MC1R Functions, Expression, and Implications for Targeted Therapy.
Guida S., Guida G., Goding CR.
The G protein-coupled MC1R is expressed in melanocytes and has a pivotal role in human skin pigmentation, with reduced function in human genetic variants exhibiting a red hair phenotype and increased melanoma predisposition. Beyond its role in pigmentation, MC1R is increasingly recognized as promoting UV-induced DNA damage repair. Consequently, there is mounting interest in targeting MC1R for therapeutic benefit. However, whether MC1R expression is restricted to melanocytes or is more widely expressed remains a matter of debate. In this paper, we review MC1R function and highlight that unbiased analysis suggests that its expression is restricted to melanocytes, granulocytes, and the brain.