Navigation Links
Evolutionary medicine of skin cancer risk among Europeans
Date:9/17/2013

The proclivity of Spaniards to bask in regions like the Costa del Sol while their northern European counterparts must stay under cover to protect their paler skin or risk skin cancer is due in large part to the pigment producing qualities of the MC1R gene locus. The MC1R gene, expressed in skin and hair follicle cells, is more diverse in Eurasian populations compared to African populations.

Now, a team of researchers led by Santos Alonso, et. al., have examined the evolutionary selective pressure for MC1R among a large population of Spaniards in comparison to their Northern Europeans counterparts as well as individuals with melanoma. Using data from the 1,000 Genomes Project as well as samples from different regions of Spain, they authors show that selection for the MC1R locus is strong in South Europeans, but not the case for Northern Europeans.

Two evolutionary selective processes seem to be acting on MC1R in Southern Europeans. On the one hand, there is selective pressure to maintain at high frequencies the ancestral form of the gene, also the one most common in Africans. But simultaneously, one gene variant seems to be favored in South Europeans. This gene variant, called the V60L allele, has been associated before with red/blond hair and fair skin.

World frequency distribution of V60L is confined mostly to Europe and the Near East but mostly absent in East Asia and Africa, indicating that the first appearance of V60L mutation occurred some time after modern humans left Africa but before dispersal throughout Europe. Fair skin depigmentation could be a useful change for the adaptation of humans to this new environment. Traditionally, depigmentation had been hypothetically explained as a function of the need of humans to synthesize vitamin D in areas of reduced sun light (compared to Africa). "We have not proved that this is the underlying reason for the signature of positive selection on V60L, but our data adds support to this view, although this point needs to be further explored" says Santos Alonso, senior author of the paper.

Interestingly, the same allele V60L has been associated to increased risk of melanoma, the most dangerous of skin cancers. This indicates", says Saioa Lpez, one of the two main authors of the paper, "that the increase in fitness for the population as a consequence of depigmentation has had a collateral damage consequence for the individuals health. This can be reconciled if we assume that melanoma is typically a post-reproductive disease, and consequently should have little effect on the individual's genetic contribution to the next generation. It constitutes a kind of evolutionary 'buy now pay later' trade-off.'"


'/>"/>

Contact: Joe Caspermeyer
MBEpress@gmail.com
480-258-8972
Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Fear of holes may stem from evolutionary survival response
2. Penn biologists show that generosity leads to evolutionary success
3. Family matters: Evolutionary relationships among species of magic mushrooms shed light on fungi
4. From obscurity to dominance: Tracking the rapid evolutionary rise of ray-finned fish
5. A revolutionary new 3-D digital brain atlas
6. Teaching complete evolutionary stories increases learning
7. Living fossils? Actually, sturgeon are evolutionary speedsters
8. Small but speedy: Short plants live in the evolutionary fast lane
9. Political motivations may have evolutionary links to physical strength
10. Revolutionary Face Recognition Media Exploitation System Now Available to Enhance Public Safety in Europe
11. Fred Hutch evolutionary geneticist Harmit Malik selected as an HHMI investigator
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/15/2016)... 2016 Transparency Market Research ... Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size Share ... the report, the  global gesture recognition market  was ... is estimated to grow at a CAGR of ... Increasing application of gesture recognition technology ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for ... Embossed Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure ... leader in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. ... January, however Decatur was selected for ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... MINNEAPOLIS , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt ... technology partnership with VoicePass. By working ... user experience.  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly ... two engines increases both security and usability. ... expressed excitement about this new partnership. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... for clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT ... care circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a ... engineering, was today awarded as one of the ... the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is ... the real world in the nutrition, health and ... directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche ... with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article ... Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
Breaking Biology Technology: