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Sample records for melanins

  1. Melanin-binding radiopharmaceuticals

    SciTech Connect

    Packer, S; Fairchild, R G; Watts, K P; Greenberg, D; Hannon, S J

    1980-01-01

    The scope of this paper is limited to an analysis of the factors that are important to the relationship of radiopharmaceuticals to melanin. While the authors do not attempt to deal with differences between melanin-binding vs. melanoma-binding, a notable variance is assumed. (PSB)

  2. Photothermal imaging of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerimo, Josef; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2013-02-01

    We present photothermal images of melanin using modulation with two laser beams. Strong melanin absorption followed by efficient nonradiative relaxation caused heating and an increase in temperature. This temperature effect was used as an imaging contrast to detect melanin. Melanin from several samples including Sepia officinalis, black human hair, and live zebra fish, were imaged with a high signal-to-noise ratio. For the imaging, we focused two near infrared laser beams (pump and probe) collinearly with different wavelengths and the pump was modulated in amplitude. The thermally induced variations in the refractive index, at the modulation frequency, were detected by the scattering of the probe beam. The Photothermal method brings several imaging benefits including the lack of background interference and the possibility of imaging for an extended period of time without photodamage to the melanin. The dependence of the photothermal signal on the laser power, modulation frequency, and spatial offset of the probe is discussed. The new photothermal imaging method is promising and provides background-free and label-free imaging of melanin and can be implemented with low-cost CW lasers.

  3. Melanin pigmented solar absorbing surfaces

    SciTech Connect

    Gallas, J.M.; Eisner, M.

    1980-01-01

    Selectivity enhancement is shown to result for melanin, a black biopolymer pigment, for sufficiently low sample density. The effect is proposed to follow from a consideration of the evanescent waves associated with the total internal reflection phenomenon. A relationship is discussed among powder density, pH and the paramagnetic properties of melanin; this relationship is shown to be consistent with, and offer support to an amino-acid side group proposed earlier as part of the melanin structure. A brief discussion is also presented on the optical properties of melanin and the relative importance of quinhydrone, a change transfer complex believed to exist in the polymeric structure of melanin.

  4. Photoacoustic measurement of epidermal melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viator, John A.; Svaasand, Lars O.; Aguilar, Guillermo; Choi, Bernard; Nelson, J. Stuart

    2003-06-01

    Most dermatologic laser procedures must consider epidermal melanin, as it is a broadband optical absorber which affects subsurface fluence, effectively limiting the amount of light reaching the dermis and targeted chromophores. An accurate method for quantifying epidermal melanin content would aid clinicians in determining proper light dosage for therapeutic laser procedures. While epidermal melanin content has been quantified non-invasively using optical methods, there is currently no way to determine the melanin distribution in the epidermis. We have developed a photoacoustic probe that uses a Q-switched, frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser operating at 532nm to generate acoustic pulses in skin in vivo. The probe contained a piezoelectric element that detected photoacoustic waves which were then analyzed for epidermal melanin content, using a photoacoustic melanin index (PAMI). We tested 15 human subjects with skin types I--VI using the photoacoustic probe. We also present photoacoustic data for a human subject with vitiligo. Photoacoustic measurement showed melanin in the vitiligo subject was almost completely absent.

  5. Pathogenic roles for fungal melanins.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, E S

    2000-10-01

    Melanins represent virulence factors for several pathogenic fungi; the number of examples is growing. Thus, albino mutants of several genera (in one case, mutated precisely in the melanizing enzyme) exhibit decreased virulence in mice. We consider the phenomenon in relation to known chemical properties of melanin, beginning with biosynthesis from ortho-hydroquinone precursors which, when oxidized enzymatically to quinones, polymerize spontaneously to melanin. It follows that melanizing intermediates are cross-linking reagents; melanization stabilizes the external cell wall against hydrolysis and is thought to determine semipermeability in the osmotic ram (the appressorium) of certain plant pathogens. Polymeric melanins undergo reversible oxidation-reduction reactions between cell wall-penetrating quinone and hydroquinone oxidation states and thus represent polymeric redox buffers; using strong oxidants, it is possible to titrate the melanin on living cells and thereby demonstrate protection conferred by melanin in several species. The amount of buffering per cell approximately neutralizes the amount of oxidant generated by a single macrophage. Moreover, the intermediate oxidation state, the semiquinone, is a very stable free radical and is thought to trap unpaired electrons. We have suggested that the oxidation state of external melanin may be regulated by external Fe(II). An independent hypothesis holds that in Cryptococcus neoformans, an important function of the melanizing enzyme (apart from melanization) is the oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III), thereby forestalling generation of the harmful hydroxyl radical from H(2)O(2). Thus, problems in fungal pathogenesis have led to evolving hypotheses regarding melanin functioning. PMID:11023965

  6. Pathogenic Roles for Fungal Melanins

    PubMed Central

    Jacobson, Eric S.

    2000-01-01

    Melanins represent virulence factors for several pathogenic fungi; the number of examples is growing. Thus, albino mutants of several genera (in one case, mutated precisely in the melanizing enzyme) exhibit decreased virulence in mice. We consider the phenomenon in relation to known chemical properties of melanin, beginning with biosynthesis from ortho-hydroquinone precursors which, when oxidized enzymatically to quinones, polymerize spontaneously to melanin. It follows that melanizing intermediates are cross-linking reagents; melanization stabilizes the external cell wall against hydrolysis and is thought to determine semipermeability in the osmotic ram (the appressorium) of certain plant pathogens. Polymeric melanins undergo reversible oxidation-reduction reactions between cell wall-penetrating quinone and hydroquinone oxidation states and thus represent polymeric redox buffers; using strong oxidants, it is possible to titrate the melanin on living cells and thereby demonstrate protection conferred by melanin in several species. The amount of buffering per cell approximately neutralizes the amount of oxidant generated by a single macrophage. Moreover, the intermediate oxidation state, the semiquinone, is a very stable free radical and is thought to trap unpaired electrons. We have suggested that the oxidation state of external melanin may be regulated by external Fe(II). An independent hypothesis holds that in Cryptococcus neoformans, an important function of the melanizing enzyme (apart from melanization) is the oxidation of Fe(II) to Fe(III), thereby forestalling generation of the harmful hydroxyl radical from H2O2. Thus, problems in fungal pathogenesis have led to evolving hypotheses regarding melanin functioning. PMID:11023965

  7. ELECTRON SPIN RESONANCE STUDIES ON MELANIN.

    PubMed

    BLOIS, M S; ZAHLAN, A B; MALING, J E

    1964-11-01

    Electron spin resonance (e.s.r.) observations of squid melanin have been conducted over the temperature range 500 degrees K to 4.2 degrees K, and the effect of various chemical treatments of the melanin upon the e.s.r. spectrum has been studied. The findings have shown that the paramagnetism of this melanin follows the Curie Law from 500 degrees K to 4.2 degrees K, that the spin signal can be eliminated by the addition of Cu(++) to the melanin, and that the optical and e.s.r. absorptions of melanin are independent since either can be reduced or eliminated without affecting the other. Similar studies on synthetic melanins produced by autoxidation or by enzymatic oxidation of a number of biphenols were carried out. It was found that the e.s.r. signals of these synthetic melanins were strikingly similar (with respect to line width, line shape, and g-value) with those of squid melanin. It is concluded that the unpaired electrons observed are associated with trapped free radicals in the melanin polymer, that the biosynthesis of melanin may involve a free radical mechanism, and that these physical data are in accord with the concept of Nicolaus that melanin is a highly irregular, three-dimensional, polymer. PMID:14232133

  8. Synthesis and assembly of fungal melanin

    PubMed Central

    Casadevall, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    Melanin is a unique pigment with myriad functions that is found in all biological kingdoms. It is multifunctional, providing defense against environmental stresses such as ultraviolet (UV) light, oxidizing agents and ionizing radiation. Melanin contributes to the ability of fungi to survive in harsh environments. In addition, it plays a role in fungal pathogenesis. Melanin is an amorphous polymer that is produced by one of two synthetic pathways. Fungi may synthesize melanin from endogenous substrate via a 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) intermediate. Alternatively, some fungi produce melanin from l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-dopa). The detailed chemical structure of melanin is not known. However, microscopic studies show that it has an overall granular structure. In fungi, melanin granules are localized to the cell wall where they are likely cross-linked to polysaccharides. Recent studies suggest the fungal melanin may be synthesized in internal vesicles akin to mammalian melanosomes and transported to the cell wall. Potential applications of melanin take advantage of melanin's radioprotective properties and propensity to bind to a variety of substances. PMID:22173481

  9. [Melanin complex of the fungus Inonotus obliquus].

    PubMed

    Babitskaia, V G; Shcherba, V V; Ikonnikova, N V

    2000-01-01

    The fungus Inonotus obliquus (Pers.) Pil. synthesised high-molecular-weight phenolic pigments that were assigned to melanins according to their physicochemical properties. It was showed that copper ions (0.008%), pyrocatechol (1.0 mM), and tyrosine (20.0 mM) stimulated the melanogenesis. The production of melanin correlated with the synthesis of o- and p-diphenoloxidases. The fungal melanin had strong antioxidant and genoprotective effects. PMID:10994193

  10. Computational model of heterogeneous heating in melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kellicker, Jason; DiMarzio, Charles A.; Kowalski, Gregory J.

    2015-03-01

    Melanin particles often present as an aggregate of smaller melanin pigment granules and have a heterogeneous surface morphology. When irradiated with light within the absorption spectrum of melanin, these heterogeneities produce measurable concentrations of the electric field that result in temperature gradients from thermal effects that are not seen with spherical or ellipsoidal modeling of melanin. Modeling melanin without taking into consideration the heterogeneous surface morphology yields results that underestimate the strongest signals or over{estimate their spatial extent. We present a new technique to image phase changes induced by heating using a computational model of melanin that exhibits these surface heterogeneities. From this analysis, we demonstrate the heterogeneous energy absorption and resulting heating that occurs at the surface of the melanin granule that is consistent with three{photon absorption. Using the three{photon dluorescence as a beacon, we propose a method for detecting the extents of the melanin granule using photothermal microscopy to measure the phase changes resulting from the heating of the melanin.

  11. Synthesis and characterization of melanin in DMSO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bronze-Uhle, Erika S.; Batagin-Neto, Augusto; Xavier, Pedro H. P.; Fernandes, Nicole I.; de Azevedo, Eduardo R.; Graeff, Carlos F. O.

    2013-09-01

    Recently soluble melanin derivatives have been obtained by a synthetic procedure carried out in DMSO (D-melanin). In this work a comparative study of the structural characteristics of synthetic melanin derivatives obtained by oxidation of L-DOPA in H2O and DMSO are presented. To this end, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy as well as proton and carbon nuclear magnetic resonance techniques has been employed. In addition, aging effects have been investigated for D-melanin. The results suggest that sulfonate groups (-SO2CH3) from the oxidation of DMSO, are incorporated into melanin, which confers protection to the phenolic hydroxyl group present in its structure. The solubility of D-melanin in DMSO is attributed to the presence of these groups. When D-melanin is left in air for long time periods, the sulfonate groups leave the structure, and an insoluble compound is obtained. NaOH and water have been used, in order to accelerate the release of the sulfonate groups attached to D-melanin, thereby corroborating the proposed structure and the synthesis mechanism.

  12. Effect of melanin on enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic waste.

    PubMed

    Ray, R M; Desai, J D

    1984-07-01

    Wood waste powder from Tectona grandis containing melanin was less susceptible to enzymatic hydrolysis than powder without melanin. About a 53% increase in saccharification was noted when melanin was removed. Melanin caused inhibition to all cellulolytic enzymes, but in different degrees. Endo-beta-1,4-glucanase and beta-glucosidase were markedly inhibited when melanin was preincubated with enzyme, while exo-beta-1,4-glucanase was severely inhibited when melanin was preincubated with substrate. The latter was found to be dependent on the contact time. The activities of endo-beta-1,4-glucanase and beta-glucosidase were noncompetitively inhibited by melanin. PMID:18553434

  13. Study of melanin bleaching after immunohistochemistry of melanin-containing tissues.

    PubMed

    Shen, Hongwu; Wu, Wenqiao

    2015-04-01

    Melanin may interfere with immunohistochemical staining. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA) bleaching, potassium permanganate bleaching, and potassium dichromate bleaching on melanin, tissue antigen, and 3,3'-diaminobenzidine (DAB) using melanin-containing and melanin-free tissue samples. Our results demonstrated that all 3 bleaching methods efficiently bleached melanin and partially destroyed tissue antigen. In addition, potassium permanganate bleaching and potassium dichromate bleaching clearly destroyed DAB, whereas TCCA bleaching had no significant effect on DAB. Therefore, neither potassium permanganate nor potassium dichromate is an ideal solution, whereas TCCA might be an ideal solution for melanin bleaching after the immunohistochemical staining of melanin-containing tissues. After immunostaining followed by TCCA bleaching, the melanin could be completely removed in all 120 malignant melanoma tissue sections. Compared with the control, the DAB intensity was clear, and the tissue structure and cellular nuclei were well maintained. It is worth noting that TCCA should be freshly prepared before each experiment, and used within 2 hours of its preparation. In addition, sections should not be incubated with TCCA for over 30 minutes. PMID:24710084

  14. Study of Melanin Bleaching After Immunohistochemistry of Melanin-containing Tissues

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Wenqiao

    2015-01-01

    Melanin may interfere with immunohistochemical staining. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA) bleaching, potassium permanganate bleaching, and potassium dichromate bleaching on melanin, tissue antigen, and 3,3′-diaminobenzidine (DAB) using melanin-containing and melanin-free tissue samples. Our results demonstrated that all 3 bleaching methods efficiently bleached melanin and partially destroyed tissue antigen. In addition, potassium permanganate bleaching and potassium dichromate bleaching clearly destroyed DAB, whereas TCCA bleaching had no significant effect on DAB. Therefore, neither potassium permanganate nor potassium dichromate is an ideal solution, whereas TCCA might be an ideal solution for melanin bleaching after the immunohistochemical staining of melanin-containing tissues. After immunostaining followed by TCCA bleaching, the melanin could be completely removed in all 120 malignant melanoma tissue sections. Compared with the control, the DAB intensity was clear, and the tissue structure and cellular nuclei were well maintained. It is worth noting that TCCA should be freshly prepared before each experiment, and used within 2 hours of its preparation. In addition, sections should not be incubated with TCCA for over 30 minutes. PMID:24710084

  15. Interactions of flavins with melanin. Studies on equilibrium binding of riboflavin to dopa-melanin and some spectroscopic characteristics of flavin-melanin complex.

    PubMed

    Kozik, A; Korytowski, W; Sarna, T; Bloom, A S

    1990-10-01

    Natural melanins are photoprotective pigments that in mammals are principally found in the skin, hair, and eyes. Although the molecular mechanism of photoprotection of pigmented cells has not yet been established, several hypotheses have been proposed with melanin acting as a light filter, free radical scavenger, and quencher of electronically excited states of reactive intermediates. It can be expected that the detoxicating efficiency of melanin should be enhanced if the melanin and potentially cytotoxic species are brought close together. Such a situation may occur for a number of photosensitizing dyes that have the ability to bind to melanin. The interaction of melanin with flavins has been studied under strictly controlled experimental conditions. The equilibrium dialysis method has been employed to determine dissociation constants and the number of binding sites in melanin at pH 5-9. The data reveal that synthetic DOPA-melanin has two different classes of binding sites with dissociation constants of 10(-6) and 10(-5) M, respectively. The overall binding capacity of melanin, at pH 7, is 250 nmol RF/mg melanin. The amount of bound-to-melanin RF increases with pH. The absorption spectra of melanin complexes with RF and lumiflavin indicate that hydrophobic interaction may be involved in the binding of these flavins by melanin. No changes in flavin fluorescence have been detected after binding of flavin to melanin. It appears that, contrary to cationic photosensitizing dyes, the singlet excited state of flavin molecules is not quenched by melanin. PMID:2128193

  16. Unanticipated role of melanin in causing carcinogenic cyclobutane pyrimidine dimmers.

    PubMed

    Premi, Sanjay; Brash, Douglas E

    2016-01-01

    Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) instantaneously generates cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs). Paradoxically, we recently observed that UV enables the protective pigment melanin to create CPDs in the dark long after the exposure ends. UV-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) oxidize melanin to create melanin carbonyls in a high-energy quantum state. These energetic melanin carbonyls transfer their energy to DNA in the dark, creating CPDs in the absence of UVR. PMID:27308551

  17. Degradation of melanin by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed Central

    Luther, J P; Lipke, H

    1980-01-01

    A strain of Aspergillus fumigatus from composted coffee and garden wastes utilized natural deproteinized insect, banana, hair, octopus, and synthetic tyrosine and dopa melanins as sole sources of carbon. With a sucrose supplement, degradation was essentially complete after 50 days in Czapek medium pH 6.5 at 30 degrees C. The catabolic rate differed for each substrate pigment, as did the molecular weight distribution of products accumulating in the medium. After incubation with L-[U-14C]melanin, over 50% was recovered in a dark fungal pigment, the remainder appearing as cell protein, chitin, lipid, CO2, and polar metabolites. When grown on melanin, the normally pale mycelia darkened with the production of a fungal allomelanin, with infrared spectrum and alkali fusion products differing from those of the substrate pigment. Isotope distribution in amino acids for A. fumigatus grown on labeled melanin supplemented with sucrose suggested separate pools for synthesis of cell proteins and melanoproteins. Deposition of allomelanin increased resistance of conidia, sterigma, and conidiophores to lytic carbohydrases as judged by scanning electron microscopy. Images PMID:6996615

  18. Melanin as an active layer in biosensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piacenti da Silva, Marina; Fernandes, Jéssica Colnaghi; de Figueiredo, Natália Biziak; Congiu, Mirko; Mulato, Marcelo; de Oliveira Graeff, Carlos Frederico

    2014-03-01

    The development of pH sensors is of great interest due to its extensive application in several areas such as industrial processes, biochemistry and particularly medical diagnostics. In this study, the pH sensing properties of an extended gate field effect transistor (EGFET) based on melanin thin films as active layer are investigated and the physical mechanisms related to the device operation are discussed. Thin films were produced from different melanin precursors on indium tin oxide (ITO) and gold substrates and were investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. Experiments were performed in the pH range from 2 to 12. EGFETs with melanin deposited on ITO and on gold substrates showed sensitivities ranging from 31.3 mV/pH to 48.9 mV/pH, depending on the melanin precursor and the substrate used. The pH detection is associated with specific binding sites in its structure, hydroxyl groups and quinone imine.

