1. The anti-melanogenic effects of 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid via Nrf2-mediated α-MSH inhibition in UVA-irradiated keratinocytes and autophagy induction in melanocytes
Siang-Jyun Chen, You-Cheng Hseu, Yugandhar Vudhya Gowrisankar, Yi-Ting Chung, Yan-Zhen Zhang, Tzong-Der Way, Hsin-Ling Yang Free Radic Biol Med. 2021 Sep;173:151-169. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2021.07.030. Epub 2021 Jul 24.
3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid (EAA) is an ether-derivative of ascorbic acid, known to inhibit tyrosinase activity, and is widely used in skincare formulations. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanisms underlying the EAA's effects are poorly understood. Here, the anti-melanogenic activity of EAA was demonstrated through Nrf2-mediated α-MSH inhibition in UVA-irradiated keratinocytes (HaCaT) and autophagy induction and inhibition of α-MSH-stimulated melanogenesis in melanocytes (B16F10). EAA pretreatment increased the HaCaT cell viability but suppressed ROS-mediated p53/POMC/α-MSH pathways in UVA-irradiated cells. Further, the conditioned medium from EAA-pretreated and UVA-irradiated HaCaT cells suppressed the MITF-CREB-tyrosinase pathways leading to the inhibition of melanin synthesis in B16F10 cells. EAA treatment increased nuclear Nrf2 translocation via the p38, PKC, and ROS pathways leading to HO-1, γ-GCLC, and NQO-1 antioxidant expression in HaCaT cells. However, Nrf2 silencing reduced the EAA-mediated anti-melanogenic activity, evidenced by impaired antioxidant gene expression and uncontrolled ROS (H202) generation following UVA irradiation. In B16F10 cells, EAA-induced autophagy was shown by enhanced LC3-II levels, AVO formation, Beclin-1 upregulation, and activation of p62/SQSTM1. Further, EAA-induced anti-melanogenic activity was substantially decreased in autophagy inhibitor (3-MA) pretreated or LC3 knockdown B16F10 cells. Notably, transmission electron microscopy data showed increased melanosome-engulfing autophagosomes in EAA-treated B16F10 cells. Moreover, EAA also down-regulated MC1R, TRP-1/-2, tyrosinase expressions, and melanin synthesis by suppressing the cAMP-CREB-mediated MITF expression in B16F10 cells stimulated with α-MSH. In vivo studies on the zebrafish model further confirmed that EAA inhibited tyrosinase expression/activity and endogenous pigmentation. In conclusion, 3-O-ethyl ascorbic acid is an effective skin-whitening agent and could be used as a topical agent for cosmetic purposes.
2. Sesamol Inhibited Melanogenesis by Regulating Melanin-Related Signal Transduction in B16F10 Cells
Po-Yuan Wu, Ya-Jhen You, Yi-Jung Liu, Chien-Wei Hou, Chin-Sheng Wu, Kuo-Ching Wen, Chien-Yih Lin, Hsiu-Mei Chiang Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Apr 7;19(4):1108. doi: 10.3390/ijms19041108.
Melanin is synthesized through a series of interactions catalyzed by melanogenic enzymes such as tyrosinase, dopachrome tautomerase (tyrosinase-related protein-2; TRP-2), and tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1). Tyrosinase plays a key role in catalysing the initial and limiting steps of melanogenesis. The melanin that results from melanogenesis has the protective effect of absorbing ultraviolet radiation. However, overproduction of melanin, in addition to altering the appearance of skin, may lead to skin disorders such as melasma, solar lentigo, and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. Previous studies have revealed that sesamol is a strong antioxidant and a free radical scavenger. In this study, we investigated the effects of sesamol on the regulation of melanogenesis and related mechanisms in B16F10 cells. The results indicated that sesamol inhibited tyrosinase activity and melanogenesis induced by α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) in B16F10 melanoma cells. Sesamol decreased the protein level of melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase, and TRP-1 by downregulating cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/protein kinase A (PKA) pathways that had been activated by α-MSH. Sesamol increased glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β), protein kinase B (AKT), and extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, thus inhibiting the transcription of MITF. Sesamol also inhibited melanin synthesis and tyrosinase expression by modulating ERK, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT, p38, and c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (JNK) signalling pathways. These results indicate that sesamol acted as a potent depigmenting agent.
3. The in vitro and in vivo depigmenting activity of pterostilbene through induction of autophagy in melanocytes and inhibition of UVA-irradiated α-MSH in keratinocytes via Nrf2-mediated antioxidant pathways
You-Cheng Hseu, Yugandhar Vudhya Gowrisankar, Li-Wei Wang, Yan-Zhen Zhang, Xuan-Zao Chen, Pei-Jane Huang, Hung-Rong Yen, Hsin-Ling Yang Redox Biol. 2021 Aug;44:102007. doi: 10.1016/j.redox.2021.102007. Epub 2021 May 19.
Pterostilbene (Pt) is a natural polyphenol found in blueberries and several grape varieties. Pt's pharmacological importance was well documented. Nevertheless, the depigmenting effects are not demonstrated. We evaluated the Pt's depigmenting effects through autophagy induction in B16F10 cells and inhibition of UVA (3 J/cm2)-irradiated α-MSH in keratinocyte HaCaT cells via Nrf2-mediated antioxidant pathways. Pt (2.5-5μM) attenuated ROS production and downregulated the POMC/α-MSH pathway in HaCaT cells. The conditioned medium-derived from UVA-irradiated HaCaT pretreated with Pt suppressed melanogenesis in B16F10 through MITF-CREB-tyrosinase pathway downregulation. Interestingly, Pt-induced HaCaT autophagy was revealed by enhanced LC3-II accumulation, p62/SQSTM1 activation, and AVO formation. Pt significantly decreased melanosome gp100 but increased LC3-II levels in HaCaT cells exposed to B16F10-derived melanin. Pt activated and facilitated the Nrf2 antioxidant pathway in HaCaT cells leading to increased HO-1, γ-GCLC, and NQO-1 antioxidant protein expression. ERK, AMPK, and ROS pathways mediate the Nrf2 activation. However, Nrf2 knockdown suppressed Pt's antioxidant ability leading to uncontrolled ROS and α-MSH levels after UVA-irradiation suggested the essentiality of the Nrf2 pathway. Moreover, in α-MSH-stimulated B16F10 cells, Pt (10-30 μM) downregulated the MC1R, MITF, tyrosinase, TRP-1/-2, and melanin expression. Further, Pt showed potent anti-melanogenic effects through autophagy induction mechanism in B16F10 cells, verified by increased LC3-II/p62 levels, AVO formation, and Beclin-1/Bcl-2 ratio, decreased ATG4B levels and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. Transmission electron microscopy provided direct evidence by showing autophagosomes engulfing melanosomes following Pt treatment in α-MSH-stimulated B16F10 cells. Moreover, Pt-induced anti-melanogenic activity through the downregulation of CREB-MITF pathway-mediated TRP-1/-2, tyrosinase expressions, melanosome formation, and melanin synthesis was substantially reversed due to 3-MA (autophagy inhibitor) pretreatment or LC3 silencing in B16F10 cells. In vivo results also confirmed that Pt-inhibited tyrosinase expression/activity and endogenous pigmentation in the zebrafish model. Therefore, pterostilbene is a potent skin-whitening and antioxidant agent and could be used in skin-whitening formulations as a topical applicant.