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The Extract of Rhodobacter sphaeroides Inhibits Melanogenesis through the MEK/ERK Signaling Pathway

Asia-Pacific Biotech Developing, Inc., Kaohsiung 806, Taiwan
Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Science, School of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
Department and Graduate Institute of Aquaculture, National Kaohsiung Marine University, Kaohsiung 811, Taiwan
Department of Environmental Engineering and Science, Feng Chia University, Taichung 407, Taiwan
Department of Biological Science and Technology, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung 840, Taiwan
Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mar. Drugs 2013, 11(6), 1899-1908;
Received: 19 March 2013 / Revised: 26 April 2013 / Accepted: 21 May 2013 / Published: 3 June 2013
Reducing hyperpigmentation has been a big issue for years. Even though pigmentation is a normal mechanism protecting skin from UV-causing DNA damage and oxidative stress, it is still an aesthetic problem for many people. Bacteria can produce some compounds in response to their environment. These compounds are widely used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications. Some probiotics have immunomodulatory activities and modulate the symptoms of several diseases. Previously, we found that the extracts of Rhodobacter sphaeroides (Lycogen™) inhibited nitric oxide production and inducible nitric-oxide synthase expression in activated macrophages. In this study, we sought to investigate an anti-melanogenic signaling pathway in α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-treated B16F10 melanoma cells and zebrafish. Treatment with Lycogen™ inhibited the cellular melanin contents and expression of melanogenesis-related protein, including microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase in B16F10 cells. Moreover, Lycogen™ reduced phosphorylation of MEK/ERK without affecting phosphorylation of p38. Meanwhile, Lycogen™ decreased zebrafish melanin expression in a dose-dependent manner. These findings establish Lycogen™ as a new target in melanogenesis and suggest a mechanism of action through the ERK signaling pathway. Our results suggested that Lycogen™ may have potential cosmetic usage in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: Rhodobacter sphaeroides; Lycogen™; melanogenesis Rhodobacter sphaeroides; Lycogen™; melanogenesis
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Liu, W.-S.; Kuan, Y.-D.; Chiu, K.-H.; Wang, W.-K.; Chang, F.-H.; Liu, C.-H.; Lee, C.-H. The Extract of Rhodobacter sphaeroides Inhibits Melanogenesis through the MEK/ERK Signaling Pathway. Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 1899-1908.

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