Parallel genetic and cellular analysis of melanogensis: A new paradigm to study variation in pigmentation (2004–2006)
This is the first attempt to characterise the differences in human pigmentation using a combined genetic and cellular analysis of melanogenesis. We have the ability to culture the pigmenting cells of the human epidermis and hair follicles called melanocytes from individuals of defined genotype. This will allow us to correlate mutations in melanosomal proteins with functional defects within the cells in culture using live cell imaging electron microscopy and biochemical analysis. This will provide a molecular basis to explain the pigmentary characteristics of individuals allowing prediction and diagnosis of their photosensitivity with important implications for skin cancer risk.