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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(8), 14649-14668; doi:10.3390/ijms150814649

Mechanistic Studies of Anti-Hyperpigmentary Compounds: Elucidating Their Inhibitory and Regulatory Actions

1
School of Chinese Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, China
2
Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, St. George's, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK
3
School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, China
4
Centre of Novel Functional Molecules, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 June 2014 / Revised: 28 July 2014 / Accepted: 13 August 2014 / Published: 21 August 2014
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Abstract

Searching for depigmenting agents from natural sources has become a new direction in the cosmetic industry as natural products are generally perceived as relatively safer. In our previous study, selected Chinese medicines traditionally used to treat hyperpigmentation were tested for anti-hyperpigmentary effects using a melan-a cell culture model. Among the tested chemical compounds, 4-ethylresorcinol, 4-ethylphenol and 1-tetradecanol were found to possess hypopigmentary effects. Western blot analysis, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) assay, protein kinase A (PKA) activity assay, tyrosinase inhibition assay and lipid peroxidation inhibition assay were performed to reveal the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms of the hypopigmentary effects. 4-Ethylresorcinol and 4-ethylphenol attenuated mRNA and protein expression of tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-2, and possessed antioxidative effect by inhibiting lipid peroxidation. 1-Tetradecanol was able to attenuate protein expression of tyrosinase. The hypopigmentary actions of 4-ethylresorcinol, 4-ethylphenol and 1-tetradecanol were associated with regulating downstream proteins along the PKA pathway. 4-Ethylresorcinol was more effective in inhibiting melanin synthesis when compared to 4-ethylphenol and 1-tetradecanol. View Full-Text
Keywords: depigmenting agents; hyperpigmentation; melan-a; 4-ethylresorcinol; 4-ethylphenol; 1-tetradecanol depigmenting agents; hyperpigmentation; melan-a; 4-ethylresorcinol; 4-ethylphenol; 1-tetradecanol
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lam, R.Y.Y.; Lin, Z.-X.; Sviderskaya, E.V.; Cheng, C.H.K. Mechanistic Studies of Anti-Hyperpigmentary Compounds: Elucidating Their Inhibitory and Regulatory Actions. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 14649-14668.

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