Main Article Content
Cashmere goat (Capra hircus) represents a world renowned goat famous for production of superfine downfibre “Cashmere”. The worldwide total production of cashmere fibre is about 10000-15000 tonnes per annum. Among all the fibres cashmere is the finest fibre of animal origin, produced in fairly large quantity in the world derived from goat breed indigenous to Asia. The physical properties of cashmere fibres can be attributed to proteins from Keratin family which are primary constituents of the fibre. Keratin proteins (KP) and keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) constitute about 90% of cashmere fibre, the said proteins are encoded by the keratin family genes. Keratin-associated protein is one of the major structural proteins of the fibre, whose percentage in fibre has significant effect on its quality. Summing up, the evidence presented in past studies indicated that in the formation of cashmere fibre, there is important role of HGTKAPs in fineness of the fibre. This review summarises the information regarding keratin and keratin associated proteins in a national and international research programme designed to identify and utilize KAP genes of importance in the fibre quality.