Mutational analysis of the modulation of tyrosinase by tyrosinase-related proteins 1 and 2 in vitro

Pigment Cell Res. 2000 Oct;13(5):364-74. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0749.2000.130510.x.


The albino (tyrosinase, Tyrc), brown (tyrosinase-related protein 1, Tyrp1b) and slaty (tyrosinase-related protein 2, tyrp2slt) loci are all involved in the regulation of melanogenesis. Phenotypes of inbred mice mutant at two or more of these loci are not always explicable by simple summation of the established or suspected catalytic functions of the gene products. These phenotypes suggest that relationships among the proteins extend beyond the obvious fact that they catalyze different steps in the same melanogenic pathway, and that they may also interact intimately in such a way that a mutation in one impacts the function of the other(s). Previous studies have attributed catalytic activities to each member of this trio; however, it has been difficult to study the proteins individually, either in vivo or in tissues or cells. Therefore, we undertook to transfect the genes, in revealing combinations, into COS-7 cells (which have no melanogenic apparatus of their own) to clarify the interacting functions of their encoded proteins. Specifically, we attempted to evaluate the effects of Tyrp1 and Tyrp2 proteins on tyrosinase protein. We report evidence that Tyrp1 stabilizes tyrosinase, confirming previous observations, and, in addition, demonstrate that Tyrp1 decreases tyrosinase activity. By contrast, Tyrp2 increases tyrosinase activity by stabilizing the protein. We conclude that both Tyrp1 and Tyrp2, in addition to other catalytic functions they may possess, act together to modulate tyrosinase activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Stability
  • Heating
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins*
  • Mice
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / genetics
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase / metabolism*
  • Mutagenesis
  • Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Platinum
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transfection


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Protein Synthesis Inhibitors
  • Proteins
  • Platinum
  • Cycloheximide
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Tyrp1 protein, mouse
  • tyrosinase-related protein-1
  • Monophenol Monooxygenase
  • Intramolecular Oxidoreductases
  • dopachrome isomerase