  19. Melanin as an active layer in biosensors

    SciTech Connect

    Piacenti da Silva, Marina Congiu, Mirko Oliveira Graeff, Carlos Frederico de; Fernandes, Jéssica Colnaghi Biziak de Figueiredo, Natália Mulato, Marcelo

    2014-03-15

    The development of pH sensors is of great interest due to its extensive application in several areas such as industrial processes, biochemistry and particularly medical diagnostics. In this study, the pH sensing properties of an extended gate field effect transistor (EGFET) based on melanin thin films as active layer are investigated and the physical mechanisms related to the device operation are discussed. Thin films were produced from different melanin precursors on indium tin oxide (ITO) and gold substrates and were investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. Experiments were performed in the pH range from 2 to 12. EGFETs with melanin deposited on ITO and on gold substrates showed sensitivities ranging from 31.3 mV/pH to 48.9 mV/pH, depending on the melanin precursor and the substrate used. The pH detection is associated with specific binding sites in its structure, hydroxyl groups and quinone imine.

  20. Epidermal melanin absorption in human skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norvang Nilsen, Lill T.; Fiskerstrand, Elisanne J.; Nelson, J. Stuart; Berns, Michael W.; Svaasand, Lars O.

    1996-01-01

    The principle of laser induced selective photothermolysis is to induced thermal damage to specific targets in such a manner that the temperature of the surrounding tissue is maintained below the threshold for thermal damage. The selectivity is obtained by selection of a proper wavelength and pulse duration. The technique is presently being used in the clinic for removal of port-wine stains. The presence of melanin in the epidermal layer can represent a limitation to the selectivity. Melanin absorption drops off significantly with increasing wavelength, but is significant in the entire wavelength region where the blood absorption is high. Treatment of port-wine stain in patients with high skin pigmentation may therefore give overheating of the epidermis, resulting in epidermal necrosis. Melanosomal heating is dependent on the energy and duration of the laser pulse. The heating mechanism for time scales less than typically 1 microsecond(s) corresponds to a transient local heating of the individual melanosomes. For larger time scales, heat diffusion out of the melanosomes become of increased importance, and the temperature distribution will reach a local steady state condition after typically 10 microsecond(s) . For even longer pulse duration, heat diffusing from neighboring melanosomes becomes important, and the temperature rise in a time scale from 100 - 500 microsecond(s) is dominated by this mechanism. The epidermal heating during the typical 450 microsecond(s) pulse used for therapy is thus dependent on the average epidermal melanin content rather than on the absorption coefficient of the individual melanosomes. This study will present in vivo measurements of the epidermal melanin absorption of human skin when exposed to short laser pulses (< 0.1 microsecond(s) ) from a Q-switched ruby laser and with long laser pulses (approximately 500 microsecond(s) ) from a free-running ruby laser or a long pulse length flashlamp pumped dye laser. The epidermal melanin

  1. Induction of melanin biosynthesis in Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed Central

    Coyne, V E; al-Harthi, L

    1992-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae synthesized the pigment melanin in response to specific physiological conditions that were stressful to the bacterium. Pigmentation was induced when V. cholerae was subjected to hyperosmotic stress in conjunction with elevated growth temperatures (above 30 degrees C). The salt concentration tolerated by V. cholerae was lowered by additional abiotic factors such as acidic starting pH of the growth medium and limitation of organic nutrients. Although the amount of toxin detected in the culture supernatant decreased significantly in response to stressful culture conditions, no correlation between the physiological conditions that induced melanogenesis and expression of OmpU or cholera toxin was detected. Since conditions that induce melanin production in V. cholerae occur in both the aquatic environment and the human host, it is possible that melanogenesis has a specific function with respect to the survival of the bacterium in these habitats. PMID:1444398

  2. Amyloids, Melanins and Oxidative Stress in Melanomagenesis

    PubMed Central

    Liu-Smith, Feng; Poe, Carrie; Farmer, Patrick J.; Meyskens, Frank L.

    2015-01-01

    Melanoma has traditionally been viewed as an ultra-violet (UV) radiation induced malignancy. While UV is a common inducing factor, other endogenous stresses such as metal ion accumulation or the melanin pigment itself, may provide alternative pathways to melanoma progression. Eumelanosomes within melanoma often exhibit disrupted membranes and fragmented pigment which may be due to alterations in their amyloid-based striatial matrix. The melanosomal amyloid can itself be toxic, especially in combination with reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) generated by endogenous NADPH oxidase (NOX) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes; a toxic mix that may initiate melanomagenesis. Further understanding of the loss of the melanosomal organization, the behavior of the exposed melanin, and the induction of ROS/RNS in melanomas may provide critical insights into this deadly disease. PMID:25271672

  3. Image-based control of skin melanin texture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsumura, Norimichi; Nakaguchi, Toshiya; Ojima, Nobutoshi; Takase, Koichi; Okaguchi, Saya; Hori, Kimihiko; Miyake, Yoichi

    2006-09-01

    We introduce a useful tool for controlling the skin melanin texture of facial photographs. Controlling the skin melanin texture is an important task in the reproduction of posters, TV commercials, movies, and so on. We used component maps of melanin, which were obtained by a previous method [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16, 2169 (1999)] as the first processing step. We propose to control the melanin texture continuously and physiologically, based on the analysis of 123 skin textures in our database. The physiological validity for the change of the melanin texture is confirmed by comparing the synthesized image with an ultraviolet image, which can be used to predict the change of melanin texture due to aging. The control processes are implemented on programmable graphics hardware, and real-time processing is achieved for a facial videostream.

  4. Dopamine-melanin nanofilms for biomimetic structural coloration.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tong-Fei; Hong, Jong-Dal

    2015-02-01

    This article describes the formation of dopamine-melanin thin films (50-200 nm thick) at an air/dopamine solution interface under static conditions. Beneath these films, spherical melanin granules formed in bulk liquid phase. The thickness of dopamine-melanin films at the interface relied mainly on the concentration of dopamine solution and the reaction time. A plausible mechanism underlining dopamine-melanin thin film formation was proposed based on the hydrophobicity of dopamine-melanin aggregates and the mass transport of the aggregates to the air/solution interface as a result of convective flow. The thickness of the interfacial films increased linearly with the dopamine concentration and the reaction time. The dopamine-melanin thin film and granules (formed in bulk liquid phase) with a double-layered structure were transferred onto a solid substrate to mimic the (keratin layer)/(melanin granules) structure present in bird plumage, thereby preparing full dopamine-melanin thin-film reflectors. The reflected color of the thin-film reflectors depended on the film thickness, which could be adjusted according to the dopamine concentration. The reflectance of the resulted reflectors exhibited a maximal reflectance value of 8-11%, comparable to that of bird plumage (∼11%). This study provides a useful, simple, and low-cost approach to the fabrication of biomimetic thin-film reflectors using full dopamine-melanin materials. PMID:25587771

  5. In vivo stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence imaging of melanin in human skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Gu, Zetong; Abbas, Saleh; Lowe, Jared; Sierra, Heidy; Rajadhyaksha, Milind; DiMarzio, Charles

    2014-03-01

    The stepwise multi-photon activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin is a low cost and reliable method of detecting melanin because the activation and excitation can be a continuous-wave (CW) mode near infrared (NIR) laser. Our previous work has demonstrated the melanin SMPAF images in sepia melanin, mouse hair, and mouse skin. In this study, we show the feasibility of using SMPAF to detect melanin in vivo. in vivo melanin SMPAF images of normal skin and benign nevus are demonstrated. SMPAF images add specificity for melanin detection than MPFM images and CRM images. Melanin SMPAF is a promising technology to enable early detection of melanoma for dermatologists.

  6. Melanin content of hamster tissues, human tissues, and various melanomas

    SciTech Connect

    Watts, K.P.; Fairchild, R.G.; Slatkin, D.N.; Greenberg, D.; Packer, S.; Atkins, H.L.; Hannon, S.J.

    1981-02-01

    Melanin content (percentage by weight) was determined in both pigmented and nonpigmented tissues of Syrian golden hamsters bearing Greene melanoma. Melanin content was also measured in various other melanoma models (B-16 in C57 mice, Harding-Passey in BALB/c mice, and KHDD in C3H mice) and in nine human melanomas, as well as in selected normal tissues. The purpose was to evaluate the possible efficacy of chlorpromazine, which is known to bind to melanin, as a vehicle for boron transport in neutron capture therapy. Successful therapy would depend upon selective uptake and absolute concentration of borated compounds in tumors; these parameters will in turn depend upon melanin concentration in melanomas and nonpigmented ''background'' tissues. Hamster whole eyes, hamster melanomas, and other well-pigmented animal melanomas were found to contain 0.3 to 0.8% melanin by weight, whereas human melanomas varied from 0.1 to 0.9% (average, 0.35%). Other tissues, with the exception of skin, were lower in content by a factor of greater than or equal to30. Melanin pigment was extracted from tissues, and the melanin content was determined spectrophotometrically. Measurements were found to be sensitive to the presence of other proteins. Previous procedures for isolating and quantifying melanin often neglected the importance of removing proteins and other interfering nonmelanic substances.

  7. Temperature-enhanced synthesis of DMSO-Melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piacenti-Silva, M.; Bronze-Uhle, E. S.; Paulin, J. V.; Graeff, C. F. O.

    2014-01-01

    Melanins are a class of pigmentary conjugated macromolecules found in many biological systems. Functionalization of synthetic melanin provides interesting new properties like the greater solubility of melanin synthesized in dimethyl sulfoxide, D-Melanin. In this work we have studied the influence of temperature on D-Melanin synthesis and its properties. To this end, UV-Vis, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) techniques have been employed to analyze D-Melanin synthesized within the range of 25-100 °C. Our results reveal that by increasing the synthesis temperature up to 100 °C, the synthesis time can be decreased by a factor of 7 when compared to room temperature. From FTIR and 13C CP/MAS NMR analyses the increase in temperature causes a decrease in the number of carbonyl groups from carboxylic acid and from ionized carboxylic acid. The decarboxylation of D-Melanin monomers at higher temperatures shows that the use of higher synthesis temperatures influences the elimination of carbonyls present in the precursor molecules, thus facilitating the polymerization of D-Melanin.

  8. Natural melanin composites by layer-by-layer assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eom, Taesik; Shim, Bong Sub

    2015-04-01

    Melanin is an electrically conductive and biocompatible material, because their conjugated backbone structures provide conducting pathways from human skin, eyes, brain, and beyond. So there is a potential of using as materials for the neural interfaces and the implantable devices. Extracted from Sepia officinalis ink, our natural melanin was uniformly dispersed in mostly polar solvents such as water and alcohols. Then, the dispersed melanin was further fabricated to nano-thin layered composites by the layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly technique. Combined with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), the melanin nanoparticles behave as an LBL counterpart to from finely tuned nanostructured films. The LBL process can adjust the smart performances of the composites by varying the layering conditions and sandwich thickness. We further demonstrated the melanin loading degree of stacked layers, combination nanostructures, electrical properties, and biocompatibility of the resulting composites by UV-vis spectrophotometer, scanning electron microscope (SEM), multimeter, and in-vitro cell test of PC12, respectively.

  9. Anti-melanin deposition activity of ceramicines from Chisocheton ceramicus.

    PubMed

    Iijima, Chie; Wong, Chin Piow; Nugroho, Alfarius Eko; Sotozono, Yayoi; Someya, Saki; Hirasawa, Yusuke; Kaneda, Toshio; Hadi, A Hamid A; Morita, Hiroshi

    2016-10-01

    The ceramicines, a series of limonoids from Chisocheton ceramicus (Meliaceae), were evaluated for anti-melanin deposition activity on α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX)-treated B16-F10 melanoma cell, and several ceramicines were found to be active. The structure-activity relationship of ceramicines as anti-melanin deposition inhibitors was deduced. Furthermore, the mechanism of anti-melanin deposition activity of ceramicine B, a major constituent of C. ceramicus that showed potent anti-melanin deposition activity, was investigated. Tyrosinase enzymatic activity and tyrosinase mRNA expression were not affected by ceramicine B. The anti-melanin deposition activity of ceramicine B was shown to be related to the downregulation of tyrosinase protein expression. These results suggest that ceramicines have potential to be used as depigmentation agents. PMID:27357963

  10. Melanin-templated rapid synthesis of silver nanostructures

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background As a potent antimicrobial agent, silver nanostructures have been used in nanosensors and nanomaterial-based assays for the detection of food relevant analytes such as organic molecules, aroma, chemical contaminants, gases and food borne pathogens. In addition silver based nanocomposites act as an antimicrobial for food packaging materials. In this prospective, the food grade melanin pigment extracted from sponge associated actinobacterium Nocardiopsis alba MSA10 and melanin mediated synthesis of silver nanostructures were studied. Based on the present findings, antimicrobial nanostructures can be developed against food pathogens for food industrial applications. Results Briefly, the sponge associated actinobacterium N. alba MSA10 was screened and fermentation conditions were optimized for the production of melanin pigment. The Plackett-Burman design followed by a Box-Behnken design was developed to optimize the concentration of most significant factors for improved melanin yield. The antioxidant potential, reductive capabilities and physiochemical properties of Nocardiopsis melanin was characterized. The optimum production of melanin was attained with pH 7.5, temperature 35°C, salinity 2.5%, sucrose 25 g/L and tyrosine 12.5 g/L under submerged fermentation conditions. A highest melanin production of 3.4 mg/ml was reached with the optimization using Box-Behnken design. The purified melanin showed rapid reduction and stabilization of silver nanostructures. The melanin mediated process produced uniform and stable silver nanostructures with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against food pathogens. Conclusions The melanin pigment produced by N. alba MSA10 can be used for environmentally benign synthesis of silver nanostructures and can be useful for food packaging materials. The characteristics of broad spectrum of activity against food pathogens of silver nanostructures gives an insight for their potential applicability in incorporation of food

  11. Melanin photosensitizes ultraviolet light (UVC) DNA damage in pigmented cells

    SciTech Connect

    Huselton, C.A.; Hill, H.Z. )

    1990-01-01

    Melanins, pigments of photoprotection and camouflage, are very photoreactive and can both absorb and emit active oxygen species. Nevertheless, black skinned individuals rarely develop skin cancer and melanin is assumed to act as a solar screen. Since DNA is the target for solar carcinogenesis, the effect of melanin on Ultraviolet (UV)-induced thymine lesions was examined in mouse melanoma and carcinoma cells that varied in melanin content. Cells prelabeled with 14C-dThd were irradiated with UVC; DNA was isolated, purified, degraded to bases by acid hydrolysis and analyzed by HPLC. Thymine dimers were detected in all of the extracts of irradiated cells. Melanotic and hypomelanotic but not mammary carcinoma cell DNA from irradiated cells contained hydrophilic thymine derivatives. The quantity of these damaged bases was a function of both the UVC dose and the cellular melanin content. One such derivative was identified by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy as thymine glycol. The other appears to be derived from thymine glycol by further oxidation during acid hydrolysis of the DNA. The finding of oxidative DNA damage in melanin-containing cells suggests that melanin may be implicated in the etiology of caucasian skin cancer, particularly melanoma. Furthermore, the projected decrease in stratospheric ozone could impact in an unanticipated deleterious manner on dark-skinned individuals.

  12. Activation of Melanin Synthesis in Alternaria infectoria by Antifungal Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Chantal; Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Silva, Branca M. A.; Nakouzi-Naranjo, Antonio; Zuzarte, Mónica; Chatterjee, Subhasish; Stark, Ruth E.; Casadevall, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    The importance of Alternaria species fungi to human health ranges from their role as etiological agents of serious infections with poor prognoses in immunosuppressed individuals to their association with respiratory allergic diseases. The present work focuses on Alternaria infectoria, which was used as a model organism of the genus, and was designed to unravel melanin production in response to antifungals. After we characterized the pigment produced by A. infectoria, we studied the dynamics of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin production during growth, the degree of melanization in response to antifungals, and how melanization affected susceptibility to several classes of therapeutic drugs. We demonstrate that A. infectoria increased melanin deposition in cell walls in response to nikkomycin Z, caspofungin, and itraconazole but not in response to fluconazole or amphotericin B. These results indicate that A. infectoria activates DHN-melanin synthesis in response to certain antifungal drugs, possibly as a protective mechanism against these drugs. Inhibition of DHN-melanin synthesis by pyroquilon resulted in a lower minimum effective concentration (MEC) of caspofungin and enhanced morphological changes (increased hyphal balloon size), characterized by thinner and less organized A. infectoria cell walls. In summary, A. infectoria synthesizes melanin in response to certain antifungal drugs, and its susceptibility is influenced by melanization, suggesting the therapeutic potential of drug combinations that affect melanin synthesis. PMID:26711773

  13. A Pathway Analysis of Melanin Patterning in a Hemimetabolous Insect.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jin; Lemonds, Thomas R; Marden, James H; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2016-05-01

    Diversity in insect pigmentation, encompassing a wide range of colors and spatial patterns, is among the most noticeable features distinguishing species, individuals, and body regions within individuals. In holometabolous species, a significant portion of such diversity can be attributed to the melanin synthesis genes, but this has not been formally assessed in more basal insect lineages. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of how a set of melanin genes (ebony, black, aaNAT, yellow, and tan) contributes to the pigmentation pattern in a hemipteran, Oncopeltus fasciatus For all five genes, RNA interference depletion caused alteration of black patterning in a region-specific fashion. Furthermore, the presence of distinct nonblack regions in forewings and hindwings coincides with the expression of ebony and aaNAT in these appendages. These findings suggest that the region-specific phenotypes arise from regional employment of various combinations of the melanin genes. Based on this insight, we suggest that melanin genes are used in two distinct ways: a "painting" mode, using predominantly melanin-promoting factors in areas that generally lack black coloration, and, alternatively, an "erasing" mode, using mainly melanin-suppressing factors in regions where black is the dominant pigment. Different combinations of these strategies may account for the vast diversity of melanin patterns observed in insects. PMID:26984060

  14. Activation of Melanin Synthesis in Alternaria infectoria by Antifungal Drugs.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Chantal; Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Silva, Branca M A; Nakouzi-Naranjo, Antonio; Zuzarte, Mónica; Chatterjee, Subhasish; Stark, Ruth E; Casadevall, Arturo; Gonçalves, Teresa

