A Melanocortin 1 Receptor Allele Suggests Varying Pigmentation Among Neanderthals

@article{LaluezaFox2007AM1,
  title={A Melanocortin 1 Receptor Allele Suggests Varying Pigmentation Among Neanderthals},
  author={Carles Lalueza-Fox and Holger R{\"o}mpler and David Caramelli and Claudia St{\"a}ubert and Giulio Catalano and David A. Hughes and Nadin Rohland and Elena Pilli and Laura Longo and Silvana Condemi and Marco de la Rasilla and Javier Fortea and Antonio Rosas and Mark Stoneking and Torsten Sch{\"o}neberg and Jaume Bertranpetit and Michael Hofreiter},
  journal={Science},
  year={2007},
  volume={318},
  pages={1453 - 1455}
}
The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) regulates pigmentation in humans and other vertebrates. Variants of MC1R with reduced function are associated with pale skin color and red hair in humans of primarily European origin. We amplified and sequenced a fragment of the MC1R gene (mc1r) from two Neanderthal remains. Both specimens have a mutation that was not found in ∼3700 modern humans analyzed. Functional analyses show that this variant reduces MC1R activity to a level that alters hair and/or skin… 
Neanderthal man’s MC1R plays fair
  • E. Healy
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TLDR
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TLDR
The present review discusses normal skin pigmentation and the genetic underpinning of selected disorders of hypo- and hyperpigmentation.
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The genetic basis of skin color is less simple than previously thought and that geographic variation in skin pigmentation was influenced by the concerted action of different types of natural selection, rather than just by selective sweeps in a few key genes.
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TLDR
Evidence of Neanderthal introgression encompassing the melanocyte-stimulating hormone receptor gene MC1R is presented and it is speculated that the Neanderthal Introgression may have played an important role in the local adaptation of Eurasians to sunlight intensity.
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TLDR
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TLDR
It is concluded that Glu-Glu-Lys-Gli-Ser-Val-GLu-Ser (EEKE), Glu/Gly/Ser/Asp/Cys/Lys (EEDCK) were potent lead peptides for MC1R to resolve pigmentary disorders.
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TLDR
The current knowledge about the genes and their functions underlying the biochemical pathways that determine pigmentation are discussed and examples where the mutations responsible for colour variation have been determined are given.
The Microcephalin Ancestral Allele in a Neanderthal Individual
TLDR
The MCPH1 genotype of the Monti Lessini (MLS) Neanderthal does not prove that there was no interbreeding between anatomically archaic and modern humans in Europe, but certainly shows that speculations on a possible Neanderthal origin of what is now the most common M CPH1 haplogroup are not supported by empirical evidence from ancient DNA.
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