The tyrosinase gene family encompasses three members, tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein 1 (Tyrp1) and dopachrome tautomerase (Dct), which encode for proteins implicated in melanin synthesis. In human and mouse, genomic organization is known for all three genes, revealing common features of regulatory elements and of exon/intron structure. We have set out to identify the complete family from a more primitive vertebrate, the pufferfish Fugu (Takifugu rubripes), which is characterized by a compact genome. We had recently isolated and characterized the Fugu tyrosinase gene (Genesis 28 (2000) 99-105). We now report the isolation and characterization of the two other members of the family, Tyrp1 and Dct. Regulatory sequences from these genes function in mouse pigment cells and are able to mediate reporter gene expression. Our results demonstrate the existence of all three tyrosinase family members in teleosts and underline the evolutionary conservation of the pigmentary system.