E C to A
    MC1R 89986117 rs1805007 Arg151Cys or R151C C to T
    MC1R 89986144 rs1805008 Arg160Trp or R160W C to T
    MC1R 89920138 rs1805009 Asp294His or D294H
    MC1R 89986091 rs11547464 R142H G to A
    MC1R 89986130 rs1110400 I155T T to C
    MC1R 89986546 i3002507 D294H* G to C












    The "Arg" or "Asp" information in the "Alternate Name for Mutation" column was from a SNPedia article on red hair. *I have D294H in my notes for two mutations, so one is likely incorrect.

    I haven't followed the research on red hair SNPs, and I know many factors are involved, so I'm sure there is more current information available now.

    Here's a photo of my paternal great-grandfather, Patrick, son of Irish immigrants. It was hand-colored, but he may have a touch of red in his hair, which I would think the photographer or whoever colored it would have noted in order to color correctly. It could be blond, also. This photo is probably ca. 1900 or so, when he was 35. I'm pretty sure he probably had blue eyes, but that color is not shown in the photo. I suspect one of his granddaughters in another branch may have had red hair, but my memory might be off on that.

    patrick_manning_80q.jpg

    Just for jollies, here are some blond hair SNPs:
    SNP Blond Hair Version in bold My father's alleles My alleles
    rs1667394 C to T TT TT
    rs12821256 T to C TT TT
    rs12896399 G to T TT GT





    My father was blond, with his hair turning darker as he aged. Mine was blond as a young child, darkening to brown eventually.
    Last edited by KATM; 20 March 2021, 09:58 PM.

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    • #3
      This would be very useful in helping law enforcement solve crimes and improve public safety though, how accurate is this?
      Just wondering what are the factors that would make it invalid, is it the solely human error ? Also, are people's privacy not violated if dna test is conducted without warrant?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by raspchide View Post
        This would be very useful in helping law enforcement solve crimes and improve public safety though, how accurate is this?
        Just wondering what are the factors that would make it invalid, is it the solely human error ? Also, are people's privacy not violated if dna test is conducted without warrant?
        raspchide, this topic is discussing variants for red hair, not law enforcement use of DNA. Please start a new topic to discuss your questions, since they don't really relate to the topic of this thread.

        I don't want to get off that topic, but just to give you some idea:
        Law enforcement in the U.S. typically uses a small set of 20 STR markers (called CODIS) to identify criminals, markers which I don't believe include hair color.
        You are probably thinking about the more recent use of using genetic genealogy to solve crimes, cold cases, and to identify victims. So far, using genetic genealogy for those purposes does not involve inspection of particular markers, such as for hair color, but does make use of genetic genealogists who specialize in finding criminals whose relatives have done DNA testing. The genealogists help law enforcement by using family trees to narrow down the families to which the criminal is related, similar to finding a family for an adoptee. There may be other uses of DNA for forensic methods which do identify features such as hair color, but I don't think they are in wide use yet, and whether they are reliable is another question.

        The SNPs I posted above which are associated with hair color are not (to my knowledge) used to identify people. They have been identified by scientists as relating to hair color, so should be very accurate. I am not a lawyer, but I think U.S. courts have determined that it is legal for law enforcement to retrieve items that a suspect has discarded (cigarettes, garbage, takeout drink cups, etc.) which has the suspect's DNA on it.

        That is all I'm going to post about these questions, so please start a new topic if you wish to get more replies from others.



        Last edited by KATM; 22 March 2021, 08:17 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by KATM View Post
          Nice set of grandkids! Did you or your father have that shade of red hair, besides carrying the Arg160Trp variant? If so, did the red shade change over your lifetime? Some notes I took from SNPedia.com long ago (when my father and I tested at 23andMe) show that Arg160Trp (or R160W) is associated with red hair in an Irish population, which is my paternal ancestry . . .
          My dad, like me, did not have red hair. When he was a kid he was blond, but as an adult he had dark hair. He carried one copy of Arg160Trp, as do I, but my mother does not carry any red hair variants, so I had to have received my copy from my dad.

          My youngest son and his sons all carry two copies of Arg160Trp, which means their mothers must be carriers of Arg160Trp, as well. My youngest son's wife, the mother of my grandkids in the photo in the original post, is a redhead, so I'm guessing she carries two copies, like her husband.

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          • #6
            Interesting that one copy of Arg160Trp was not enough to yield red hair for you or your father, but it's nice that the two grandsons and your youngest son have tested, so you were able to check them for Arg160Trp.

            I checked the relevant kits I manage to see if any of my father's children, or his sister or cousins, have the T for Arg160Trp, but none had it, or any others. FTDNA tested for red hair SNPs rs1805006 (D84E), rs1805008 (Arg160Trp), and rs1110400 (I155T) in those kits from a few years ago (none of which have the other SNPs I listed in the table, either). I wonder if FTDNA still has those three SNPs among those tested in Family Finder nowadays, since the chip has been updated since my family members tested.

            One of my siblings has tested at 23andMe, so I'll ask her to check her raw data for the red hair SNPs in her data there. I recalled that one second cousin to my father, in the same paternal line (descendant of Patrick's father and mother), who does have red hair. She has tested at FTDNA only, so maybe she has two copies of one of the red hair SNPs; I'll try to see if she'll check for it in her raw data file. I think both of her parents were of all Irish descent, or at least three of her grandparents.

