Biochemistry of Hair Color

Published: 2021-07-18 13:05:06
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Category: Chemistry

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The red color of the hairs is very rare in the whole world. About one to two percent of the people in the world have the red-haired. Human skin and hair follicles contain some specific cells in the body that are known as melanocytes. The melanocytes cells are responsible for the creation of particular kind of pigments known as melanin that are responsible for giving color to the skin and hairs. Melanocytes cells produce two types of melanin, one is eumelanin, which is a brown-black pigment, and other is phaeomelanin, which is reddish-brown pigment. The color of one’s skin and hair is determined by the proportion of phaeomelanin and the eumelanin’s production by the melanocytes cells. If a person contains a more significant amount of eumelanin into the body than the phaeomelanin, then that person will have the coloration of brown-black color (Guenther, 748). Whereas, if the proportion of phaeomelanin is higher than eumelanin as produced by the melanocytes cells, then it will result in the pale skin and having red hairs. The most widely accepted cause for the red hair is a defect in the gene that codes for the Melanocortin 1 receptors (MC1R) protein.The production of the Eumelanin is being done by the conversation of the phaeomelanin to eumelanin in the cells of melanocytes.the process of conversation occurs when the MC1R known as Melanocortin 1 receptors in melanocytes’ cell membrane takes the signals from a specialized hormone named as a melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH). Melanocortin 1 receptors are very active part of the persons having black hair, and these Melanocortin 1 receptors are very quick to respond towards the response of the melanocyte-stimulating hormone. The Melanocortin 1 receptors are being located in the chromosome of the human and are encoded by the MC1R gene. The human body has a pair of the Melanocortin 1 receptors gene, from both the parents.The production of the melanocortin one receptors is due to the mutation of the Melanocortin 1 receptors gene, and these are not reactive towards melanocyte-stimulating hormone. Due to this, there is no production of the eumelanin, which results in the production of the phaeomelanin responsible for giving a red color to hairs. The version of mutation of the melanocortin one receptors gene is deliberated as the recessive gene, while on the other hand this mutation’s normal copy is considered as the dominant gene. For the development of the red hairs, a person should have a pair of this recessive gene, one from the father and other from father. Whereas if a person has only one copy that recessive gene then he/she won’t be able to develop red hairs, instead they are considered as the carrier of the recessive gene.There is a possibility of having children from the nonred-haired parents. That aspect can be explained by using the idea of the autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance of genetics. When both father and mother carry a single copy of the recessive gene, then there is a chance of almost twenty percent of the development of red hairs. That child will receive the recessive genes of both parents. Moreover, in humans yellow or reddish pigments exist that are chemically different from others pigments that are derived from cysteine and dopa, and they behave like bleached eumelanin (Maroñas, 13). Studies have shown that these looking may be in fact the variations in the structure of the eumelanin, which are rising from partial peroxidative cleavage of five to six dihydroxyindole units.Work CitedGuenther, Catherine A., et al. “A molecular basis for classic blond hair color in Europeans.” Nature Genetics 46.7 (2014): 748.Maroñas, O., et al. “The genetics of skin, hair, and eye color variation and its relevance to forensic pigmentation predictive tests.” Forensic Sci Rev 27.1 (2015): 13-40.

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