Special Issue "Melanins and Melanogenesis: From Nature to Applications"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018)
Prof. Dr. Alessandra Napolitano
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples ‘Federico II’, Naples, Italy
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Interests: structure and properties of melanins; chemistry of melanogenesis; oxidation chemistry of natural polyphenols of both dietary and metabolic origin and their coupling reactions with biological thiols; oxidation chemistry of catecholamines in relation to neurodegenerative disorders; oxidation /nitrosation processes of biological relevance
Prof. Dr. Shosuke Ito
Department of Chemistry, Fujita Health University School of Health Sciences, Toyoake, Aichi, Japan
Interests: structure and properties of melanins; chemistry of melanogenesis; chemical analysis of melanins; effects of ultraviolet radiation and visible light on melanins; effects of heat on melanins; chemistry of tyrosinase-catalyzed oxidation of phenols
Melanins are a vast class of biopolymers that are widespread in all types of organisms. They are responsible for the variety of skin, hair, and eye pigmentation in humans and other mammals, determine the colors of avian feathers, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and insects, but largely occur also in lower organisms, such as fungi and bacteria.
In humans, two main types of melanins are found, the black insoluble eumelanin, characterizing dark phenotypes, and the reddish-brown, sulfur-containing pheomelanin, typical of red-haired individuals. In addition, substantia nigra neuromelanin and extracutaneous melanins of the inner ear and iridial epithelium are known. Both eumelanins and pheomelanins are produced within melanocytes by a complex biosynthetic pathway involving the tyrosinase-catalyzed oxidation of tyrosine.
Many factors either enzymatic or not intervene in the melanogenic pathway, ultimately determining the eumelanin and pheomelanin pigmentation. Disregulation of these control mechanisms results in a variety of pigmetary disorders, from melasma to vitiligo, bearing severe pathological implications and often dramatic aestetic impacts.
Intense research work, over the past few decades, has disclosed a variety of roles for melanin pigments, from photoprotection to photosensitization, from antioxidant defense to metal/drug binding. Neuromelanin is believed to be involved in neurodegeneration, and related to Parkinson's disease.
However, how these peculiar properties of melanin pigments, as well as how the tuning of melanogenesis may be exploited for developing strategies for the control of melanin disorders, photoprotection, implementation of all natural or bioinspired antioxidant, metal detoxification, ingredients for cosmetic, or dermocosmetic uses, has not been fully appreciated.
This Special Issue takes advantage of the open access format to offer a novel and stimulating perspective of the field. It is especially directed to translate the results of basic and academic research to applications that may raise the interest of researchers from industries and companies who are willing to develop innovative melanin- or melanogenesis-based solutions.
Contributions to this Special Issue may cover all aspects of the chemistry of natural and synthetic melanins with potential applications, melanogenesis inhibitors via the definition of the mechanism of action, approaches for the amelioration or control of all types of melanin-based pigmentary disorders, photoprotection strategies; innovative methodologies for the analysis of pigmented tissues and also for diagnostic purposes; molecular engineering methodologies for melanin production in microorganisms; and novel functions of melanins of potential application interest, drug targeting, and exploiting the specific affinity of melanins .
Experimental papers, up-to-date review articles, and commentaries are all welcome.
Prof. Dr. Alessandra Napolitano
Prof. Dr. Shosuke Ito
Manuscript Submission Information
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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Biological activities
- Depigmenting agents
- Pigmentary disorders
- Extracutaneous melanins