FunctionCould be involved in the transport of tyrosine, the precursor to melanin synthesis, within the melanocyte. Regulates the pH of melanosome and the melanosome maturation. One of the components of the mammalian pigmentary system. Seems to regulate the post-translational processing of tyrosinase, which catalyzes the limiting reaction in melanin synthesis. May serve as a key control point at which ethnic skin color variation is determined. Major determinant of brown and/or blue eye color.
Involvement in diseaseDefects in OCA2 are the cause of albinism oculocutaneous type 2 (OCA2) [MIM:203200]. An autosomal recessive disorder in which the biosynthesis of melanin pigment is reduced in skin, hair, and eyes. Although affected infants may appear at birth to have complete absence of melanin pigment, most patients acquire small amounts of pigment with age. Visual anomalies include decreased acuity and nystagmus. The phenotype is highly variable. The hair of affected individuals may turn darker with age, and pigmented nevi or freckles may be seen. African and African American individuals may have yellow hair and blue-gray or hazel irides. One phenotypic variant, 'brown OCA,' has been described in African and African American populations and is characterized by light brown hair and skin color and gray to tan irides.
Sequence similaritiesBelongs to the CitM (TC 2.A.11) transporter family.