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J Dermatol Sci. 2008 Jul;51(1):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2007.12.008. Epub 2008 Apr 14.

Recent advances in genetic analyses of oculocutaneous albinism types 2 and 4.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Yamagata University School of Medicine, 2-2-2 Iida-Nishi, Yamagata 990-9585, Japan.


Patients with OCA are characterized by reduced skin and hair pigmentation and consequent photosensitivity, actinic damage and risk of skin cancer, and by reduced visual acuity and nystagmus. Our survey of Japanese patients revealed that OCA1 was the most frequent type at 34%, while type 2 was present at less than 10%. OCA3 was absent. OCA4, which is a rare type worldwide, was the second most frequent type at 27%. Unexpectedly 10% of the patients turned out to be Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome type 1. Furthermore, the pathogenic p.A481T allele for OCA2, which has 70% melanogenesis activity, was found in approximately 12% of normally pigmented people, indicating that sub-clinical OCA2 might be more frequent in the Japanese than currently thought. And OCA4 is one of the most common types in Japanese patients, despite being rare worldwide.

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