From genesis to gene sequencing: historical progress in the understanding of skin color

  title={From genesis to gene sequencing: historical progress in the understanding of skin color},
  author={George W. M. Millington and Nick J Levell},
  journal={International Journal of Dermatology},
Since at least biblical times, humans have pondered on why there might be variation in skin color and what might constitute the nature of that difference. In this article, two historical trails are followed, one beginning with the Ancient Greeks, the other with the Ancient Chinese. These two paths converge to provide us with some historical evidence to back recent scientific discoveries in the dynamic regulation of skin pigmentation, focusing on melanocyte‐stimulating hormone and its natural… 
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The agouti gene: turned on to yellow.
Evolutionary biology: Geography and skin colour
Jared Diamond discusses research that explains skin colour variation in terms of a compromise between the beneficial and harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the MATP gene are associated with normal human pigmentation variation
The role of two nonpathogenic nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms in the MATP gene are investigated to determine if they are associated with normal human skin, hair, and eye color variation and results indicate that the allele frequencies of both polymorphisms are significantly different between population groups.
Population differences in the frequency of the agouti signaling protein g.8818a>G polymorphism.
Although the effect of the g.8818A>G polymorphism upon ASIP function is unknown, the large difference in allele frequency between West African and European-American sample populations lends support to the notion that this gene may be important in human pigmentation.
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It is concluded that MC1R is under strong functional constraint in Africa, where any diversion from eumelanin production (black pigmentation) appears to be evolutionarily deleterious.
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These findings represent the first examples of a genetic defect within the POMC gene and define a new monogenic endocrine disorder resulting in early–onset obesity, adrenal insufficiency and red hair pigmentation.
Agouti protein is an antagonist of the melanocyte-stimulating-hormone receptor
Agouti protein is used to demonstrate that agouti is a high-affinity antagonist of the MSH receptor and blocks α-MSH stimulation of adenylyl cyclase, the effector through which α- MSH induces eumelanin synthesis.
The melanocortin-1-receptor gene is the major freckle gene.
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  • J. Relethford
  • Biology
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 2002
The methods used in this earlier paper are extended to a hierarchical partitioning of genetic diversity in quantitative traits, allowing for assessment of diversity among regions, among local populations within regions, and within local populations.