melanocortin 1 receptor

Definition / meaning of melanocortin 1 receptor

A protein found in skin and eye cells that make melanin (a pigment that gives color to the skin and helps protect it from damage by ultraviolet light). People with certain changes in the gene for melanocortin 1 receptor have a higher risk of developing melanoma (skin cancer that begins in melanocytes). Also called MC1R and melanotropin receptor.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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