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J Invest Dermatol. 1993 Feb;100(2 Suppl):134S-140S.

Pigmentation genes: the tyrosinase gene family and the pmel 17 gene family.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202.


We propose that at least two families of genes regulate the melanin biosynthesis. The first is the tyrosinase gene family, which is comprised of tyrosinase (c locus), gp75 (b locus) and DOPAchrome tautomerase (slt locus). The second is the pmel 17 gene family, which is composed of pmel 17 (putative si locus) and chicken melanosomal matrix protein (MMP) 115. It appears that the tyrosinase gene family regulates melanin synthesis in the proximal steps of the melanin biosynthetic pathway and the pmel 17 gene family might be important at distal steps of the pathway.

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