    2016-03-01

    The importance of Alternaria species fungi to human health ranges from their role as etiological agents of serious infections with poor prognoses in immunosuppressed individuals to their association with respiratory allergic diseases. The present work focuses on Alternaria infectoria, which was used as a model organism of the genus, and was designed to unravel melanin production in response to antifungals. After we characterized the pigment produced by A. infectoria, we studied the dynamics of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin production during growth, the degree of melanization in response to antifungals, and how melanization affected susceptibility to several classes of therapeutic drugs. We demonstrate that A. infectoria increased melanin deposition in cell walls in response to nikkomycin Z, caspofungin, and itraconazole but not in response to fluconazole or amphotericin B. These results indicate that A. infectoria activates DHN-melanin synthesis in response to certain antifungal drugs, possibly as a protective mechanism against these drugs. Inhibition of DHN-melanin synthesis by pyroquilon resulted in a lower minimum effective concentration (MEC) of caspofungin and enhanced morphological changes (increased hyphal balloon size), characterized by thinner and less organized A. infectoria cell walls. In summary, A. infectoria synthesizes melanin in response to certain antifungal drugs, and its susceptibility is influenced by melanization, suggesting the therapeutic potential of drug combinations that affect melanin synthesis. PMID:26711773

  15. Subcellular Compartmentalization and Trafficking of the Biosynthetic Machinery for Fungal Melanin.

    PubMed

    Upadhyay, Srijana; Xu, Xinping; Lowry, David; Jackson, Jennifer C; Roberson, Robert W; Lin, Xiaorong

    2016-03-22

    Protection by melanin depends on its subcellular location. Although most filamentous fungi synthesize melanin via a polyketide synthase pathway, where and how melanin biosynthesis occurs and how it is deposited as extracellular granules remain elusive. Using a forward genetic screen in the pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, we find that mutations in an endosomal sorting nexin abolish melanin cell-wall deposition. We find that all enzymes involved in the early steps of melanin biosynthesis are recruited to endosomes through a non-conventional secretory pathway. In contrast, late melanin enzymes accumulate in the cell wall. Such subcellular compartmentalization of the melanin biosynthetic machinery occurs in both A. fumigatus and A. nidulans. Thus, fungal melanin biosynthesis appears to be initiated in endosomes with exocytosis leading to melanin extracellular deposition, much like the synthesis and trafficking of mammalian melanin in endosomally derived melanosomes. PMID:26972005

  16. Fungal Melanin: What do We Know About Structure?

    PubMed Central

    Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Stark, Ruth E.; Casadevall, Arturo

    2015-01-01

    The production of melanin significantly enhances the virulence of many important human pathogenic fungi. Despite fungal melanin’s importance in human disease, as well as melanin’s contribution to the ability of fungi to survive in diverse hostile environments, the structure of melanin remains unsolved. Nevertheless, ongoing research efforts have progressively revealed several notable structural characteristics of this enigmatic pigment, which will be the focus of this review. These compositional and organizational insights could further our ability to develop novel therapeutic approaches to combat fungal disease and enhance our understanding of how melanin is inserted into the cell wall. PMID:26733993

  17. Biosorption of uranium by melanin: kinetic, equilibrium and thermodynamic studies.

    PubMed

    Saini, Amardeep Singh; Melo, Jose Savio

    2013-12-01

    Limitation of conventional techniques for the removal of heavy metals present at low concentrations, has led to the need for developing alternate technologies like biosorption. In the present study we describe the use of melanin pigment synthesized through green technology, for sorption of uranium from aqueous system. Biosynthesized melanin showed good uptake over a broad pH range. Removal of uranium was rapid and equilibrium was reached within 2h of contact. It was observed that the kinetic data fits well into Lagergren's pseudo-second order equation. A maximum loading capacity of 588.24 mg g(-1) was calculated from Langmuir plot. Thermodynamic studies performed revealed that sorption process was favorable. Binding of uranium on the surface of melanin was confirmed by FT-IR and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Thus, biosynthesized melanin can be efficiently used as a sorbent for removal of uranium from aqueous solution. PMID:24099972

  18. Melanin content in melanoma metastases affects the outcome of radiotherapy.

    PubMed

    Brożyna, Anna A; Jóźwicki, Wojciech; Roszkowski, Krzysztof; Filipiak, Jan; Slominski, Andrzej T

    2016-04-01

    Melanin possess radioprotective and scavenging properties, and its presence can affect the behavior of melanoma cells, its surrounding environment and susceptibility to the therapy, as showed in vitro experiments. To determine whether melanin presence in melanoma affects the efficiency of radiotherapy (RTH) we evaluated the survival time after RTH treatment in metastatic melanoma patients (n = 57). In another cohort of melanoma patients (n = 84), the relationship between melanin level and pT and pN status was determined. A significantly longer survival time was found in patients with amelanotic metastatic melanomas in comparison to the melanotic ones, who were treated with either RTH or chemotherapy (CHTH) and RTH. These differences were more significant in a group of melanoma patients treated only with RTH. A detailed analysis of primary melanomas revealed that melanin levels were significantly higher in melanoma cells invading reticular dermis than the papillary dermis. A significant reduction of melanin pigmentation in pT3 and pT4 melanomas in comparison to pT1 and T2 tumors was observed. However, melanin levels measured in pT3-pT4 melanomas developing metastases (pN1-3, pM1) were higher than in pN0 and pM0 cases. The presence of melanin in metastatic melanoma cells decreases the outcome of radiotherapy, and melanin synthesis is related to higher disease advancement. Based on our previous cell-based and clinical research and present research we also suggest that inhibition of melanogenesis can improve radiotherapy modalities. The mechanism of relationship between melanogenesis and efficacy of RTH requires additional studies, including larger melanoma patients population and orthotopic, imageable mouse models of metastatic melanoma. PMID:26910282

  19. Optical Spectra of Melanin Films Extracted from Rana esculenta L.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perna, G.; Gallone, A.; Capozzi, V.; Biagi, P. F.; Fratello, A.; Guida, G.; Zanna, P.; Argenzio, E.; Cicero, R.

    2005-01-01

    The melanin pigment extracted from the liver of Rana esculenta L. has been deposited as thin film on quartz substrate. The Raman spectra, as well as optical absorption and photoluminescence measurements have been investigated. The results show that the melanin can be described as a network of clusters having different size. The larger size clusters determine the absorption edge of the film and the smaller size ones are mainly involved in the radiative emission process.

  20. Melanin content in melanoma metastases affects the outcome of radiotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Brożyna, Anna A.; Jóźwicki, Wojciech; Roszkowski, Krzysztof; Filipiak, Jan; Slominski, Andrzej T.

    2016-01-01

    Melanin possess radioprotective and scavenging properties, and its presence can affect the behavior of melanoma cells, its surrounding environment and susceptibility to the therapy, as showed in vitro experiments. To determine whether melanin presence in melanoma affects the efficiency of radiotherapy (RTH) we evaluated the survival time after RTH treatment in metastatic melanoma patients (n = 57). In another cohort of melanoma patients (n = 84), the relationship between melanin level and pT and pN status was determined. A significantly longer survival time was found in patients with amelanotic metastatic melanomas in comparison to the melanotic ones, who were treated with either RTH or chemotherapy (CHTH) and RTH. These differences were more significant in a group of melanoma patients treated only with RTH. A detailed analysis of primary melanomas revealed that melanin levels were significantly higher in melanoma cells invading reticular dermis than the papillary dermis. A significant reduction of melanin pigmentation in pT3 and pT4 melanomas in comparison to pT1 and T2 tumors was observed. However, melanin levels measured in pT3-pT4 melanomas developing metastases (pN1-3, pM1) were higher than in pN0 and pM0 cases. The presence of melanin in metastatic melanoma cells decreases the outcome of radiotherapy, and melanin synthesis is related to higher disease advancement. Based on our previous cell-based and clinical research and present research we also suggest that inhibition of melanogenesis can improve radiotherapy modalities. The mechanism of relationship between melanogenesis and efficacy of RTH requires additional studies, including larger melanoma patients population and orthotopic, imageable mouse models of metastatic melanoma. PMID:26910282

  1. UVA Phototransduction Drives Early Melanin Synthesis in Human Melanocytes

    PubMed Central

    Wicks, Nadine L.; Chan, Jason W.; Najera, Julia A.; Ciriello, Jonathan M.; Oancea, Elena

    2013-01-01

    Summary Exposure of human skin to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), a powerful carcinogen [1] comprising ~95% UVA and ~5% UVB at the Earth’s surface, promotes melanin synthesis in epidermal melanocytes [2, 3], which protects skin from DNA damage [4, 5]. UVB causes DNA lesions [6] that lead to transcriptional activation of melanin-producing enzymes, resulting in delayed skin pigmentation within days [7]. In contrast, UVA causes primarily oxidative damage [8] and leads to immediate pigment darkening (IPD) within minutes, via an unknown mechanism [9, 10]. No receptor protein directly mediating phototransduction in skin has been identified. Here we demonstrate that exposure of primary human epidermal melanocytes (HEMs) to UVA causes calcium mobilization and early melanin synthesis. Calcium responses were abolished by treatment with G protein or PLC inhibitors, or by depletion of intracellular calcium stores. We show that the visual photopigment rhodopsin [11] is expressed in HEMs and contributes to UVR phototransduction. Upon UVR exposure, significant melanin production was measured within one hour; cellular melanin continued to increase in a retinal- and calcium-dependent manner up to five-fold after 24 hours. Our findings identify a novel UVA-sensitive signaling pathway in melanocytes that leads to calcium mobilization and melanin synthesis, and may underlie the mechanism of IPD in human skin. PMID:22055294

  2. Synthetic melanin films: Assembling mechanisms, scaling behavior, and structural properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorite, Gabriela S.; Coluci, Vitor R.; da Silva, Maria Ivonete N.; Dezidério, Shirlei N.; Graeff, Carlos Frederico O.; Galva~O, Douglas S.; Cotta, Mônica A.

    2006-06-01

    In this work we report on the surface characterization of melanin thin films prepared using both water-based and organic solvent-based melanin syntheses. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) analysis of these films suggests that the organic solvent synthesis provides relatively planar basic melanin structures; these basic structures generate surface steps with height in the range of 2-3 nm and small tendency to form larger aggregates. The scaling properties obtained from the AFM data were used to infer the assembling mechanisms of these thin films which depend on the solvent used for melanin synthesis. The behavior observed in organic solvent-based melanin suggests a diffusion-limited aggregation process. Thus films with good adhesion to the substrate and smoother morphologies than water-prepared melanin films are obtained. Electronic structure calculations using a conductorlike screening model were also performed in order to elucidate the microscopic processes of thin film formation. Our results suggest that the agglomerates observed in hydrated samples originate from reaction with water at specific locations on the surface most likely defects on the planar structure.

  3. Development of gadolinium based nanoparticles having an affinity towards melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morlieras, Jessica; Chezal, Jean-Michel; Miot-Noirault, Elisabeth; Roux, Amandine; Heinrich-Balard, Laurence; Cohen, Richard; Tarrit, Sébastien; Truillet, Charles; Mignot, Anna; Hachani, Roxanne; Kryza, David; Antoine, Rodolphe; Dugourd, Philippe; Perriat, Pascal; Janier, Marc; Sancey, Lucie; Lux, François; Tillement, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Small Rigid Platforms (SRPs) are sub-5 nanometre gadolinium based nanoparticles that have been developed for multimodal imaging and theranostic applications. They are composed of a polysiloxane network surrounded by gadolinium chelates. A covalent coupling with quinoxaline derivatives has been performed. Such derivatives have proven their affinity for melanin frequently expressed in primary melanoma cases. Three different quinoxaline derivatives have been synthesised and coupled to the nanoparticles. The affinity of the grafted nanoparticles for melanin has then been shown in vitro by surface plasmon resonance on a homemade melanin grafted gold chip.Small Rigid Platforms (SRPs) are sub-5 nanometre gadolinium based nanoparticles that have been developed for multimodal imaging and theranostic applications. They are composed of a polysiloxane network surrounded by gadolinium chelates. A covalent coupling with quinoxaline derivatives has been performed. Such derivatives have proven their affinity for melanin frequently expressed in primary melanoma cases. Three different quinoxaline derivatives have been synthesised and coupled to the nanoparticles. The affinity of the grafted nanoparticles for melanin has then been shown in vitro by surface plasmon resonance on a homemade melanin grafted gold chip. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c2nr33457g

  4. Melanins and their possible roles through biological evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Césarini, J. P.

    Melanins are biopolymers which structures can be very simple or very complex. From a single essential amino acid, phenylalanine, to fully mature melanosomes, a series of events takes place: melanogenesis. A part of haemoglobin, melanins are the only pigment endogenously synthesised in humans. Their synthesis takes place in the melanocyte, a cell from neurectodermal origin (neural crest, neural tube, melanoblasts). Two important functions have been attributed to melanin: optical efficiency of the eye and colour pattern, but their role might have been much larger in lower vertebrates and several micro-organisms. By their structure, melanins have very original biophysical bioproperties. They could act as intrinsic semiconductors and may de-excite certain biological molecules by converting electronic energy into heat. Being themselves free radicals, they certainly play a major role in the quenching of free radicals produced by ultraviolet radiation. In their granular or particular form, they absorb or reflect the non-ionising radiations. Furthermore, like weak cation exchange polymers, eumelanins have the capacity to bind substantial amount of metal ions or drugs. Phaeomelanins, sulphur containing low molecular weight, may have controlled the redox state of the early steps of life on earth. In human, the skin protection role attributed to melanins is controversial. If melanins have played a major role in the establishment of a North South gradient of skin colour, it is by no mean, an adaptation phenomenon for the darker population living under strong sun exposures.

  5. Bird Integumentary Melanins: Biosynthesis, Forms, Function and Evolution.

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Solano, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Melanins are the ubiquitous pigments distributed in nature. They are one of the main pigments responsible for colors in living cells. Birds are among the most diverse animals regarding melanin-based coloration, especially in the plumage, although they also pigment bare parts of the integument. This review is devoted to the main characteristics of bird melanins, including updated views of the formation and nature of melanin granules, whose interest has been raised in the last years for inferring the color of extinct birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs using resistant fossil feathers. The molecular structure of the two main types of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, and the environmental and genetic factors that regulate avian melanogenesis are also presented, establishing the main relationship between them. Finally, the special functions of melanin in bird feathers are also discussed, emphasizing the aspects more closely related to these animals, such as honest signaling, and the factors that may drive the evolution of pheomelanin and pheomelanin-based color traits, an issue for which birds have been pioneer study models. PMID:27070583

  6. Bird Integumentary Melanins: Biosynthesis, Forms, Function and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Ismael; Solano, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Melanins are the ubiquitous pigments distributed in nature. They are one of the main pigments responsible for colors in living cells. Birds are among the most diverse animals regarding melanin-based coloration, especially in the plumage, although they also pigment bare parts of the integument. This review is devoted to the main characteristics of bird melanins, including updated views of the formation and nature of melanin granules, whose interest has been raised in the last years for inferring the color of extinct birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs using resistant fossil feathers. The molecular structure of the two main types of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, and the environmental and genetic factors that regulate avian melanogenesis are also presented, establishing the main relationship between them. Finally, the special functions of melanin in bird feathers are also discussed, emphasizing the aspects more closely related to these animals, such as honest signaling, and the factors that may drive the evolution of pheomelanin and pheomelanin-based color traits, an issue for which birds have been pioneer study models. PMID:27070583

  7. 1,8-Dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-Melanin Biosynthesis Inhibitors Increase Erythritol Production in Torula corallina, and DHN-Melanin Inhibits Erythrose Reductase

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jung-Kul; Jung, Hyung-Moo; Kim, Sang-Yong

    2003-01-01

    The yeast Torula corallina is a strong erythritol producer that is used in the industrial production of erythritol. However, melanin accumulation during culture represents a serious problem for the purification of erythritol from the fermentation broth. Melanin biosynthesis inhibitors such as 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin inhibitors were added to the T. corallina cultures. Only the DHN-melanin inhibitors showed an effect on melanin production, which suggests that the melanin formed during the culturing of T. corallina is derived from DHN. This finding was confirmed by the detection of a shunt product of the pentaketide pathway, flaviolin, and elemental analysis. Among the DHN-melanin inhibitors, tricyclazole was the most effective. Supplementation with tricyclazole enhanced the production of erythritol while significantly inhibiting the production of DHN-melanin and DHN-melanin biosynthetic enzymes, such as trihydroxynaphthalene reductase. The erythrose reductase from T. corallina was purified to homogeneity by ion-exchange and affinity chromatography. Purified erythrose reductase was significantly inhibited in vitro in a noncompetitive manner by elevated levels of DHN-melanin. In contrast, the level of erythrose reductase activity was unaffected by increasing concentrations of tricyclazole. These results suggest that supplemental tricyclazole reduces the production of DHN-melanin, which may lead to a reduction in the inhibition of erythrose reductase and a higher yield of erythritol. This is the first report to demonstrate that melanin biosynthesis inhibitors increase the production of a sugar alcohol in T. corallina. PMID:12788746

  8. The stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence guided ablation of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Gu, Zetong; DiMarzio, Charles

    2015-02-01

    Previous research has shown that the stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated and excited by a continuous-wave (CW) mode near infrared (NIR) laser, is a low-cost and reliable method for detecting melanin. We have developed a device utilizing the melanin SMPAF to guide the ablation of melanin with a 975 nm CW laser. This method provides the ability of targeting individual melanin particles with micrometer resolution, and enables localized melanin ablation to be performed without collateral damage. Compared to the traditional selective photothermolysis, which uses pulsed lasers for melanin ablation, this method demonstrates higher precision and lower cost. Therefore, the SMPAF guided selective ablation of melanin is a promising tool of melanin ablation for both medical and cosmetic purposes.

  9. Optical properties of cells with melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rohde, Barukh; Coats, Israel; Krueger, James; Gareau, Dan

    2014-02-01

    The optical properties of pigmented lesions have been studied using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy in a noninvasive configuration on optically thick samples such as skin in vivo. However, it is difficult to un-mix the effects of absorption and scattering with diffuse reflectance spectroscopy techniques due to the complex anatomical distributions of absorbing and scattering biomolecules. We present a device and technique that enables absorption and scattering measurements of tissue volumes much smaller than the optical mean-free path. Because these measurements are taken on fresh-frozen sections, they are direct measurements of the optical properties of tissue, albeit in a different hydration state than in vivo tissue. Our results on lesions from 20 patients including melanomas and nevi show the absorption spectrum of melanin in melanocytes and basal keratinocytes. Our samples consisted of fresh frozen sections that were unstained. Fitting the spectrum as an exponential decay between 500 and 1100 nm [mua = A*exp(-B*(lambda-C)) + D], we report on the fit parameters of and their variation due to biological heterogeneity as A = 4.20e4 +/- 1.57e5 [1/cm], B = 4.57e-3 +/- 1.62e-3 [1/nm], C = 210 +/- 510 [nm] , D = 613 +/- 534 [1/cm]. The variability in these results is likely due to highly heterogeneous distributions of eumelanin and pheomelanin.

