In this paper we describe the nucleotide sequence of a 3·4 kbp region of the genome. This region contains an open reading frame of 1290 bp with a coding capacity for a protein of 46179 Da, designated the 38L protein. Using antibodies against part of the 38L protein, we were able to demonstrate that the 38L protein is present in the membrane protein of The 38L protein showed significant matches with a number of integral membrane proteins involved in the transport of small molecules through the cellular membrane. Among these are a human and a murine protein involved in melanin biosynthesis. The 38L protein might play a role in the hypopigmentation observed in leprosy patients.


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