Short CommunicationsThe role of MC1R gene variants and phenotypical features in predicting high nevus countvan der Poel, Louise A.J.; Bergman, Wilma; Gruis, Nelleke A.*,; Kukutsch, Nicole A.*,Author Information Department of Dermatology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands *Nelleke A. Gruis and Nicole A. Kukutsch contributed equally to the writing of this article. Received 27 February 2020 Accepted 26 June 2020 Correspondence to Louise A.J. van der Poel, Department of Dermatology, B1-Q, Leiden University Medical Centre, Postbus 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands, Tel: +31 71 5262630; fax: +31 71 5248106; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Melanoma Research: October 2020 - Volume 30 - Issue 5 - p 511-514 doi: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000687 Buy Metrics Abstract Variants in the Melanocortin 1 Receptor (MC1R) gene have been associated with an increased risk of melanoma, but the role in nevus count is unclear. We investigated if specific MC1R gene variants or the number of MC1R gene variants and phenotypical features were associated with nevus count. A total of 494 participants of the ‘Leiden skin cancer study’ were included and the MC1R gene coding sequence was analysed by single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis followed by sequencing of unknown variants. The association between MC1R gene variants and nevus count and the association between age, gender and phenotypical features and nevus count were studied using the Chi-square test. Study of nine frequently occurring MC1R gene variants in participants without skin cancer (n = 203) showed that the ‘r’ Val60Leu variant was significantly associated with high nevus count (>50 nevi) (P = 0.017). This association was very strong among women (P < 0.001), but not present among men. Having one or two MC1R variants in general did not show a significant difference in the nevus count. Hair colour, skin type, eye colour and age were not significantly associated with nevus count, whereas gender showed a significant association (P = 0.008), with the highest nevus counts in female. The Val60Leu variant of the MC1R gene could be a promising candidate as an independent predictor of high nevus count, particularly in women. This information about the genetic makeup could promote personalized follow-up strategies and might help to prevent skin cancer in the future. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.