  10. Hyperosmotic Stress Reduces Melanin Production by Altering Melanosome Formation

    PubMed Central

    Bin, Bum-Ho; Bhin, Jinhyuk; Yang, Seung Ha; Choi, Dong-Hwa; Park, Kyuhee; Shin, Dong Wook; Lee, Ai-Young; Hwang, Daehee; Cho, Eun-Gyung; Lee, Tae Ryong

    2014-01-01

    Many tissues of the human body encounter hyperosmotic stress. The effect of extracellular osmotic changes on melanin production has not yet been elucidated. In this study, we determined that hyperosmotic stress induced by organic osmolytes results in reduced melanin production in human melanoma MNT-1 cells. Under hyperosmotic stress, few pigmented mature melanosomes were detected, but there was an increase in swollen vacuoles. These vacuoles were stained with an anti-M6PR antibody that recognizes late endosomal components and with anti-TA99 and anti-HMB45 antibodies, implying that melanosome formation was affected by hyperosmotic stress. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that the M6PR-positive swollen vacuoles were multi-layered and contained melanized granules, and they produced melanin when L-DOPA was applied, indicating that these vacuoles were still capable of producing melanin, but the inner conditions were not compatible with melanin production. The vacuolation phenomenon induced by hyperosmotic conditions disappeared with treatment with the PI3K activator 740 Y-P, indicating that the PI3K pathway is affected by hyperosmotic conditions and is responsible for the proper formation and maturation of melanosomes. The microarray analysis showed alterations of the vesicle organization and transport under hyperosmotic stress. Our findings suggest that melanogenesis could be regulated by physiological conditions, such as osmotic pressure. PMID:25170965

  11. Synthetic melanin thin films: Structural and electrical properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da Silva, M. I. N.; Dezidério, S. N.; Gonzalez, J. C.; Graeff, C. F. O.; Cotta, M. A.

    2004-11-01

    Scanning probe microscopy was used to investigate the structural and electrical organization at the nanoscopic level of hydrated melanin thin films synthesized by oxidizing L-3-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-alanine (L-dopa) in dimethyl sulfoxide. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) provided the morphologies of the L-dopa melanin films. Electrostatic force microscopy and conductive-AFM were used to spatially resolve the electrical properties of the material. Using a simple parallel plate capacitor model a method to measure the charge distribution on the sample was developed. The correlations between topography, electric charge, and current images of the sample demonstrated that the hydration process produces a restructuring of melanin observed not only through topographic variations, but also through the creation of areas with different electrical properties.

  12. Optical and thermal characterization of natural (Sepia officinalis) melanin.

    PubMed

    Vitkin, I A; Woolsey, J; Wilson, B C; Anderson, R R

    1994-04-01

    The optical properties and the thermal diffusivity of natural cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) melanin have been measured. The optical absorption and scattering properties of melanin particles were determined at 580 nm and 633 nm, using photometric and photothermal techniques. For the photometric studies, the absorption and the transport scattering coefficients were determined from the measurements of diffuse reflectance and transmittance. The scattering anisotropy was obtained from an additional measurement of the total attenuation coefficient and independently obtained by goniometry. For photothermal studies, pulsed photothermal radiometry was used to deduce the absorption and transport scattering coefficients via a model based on optical diffusion theory. Pulsed photothermal radiometry was also used to provide the thermal diffusivity of solid melanin pressed pellets. PMID:8022888

  13. Melanin determination by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for K. marxianus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ultraviolet light (UV) mutated K. marxianus was found to turn dark brown during a growth assay. This brown color was hypothesized to be melanin overproduction influenced by the UV exposure. Cell cultures were oxidized and HPLC analyzed to determine melanin concentrations. The resulting melanin con...

  14. Structural, electrical, electronic and optical properties of melanin films.

    PubMed

    Abbas, M; D'Amico, F; Morresi, L; Pinto, N; Ficcadenti, M; Natali, R; Ottaviano, L; Passacantando, M; Cuccioloni, M; Angeletti, M; Gunnella, R

    2009-03-01

    We present thick, uniform and rather flat melanin films obtained using spray deposition. The morphology of the films was investigated using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Temperature-dependent electrical resistance of melanin thin films evidenced a semiconductor-like character and a hysteretic behavior linked to an irreversible process of water molecule desorption from the melanin film. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) was carried out to analyze the role of the functional groups in the primary and secondary structure of the macromolecule, showing that the contribution of the 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) subunit to the molecule is about 35%. Comparison of the optical absorption of the thick (800nm) and thin (80nm) films showed a spectral change when the thickness increases. From in vacuum photoconductivity (PC) measured at controlled temperatures, we suggest that the melanin films exhibit a possible charge transport mechanism by means of delocalized pi states along the stacked planar secondary structure. PMID:19190947

  15. Melanin and neuromelanin binding of drugs and chemicals: toxicological implications.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Oskar; Lindquist, Nils Gunnar

    2016-08-01

    Melanin is a polyanionic pigment that colors, e.g., the hair, skin and eyes. The pigment neuromelanin is closely related to melanin and is mainly produced in specific neurons of the substantia nigra. Certain drugs and chemicals bind to melanin/neuromelanin and are retained in pigment cells for long periods. This specific retention is thought to protect the cells but also to serve as a depot that slowly releases accumulated compounds and may cause toxicity in the eye and skin. Moreover, neuromelanin and compounds with high neuromelanin affinity have been suggested to be implicated in the development of adverse drug reactions in the central nervous system (CNS) as well as in the etiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). Epidemiologic studies implicate the exposure to pesticides, metals, solvents and other chemicals as risk factors for PD. Neuromelanin interacts with several of these toxicants which may play a significant part in both the initiation and the progression of neurodegeneration. MPTP/MPP(+) that has been casually linked with parkinsonism has high affinity for neuromelanin, and the induced dopaminergic denervation correlates with the neuromelanin content in the cells. Recent studies have also reported that neuromelanin may interact with α-synuclein as well as activate microglia and dendritic cells. This review aims to provide an overview of melanin binding of drugs and other compounds, and possible toxicological implications, with particular focus on the CNS and its potential involvement in neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:27311820

  16. Effects of selected organo-sulfur compounds on melanin formation.

    PubMed

    Chu, Heuy-Ling; Wang, Bor-Sen; Duh, Pin-Der

    2009-08-12

    The effect of organo-sulfur compounds, including 1-propylmercaptan (PM), dimethyl disulfide (DMDS), diallyl disulfide (DADS), propyl disulfide (PDS), and 2,5-dimethylthiophene (DMT), on melanin formation was investigated. Among the selected five organo-sulfur compounds, PM displayed a significant inhibitory effect on tyrosinase activity (IC(50) = 0.5 mM) and the highest inhibitory action on o-quinone formation. In the B16 intracellular model system, the inhibitory action of selected five organo-sulfur compounds on tyrosinase activity and melanin formation may be, in part, attributed to the reduction of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation and positive modulation of the GSH/GSSG ratio in B16 cells. Among the five organo-sulfur compounds, PM appeared to be the most potent inhibitor of melanin formation. The analysis of inhibitory kinetics revealed that PM is a mixed-type inhibitor. This is the first study indicating that organo-sulfur compounds tested may play an important role in the regulation of melanin formation, making them the potent candidates for skin-whitening agents. PMID:19610593

  17. Dispersive Raman spectroscopy allows the identification and quantification of melanin types.

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Jorge, Alberto

    2015-04-01

    Melanins are the most prevalent pigments in animals and are involved in visual communication by producing colored traits that often evolve as intraspecific signals of quality. Identifying and quantifying melanins are therefore essential to understand the function and evolution of melanin-based signals. However, the analysis of melanins is difficult due to their insolubility and the lack of simple methods that allow the identification of their chemical forms. We recently proposed the use of Raman spectroscopy as a simple, noninvasive technique that can be used to identify and quantify melanins in feathers and hairs. Contrarily, other authors later stated that melanins are characterized by a lack of defined Raman signals. Here, we use confocal Raman microscopy to confirm previous analyses showing that the two main chemical forms of melanins (eumelanin and pheomelanin) exhibit distinct Raman signal and compare different excitation wavelengths to analyze synthetic pheomelanin and natural melanins in feathers of different species of birds. Our analyses indicate that only laser excitation wavelengths below 1064 nm are useful for the analysis of melanins by Raman spectroscopy, and only 780-nm laser in the case of melanins in feathers. These findings show that the capacity of Raman spectroscopy to distinguish different chemical forms of melanins depends on laser power and integration time. As a consequence, Raman spectroscopy should be applied after preliminar analyses using a range of these parameters, especially in fragile biological tissues such as feathers. PMID:25897382

  18. Paraquat-Melanin Redox-Cycling: Evidence from Electrochemical Reverse Engineering.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eunkyoung; Leverage, W Taylor; Liu, Yi; Panzella, Lucia; Alfieri, Maria Laura; Napolitano, Alessandra; Bentley, William E; Payne, Gregory F

    2016-08-17

    Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with oxidative stress and the death of melanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra. Epidemiological evidence links exposure to the pesticide paraquat (PQ) to Parkinson's disease, and this link has been explained by a redox cycling mechanism that induces oxidative stress. Here, we used a novel electrochemistry-based reverse engineering methodology to test the hypothesis that PQ can undergo reductive redox cycling with melanin. In this method, (i) an insoluble natural melanin (from Sepia melanin) and a synthetic model melanin (having a cysteinyldopamine-melanin core and dopamine-melanin shell) were entrapped in a nonconducting hydrogel film adjacent to an electrode, (ii) the film-coated electrode was immersed in solutions containing PQ (putative redox cycling reductant) and a redox cycling oxidant (ferrocene dimethanol), (iii) sequences of input potentials (i.e., voltages) were imposed to the underlying electrode to systematically engage reductive and oxidative redox cycling, and (iv) output response currents were analyzed for signatures of redox cycling. The response characteristics of the PQ-melanin systems to various input potential sequences support the hypothesis that PQ can directly donate electrons to melanin. This observation of PQ-melanin redox interactions demonstrates an association between two components that have been individually linked to oxidative stress and Parkinson's disease. Potentially, melanin's redox activity could be an important component in understanding the etiology of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. PMID:27246915

  19. Dispersive Raman spectroscopy allows the identification and quantification of melanin types

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Ismael; Jorge, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    Melanins are the most prevalent pigments in animals and are involved in visual communication by producing colored traits that often evolve as intraspecific signals of quality. Identifying and quantifying melanins are therefore essential to understand the function and evolution of melanin-based signals. However, the analysis of melanins is difficult due to their insolubility and the lack of simple methods that allow the identification of their chemical forms. We recently proposed the use of Raman spectroscopy as a simple, noninvasive technique that can be used to identify and quantify melanins in feathers and hairs. Contrarily, other authors later stated that melanins are characterized by a lack of defined Raman signals. Here, we use confocal Raman microscopy to confirm previous analyses showing that the two main chemical forms of melanins (eumelanin and pheomelanin) exhibit distinct Raman signal and compare different excitation wavelengths to analyze synthetic pheomelanin and natural melanins in feathers of different species of birds. Our analyses indicate that only laser excitation wavelengths below 1064 nm are useful for the analysis of melanins by Raman spectroscopy, and only 780-nm laser in the case of melanins in feathers. These findings show that the capacity of Raman spectroscopy to distinguish different chemical forms of melanins depends on laser power and integration time. As a consequence, Raman spectroscopy should be applied after preliminar analyses using a range of these parameters, especially in fragile biological tissues such as feathers. PMID:25897382

  20. Decolorization of synthetic melanins by crude laccases of Lentinus polychrous Lév.

    PubMed

    Khammuang, Saranyu; Sarnthima, Rakrudee

    2013-01-01

    Melanins are complex natural pigments that darken the skin and are difficult to degrade. This study evaluated synthetic melanin decolorization by the crude laccase from fungus Lentinus polychrous in the absence and presence of selected redox mediators. The greatest melanin decolorization activity was 87 % at pH 6.5 within 3 h in the presence of 2,2-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonate) diammonium salt (ABTS), whereas only about 22 % melanin decolorized at pH 5.0 in case of no mediator. The optimum temperatures for melanin decolorization in the absence and presence of ABTS were 55 and 35°C, respectively. Using a natural redox mediator, 1.0 mmol/L vanillin leads to 45 % melanin decolorization. Our results suggest the possibility of applying vanillin for L. polychrous laccase-catalyzed decolorization of melanin. PMID:22678697

  1. Keratinocyte-derived Laminin-332 Protein Promotes Melanin Synthesis via Regulation of Tyrosine Uptake*

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Heesung; Jung, Hyejung; Lee, Jung-hyun; Oh, Hye Yun; Kim, Ok Bin; Han, Inn-Oc; Oh, Eok-Soo

    2014-01-01

    Melanocytes, which produce the pigment melanin, are known to be closely regulated by neighboring keratinocytes. However, how keratinocytes regulate melanin production is unclear. Here we report that melanin production in melanoma cells (B16F10 and MNT-1) was increased markedly on a keratinocyte-derived extracellular matrix compared with a melanoma cell-derived extracellular matrix. siRNA-mediated reduction of keratinocyte-derived laminin-332 expression decreased melanin synthesis in melanoma cells, and laminin-332, but not fibronectin, enhanced melanin content and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone-regulated melanin production in melanoma cells. Similar effects were observed in human melanocytes. Interestingly, however, laminin-332 did not affect the expression or activity of tyrosinase. Instead, laminin-332 promoted the uptake of extracellular tyrosine and, subsequently, increased intracellular levels of tyrosine in both melanocytes and melanoma cells. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that keratinocyte-derived laminin-332 contributes to melanin production by regulating tyrosine uptake. PMID:24951591

  2. Melanin: spin behaviour and implications for bioelectronic devices (Presentation Recording)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meredith, Paul; Sheliakina, Margarita; Mostert, Bernard

    2015-10-01

    The melanins are a broad class of pigmentary macromolecules found through nature that perform a wide range of functions including photo-protection [1]. The most common melanin - the brown, black pigment eumelanin, has been much studied because of its role in melanoma and also for its functional material properties [2]. Synthetic eumelanin has been shown to be photoconductive in the solid state and also possess a water content dependent dark conductivity [3]. It is now well established that these electrical properties arise from hybrid ionic-electronic behaviour, leading to the proposition that melanins could be model biocompatible systems for ion-to-electron transduction in bioelectronics. In my talk, I will discuss the basic science behind these bioelectronics properties - electrical and optical. In this context I will also describe recent electron paramagnetic spin studies which isolate the role of the various chemical moieties responsible for the hybrid ionic-electronic behaviour. I will also highlight preliminary results on prototype melanin-based bioelectronics devices and discuss possible architectures to realise elements such as solid-state switches and transducers. [1] "The physical and chemical properties of eumelanin", P. Meredith and T. Sarna, Pigment Cell Research, 19(6), pp572-594 (2006). [2] "Electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices inspired by nature", P Meredith, C.J. Bettinger, M. Irimia-Vladu, A.B. Mostert and P.E. Schwenn, Reports on Progress in Physics, 76, 034501 (2013). [3] "Is melanin a semiconductor: humidity induced self doping and the electrical conductivity of a biopolymer", A.B. Mostert, B.J. Powell, F.L. Pratt, G.R. Hanson, T. Sarna, I.R. Gentle and P. Meredith, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 109(23), 8943-8947 (2012).

  3. Melanin accelerates the tyrosinase-catalyzed oxygenation of p-hydroxyanisole (MMEH)

    PubMed

    Menter, J M; Townsel, M E; Moore, C L; Williamson, G D; Soteres, B J; Fisher, M S; Willis, I

    1990-01-01

    Although pigment melanin has long been though of as "inert," recent work has attested to its chemical reactivity. In this communication, we report that either commercial synthetic melanin prepared by persulfate oxidation of tyrosine ("Sigma melanin") or sepia melanin extracted from cuttlefish markedly accelerates the in vitro oxygenation of p-hydroxyanisole (MMEH), catalyzed by mushroom or B-16 melanoma tyrosinase. Kinetics of 4-methoxy-1,2-benzoquinone formation (lambda max = 413 nm) or of molecular O2 uptake were biphasic, with an initial slow rate ("lag time") followed by a fast linear increase. The biphasic response reflects an initial slow hydroxylation followed by a fast dehydrogenation. Added melanin markedly decreased the lag time but had little effect on subsequent dehydrogenation. Similar effects were observed for tyrosine itself. A complex between MMEH and melanin appears to be the "active" species in these reactions. The results indicate that melanin acts as an electron conduit, which accepts electrons from the substrate and transfers them to tyrosinase. The magnitude of the effect depends on the type of melanin as well as on its oxidation state. Kinetic analysis indicates that both melanins are very efficient at transferring electron to tyrosinase, and that Sigma melanin is roughly threefold more efficient than sepia melanin. The qualitative similarity of reaction between the synthetic and "natural" melanins suggests that the former may serve as a first approximation to the in vivo situation. On the other hand, the observed quantitative differences and the sensitivity of these results to the chemical state of melanin suggests that this methodology might eventually be adapted as a non-destructive probe of melanin in situ.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2117269

  4. Snapshot RGB mapping of skin melanin and hemoglobin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spigulis, Janis; Oshina, Ilze

    2015-05-01

    The concept of snapshot red-green-blue (RGB) multispectral imaging was applied for skin chromophore mapping. Three monochromatic spectral images have been extracted from a single RGB image dataset at simultaneous illumination of skin by 473-, 532-, and 659-nm laser lines. The spectral images were further transformed into distribution maps of skin melanin, oxyhemoglobin, and deoxyhemoglobin, related to pigmented and vascular skin malformations. The performance and clinical potential of the proposed technique are discussed.

