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A new article published in Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology defined melanogenesis as production of melanin in melanosomes by melanocytes through a complex process. Melanin – a pigment derived from L-tyrosine, comes into two forms—eumelanin (brownish to black) and pheomelanin(red to yellow). Melanin synthesis starts via the hydroxylation of L-tyrosine to L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) catalyzed by the enzyme known as tyrosinase (TYR), which triggers further conversion reaction to DOPAquinone and then to DOPA chrome. This process is also related to two more proteins – oxygenase TYR-related protein 1 (TYRP1) and dopachrometautomerase TYRP2 (or DCT).
The authors further stated that TYR located in the melanosomal membrane still stands as the key enzyme to initiate the whole process of melanogenesis. Due to some deficits in melanogenesis, hypo- or hyperpigmentation in the skin may emerge. High production of melanin in melanocytes leads to hyperpigmentation-related skin disorders including – freckles, melasma and melanoma, that may cause displeasure in personal appearance and reduction of quality of life.
Consequently, several melanogenesis inhibitors of synthetic and natural origins have been developed, though most of them have been reported with serious side effects. Among the newer natural agents, flavonoids, catechins and stilbenes from plants, could pave way to the development of new inhibitors which attract a great attention.
Source: Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. 2020 Dec 10. doi: 10.2174/1386207323666201211102233.