The Melanosome: An Ideal Model to Study Cellular Differentiation

Authors

  • Tsuneto Kushimoto,

    1. Pigment Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
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  • Julio C. Valencia,

    1. Pigment Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
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  • Gertrude-E. Costin,

    1. Pigment Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
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  • Kazutomo Toyofuku,

    1. Pigment Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
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  • Hidenori Watabe,

    1. Pigment Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
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  • Ken-Ichi Yasumoto,

    1. Pigment Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
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  • Francois Rouzaud,

    1. Pigment Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
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  • Wilfred D. Vieira,

    1. Pigment Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
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  • Vincent J. Hearing

    1. Pigment Cell Biology Section, Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA
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* Address reprint requests to Vincent J. Hearing, Laboratory of Cell Biology, Building 37, Room 1B25, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. E-mail: hearingv@nih.gov

Abstract

Melanosomes provide an intriguing model for study at many levels. In part this is due to their unique structure and function, but also in part to their involvement in pigmentary diseases and as a model to study basic cellular mechanisms of organelle biogenesis. Recent studies have elucidated the full proteome of the melanosome and the metabolic and molecular lesions involved in a number of pigmentary diseases have been resolved. This paper summarizes recent advances in the field in these areas.

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