Proteomic analysis of early melanosomes: Identification of novel melanosomal proteins

Venkatesha Basrur, Feng Yang, Tsuneto Kushimoto, Youichiro Higashimoto, Ken ichi Yasumoto, Julio Valencia, Jacqueline Muller, Wilfred D. Vieira, Hidenori Watabe, Jeffrey Shabanowitz, Vincent J. Hearing, Donald F. Hunt, Ettore Appella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


Melanin is a heterogeneous biopolymer produced only by specific cells termed melanocytes, which synthesize and deposit the pigment in specialized membrane-bound organelles known as melanosomes. Although melanosomes have been suspected of being closely related to lysosomes and platelets, the total number of melanosomal proteins is still unknown. Thus far, six melanosome-specific proteins have been identified, and the challenge is to characterize the complete proteome of the melanosome to further understand its mechanism of biogenesis. In this report, we used mass spectrometry and subcellular fractionation to identify protein components of early melanosomes. Using this approach, we have identified all 6 of the known melanosome-specific proteins, 56 proteins that are shared with other organelles, and confirmed the presence of 6 novel melanosomal proteins using western blotting and by immunohistochemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Melanoma
  • Melanosome
  • Proteomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)


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