Download Full Text (1.2 MB)


The Melanocortin-1 Receptor gene (MC1R) encodes a protein that is associated with pigmentation in vertebrate animals. An extraordinary number of variations in this gene have arisen over time due to the importance of pigmentation in camouflage, photosensitivity, vitamin D production, and other evolutionary factors. Variations in the MC1R gene sequence became important to survival as humans migrated out of Africa and into cooler climates with less sun exposure, where lighter skin pigmentation (and therefore more vitamin D production) was key to survival. These genetic variations (alleles) continue to exist in modern humans. Recent research into the MC1R gene variations shows that variants occur at different frequencies in different human populations. For example, a variant named "R151C" occurs in about 9% of humans of European descent but is not detected in humans of Asian descent.

Publication Date



Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Higher Education | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Frequency of Genetic Variants at the MC1R Locus in a Student Population



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.