More than skin deep: connecting melanocyte pigmentation and angiogenic diseases

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Epidemiological studies have identified racial differences in susceptibility to numerous diseases, including several ocular and skin diseases characterized by increased vascular growth. In most cases, the specific mechanisms and genetic variants responsible for these differences have remained elusive. In this issue of the JCI, Adini et al. explore a direct connection between skin pigmentation and susceptibility to angiogenic diseases and identify an extracellular matrix protein that is regulated by melanogenesis and potently modulates angiogenesis.

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