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J Invest Dermatol. 2007 Jun;127(6):1471-8. Epub 2007 Feb 15.

Improper trafficking of melanocyte-specific proteins in Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome type-5.

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  • 1Section on Human Biochemical Genetics, Medical Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1851, USA.


Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) is a disorder of lysosome-related organelle biogenesis resulting in melanosome dysfunction and absent platelet dense bodies. HPS patients have oculocutaneous albinism, bruising, and bleeding. HPS-5 results from deficiency of the HPS5 protein, a component of the biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex-2 (BLOC-2). HPS5 has an unknown function and lacks homology to known proteins. We performed ultrastructural studies of HPS-5 melanocytes revealing predominantly early-stage melanosomes with many small 3,4(OH)2-phenylalanine-positive vesicles throughout the cell body and dendrites. These findings resemble the distinct ultrastructural features of HPS-3 melanocytes; HPS3 is also a BLOC-2 component. Immunofluorescence and immunoEM studies showed decreased TYRP1 labeling in the dendrites of HPS-5 melanocytes, and the overall abundance of TYRP1 was reduced. No substantial differences were observed in the distribution or abundance of Pmel17 in HPS-5 melanocytes. In normal melanocytes, endogenous tyrosinase colocalized with Pmel17 and TYRP1 in the perinuclear area and dendritic tips; this was much reduced in HPS-5 melanocytes, particularly in the tips. We conclude that early stage melanosome formation and Pmel17 trafficking are preserved in HPS5-deficient cells. Tyrosinase and TYRP1 are mistrafficked, however, and fail to be efficiently delivered to melanosomes of HPS-5 melanocytes.

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