The gp75 antigen is an abundant intracellular glycoprotein expressed in melanosomes of human pigmented melanocytes and melanomas. IgG antibodies in sera of a patient with metastatic melanoma have been shown to immunoprecipitate gp75, suggesting that immunological tolerance against gp75 can be broken. The mouse mAb TA99, which specifically recognizes gp75, was used to isolate and purify the antigen. Amino acid sequences of three internal peptides were determined from the purified gp75 polypeptide. cDNA clones were isolated by screening with oligonucleotides based on these peptide sequences. The gp75 peptides and cDNA had approximately 90% identity with, respectively, the derived amino acid and nucleotide sequences of a mouse gene that maps to the b (brown) locus. The brown locus determines coat color in the mouse, suggesting that gp75 regulates or influences the type of melanin synthesized.

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