The mouse pink-eyed dilution allele of the P-gene greatly inhibits eumelanin but not pheomelanin synthesis

Authors

  • Tomohisa Hirobe,

    1.  Radiation Effect Mechanisms Research Group, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Anagawa, Inage-ku, Chiba, Japan
    2.  Graduate School of Science, Chiba University, Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba, Japan
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  • Shosuke Ito,

    1.  Department of Chemistry, Fujita Health University School of Health Sciences, Toyoake, Aichi, Japan
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  • Kazumasa Wakamatsu

    1.  Department of Chemistry, Fujita Health University School of Health Sciences, Toyoake, Aichi, Japan
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Tomohisa Hirobe, e-mail: thirobe@nirs.go.jp

Summary

The mouse pink-eyed dilution (p) locus is known to control eumelanin synthesis, melanosome morphology, and tyrosinase activity in melanocytes. However, it has not been fully determined whether the mutant allele, p affects pheomelanin synthesis. Effects of the p allele on eumelanin and phemelanin synthesis were investigated by chemical analysis of dorsal hairs of 5-week-old mice obtained from the F2 generations (black, pink-eyed black, recessive yellow, pink-eyed recessive yellow, agouti, and pink-eyed agouti) between C57BL/10JHir (B10)-congenic pink-eyed black mice (B10-p/p) and recessive yellow (B10-Mc1re/Mc1re) or agouti (B10-A/A) mice. The eumelanin content was dramatically (>20-fold) decreased in pink-eyed black and pink-eyed agouti mice, whereas the pheomelanin content did not decrease in pink-eyed black, pink-eyed recessive yellow, or pink-eyed agouti mice compared to the corresponding P/- mice. These results suggest that the pink-eyed dilution allele greatly inhibits eumelanin synthesis, but not pheomelanin synthesis.

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