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            • #7
              Like my dad, I had blond hair as a kid, but also like him, my hair went dark by the time I was in my late twenties. I was told I had "red highlights" in my hair, however, and my moustache and beard both had a lot of red in them. My oldest boy carries one copy of Arg160Trp, but my youngest son carries two copies. My oldest son has dark hair. My youngest boy was a redhead at birth, but his hair turned strawberry blond in color and stayed that way. He also has red facial hair.

              One of my dad's sisters, my Aunt Lois, had red hair.

              Here's a photo of my youngest daughter, Anna, when she was a baby.

              anna stevens baby.jpeg
              Last edited by Stevo; 23 March 2021, 07:07 AM.

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              • #8
                Ah yes, the red beards. One of my sons has some red in his beard, but otherwise is blond. My spouse is of all Swedish descent, but has no red hair, or family history of it.

                Cute photo of your daughter. The blue in her shirt brings out her blue eyes. But let's not get into eye color, which is another ball of wax!

                It seems when a person has red hair from birth, it generally stays some shade of red as the person ages, unlike how many who start as blond get darker. I suppose there are exceptions to that phenomenon, though, for the red-haired folks.

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                • #9
                  My is turning white/gray! At least what is left.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jim Barrett View Post
                    My is turning white/gray! At least what is left.
                    Same here. My facial hair (when I let it grow) is white, as well.

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                    • #11
                      red hair variants table.jpg
                      If anyone who has had Family Finder or one of the other autosomal DNA tests on the market and is interested in finding out whether he or she is the carrier of a known red hair variant, just download your raw data and search for the variants in the table above by "rs" (RefSNP) number. One way to do that, while looking at your raw data, is to hold down the ctrl key in the lower left corner of your computer keyboard, type f, enter the rs number in the Find box, and click on the down arrow (or "Find Next"). The rs number of the red hair variant will be highlighted. If you have at least one copy of the risk allele, you are a carrier.
                      Last edited by Stevo; 28 March 2021, 05:03 PM.

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                      • #12
                        BTW, you can use that same technique to check your raw autosomal DNA data for other things, like the two most common lactase persistence variants, rs4988235 (aka 13910T) and rs182549. A is the risk allele for rs4988235 (T when viewed from the opposite side of the double helix as 13910T), and T is the risk allele for rs182549.

                        The risk allele means you are likely to be able to digest lactose (milk sugar) as an adult (in other words, your body is still producing the enzyme lactase, so you are not likely to be lactose intolerant). I have two copies of the risk allele at both of those variants, and I enjoy dairy products freely, with no problems, thank God.
                        Last edited by Stevo; 28 March 2021, 10:57 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Here's a screen grab that shows you how the search result for Arg160Trp (rs1805008) looks for me using my Family Finder raw data (of course, I cropped away everything but rs1805008). You can see that I have TC there, which makes me a carrier, since I have one copy of the risk allele (T).

                          Your raw data might look a little different, but this should give you an idea of how the search is conducted.

                          Stevens_Richard_Arg160Trp result_Family Finder.jpg
                          Last edited by Stevo; 28 March 2021, 05:03 PM.

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                          • #14
                            If you have 23andMe results, it's pretty easy to check your raw data for the red hair variants and other things. From your 23andMe home page, just click on the down arrow next to your name in the upper right. Choose "Browse Raw Data" from the dropdown menu. Enter the rs (RefSNP) number of the red hair variant in the search box, and type the enter key. Here's a screenshot of my rs1805008 (Arg160Trp) search result at 23andMe. You can see I have one copy of the risk allele, T, which makes me a carrier of the red hair variant Arg160Trp.

                            23andMe_Arg160Trp + result.jpg
                            Last edited by Stevo; 28 March 2021, 11:41 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the additional red hair SNPs in your table, which I see was from the FTDNA Red Hair Variants project. I was able to find that:
                              • All the Red Hair variants in your table are on chromosome 16, on the MC1R (Melanocortin 1 Receptor) gene
                              • All the Red Hair variants in your table showed up in my father's and my 23andMe raw data files (rs1805009 shows up there in my father's and my list of SNPs as the alternate name i3002507; both of us were GG for that, so don't have the necessary C allele needed for red hair)
                              • Oddly, my father and I both have "TT" for rs34474212 at 23andMe, vs. G or A as shown in the table. I did a search, and found that the rs34474212 alleles are T>C, not A>G (per the linked NIH National Library of Medicine Reference SNP (rs) Report), so it seems "C" is the red hair variant for that SNP, not "G." SNPedia says that rs34474212 is "possibly red hair related,"
                              • My late father's late sister has one red hair "A" allele for rs2228479 at FTDNA (AG), which my father does not (GG). Since she did not ever test at 23andMe, I don't know if she also had the red hair allele T for rs1805007 (for which my father had CT at 23andMe). SNPedia says rs2228479 is associated with red (or blond) hair, poor tanning, and has a high presence in one Asian population (the latter doesn't apply to my family)
                              • Also at FTDNA, my father's paternal first cousin had no red hair alleles on any of the red hair SNPs, nor did my father's paternal first cousin once removed.
                              Bottom line, for all the kits I manage at FTDNA: only my father and his sister each inherited one red hair allele, on different SNPs associated with red hair. My siblings and I, one maternal cousin, and our maternal aunt and uncle had the same "red hair" results at FTDNA: none. Our maternal cousin is the daughter of another of my mother's sisters, so it seems that no SNPs for red hair were passed down to those descendants of our mother's paternal grandmother who was reported to have had red hair.
                              Last edited by KATM; 28 March 2021, 03:52 PM.

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