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Cell Biochem Biophys. 2014 Jan;68(1):97-109. doi: 10.1007/s12013-013-9697-2.

Computational screening of disease-associated mutations in OCA2 gene.

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  • 1Bioinformatics Division, School of Bio Sciences and Technology (SBST), Vellore Institute of Technology University, Vellore, 632014, Tamil Nadu, India.


Oculocutaneous albinism type 2 (OCA2), caused by mutations of OCA2 gene, is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by reduced biosynthesis of melanin pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes. The OCA2 gene encodes instructions for making a protein called the P protein. This protein plays a crucial role in melanosome biogenesis, and controls the eumelanin content in melanocytes in part via the processing and trafficking of tyrosinase which is the rate-limiting enzyme in melanin synthesis. In this study we analyzed the pathogenic effect of 95 non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms reported in OCA2 gene using computational methods. We found R305W mutation as most deleterious and disease associated using SIFT, PolyPhen, PANTHER, PhD-SNP, Pmut, and MutPred tools. To understand the atomic arrangement in 3D space, the native and mutant (R305W) structures were modeled. Molecular dynamics simulation was conducted to observe the structural significance of computationally prioritized disease-associated mutation (R305W). Root-mean-square deviation, root-mean-square fluctuation, radius of gyration, solvent accessibility surface area, hydrogen bond (NH bond), trace of covariance matrix, eigenvector projection analysis, and density analysis results showed prominent loss of stability and rise in mutant flexibility values in 3D space. This study presents a well designed computational methodology to examine the albinism-associated SNPs.

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