Baek, S.H., Lee, S.H. (2015) Sesamol decreases melanin biosynthesis in melanocyte cells and zebrafish: Possible involvement of MITF via the intracellular cAMP and p38/JNK signalling pathways. Experimental dermatology. 24(10):761-6.
The development of anti-melanogenic agents is important for the prevention of serious esthetic problems such as melasma, freckles, age spots, and chloasma. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-melanogenic effect of sesamol, an active lignan isolated from Sesamum indicum, in melan-a cells. Sesamol strongly inhibited melanin biosynthesis and the activity of intracellular tyrosinase by decreasing cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) accumulation. Sesamol significantly decreased the expression of melanogenesis-related genes, such as tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein-1,2 (TRP-1,2), microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), and melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R). In addition, sesamol also induces phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Moreover, sesamol dose-dependently decreased zebrafish pigment formation, tyrosinase activity, and expression of melanogenesis-related genes. These findings indicate that sesamol inhibited melanin biosynthesis by down-regulating tyrosinase activity and melanin production via regulation of gene expression of melanogenesis-related proteins through modulation of MITF activity, which promoted phosphorylation of p38 and JNK in melan-a cells. Together, these results suggest that sesamol strongly inhibits melanin biosynthesis, and therefore sesamol represents a new skin-whitening agent for use in cosmetics. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.