  5. When the circadian clock meets the melanin pigmentary system.

    PubMed

    Slominski, Andrzej T; Hardeland, Rüdiger; Reiter, Russel J

    2015-04-01

    Silencing of BMAL1 and PER1 stimulates melanogenic activity of follicular and epidermal melanocytes, indicating a novel role for peripheral circadian clock processes in the regulation of melanin pigmentation. Linking the expression levels of BMAL1/PER1 with changes in melanogenesis opens exciting opportunities to study the role of the local molecular clock in modulation of melanocyte functions in the hair follicle and the epidermis with attendant effects on epidermal barrier functions in general. PMID:25785947

  6. Melanin-based colour polymorphism responding to climate change.

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2014-11-01

    Climate warming leads to a decrease in biodiversity. Organisms can deal with the new prevailing environmental conditions by one of two main routes, namely evolving new genetic adaptations or through phenotypic plasticity to modify behaviour and physiology. Melanin-based colouration has important functions in animals including a role in camouflage and thermoregulation, protection against UV-radiation and pathogens and, furthermore, genes involved in melanogenesis can pleiotropically regulate behaviour and physiology. In this article, I review the current evidence that differently coloured individuals are differentially sensitive to climate change. Predicting which of dark or pale colour variants (or morphs) will be more penalized by climate change will depend on the adaptive function of melanism in each species as well as how the degree of colouration covaries with behaviour and physiology. For instance, because climate change leads to a rise in temperature and UV-radiation and dark colouration plays a role in UV-protection, dark individuals may be less affected from global warming, if this phenomenon implies more solar radiation particularly in habitats of pale individuals. In contrast, as desertification increases, pale colouration may expand in those regions, whereas dark colourations may expand in regions where humidity is predicted to increase. Dark colouration may be also indirectly selected by climate warming because genes involved in the production of melanin pigments confer resistance to a number of stressful factors including those associated with climate warming. Furthermore, darker melanic individuals are commonly more aggressive than paler conspecifics, and hence they may better cope with competitive interactions due to invading species that expand their range in northern latitudes and at higher altitudes. To conclude, melanin may be a major component involved in adaptation to climate warming, and hence in animal populations melanin-based colouration is

  7. Flavonoids and Melanins: A Common Strategy across Two Kingdoms

    PubMed Central

    Carletti, Giorgia; Nervo, Giuseppe; Cattivelli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiations alter a number of metabolic functions in vivant. They produce damages to lipids, nucleic acids and proteins, generating reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen (O2), hydroxyl radical (HO) and superoxide anion (O2-). Plants and animals, after their water emersion, have developed biochemical mechanisms to protect themselves from that environmental threat through a common strategy. Melanins in animals and flavonoids in plants are antioxidant pigments acting as free radical scavenging mechanisms. Both are phenol compounds constitutively synthesized and enhanced after exposure to UV rays, often conferring a red-brown-dark tissue pigmentation. Noteworthy, beside anti-oxidant scavenging activity, melanins and flavonoids have acquired secondary functions that, both in plants and animals, concern reproductions and fitness. Plants highly pigmented are more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses. Darker wild vertebrates are generally more aggressive, sexually active and resistant to stress than lighter individuals. Flavonoids have been associated with signal attraction between flowers and insects and with plant-plant interaction. Melanin pigmentation has been proposed as trait in bird communication, acting as honest signals of quality. This review shows how the molecular mechanisms leading to tissue pigmentation have many functional analogies between plants and animals and how their origin lies in simpler organisms such as Cyanobacteria. Comparative studies between plant and animal kingdoms can reveal new insight of the antioxidant strategies in vivant. PMID:25516714

  8. Hesperetin induces melanin production in adult human epidermal melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Usach, Iris; Taléns-Visconti, Raquel; Magraner-Pardo, Lorena; Peris, José-Esteban

    2015-06-01

    One of the major sources of flavonoids for humans are citrus fruits, hesperidin being the predominant flavonoid. Hesperetin (HSP), the aglycon of hesperidin, has been reported to provide health benefits such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic effects. However, the effect of HSP on skin pigmentation is not clear. Some authors have found that HSP induces melanogenesis in murine B16-F10 melanoma cells, which, if extrapolated to in vivo conditions, might protect skin against photodamage. Since the effect of HSP on normal melanocytes could be different to that observed on melanoma cells, the described effect of HSP on murine melanoma cells has been compared to the effect obtained using normal human melanocytes. HSP concentrations of 25 and 50 µM induced melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activity in human melanocytes in a concentration-dependent manner. Compared to control melanocytes, 25 µM HSP increased melanin production and tyrosinase activity 1.4-fold (p < 0.01) and 1.1-fold (p < 0.01), respectively, and the corresponding increases in the case of 50 µM HSP were 1.9-fold (p < 0.001) and 1.3-fold (p < 0.001). Therefore, HSP could be considered a valuable photoprotective substance if its capacity to increase melanin production in human melanocyte cultures could be reproduced on human skin. PMID:25765751

  9. Flavonoids and Melanins: a common strategy across two kingdoms.

    PubMed

    Carletti, Giorgia; Nervo, Giuseppe; Cattivelli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiations alter a number of metabolic functions in vivant. They produce damages to lipids, nucleic acids and proteins, generating reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen (O2), hydroxyl radical (HO) and superoxide anion (O2 (-)). Plants and animals, after their water emersion, have developed biochemical mechanisms to protect themselves from that environmental threat through a common strategy. Melanins in animals and flavonoids in plants are antioxidant pigments acting as free radical scavenging mechanisms. Both are phenol compounds constitutively synthesized and enhanced after exposure to UV rays, often conferring a red-brown-dark tissue pigmentation. Noteworthy, beside anti-oxidant scavenging activity, melanins and flavonoids have acquired secondary functions that, both in plants and animals, concern reproductions and fitness. Plants highly pigmented are more resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses. Darker wild vertebrates are generally more aggressive, sexually active and resistant to stress than lighter individuals. Flavonoids have been associated with signal attraction between flowers and insects and with plant-plant interaction. Melanin pigmentation has been proposed as trait in bird communication, acting as honest signals of quality. This review shows how the molecular mechanisms leading to tissue pigmentation have many functional analogies between plants and animals and how their origin lies in simpler organisms such as Cyanobacteria. Comparative studies between plant and animal kingdoms can reveal new insight of the antioxidant strategies in vivant. PMID:25516714

  10. Malignant melanoma arising in melanin-producing medullary thyroid carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Hirokawa, Mitsuyoshi; Miyauchi, Akira; Otsuru, Minoru; Daa, Tsutomu

    2016-01-01

    Introduction We report a case of malignant melanoma arising in medullary thyroid carcinoma that has not yet been described. Presentation of case A 66-year-old woman presented with a mass in her thyroid. The resected mass was black in color, and was composed of a mixture of classic medullary thyroid carcinoma and pleomorphic atypical cells containing melanin pigments. The pleomorphic atypical cells were morphologically consistent with malignant melanoma, and expressed Melan-A, HMB-45, and S-100 protein as determined by immunohistochemistry. Some of these cells were also positive for calcitonin and chromogranin A. Although the malignant melanoma metastasized to the lymph nodes, the patient remained free from local recurrence and distant metastasis and the primary malignant melanoma lesion was not identified for up to 11 years after the thyroidectomy. Discussion 11 melanin-producing MTC cases have been reported to date. In the reported cases, the term “malignant melanoma” was not used, likely because the melanin-containing carcinoma cells were not morphologically consistent with malignant melanoma, but with medullary carcinoma. Conclusion Malignant melanoma arising in MTC may have a favorable prognosis. PMID:26852361

  11. On the structure of human hair melanins from an infrared spectroscopy analysis of their interactions with Cu 2+ ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bilińska, Barbara

    2001-10-01

    Melanins were isolated from dark and red human hair and complexed with copper ions at various pH values in a complexing medium. IR spectra of melanins and their Cu 2+-complexes for pellets with KBr were obtained. The IR spectra indicate that Cu 2+ ions bound to melanins are fixed by different carboxyl and hydroxyl (phenolic and/or alcoholic) groups in the macromolecule. From these results it is concluded that, generally, melanin carboxyl groups are responsible for interactions of metal ions with the melanin molecule. Complexes of melanins isolated from dark and red human hair show structural differences when analysed by IR spectroscopy. Conclusions from these investigations assist in the differentiation of structures of analysed hair melanins. IR spectral analysis of melanin samples and their complexes suggest that melanin samples obtained from red hair may contain eumelanin.

  12. Sub-nm 3D observation of human hair melanin by high-voltage STEM.

    PubMed

    Imai, Takehito; Higuchi, Kimitaka; Yamamoto, Yuta; Arai, Shigeo; Nakano, Takashi; Tanaka, Nobuo

    2016-04-01

    The ultrastructure of melanin granules in human hair was studied using 1,000 kV high-voltage scanning transmission electron microscopy to successfully reconstruct three-dimensional images of the whole melanin granule. It was revealed that the melanin granule was composed of a membrane-like outer structure that included many spherical vesicles, and an inner matrix containing a sheet-like structure in the elongated direction of the melanin granule and a sheet-like arrays structure in the cross direction. The outer structure of the melanin granule was maintained even after exposure to hair-bleaching agents to decompose the melanin granule, suggesting that the outer structure was a highly robust structure and composition compared with the inner matrix . PMID:26705324

  13. A versatile method for the removal of melanin from ribonucleic acids in melanocytic cells.

    PubMed

    Satyamoorthy, K; Li, G; Van Belle, P A; Elder, D E; Herlyn, M

    2002-10-01

    Melanin pigments often co-purify during preparation of nucleic acids from cells or tissues of melanocytic origin. Contaminating melanin can severely impede subsequent analyses of RNA. We attempted to eliminate melanin in RNA preparations using selected gel matrices. We show here that co-purified melanin pigments can be largely eliminated from RNA samples after passing through polyacrylamide-based beads (Bio-Gel P-60). After isolation from the pigment-containing cells or tissues, RNA was subsequently processed through batch or column purification under acidic pH conditions. The resulting RNA was devoid of contaminating melanin pigments and amenable to molecular reactions such as polymerase chain reaction and cDNA synthesis by reverse transcriptase. Although the process results in some loss of input RNA, this purification procedure is simple, robust and can easily be adopted in any laboratory for the molecular analysis of RNA that requires removal of melanin contamination. PMID:12394186

  14. Dermal melanin concentration of yellow perch Perca flavescens in relation to water transparency.

    PubMed

    Rheault, G; Langevin, M; Cabana, G; Glémet, H

    2015-11-01

    A positive relationship was observed between Secchi disc depth and dermal melanin concentration in yellow perch Perca flavescens sampled from 11 humic lakes located on the Canadian Shield in southern Quebec (Canada). Secchi disc depth explained 23% of the variations of dermal melanin concentration. Secchi disc depth and thus water transparency appear to have a positive influence on melanin production in the dermis of P. flavescens. PMID:26399476

  15. Histoplasma capsulatum Synthesizes Melanin-Like Pigments In Vitro and during Mammalian Infection

    PubMed Central

    Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Gómez, Beatriz L.; Youngchim, Sirida; Díez, Soraya; Aisen, Philip; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely M.; Restrepo, Angela; Casadevall, Arturo; Hamilton, Andrew J.

    2002-01-01

    Melanin is made by several important pathogenic fungi and has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of fungal infections. This study investigated whether the thermally dimorphic fungal pathogen Histoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum produced melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and during infection. Growth of H. capsulatum mycelia in chemically defined minimal medium produced pigmented conidia. Growth of H. capsulatum yeast in chemically defined minimal medium with l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) or (-)-epinephrine produced pigmented cells. Treatment of the pigmented cells with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant, and hot concentrated acid yielded dark particles that were similar in size and shape to their respective propagules. Melanin-binding monoclonal antibodies (MAb) labeled pigmented conidia, yeast, and the isolated particles as determined by immunofluorescence microscopy. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy revealed that pigmented yeast cells and particles derived from pigmented cells were stable free radicals consistent with their identification as melanins. Tissues from mice infected with H. capsulatum and from biopsy specimens from a patient with histoplasmosis contained fungal cells that were labeled by melanin-binding MAb. Digestion of infected mouse tissues yielded dark particles that reacted with the melanin-binding MAb and were similar in appearance to H. capsulatum yeast cells. Additionally, sera from infected mice contained antibodies that bound melanin particles. Phenoloxidase activity capable of synthesizing melanin from L-DOPA was detected in cytoplasmic yeast cell extracts. These findings indicate that H. capsulatum conidia and yeast can produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and that yeast cells can synthesize pigment in vivo. Since melanin is an important virulence factor in other pathogenic fungi, this pigment may have a similar role to play in the pathogenesis of histoplasmosis. PMID:12183562

  16. Solution structure of copper ion-induced molecular aggregates of tyrosine melanin.

    PubMed

    Gallas, J M; Littrell, K C; Seifert, S; Zajac, G W; Thiyagarajan, P

    1999-08-01

    Melanin, the ubiquitous biological pigment, provides photoprotection by efficient filtration of light and also by its antioxidant behavior. In solutions of synthetic melanin, both optical and antioxidant behavior are affected by the aggregation states of melanin. We have utilized small-angle x-ray and neutron scattering to determine the molecular dimensions of synthetic tyrosine melanin in its unaggregated state in D(2)O and H(2)O to study the structure of melanin aggregates formed in the presence of copper ions at various copper-to-melanin molar ratios. In the absence of copper ions, or at low copper ion concentrations, tyrosine melanin is present in solution as a sheet-like particle with a mean thickness of 12.5 A and a lateral extent of approximately 54 A. At a copper-to-melanin molar ratio of 0.6, melanin aggregates to form long, rod-like structures with a radius of 32 A. At a higher copper ion concentration, with a copper-to-melanin ratio of 1.0, these rod-like structures further aggregate, forming sheet-like structures with a mean thickness of 51 A. A change in the charge of the ionizable groups induced by the addition of copper ions is proposed to account for part of the aggregation. The data also support a model for the copper-induced aggregation of melanin driven by pi stacking assisted by peripheral Cu(2+) complexation. The relationship between our results and a previous hypothesis for reduced cellular damage from bound-to-melanin redox metal ions is also discussed. PMID:10423458

  17. Non-contact assessment of melanin distribution via multispectral temporal illumination coding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amelard, Robert; Scharfenberger, Christian; Wong, Alexander; Clausi, David A.

    2015-03-01

    Melanin is a pigment that is highly absorptive in the UV and visible electromagnetic spectra. It is responsible for perceived skin tone, and protects against harmful UV effects. Abnormal melanin distribution is often an indicator for melanoma. We propose a novel approach for non-contact melanin distribution via multispectral temporal illumination coding to estimate the two-dimensional melanin distribution based on its absorptive characteristics. In the proposed system, a novel multispectral, cross-polarized, temporally-coded illumination sequence is synchronized with a camera to measure reflectance under both multispectral and ambient illumination. This allows us to eliminate the ambient illumination contribution from the acquired reflectance measurements, and also to determine the melanin distribution in an observed region based on the spectral properties of melanin using the Beer-Lambert law. Using this information, melanin distribution maps can be generated for objective, quantitative assessment of skin type of individuals. We show that the melanin distribution map correctly identifies areas with high melanin densities (e.g., nevi).

  18. Applying photoacoustics to quantification of melanin concentration in retinal pigment epithelium (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shu, Xiao; Zhang, Hao F.; Liu, Wenzhong

    2016-03-01

    The melanin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) protects retina and other ocular tissues by photo-screening and acting as antioxidant and free radical scavenger. It helps maintain normal visual functions since human eye is subjected to lifelong high oxygen stress and photon exposure. Loss of the RPE melanin weakens the protection mechanism and jeopardizes ocular health. Local decrease in the RPE melanin concentration is believed to be both a cause and a sign of early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading blinding disease in developed world. Current technology cannot quantitatively measure the RPE melanin concentration which might be a promising marker in early AMD screening. Photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM), as an emerging optical absorption-based imaging technology, can potentially be applied to measure the RPE melanin concentration if the dependence of the detectable photoacoustic (PA) signal amplitudes on the RPE melanin concentrations is verified. In this study, we tested the feasibility of using PA signal ratio from RPE melanin and the nearby retinal blood vessels as an indicator of the RPE melanin variation. A novel whole eye optical model was designed and Monte Carlo modeling of light (MCML) was employed. We examined the influences on quantification from PAOM axial resolution, the depth and diameter of the retinal blood vessel, and the RPE thickness. The results show that the scheme is robust to individual histological and illumination variations. This study suggests that PAOM is capable of quantitatively measuring the RPE melanin concentration in vivo.

  19. Production and Cytotoxicity of Extracellular Insoluble and Droplets of Soluble Melanin by Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3

    PubMed Central

    Madhusudhan, D. N.; Mazhari, Bi Bi Zainab; Dastager, Syed G.

    2014-01-01

    A Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3 strain with potential to synthesize both insoluble and soluble melanins was detected. Melanins are quite distinguished based on their solubility for varied biotechnological applications. The present investigation reveals the enhanced production of insoluble and soluble melanins in tyrosine medium by a single culture. Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3 was characterized by 16S rRNA gene analysis. An enhanced production of 5.29 g/L insoluble melanin was achieved in a submerged bioprocess following response surface methodology. Combined interactive effect of temperature (50°C), pH (8.5), tyrosine (2.0 g/L), and beef extract (0.5 g/L) were found to be critical variables for enhanced production in central composite design analysis. An optimized indigenous slant culture system was an innovative approach for the successful production (264 mg/L) of pure soluble melanin from the droplets formed on the surface of the culture. Both insoluble and soluble melanins were confirmed and characterized by Chemical, reactions, UV, FTIR, and TLC analysis. First time, cytotoxic study of melanin using brine shrimps was reported. Maximum cytotoxic activity of soluble melanin was Lc50-0.40 µg/mL and insoluble melanin was Lc50-0.80 µg/mL. PMID:24839603

  20. Melanin fate in the human epidermis: a reassessment of how best to detect and analyse histologically.

    PubMed

    Joly-Tonetti, Nicolas; Wibawa, Judata I D; Bell, Mike; Tobin, Desmond

    2016-07-01

    Melanin is the predominant pigment responsible for skin colour and is synthesized by the melanocyte in the basal layer of the epidermis and then transferred to surrounding keratinocytes. Despite its optical properties, melanin is barely detectable in unstained sections of human epidermis. However, identification and localization of melanin is of importance for the study of skin pigmentation in health and disease. Current methods for the histologic quantification of melanin are suboptimal and are associated with significant risk of misinterpretation. The aim of this study was to reassess the existing literature and to develop a more effective histological method of melanin quantification in human skin. Moreover, we confirm that Warthin-Starry (WS) stain provides a much more sensitive and more specific melanin detection method than the commonplace Fontana-Masson (FM) stain. For example, WS staining sensitivity allowed the visualization of melanin even in very pale Caucasian skin that was missed by FM or Von Kossa (VK) stains. From our reassessment of the histology-related literature, we conclude that so-called melanin dust is most likely an artifact of discoloration due to non-specific silver deposition in the stratum corneum. Unlike FM and VK, WS was not associated with this non-specific stratum corneum darkening, misinterpreted previously as 'degraded' melanin. Finally, WS melanin particle counts were largely similar to previously reported manual counts by transmission electron microscopy, in contrast to both FM and VK. Together these findings allow us to propose a new histology/Image J-informed method for the accurate and precise quantification of epidermal melanin in skin. PMID:26998907

  1. Melanin, a promising radioprotector: Mechanisms of actions in a mice model

    SciTech Connect

    Kunwar, A.; Adhikary, B.; Jayakumar, S.; Barik, A.; Chattopadhyay, S.; Raghukumar, S.; Priyadarsini, K.I.

