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J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Jul;130(7):1771-3. doi: 10.1038/jid.2010.132.

Vexed by red-headed conundrums.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.


Reduced function alleles of the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) lead to red hair, freckling, and sun sensitivity. They are also associated with an increased risk of skin cancer. But what pathways link gene variants with the cancer phenotype? In this issue, Robinson et al. describe their use of mouse transgenics to demonstrate that the MC1R signaling pathway influences cancer risk via mechanisms in addition to pigmentation.

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