Melanosomal proteins as melanoma-specific immune targets

C. Sakai, Y. Kawakami, L. W. Law, M. Furumura, V. J. Hearing

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Pigmentation of our skin, hair and eyes is essential for photoprotection, embryological development, detoxification end protective/cosmetic coloration. A number of proteins important to the production of melanin within melanosomes have now been identified including enzymatic and structural proteins encoded at the murine albino, brown, pinkeyed-dilution, MART1, siaty end silver loci. Interestingly, many of those melanosomal proteins (including epitopes derived from tyrosinase, TRP1/gp75, silver/gp100 end MART1/melan-A) function in vivo as targets of humoral and cellular autoimmune responses directed specifically against normal or transformed melanocytes. These findings have provided new impetus to research on immune responses to melanoma end, perhaps more importantly, examining why they are insufficient to provide protection against tumour growth end what type of immune therapy can be designed to correct that. The melanosome must now be considered beyond its function in pigmentation, end assumes the role of a valuable source for specific immune targets for malignant melenoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-95
Number of pages13
JournalMelanoma Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997 Jun 19


  • MART1
  • TRP
  • cytotoxic T lymphocytes
  • gp 100
  • tyrosinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Dermatology
  • Cancer Research


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