agouti

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a·gou·ti

(ah-gu'tē),
1. The wildtype hair color banding found in mammals; including some felidae; hairs are lighter or gray at the base and tipped with dark or blak pigment. Multiple banding on a hair may occur.
See also: Dasyprocta.
2. A tropic rodent.
See: Dasyprocta.
[Fr., native Indian]

Agouti

Molecular biology A gene expressed during the hair-growth cycle in the neonatal skin of mice, in which it is a paracrine regulator of pigmentation. The secreted agouti protein antagonises binding of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone to its receptor (melanocortin 1 receptor) on the surface of hair bulb melanocytes, altering intracellular cAMP levels. Because of its role in regulating coat colour, agouti has served as a model of gene action and interaction.
Zoology A popular term for any of the guinea pig-like rodents of the genus Dasyprocta, which are native to the Western Hemisphere.

agouti

a fur coloration in which there are alternating light and dark bands of colour on the individual hairs, giving a speckled brownish appearance. Such a fur coloration is found in mammals such as rabbits, rats and mice.