    2012-10-15

    The radioprotective effect of extracellular melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, isolated from the fungus Gliocephalotrichum simplex was examined in BALB/C mice, and the probable mechanism of action was established. At an effective dose of 50 mg/kg body weight, melanin exhibited both prophylactic and mitigative activities, increasing the 30-day survival of mice by 100% and 60%, respectively, after exposure to radiation (7 Gy, whole body irradiation (WBI)). The protective activity of melanin was primarily due to inhibition of radiation-induced hematopoietic damages as evidenced by improvement in spleen parameters such as index, total cellularity, endogenous colony forming units, and maintenance of circulatory white blood cells and platelet counts. Melanin also reversed the radiation-induced decrease in ERK phosphorylation in splenic tissue, which may be the key feature in its radioprotective action. Additionally, our results indicated that the sustained activation of AKT, JNK and P38 proteins in splenic tissue of melanin pre-treated group may also play a secondary role. This was also supported by the fact that melanin could prevent apoptosis in splenic tissue by decreasing BAX/Bcl-XL ratio, and increasing the expressions of the proliferation markers (PCNA and Cyclin D1), compared to the radiation control group. Melanin also reduced the oxidative stress in hepatic tissue and abrogated immune imbalance by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL6 and TNFα). In conclusion, our results confirmed that fungal melanin is a very effective radioprotector against WBI and the probable mechanisms of radioprotection are due to modulation in pro-survival (ERK) signaling, prevention of oxidative stress and immunomodulation. -- Highlights: ► Melanin showed promising radioprotection under pre and post irradiation condition. ► Melanin protects the hematopoietic system from radiation induced damage. ► Melanin modulates pro-survival pathways, immune system

  2. Structural Characterization of Melanin Pigments from Commercial Preparations of the Edible Mushroom Auricularia auricula

    PubMed Central

    Prados-Rosales, Rafael; Toriola, Stacy; Nakouzi, Antonio; Chatterjee, Subhasish; Stark, Ruth; Gerfen, Gary; Tumpowsky, Paul; Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2016-01-01

    Many of the most widely consumed edible mushrooms are pigmented, and these have been associated with some beneficial health effects. Nevertheless, the majority of the reported compounds associated with these desirable properties are non-pigmented. We have previously reported that melanin pigment from the edible mushroom Auricularia auricula can protect mice against ionizing radiation, although no physicochemical characterization was reported. Consequently, in this study we have characterized commercial A. auricula mushroom preparations for melanin content and carried out structural characterization of isolated insoluble melanin materials using a panel of sophisticated spectroscopic and physical/imaging techniques. Our results show that approximately 10% of the dry mass of A. auricula is melanin and that the pigment has physicochemical properties consistent with those of eumelanins, including hosting a stable free radical population. Electron microscopy studies show that melanin is associated with the mushroom cell wall in a manner similar to that of melanin from the model fungus C. neoformans. Elemental analysis of melanin indicated C, H, and N ratios consistent with 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid/5,6-dihydroxyindole and 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene eumelanin. Validation of the identity of the isolated product as melanin was achieved by EPR analysis. A. auricula melanin manifested structural differences, relative to the C. neoformans melanin, with regard to the variable proportions of alkyl chains or oxygenated carbons. Given the necessity for new oral and inexpensive radioprotective materials coupled with the commercial availability of A. auricula mushrooms, this product may represent an excellent source of edible melanin. PMID:26244793

  3. From tyrosine to melanin: Signaling pathways and factors regulating melanogenesis.

    PubMed

    Rzepka, Zuzanna; Buszman, Ewa; Beberok, Artur; Wrześniok, Dorota

    2016-01-01

    Melanins are natural pigments of skin, hair and eyes and can be classified into two main types: brown to black eumelanin and yellow to reddish-brown pheomelanin. Biosynthesis of melanins takes place in melanosomes, which are specialized cytoplasmic organelles of melanocytes - dendritic cells located in the basal layer of the epidermis, uveal tract of the eye, hair follicles, as well as in the inner ear, central nervous system and heart. Melanogenesis is a multistep process and begins with the conversion of amino acid L-tyrosine to DOPAquinone. The addition of cysteine or glutathione to DOPAquinone leads to the intermediates formation, followed by subsequent transformations and polymerization to the final product, pheomelanin. In the absence of thiol compounds DOPAquinone undergoes an intramolecular cyclization and oxidation to form DOPAchrome, which is then converted to 5,6-dihydroksyindole (DHI) or 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA). Eumelanin is formed by polymerization of DHI and DHICA and their quinones. Regulation of melanogenesis is achieved by physical and biochemical factors. The article presents the intracellular signaling pathways: cAMP/PKA/CREB/MITF cascade, MAP kinases cascade, PLC/DAG/PKCβ cascade and NO/cGMP/PKG cascade, which are involved in the regulation of expression and activity of the melanogenesis-related proteins by ultraviolet radiation and endogenous agents (cytokines, hormones). Activity of the key melanogenic enzyme, tyrosinase, is also affected by pH and temperature. Many pharmacologically active substances are able to inhibit or stimulate melanin biosynthesis, as evidenced by in vitro studies on cultured pigment cells. PMID:27356601

  4. Complexation in two-component chlortetracycline-melanin solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lapina, V. A.; Pershukevich, P. P.; Dontsov, A. E.; Bel'Kov, M. V.

    2008-01-01

    The spectra and kinetics of fluorescence of two-component solutions of the chlortetracycline (CHTC)-DOPA-melanin (melanin or ME) system in water have been investigated. The data obtained have been compared to similar data for solutions of CHTC-melanosome from bull eye (MB), which contains natural melanin, in K-phosphate buffer at pH 7.4. The overall results indicate the occurrence of complexation between molecules of CHTC and ME as they are being excited. The studies of complexation in the solution of CHTC-MB in the buffer are complicated by the formation of a CHTC-buffer complex. The effect of optical radiation in the range 330-750 nm on the CHTC-ME complex shows selectivity: the greatest change in the spectrum occurs when the wavelength of the exciting radiation coincides with the long-wavelength band maximum of the fluorescence excitation spectrum of the CHTC-ME complex in aqueous solution. In this range, CHTC and especially ME show high photochemical stability. The nature of the radiation effect on the studied compounds in the hard UV range (λ < 330 nm) differs greatly from that in the range 330-750 nm. It is apparently accompanied by significant photochemical transmutations of all system components. By comparing the characteristics of the CHTC-ME systems with those of the related drug doxycycline (DC-ME), the conclusion has been made that the chlorine atom plays a vital role in formation of the short-wavelength band in the fluorescence spectrum of the CHTC-ME complex.

  5. Monte Carlo investigation on quantifying the retinal pigment epithelium melanin concentration by photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shu, Xiao; Liu, Wenzhong; Zhang, Hao F.

    2015-10-01

    The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) melanin plays an important role in maintaining normal visual functions. A decrease in the RPE melanin concentration with aging is believed to be associated with several blinding diseases, including age-related macular degeneration. Quantifying the RPE melanin noninvasively is therefore important in evaluating the retinal health and aging conditions. Photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM), as an optical absorption-based imaging technology, can potentially be applied to measure variations in the RPE melanin if the relationship between the detected photoacoustic (PA) signal amplitudes and the RPE melanin concentrations can be established. In this work, we tested the feasibility of using PA signals from retinal blood vessels as references to measure RPE melanin variation using Monte Carlo (MC) simulation. The influences from PAOM axial resolution, the depth and diameter of the retinal blood vessel, and the RPE thickness were examined. We proposed a calibration scheme by relating detected PA signals to the RPE melanin concentrations, and we found that the scheme is robust to these tested parameters. This study suggests that PAOM has the capability of quantitatively measuring the RPE melanin in vivo.

  6. Melanins Protect Sporothrix brasiliensis and Sporothrix schenckii from the Antifungal Effects of Terbinafine.

    PubMed

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; Figueiredo-Carvalho, Maria Helena Galdino; Brito-Santos, Fábio; Almeida-Silva, Fernando; Oliveira, Manoel Marques Evangelista; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2016-01-01

    Terbinafine is a recommended therapeutic alternative for patients with sporotrichosis who cannot use itraconazole due to drug interactions or side effects. Melanins are involved in resistance to antifungal drugs and Sporothrix species produce three different types of melanin. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether Sporothrix melanins impact the efficacy of antifungal drugs. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC) of two Sporothrix brasiliensis and four Sporothrix schenckii strains grown in the presence of the melanin precursors L-DOPA and L-tyrosine were similar to the MIC determined by the CLSI standard protocol for S. schenckii susceptibility to amphotericin B, ketoconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine. When MICs were determined in the presence of inhibitors to three pathways of melanin synthesis, we observed, in four strains, an increase in terbinafine susceptibility in the presence of tricyclazole, a DHN-melanin inhibitor. In addition, one S. schenckii strain grown in the presence of L-DOPA had a higher MFC value when compared to the control. Growth curves in presence of 2×MIC concentrations of terbinafine showed that pyomelanin and, to a lesser extent, eumelanin were able to protect the fungi against the fungicidal effect of this antifungal drug. Our results suggest that melanin protects the major pathogenic species of the Sporothrix complex from the effects of terbinafine and that the development of new antifungal drugs targeting melanin synthesis may improve sporotrichosis therapies. PMID:27031728

  7. Bio-inspired Structural Colors from Deposition of Synthetic Melanin Nanoparticles by Evaporative Self-assembly

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Ming; Li, Yiwen; Deheyn, Dimitri; Yue, Xiujun; Gianneschi, Nathan; Shawkey, Matthew; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-03-01

    Melanin, a ubiquitous black or brown pigment in the animal kingdom, is a unique but poorly understood biomaterial. Many bird feathers contain melanosomes (melanin-containing organelles), which pack into ordered nanostructures, like multilayer or two-dimensional photonic crystal structures, to produce structural colors. To understand the optical properties of melanin and how melanosomes assemble into certain structures to produce colors, we prepared synthetic melanin (polydopamine) particles with variable sizes and aspect ratios. We have characterized the absorption and refractive index of the synthetic melanin particles. We have also shown that we can use an evaporative process to self-assemble melanin films with a wide range of colors. The colors obtained using this technique is modeled using a thin-film interference model and the optical properties of the synthetic melanin nanoparticles. Our results on self-assembly of synthetic melanin nanoparticles provide an explanation as why the use of melanosomes to produce colors is prevalent in the animal kingdom. National science foundation, air force office of scientific research, human frontier science program.

  8. Melanins Protect Sporothrix brasiliensis and Sporothrix schenckii from the Antifungal Effects of Terbinafine

    PubMed Central

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; Figueiredo-Carvalho, Maria Helena Galdino; Brito-Santos, Fábio; Almeida-Silva, Fernando; Oliveira, Manoel Marques Evangelista; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2016-01-01

    Terbinafine is a recommended therapeutic alternative for patients with sporotrichosis who cannot use itraconazole due to drug interactions or side effects. Melanins are involved in resistance to antifungal drugs and Sporothrix species produce three different types of melanin. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether Sporothrix melanins impact the efficacy of antifungal drugs. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC) of two Sporothrix brasiliensis and four Sporothrix schenckii strains grown in the presence of the melanin precursors L-DOPA and L-tyrosine were similar to the MIC determined by the CLSI standard protocol for S. schenckii susceptibility to amphotericin B, ketoconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine. When MICs were determined in the presence of inhibitors to three pathways of melanin synthesis, we observed, in four strains, an increase in terbinafine susceptibility in the presence of tricyclazole, a DHN-melanin inhibitor. In addition, one S. schenckii strain grown in the presence of L-DOPA had a higher MFC value when compared to the control. Growth curves in presence of 2×MIC concentrations of terbinafine showed that pyomelanin and, to a lesser extent, eumelanin were able to protect the fungi against the fungicidal effect of this antifungal drug. Our results suggest that melanin protects the major pathogenic species of the Sporothrix complex from the effects of terbinafine and that the development of new antifungal drugs targeting melanin synthesis may improve sporotrichosis therapies. PMID:27031728

  9. Inhibition of melanin content by Punicalagins in the super fruit pomegranate (Punica granatum).

    PubMed

    Rana, Jatinder; Diwakar, Ganesh; Saito, Lisa; Scholten, Jeffrey D; Mulder, Timothy

    2013-01-01

    Current efforts to develop effective skin lightening products through the inhibition of melanin production have focused on compounds that inhibit the function and activity of tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the melanin biosynthesis pathway. Synthetic tyrosinase inhibitors, such as hydroquinone, kojic acid, and arbutin, have been reported to cause skin irritation or acute dermatitis, raising concerns about the safety of these compounds. As a result, there is a need for safe natural ingredients that show effective skin lightening. In this report, we have identified a natural ingredient, pomegranate fruit extract, that inhibits melanin production in melanocytes and shows potential for use as a cosmetic skin lightening agent. In addition, we have identified a polyphenolic compound, punicalagins, as the active melanin inhibitor in pomegranate fruit extract based on its capacity to directly inhibit melanin production. PMID:24397882

  10. Melanin targets LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP): A novel pathogenetic mechanism in fungal disease.

    PubMed

    Chamilos, Georgios; Akoumianaki, Tonia; Kyrmizi, Irene; Brakhage, Axel; Beauvais, Anne; Latge, Jean-Paul

    2016-05-01

    Intracellular swelling of conidia of the major human airborne fungal pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus results in surface exposure of immunostimulatory pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and triggers activation of a specialized autophagy pathway called LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP) to promote fungal killing. We have recently discovered that, apart from PAMPs exposure, cell wall melanin removal during germination of A. fumigatus is a prerequisite for activation of LAP. Importantly, melanin promotes fungal pathogenicity via targeting LAP, as a melanin-deficient A. fumigatus mutant restores its virulence upon conditional inactivation of Atg5 in hematopoietic cells of mice. Mechanistically, fungal cell wall melanin selectively excludes the CYBA/p22phox subunit of NADPH oxidase from the phagosome to inhibit LAP, without interfering with signaling regulating cytokine responses. Notably, inhibition of LAP is a general property of melanin pigments, a finding with broad physiological implications. PMID:27028978

  11. Accumulation of melanin in the peritoneum causes black abdomens in broilers.

    PubMed

    Wang, J; Wang, Y; Luo, C; Qu, H; Shu, D

    2014-03-01

    A suspected case of localized visceral hyperpigmentation was described for a breed of broiler in China. Using optical microscopy, the accumulation of pigments in the abdominal skin and visceral peritoneum was observed. Electron microscopy was used to further study the ultrastructure of the pigmented peritoneum, and pigment granules resembling melanosomes at different stages were found, and melanocytes were present in this tissue. Infrared spectroscopy was used to analyze the physical-chemical properties of pigments extracted from these broilers. Using synthetic melanin as a reference and the melanin from the peritoneum of Silkie fowls as a control, the pigments in the peritonea of these broilers were found to be melanin, and it had a chemical structure similar to that of melanin from the Silkie fowl peritoneum. In this way, the black abdomens of these broilers were found to have been caused by accumulation of melanin produced by melanocytes in visceral peritonea. PMID:24604870

  12. Comparison of Antioxidant Activities of Melanin Fractions from Chestnut Shell.

    PubMed

    Yao, Zeng-Yu; Qi, Jian-Hua

    2016-01-01

    Chestnut shell melanin can be used as a colorant and antioxidant, and fractionated into three fractions (Fr. 1, Fr. 2, and Fr. 3) with different physicochemical properties. Antioxidant activities of the fractions were comparatively evaluated for the first time. The fractions exhibited different antioxidative potential in different evaluation systems. Fr. 1, which is only soluble in alkaline water, had the strongest peroxidation inhibition and superoxide anion scavenging activity; Fr. 2, which is soluble in alkaline water and hydrophilic organic solvents but insoluble in neutral and acidic water, had the greatest power to chelate ferrous ions; and Fr. 3, which is soluble both in hydrophilic organic solvents and in water at any pH conditions, had the greatest hydroxyl (·OH) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH·) radicals scavenging abilities, reducing power, and phenolic content. The pigment fractions were superior to butylated hydroxytolune (BHT) in ·OH and DPPH· scavenging and to ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) in the Fe(2+)-chelation. They were inferior to BHT in peroxidation inhibition and O₂·(-) scavenging and reducing power. However, BHT is a synthetic antioxidant and cannot play the colorant role. The melanin fractions might be used as effective biological antioxidant colorants. PMID:27110763

  13. Multimodal microscopy and the stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua

    The author's work is divided into three aspects: multimodal microscopy, stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, and customized-profile lenses (CPL) for on-axis laser scanners, which will be introduced respectively. A multimodal microscope provides the ability to image samples with multiple modalities on the same stage, which incorporates the benefits of all modalities. The multimodal microscopes developed in this dissertation are the Keck 3D fusion multimodal microscope 2.0 (3DFM 2.0), upgraded from the old 3DFM with improved performance and flexibility, and the multimodal microscope for targeting small particles (the "Target" system). The control systems developed for both microscopes are low-cost and easy-to-build, with all components off-the-shelf. The control system have not only significantly decreased the complexity and size of the microscope, but also increased the pixel resolution and flexibility. The SMPAF of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave (CW) mode near-infrared (NIR) laser, has potential applications for a low-cost and reliable method of detecting melanin. The photophysics of melanin SMPAF has been studied by theoretical analysis of the excitation process and investigation of the spectra, activation threshold, and photon number absorption of melanin SMPAF. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin, mouse melanoma, and human black and white hairs are compared with images taken by conventional multi-photon fluorescence microscopy (MPFM) and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). SMPAF images significantly increase specificity and demonstrate the potential to increase sensitivity for melanin detection compared to MPFM images and CRM images. Employing melanin SMPAF imaging to detect melanin inside human skin in vivo has been demonstrated, which proves the effectiveness of melanin detection using SMPAF for medical purposes. Selective melanin ablation with micrometer resolution has been presented using the Target system

  14. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils.

