Aqueous humor tyrosinase activity is indicative of iris melanocyte toxicity
Melanocytes produce the melanin pigments in melanosomes and these organelles protect the skin against harmful ultraviolet rays. Tyrosinase is the key cuproenzyme which initiates the pigment synthesis using its substrate amino acid tyrosine or L-DOPA (L-3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine). Moreover, the activity of tyrosinase directly correlates to the cellular pigmentation. Defects in tyrosinase transport to melanosomes or mutations in the enzyme or reduced intracellular copper levels results in loss of tyrosinase activity in melanosomes, commonly observed in albinism. Here, we described a method to detect the intracellular activity of tyrosinase in mouse melanocytes. This protocol will visualize the active tyrosinase present in the intracellular vesicles or organelles including melanosomes.