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EMBO J. 1992 Feb;11(2):527-35.

A second tyrosinase-related protein, TRP-2, maps to and is mutated at the mouse slaty locus.

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MRC Human Genetics Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK.


We have cloned and sequenced mouse cDNAs corresponding to a third member of a family of melanocyte-specific mRNAs, which encode tyrosinase and related proteins. This new member, tyrosinase-related protein-2 (TRP-2), has approximately 40% amino acid identity with the two other proteins in the family and has the same structural features including two copper binding sites, two cysteine-rich regions, a signal peptide and a transmembrane domain. We now show that one of the cysteine-rich regions in this protein family is an 'EGF-like' repeat found in many extracellular and cell surface proteins. The gene encoding TRP-2 maps to mouse chromosome 14, in the region of the coat colour mutation slaty. We show that the TRP-2 of slaty mice has a single amino acid difference from wild-type TRP-2; a substitution of glutamine for arginine in the first copper binding site. TRP-2 is the much sought melanogenic enzyme DOPAchrome tautomerase (DT), which catalyses the conversion of DOPAchrome to 5,6,dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid. Extracts from mice homozygous for the slaty mutation have a 3-fold or more reduction in DT activity, indicating that TRP-2/DT is encoded at the slaty locus, and the missense mutation reduces but does not abolish the enzyme activity.

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