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Tyrosinase-related protein 2 (Tyrp2) is involved in the melanogenesis pathway, catalyzing the tautomerization of dopachrome to 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA). Recently, a new type of albinism was discovered with disease-causing mutations in the TYRP2 gene. Here, for the first time, we characterized the intra-melanosomal protein domain of Tyrp2 (residues 1-474) and missense variants C40S and C61W, which mimic the alterations found in genetic studies. Recombinant proteins were produced in the Trichoplusia Ni (Ti. Ni) larvae, purified by a combination of immobilized metal affinity (IMAC) and gel-filtration (GF) chromatography, and biochemically characterized. The mutants showed the protein expression in the lysates such as the wild type; however, undetectable protein yield after two steps of purification exhibited their misfolding and instability. In addition, the misfolding effect of the mutations was confirmed computationally using homology modeling and molecular docking. Together, experiments in vitro and computer simulations indicated the critical role of the Cys-rich domain in the Tyrp2 protein stability. The results are consistent with molecular modeling, global computational mutagenesis, and clinical data, proving the significance of genetic alterations in cysteine residues, which could cause oculocutaneous albinism type 8.


Monika B Dolinska, Taariq Woods, Isabella Osuna, Yuri V Sergeev. Protein Biochemistry and Molecular Modeling of the Intra-Melanosomal Domain of Human Recombinant Tyrp2 Protein and OCA8-Related Mutant Variants. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 Jan 24;23(3)

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PMID: 35163231

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