We describe an association of two SNPs, rs3212345:C>T and rs3212346:G>A, located approximately 2.5 kb upstream of the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) translation initiation codon, with pigmentation phenotype variation in a Southeast Brazilian miscegenated population.


One hundred thirty-eight genetically unrelated subjects, with multicolor phenotype, were selected from the southeast region of Brazil. Skin, hair and eye color, and tanning ability were rated. Genotypes for each SNP (rs3212345:C>T and rs3212346:G>A) were determined. A logistic regression analysis was performed with the additive model to determine which of the polymorphisms contributed to a specific phenotype.


We found that the rs3212345:C>T is associated with light skin, red hair, and poor tanning ability, while the rs3212346:G>A is associated with dark skin, black hair, and strong tanning ability. The presence of rs3212345-C and rs3212346-A alleles in human, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and marmoset genomes suggests that they are the ancestral alleles.


These data suggest that the rs3212345-T and rs3212346-G alleles may have contributed to lighter pigmentation phenotypes in modern humans. Genotyping for these SNPs may prove useful to the fields of molecular anthropology and forensic genetics. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.