    PubMed

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F; Currano, Ellen D; Jacobs, Louis L; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-13

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns. PMID:26417094

  15. The Role of Gingival Melanin Pigmentation in Inflammation of Gingiva, Based on Genetic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Eid, Hossam A; Syed, Sadatullah; Soliman, Abdel Nasser MM

    2013-01-01

    Background: Aim of the study was to investigate the relationship of melanin pigment and inflammatory process within gingival tissues based on clinical and genetic analysis by differential display technique and DNA sequencing. Materials and Methods: Seventy gingival biopsy specimens were taken from individuals with melanin pigmentation as well as healthy and inflamed gingiva. Specimens were examined by differential display technique using six different arbitrary primers. Cloning, sequencing and sequence analysis for six different genes were performed. Results: Gingival specimens with hyperpigmentation (clinical melanin score = 3) showed presence of both, down- and up-regulatory genes when compared with the gingival specimen with clinical melanin score 0. These genes may have a role in curtailing the progress of gingival inflammation associated with melanin hyperpigmentation. Conclusion: Melanin hyper pigmentation may possess a defensive role against progress of gingival inflammation How to cite this article:Eid HA, Syed S, Soliman AN. The Role of Gingival Melanin Pigmentation in Inflammation of Gingiva, Based on Genetic Analysis. J Int Oral Health 2013; 5(4):1-7. PMID:24155612

  16. Structural Studies of Bleached Melanin by Synchrotron Small-angle X-ray Scattering¶

    SciTech Connect

    Littrell, Kenneth C.; Gallas, James M.; Zajac, Gerry W.; Thiyagarajan, Pappannan

    2003-01-01

    Small-angle X-ray scattering was used to measure the effects of chemical bleaching on the size and morphology of tyrosine-derived synthetic melanin dispersed in aqueous media. The average size as measured by the radius of gyration of the melanin particles in solution, at neutral to mildly basic pH, decreases from 16.5 to 12.5 angstroms with increased bleaching. The melanin particles exhibit scattering characteristic of sheet-like structures with a thickness of approximately 11 angstroms at all but the highest levels of bleaching. The scattering data are well described by the form factor for scattering from a pancake-like circular cylinder. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that unbleached melanin, at neutral to mildly basic pH, is a planar aggregate of 6- to 10-nm-sized melanin protomolecules, hydrogen bonded through their quinone and phenolic perimeters. The observed decrease in melanin particle size with increased bleaching is interpreted as evidence for deaggregation, most probably the result of oxidative disruption of hydrogen bonds and an increase in the number of charged, carboxylic acid groups, whereby the melanin aggregates disassociate into units composed of decreasing numbers of protomolecules.

  17. A Non-canonical Melanin Biosynthesis Pathway Protects Aspergillus terreus Conidia from Environmental Stress.

    PubMed

    Geib, Elena; Gressler, Markus; Viediernikova, Iuliia; Hillmann, Falk; Jacobsen, Ilse D; Nietzsche, Sandor; Hertweck, Christian; Brock, Matthias

    2016-05-19

    Melanins are ubiquitous pigments found in all kingdoms of life. Most organisms use them for protection from environmental stress, although some fungi employ melanins as virulence determinants. The human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus and related Ascomycetes produce dihydroxynaphthalene- (DHN) melanin in their spores, the conidia, and use it to inhibit phagolysosome acidification. However, biosynthetic origin of melanin in a related fungus, Aspergillus terreus, has remained a mystery because A. terreus lacks genes for synthesis of DHN-melanin. Here we identify genes coding for an unusual NRPS-like enzyme (MelA) and a tyrosinase (TyrP) that A. terreus expressed under conidiation conditions. We demonstrate that MelA produces aspulvinone E, which is activated for polymerization by TyrP. Functional studies reveal that this new pigment, Asp-melanin, confers resistance against UV light and hampers phagocytosis by soil amoeba. Unexpectedly, Asp-melanin does not inhibit acidification of phagolysosomes, thus likely contributing specifically to survival of A. terreus conidia in acidic environments. PMID:27133313

  18. Stepwise multiphoton activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanin detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; Mega, Yair; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2013-06-01

    The stepwise multiphoton activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave mode near infrared (NIR) laser, reveals a broad spectrum extending from the visible spectra to the NIR and has potential application for a low-cost, reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin are compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). By combining CRM with SMPAF, we can locate melanin reliably. However, we have the added benefit of eliminating background interference from other components inside mouse hair and skin. The melanin SMPAF signal from the mouse hair is a mixture of a two-photon process and a third-order process. The melanin SMPAF emission spectrum is activated by a 1505.9-nm laser light, and the resulting spectrum has a peak at 960 nm. The discovery of the emission peak may lead to a more energy-efficient method of background-free melanin detection with less photo-bleaching.

  19. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    PubMed Central

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-01-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns. PMID:26417094

  20. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Lyng Sylvestersen, Rene; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns.

  1. Cutaneous melanin exhibiting fluorescence emission under near-infrared light excitation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhiwei; Zeng, Haishan; Hamzavi, Iltefat; Alajlan, Abdulmajeed; Tan, Eileen; McLean, David I; Lui, Harvey

    2006-01-01

    Under ultraviolet and visible light excitation, melanin is essentially a nonfluorescent substance. This work reports our study on near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence properties of melanins, and explores potential applications of NIR fluorescence techniques for evaluating skin disorders involving melanin. The NIR fluorescence spectrum is obtained using a fiber optic NIR spectrometer under 785-nm laser excitation. In vitro measurements are performed on synthetic dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) melanin, melanin extracted from Sepia ink sacs, human hair, animal fur, and bird feathers. Paired spectral comparisons of white and black skin appendages show that melanization of hair, fur, or feathers more than doubles the NIR fluorescence. In vivo NIR autofluorescence of normal dorsal and volar forearm skin of 52 volunteers is measured. Dorsal forearm skin, which is darker than volar skin, exhibits significantly greater NIR fluorescence. Patients with vitiligo (n=4), compound nevus (n=3), nevus of Ota (n=1), superficial spreading melanoma (n=3), and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation (n=1) are also evaluated. NIR fluorescence is greater within the lesion than the surrounding normal skin for all these conditions except vitiligo, where the converse was true. The observed melanin NIR fluorescence provides a new approach to in vitro and in vivo melanin detection and quantification that may be particularly useful for evaluating pigmented skin lesions. PMID:16822060

  2. Quantification method for the appearance of melanin pigmentation using independent component analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojima, Nobutoshi; Okiyama, Natsuko; Okaguchi, Saya; Tsumura, Norimichi; Nakaguchi, Toshiya; Hori, Kimihiko; Miyake, Yoichi

    2005-04-01

    In the cosmetics industry, skin color is very important because skin color gives a direct impression of the face. In particular, many people suffer from melanin pigmentation such as liver spots and freckles. However, it is very difficult to evaluate melanin pigmentation using conventional colorimetric values because these values contain information on various skin chromophores simultaneously. Therefore, it is necessary to extract information of the chromophore of individual skins independently as density information. The isolation of the melanin component image based on independent component analysis (ICA) from a single skin image was reported in 2003. However, this technique has not developed a quantification method for melanin pigmentation. This paper introduces a quantification method based on the ICA of a skin color image to isolate melanin pigmentation. The image acquisition system we used consists of commercially available equipment such as digital cameras and lighting sources with polarized light. The images taken were analyzed using ICA to extract the melanin component images, and Laplacian of Gaussian (LOG) filter was applied to extract the pigmented area. As a result, for skin images including those showing melanin pigmentation and acne, the method worked well. Finally, the total amount of extracted area had a strong correspondence to the subjective rating values for the appearance of pigmentation. Further analysis is needed to recognize the appearance of pigmentation concerning the size of the pigmented area and its spatial gradation.

  3. Biologically derived melanin electrodes in aqueous sodium-ion energy storage devices

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Young Jo; Wu, Wei; Chun, Sang-Eun; Whitacre, Jay F.; Bettinger, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    Biodegradable electronics represents an attractive and emerging paradigm in medical devices by harnessing simultaneous advantages afforded by electronically active systems and obviating issues with chronic implants. Integrating practical energy sources that are compatible with the envisioned operation of transient devices is an unmet challenge for biodegradable electronics. Although high-performance energy storage systems offer a feasible solution, toxic materials and electrolytes present regulatory hurdles for use in temporary medical devices. Aqueous sodium-ion charge storage devices combined with biocompatible electrodes are ideal components to power next-generation biodegradable electronics. Here, we report the use of biologically derived organic electrodes composed of melanin pigments for use in energy storage devices. Melanins of natural (derived from Sepia officinalis) and synthetic origin are evaluated as anode materials in aqueous sodium-ion storage devices. Na+-loaded melanin anodes exhibit specific capacities of 30.4 ± 1.6 mAhg−1. Full cells composed of natural melanin anodes and λ-MnO2 cathodes exhibit an initial potential of 1.03 ± 0.06 V with a maximum specific capacity of 16.1 ± 0.8 mAhg−1. Natural melanin anodes exhibit higher specific capacities compared with synthetic melanins due to a combination of beneficial chemical, electrical, and physical properties exhibited by the former. Taken together, these results suggest that melanin pigments may serve as a naturally occurring biologically derived charge storage material to power certain types of medical devices. PMID:24324163

  4. Analysis of the structure of synthetic and natural melanins by solid-phase

    SciTech Connect

    Duff, G.A.; Roberts, J.E.; Foster, N.

    1988-09-06

    The structures of one synthetic and two natural melanins are examined by solid-state NMR using cross polarization, magic angle sample spinning, and high-power proton decoupling. The structural features of synthetic dopa malanin are compared to those of melanin from malignant melanoma cells grown in culture and sepia melanin from squid ink. Natural abundance /sup 13/C and /sup 15/N spectra show resonances consistent with known pyrrolic and indolic structures within the heterogeneous biopolymer; /sup 13/C spectra indicate the presence of aliphatic residues in all three materials. These solid-phase experiments illustrate the promise of solid-phase NMR for elucidating structural from insoluble biomaterials.

  5. Melanin Concentration Gradients in Modern and Fossil Feathers

    PubMed Central

    Field, Daniel J.; D’Alba, Liliana; Vinther, Jakob; Webb, Samuel M.; Gearty, William; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2013-01-01

    In birds and feathered non-avian dinosaurs, within-feather pigmentation patterns range from discrete spots and stripes to more subtle patterns, but the latter remain largely unstudied. A ∼55 million year old fossil contour feather with a dark distal tip grading into a lighter base was recovered from the Fur Formation in Denmark. SEM and synchrotron-based trace metal mapping confirmed that this gradient was caused by differential concentration of melanin. To assess the potential ecological and phylogenetic prevalence of this pattern, we evaluated 321 modern samples from 18 orders within Aves. We observed that the pattern was found most frequently in distantly related groups that share aquatic ecologies (e.g. waterfowl Anseriformes, penguins Sphenisciformes), suggesting a potential adaptive function with ancient origins. PMID:23555675

  6. Bio-Inspired Structural Colors Produced via Self-Assembly of Synthetic Melanin Nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Ming; Li, Yiwen; Allen, Michael C; Deheyn, Dimitri D; Yue, Xiujun; Zhao, Jiuzhou; Gianneschi, Nathan C; Shawkey, Matthew D; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2015-05-26

    Structural colors arising from interactions of light with submicron scale periodic structures have been found in many species across all taxa, serving multiple biological functions including sexual signaling, camouflage, and aposematism. Directly inspired by the extensive use of self-assembled melanosomes to produce colors in avian feathers, we set out to synthesize and assemble polydopamine-based synthetic melanin nanoparticles in an effort to fabricate colored films. We have quantitatively demonstrated that synthetic melanin nanoparticles have a high refractive index and broad absorption spanning across the UV-visible range, similar to natural melanins. Utilizing a thin-film interference model, we demonstrated the coloration mechanism of deposited films and showed that the unique optical properties of synthetic melanin nanoparticles provide advantages for structural colors over other polymeric nanoparticles (i.e., polystyrene colloidal particles). PMID:25938924

  7. Natural melanin: a potential pH-responsive drug release device.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Marco; Viveiros, Raquel; Correia, Tiago R; Correia, Ilídio J; Bonifácio, Vasco D B; Casimiro, Teresa; Aguiar-Ricardo, Ana

    2014-07-20

    This work proposes melanin as a new nanocarrier for pH-responsive drug release. Melanin is an abundant natural polymer that can be easily extracted from cuttlefish as nanoparticles with a suitable size range for drug delivery. However, despite its high potentiality, the application of this biopolymer in the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields is yet to be explored. Herein, melanin nanoparticles were impregnated with metronidazole, chosen as model antibiotic drug, using supercritical carbon dioxide. The drug release profile was investigated at acidic and physiologic pH, and the dominant mechanism was found to follow a non-Fickian transport. Drug release from melanin shows a strong pH dependency, which allied to its biocompatibility and lack of cytotoxicity envisages its potential application as nanocarrier in formulations for colon and intestine targeted drug delivery. PMID:24768404

  8. Gamma-resonance study of the reaction of iron ions with synthetic L-dopa melanin

    SciTech Connect

    Bagirov, R.M.; Stukan, R.A.; Lapina, V.A.; Dontsov, A.E.; Ostrovskii, M.A.

    1986-07-01

    The reaction of Fe/sup 3 +/ and Fe/sup 2 +/ ions with synthetic L-dopa melanin, which is a model compound of natural melanin (the melanoprotein granules in the pigment epithelial cells in vertebrate and human eyes), has been studied by gamma-resonance spectroscopy. The investigations showed that L-dopa melanin is capable of effectively binding iron ions and that it displays oxidative or reducing properties with respect to Fe, depending on the composition of the subsystem of the Fe ions and the ambient pH. Trivalent Fe/sup 3 +/ ions form stronger complexes with L-dopa melanin than do Fe/sup 2 +/ ions. The coordination takes place mainly with the carboxyl groups and the amino and imino groups of the polymer. The conformational state of the polymer apparently changes as the pH is varied.

  9. Flux pinning mechanism and Hc2-anisotropy in melanin doped bulk MgB2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahabuddin Shah, M.; Shahabuddin, Mohammed; Alzayed, Nasser S.; Parakkandy, Jafar M.

    2014-06-01

    Flux pinning mechanism in melanin doped MgB2 superconductor has been studied using a scaling law proposed by Dew-Hughes and another method proposed by Eisterer. Our experimental data could be fitted very closely by the aforementioned scaling law. The fitting parameters, the positions of peaks bpeak and k = bpeak/bn confirm a grain-boundary pinning in the 10% melanin doped sample, while the undoped sample consists of mixed pinning. Furthermore, percolation theory was utilized under grain-boundary approximation to investigate the role of Hc2-anisotropy in the critical current density, and its dependence on applied field as well as temperature. The Hc2-anisotropy decreases with melanin doping resulting in the increase of Jc in high field. There is suppression of flux pinning maximum due to melanin doping, which is found to be the main reason for the degradation of low-field Jc.

  10. Aluminum ions accelerated the oxidative stress of copper-mediated melanin formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, Junwei; Bi, Shuping

    2003-11-01

    A comparison between the effects of aluminum and cupric ions on the dopachrome (DC) conversion and the cooperation effect of the both ions in the DOPA oxidation to melanin pathway has been studied by UV-Vis spectrophotometric method. Both aluminum and cupric ions catalyze the DC conversion reaction, which is an important step in the melanin synthesis pathway. However, cupric ions catalyze the conversion of DC to yield 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) but the product of DC conversion catalyzed by aluminum is 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI). DOPA oxidation catalyzed by aluminum and cupric ions is studied in the presence of hydrogen peroxide. The results from our experiments provide evidence that aluminum can markedly increase the oxidative stress of copper-mediated the melanin formation and influence the properties of the melanin by means of changing the ratio of DHICA/DHI in the acidic environment (pH 5.5).

  11. Lasers in esthetic treatment of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation: a review article.

    PubMed

    Bakhshi, Mahin; Rahmani, Somayeh; Rahmani, Ali

    2015-11-01

    The health and suitability of mouth components play an important role towards defining facial attractiveness. An important component of the oral cavity is the color of the gingival tissue. Gingival melanin hyperpigmentation is caused by several reasons and affects people across ethnicity, race, age, and both gender. Lasers are presently being used for gingival melanin depigmentation. In this article, we reviewed studies on laser parameters, duration of gingival healing, pain perception during and after the operation, scores used for the evaluation of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation, follow-up period, treatment results, and recurrence reports. We conclude that laser ablation for gingival depigmentation is one of the most pleasant, reliable, acceptable, and impressive techniques available for treating gingival melanin hyperpigmentation. PMID:26370204

  12. Mechanisms of branching reactions in melanin formation - Ab initio quantum engineering approach -

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kishida, Ryo; Menez Aspera, Susan; Kasai, Hideaki

    Melanin, a pigment found in animals, consists of two types of oligomeric unit: eumelanin and pheomelanin. The color of the skin, the hair, and the eyes is controlled by the ratio of eumelanin/pheomelanin production. Especially, dopachrome and dopaquinone are the precursor molecules of melanin which directly affect the composition of melanin through their branching reactions. Dopachrome is converted into two possible monomers of eumelanin. Dopaquinone can undergo both eumelanin and pheomelanin synthesis. To understand the mechanisms and controlling factors that govern the conversions, reactions of the two molecules are investigated using density functional theory-based first-principles calculations. Our results deepen mechanistic understanding of the reactions and open possibilities to design properties and functions of melanin. In this talk, we will discuss about the competitions of the branching reactions.

