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Hum Mol Genet. 2000 Feb 12;9(3):375-85.

The Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) protein is part of a high molecular weight complex involved in biogenesis of early melanosomes.

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  • 1Human Medical Genetics Program, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 East Ninth Avenue, B-161, Denver, CO 80262, USA.


Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder in which oculocutaneous albinism, bleeding tendency and a ceroid-lipofuscin lysosomal storage disease result from defects of multiple cytoplasmic organelles: melanosomes, platelet dense granules and lysosomes. The HPS polypeptide, a 700 amino acid protein which is unrelated to any known proteins, is likely to be involved in the biogenesis of these different organelles. Here, we show that HPS is a non-glycosylated, non-membrane protein which is a component of two distinct high molecular weight complexes. In non-melanotic cells the HPS protein is contained almost entirely in an approximately 200 kDa complex that is widely distributed throughout the cytosol. In melanotic cells the HPS protein is partitioned between this cytosolic complex and a >500 kDa complex that appears to consist of the approximately 200 kDa complex in association with membranous components. Subcellular fractionation, immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy studies indicate that the membrane-associated HPS complex of melanotic cells is associated with tubulovesicular structures, small non-coated vesicles, and nascent and early-stage melanosomes. These findings suggest that the HPS complex is involved in the biogenesis of early melanosomes.

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