  13. Analysis of lysosomal membrane proteins exposed to melanin in HeLa cells

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Objectives There have been developed to use targeting ability for antimicrobial, anticancerous, gene therapy and cosmetics through analysis of various membrane proteins isolated from cell organelles. Methods It was examined about the lysosomal membrane protein extracted from lysosome isolated from HeLa cell treated by 100 ppm melanin for 24 hours in order to find associated with targeting ability to melanin using by 2-dimensional electrophoresis. Results The result showed 14 up-regulated (1.5-fold) and 13 down-regulated (2.0-fold) spots in relation to melanin exposure. Conclusions It has been found that lysosomal membrane proteins are associated with melanin to decolorize and quantity through cellular activation of lysosome. PMID:27158002

  14. The role of melanin as protector against free radicals in skin and its role as free radical indicator in hair

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrling, Thomas; Jung, Katinka; Fuchs, Jürgen

    2008-05-01

    Throughout the body, melanin is a homogenous biological polymer containing a population of intrinsic, semiquinone-like radicals. Additional extrinsic free radicals are reversibly photo-generated by UV and visible light. Melanin photochemistry, particularly the formation and decay of extrinsic radicals, has been the subject of numerous electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy studies. Several melanin monomers exist, and the predominant monomer in a melanin polymer depends on its location within an organism. In skin and hair, melanin differs in content of eumelanin or pheomelanin. Its bioradical character and its susceptibility to UV irradiation makes melanin an excellent indicator for UV-related processes in both skin and hair. The existence of melanin in skin is strongly correlated with the prevention against free radicals/ROS generated by UV radiation. Especially in the skin melanin (mainly eumelanin) ensures the only natural UV protection by eliminating the generated free radicals/ROS. Melanin in hair can be used as a free radical detector for evaluating the efficacy of hair care products. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of melanin as protector of skin against UV generated free radicals and as free radical indicator in hair.

  15. Detection of Antibodies against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis Melanin in In Vitro and In Vivo Studies during Infection ▿

    PubMed Central

    Urán, Martha E.; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Restrepo, Angela; Hamilton, Andrew J.; Gómez, Beatriz L.; Cano, Luz E.

    2011-01-01

    Several cell wall constituents, including melanins or melanin-like compounds, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide variety of microbial diseases caused by diverse species of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and helminthes. Among these microorganisms, the dimorphic fungal pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis produces melanin in its conidial and yeast forms. In the present study, melanin particles from P. brasiliensis were injected into BALB/c mice in order to produce monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). We identified five immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) κ-chain and four IgM melanin-binding MAbs. The five IgG1 κ-chain isotypes are the first melanin-binding IgG MAbs ever reported. The nine MAbs labeled P. brasiliensis conidia and yeast cells both in vitro and in pulmonary tissues. The MAbs cross-reacted with melanin-like purified particles from other fungi and also with commercial melanins, such as synthetic and Sepia officinalis melanin. Melanization during paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) was also further supported by the detection of IgG antibodies reactive to melanin from P. brasiliensis conidia and yeast in sera and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids from P. brasiliensis-infected mice, as well as in sera from human patients with PCM. Serum specimens from patients with other mycoses were also tested for melanin-binding antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and cross-reactivities were detected for melanin particles from different fungal sources. These results suggest that melanin from P. brasiliensis is an immunologically active fungal structure that activates a strong IgG humoral response in humans and mice. PMID:21813659

  16. Sexual dimorphism in melanin pigmentation, feather coloration and its heritability in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica).

    PubMed

    Saino, Nicola; Romano, Maria; Rubolini, Diego; Teplitsky, Celine; Ambrosini, Roberto; Caprioli, Manuela; Canova, Luca; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2013-01-01

    Melanin is the main pigment in animal coloration and considerable variation in the concentrations of the two melanin forms (pheo- and eumlanin) in pigmented tissues exists among populations and individuals. Melanin-based coloration is receiving increasing attention particularly in socio-sexual communication contexts because the melanocortin system has been hypothesized to provide a mechanistic basis for covariation between coloration and fitness traits. However, with few notable exceptions, little detailed information is available on inter-individual and inter-population variation in melanin pigmentation and on its environmental, genetic and ontogenetic components. Here, we investigate melanin-based coloration in an Italian population of a passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica), its sex- and age-related variation, and heritability. The concentrations of eu- and pheomelanin in the throat (brown) and belly (white-to-brownish) feathers differed between sexes but not according to age. The relative concentration of either melanin (Pheo:Eu) differed between sexes in throat but not in belly feathers, and the concentrations in males compared to females were larger in belly than in throat feathers. There were weak correlations between the concentrations of melanins within as well as among plumage regions. Coloration of belly feathers was predicted by the concentration of both melanins whereas coloration of throat feathers was only predicted by pheomelanin in females. In addition, Pheo:Eu predicted coloration of throat feathers in females and that of belly feathers in males. Finally, we found high heritability of color of throat feathers. Melanization was found to differ from that recorded in Hirundo rustica rustica from Scotland or from H. r. erythrogaster from North America. Hence, present results show that pigmentation strategies vary in a complex manner according to sex and plumage region, and also among geographical populations, potentially

  17. Influence of melanin on mutation load in Drosophila populations after long-term irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Mosse, I.B.; Lyakh, I.P.

    1994-09-01

    The effect of melanin on the level of mutation load has been studied in experimental Drosophila populations exposed to radiation for 115 generations. Four types of populations have been analyzed: (1) control; (2) treated with melanin; (3) irradiated; (4) irradiated and treated with melanin. Melanin was produced by auto-oxidation of 1-dioxyphenylallanine and was constantly added to food. Populations were X-irradiated twice in each generation (at the larvae stage with 6 Gy and at the imago stage with 9 Gy). The level of recessive mutation on the third chromosome was analyzed by a standard genetic method of balanced lethals. The data obtained have shown that the populations exposed to long-term irradiation have the greatest number of mutations decreasing viability. Melanin exhibited radioprotective properties-it reduced the percentage of lethal, semilethal and subvital mutations. Thus the possibility of effective protection of populations exposed to radiation for many generations by melanin has been shown for the first time. 19 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  18. Nitroxides as redox probes of melanins: dark-induced and photoinduced changes in redox equilibria

    SciTech Connect

    Sarna, T.; Korytowski, W.; Sealy, R.C.

    1985-05-15

    The interaction of nitroxide free radicals and their reduced products (hydroxylamines) with synthetic and natural melanins has been studied. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy was used to measure changes in radical concentration in the dark and during irradiation with visible or uv light. Some reduction of nitroxide occurs in the dark, and is reversible: the nitroxide can be completely regenerated by the one-electron oxidant ferricyanide. The kinetics of the process depend strongly on radical charge and pH. For positively charged nitroxides the rate is much faster than for either neutral or anionic radicals. At pH 10 the rate is about 20 times faster than at pH 5. Oxidation of hydroxylamine also can occur so that a redox equilibrium is established. The equilibrium constant has been estimated for the reaction between a nitroxide and melanin from autoxidation of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine. Results are also dependent upon the type of melanin used and chemical modification (oxidation or reduction) of the melanin. Redox equilibria are altered during irradiation with either visible or uv light. Rapid oxidation of hydroxylamine to nitroxide is apparent, together with a slower reduction of nitroxide. Action spectra for these processes are related to those for melanin radical production and oxygen consumption in nitroxide-free melanin systems. Reduction of nitroxide is inhibited by oxygen, suggesting a competition between nitroxide and oxygen for photoinduced reducing equivalents.

  19. The interaction of melanin with ionizing and UVC radiations: Characterization of thymine damage

    SciTech Connect

    Huselton, C.A.

    1988-01-01

    These studies were undertaken to determine whether melanin could protect DNA against the harmful effects of ionizing or UVC radiations. A simple, in vitro, model system was developed to evaluate eumelanin (Sigma melanin) as a radioprotector of solutions of 0.1 mM thymine or thymidine exposed to 570Gy of ionizing radiation. Sigma melanin was compared to several amino acids, other biomolecules or to other forms of melanin. To investigate the role of melanin as a passive screen of UVC radiation, melanotic (I{sub 3}), amelanotic (AMEL) cells (both derived from a Cloudman S91 melanoma) and non-melanotic (EMT6) cells were labelled with radioactive dTHd and exposed to 0, 1, 5 or 10KJ/m{sup 2} of UVC. The DNA was extracted; the bases hydrolyzed with concentrated HCl. Thymine bases were separated by reverse phase HPLC. No difference in dimer content was observed between I{sub 3} and AMEL cells, but EMT6 cells had nearly twice the amount of dimer. Overall thymine degradation was more pronounced in I{sub 3} cells than in the other two cell lines, due to the production of non-dimer thymine damage. This damage was identified as thymine glycol by HPLC and mass spectrometry. Melanin, upon exposure to UVC, appears to enhance thymine damage by producing oxidative damage.

  20. Production and Characterization of Melanin by Submerged Culture of Culinary and Medicinal Fungi Auricularia auricula.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Min; Xiao, Gongnian; Thring, Ronald W; Chen, Wan; Zhou, Huabin; Yang, Hailong

    2015-05-01

    Natural melanin is of great potential value and application in the fields of pharmacology, cosmetics, and functional foods. In the present study, statistically designed experiments were conducted for the optimization of the media to enhance the production of melanin by submerged culture of Auricularia auricula. Glucose, tyrosine, peptone, and CaCO3 were found to have significant effects (P < 0.015) on melanin biosynthesis by a Plackett-Burman experimental design and subsequently optimized using response surface methodology. Optimal media were obtained at the following concentrations: glucose, 0.90 g/L; tyrosine, 6.68 g/L; peptone, 6.99 g/L; and CaCO3, 6.75 g/L. The validity of the optimum media was verified in separate experiments in which the melanin yield of 1008.08 mg/L was obtained under optimum conditions, compared with 306.52 mg/L at other conditions, i.e., a 3.29-fold increase. Furthermore, the important physical and chemical properties of A. auricula melanin were determined. The findings from the present study indicate that large-scale production of natural melanin by submerged culture of A. auricular could be a useful approach. PMID:25800528

  1. UV-induced Melanin Chemiexcitation: A New Mode of Melanoma Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Brash, Douglas E

    2016-06-01

    Mutations in sunlight-induced melanoma arise from cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), DNA photoproducts usually created picoseconds after an ultraviolet (UV) photon is absorbed at thymine or cytosine. Surprisingly, we found that, in melanocytes, CPDs were generated for hours after UVA or UVB exposure. These "dark CPDs" constituted the majority of CPDs in cultured human and murine melanocytes and in mouse skin, and they were most prominent in skin containing pheomelanin, the melanin responsible for blonde and red hair. The mechanism was also a surprise. Dark cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) arise when ultraviolet (UV)-induced superoxide and nitric oxide combine to form peroxynitrite, one of the few biological molecules capable of exciting an electron. This process, termed "chemiexcitation," is the source of bioluminescence in lower organisms. Excitation occurred in fragments of melanin, creating a quantum triplet state that had the energy of a UV photon but which induced CPDs by radiationless energy transfer to DNA. UVA and peroxynitrite also solubilized melanin and permeabilized the nuclear membrane, allowing melanin to enter. Melanin is evidently carcinogenic as well as protective. Chemiexcitation may also trigger pathogenesis in internal tissues because the same chemistry should arise wherever superoxide and nitric oxide arise near cells that contain melanin. PMID:26951162

  2. Melanin from the Nitrogen-Fixing Bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum: A Spectroscopic Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Raja

    2014-01-01

    Melanins, the ubiquitous hetero-polymer pigments found widely dispersed among various life forms, are usually dark brown/black in colour. Although melanins have variety of biological functions, including protection against ultraviolet radiation of sunlight and are used in medicine, cosmetics, extraction of melanin from the animal and plant kingdoms is not an easy task. Using complementary physicochemical techniques (i.e. MALDI-TOF, FTIR absorption and cross-polarization magic angle spinning solid-state 13C NMR), we report here the characterization of melanins extracted from the nitrogen-fixing non-virulent bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum, a safe viable source. Moreover, considering dihydroxyindole moiety as the main constituent, an effort is made to propose the putative molecular structure of the melanin hetero-polymer extracted from the bacterium. Characterization of the melanin obtained from Azotobacter chroococcum would provide an inspiration in extending research activities on these hetero-polymers and their use as protective agent against UV radiation. PMID:24416247

  3. Characterization and biological activities of extracellular melanin produced by Schizophyllum commune (Fries).

    PubMed

    Arun, G; Eyini, M; Gunasekaran, P

    2015-06-01

    Melanins are enigmatic pigments produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi. Here, we have isolated and characterized extracellular melanin from mushroom fungus, Schizophyllum commune. The extracellular dark pigment produced by the broth culture of S. commune, after 21 days of incubation was recovered by hot acid-alkali treatment. The melanin nature of the pigment was characterized by biochemical tests and further, confirmed by UV, IR, EPR, NMR and MALDI-TOF Mass Spectra. Extracellular melanin, at 100 μg/ml, showed significant antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas fluorescens and antifungal activity against Trichophyton simii and T. rubrum. At a concentration of 50 μg/ml, melanin showed high free radical scavenging activity of DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) indicating its antioxidant potential. It showed concentration dependent inhibition of cell proliferation of Human Epidermoid Larynx Carcinoma Cell Line (HEP-2). This study has demonstrated characterization of melanin from basidiomycetes mushroom fungus, Schizophyllum commune and its applications. PMID:26155678

  4. The contribution of the melanin pathway to overall body pigmentation during ontogenesis of Periplaneta americana.

    PubMed

    Lemonds, Thomas R; Liu, Jin; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2016-08-01

    The most prominent colors observed in insects are black or brown, whose production is attributed to the melanin pathway. At present, though, the contribution of this pathway to overall body pigmentation throughout ontogenesis is still lacking. To address this question we examined the roles of 2 key melanin genes (TH and DDC), in embryonic and postembryonic development of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana. Our results show that the melanin pathway does not contribute to the light brown coloration observed in the first nymphs. However, the dark brown coloration in mid nymphs and adults is produced solely from the melanin pathway. In addition, the DDC RNAi results reveal that it is dopamine melanin, not DOPA melanin, acts as the main contributor in this process. Overall, present study provides a new insight into insect pigmentation suggesting that genetic mechanisms of coloration can change during ontogenesis. Future studies of additional basal insect lineages will be required to assess in more details the generality of this phenomenon. PMID:27158782

  5. Tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin as a contrast agent for photoacoustic tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumholz, Arie; Chavez, Sarah; Yao, Junjie; Fleming, Timothy; Gillanders, William E.; Wang, Lihong V.

    2011-03-01

    It is difficult to distinguish between tumor cells and surrounding cells without staining as is done in histology. We developed tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin as a reporter gene for photoacoustic tomography. Tyrosinase is the primary enzyme responsible for the production of melanin and alone is sufficient to produce melanin in non-melanogenic cells. Two cell lines were created: a stably transfected HeLa line and a transiently transfected 293 line. A phantom experiment was performed with the 293 transfected cells 48 hours post transfection and the results compared with oxygenated whole blood, B16 melanoma and 293 control cells. An in vivo experiment was performed using the transfected HeLa cells xenografted into a nude mouse ear, and then imaged. The results show strong contrast for tyrosinase-catalyzed melanin in both the 293 cells in the tube phantom as well as the in vivo result showing melanin in a nude mouse ear. Transfection increased expression in 293 cells 159 fold and image contrast compared to blood by as much as 50 fold. Due to the strong signal obtained at longer wavelengths and the decrease of blood signal at the same wavelengths, tyrosinase catalyzed melanin is a good candidate as a molecular imaging contrast agent for photoacoustic tomography.

  6. Melanin-Like Pigment Synthesis by Soil Bacillus weihenstephanensis Isolates from Northeastern Poland

    PubMed Central

    Drewnowska, Justyna M.; Zambrzycka, Monika; Kalska-Szostko, Beata; Fiedoruk, Krzysztof; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2015-01-01

    Although melanin is known for protecting living organisms from harmful physical and chemical factors, its synthesis is rarely observed among endospore-forming Bacillus cereus sensu lato. Here, for the first time, we reported that psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis from Northeastern Poland can produce melanin-like pigment. We assessed physicochemical properties of the pigment and the mechanism of its synthesis in relation to B. weihenstephanensis genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy displayed a stable free radical signal of the pigment from environmental isolates which are consistent with the commercial melanin. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and physicochemical tests indicated the phenolic character of the pigment. Several biochemical tests showed that melanin-like pigment synthesis by B. weihenstephanensis was associated with laccase activity. The presence of the gene encoding laccase was confirmed by the next generation whole genome sequencing of one B. weihenstephanensis strain. Biochemical (API 20E and 50CHB tests) and genetic (Multi-locus Sequence Typing, 16S rRNA sequencing, and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis) characterization of the isolates revealed their close relation to the psychrotrophic B. weihenstephanensis DSMZ 11821 reference strain. The ability to synthesize melanin-like pigment by soil B. weihenstephanensis isolates and their psychrotrophic character seemed to be a local adaptation to a specific niche. Detailed genetic and biochemical analyses of melanin-positive environmental B. weihenstephanensis strains shed some light on the evolution and ecological adaptation of these bacteria. Moreover, our study raised new biotechnological possibilities for the use of water-soluble melanin-like pigment naturally produced by B. weihenstephanensis as an alternative to commercial non-soluble pigment. PMID:25909751

  7. Melanin-Covered Nanoparticles for Protection of Bone Marrow During Radiation Therapy of Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Revskaya, Ekaterina; Chu, Peter; Pazo, Valeria; Friedman, Matthew; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Cahill, Sean; Frases, Susana; Casadevall, Arturo; Dadachova, Ekaterina

    2010-12-01

    Purpose: Protection of bone marrow against radiotoxicity during radioimmunotherapy and in some cases external beam radiation therapy such as hemi-body irradiation would permit administration of significantly higher doses to tumors, resulting in increased efficacy and safety of treatment. Melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, possesses radioprotective properties. We hypothesized that melanin, which is insoluble, could be delivered to the bone marrow by intravenously administrated melanin-covered nanoparticles (MNs) because of the human body's 'self-sieving' ability, protecting it against ionizing radiation. Methods and Materials: The synthesis of MNs was performed via enzymatic polymerization of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and/or 5-S-cysteinyl-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine on the surface of 20-nm plain silica nanoparticles. The biodistribution of radiolabeled MNs in mice was done at 3 and 24 h. Healthy CD-1 mice (Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., Wilmington, MA) or melanoma tumor-bearing nude mice were given MNs intravenously, 50 mg/kg of body weight, 3 h before either whole-body exposure to 125 cGy or treatment with 1 mCi of {sup 188}Re-labeled 6D2 melanin-binding antibody. Results: Polymerization of melanin precursors on the surface of silica nanoparticles resulted in formation of a 15-nm-thick melanin layer as confirmed by light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and immunofluorescence. The biodistribution after intravenous administration showed than MN uptake in bone marrow was 0.3% and 0.2% of injected dose per gram at 3 and 24 h, respectively, whereas pre-injection with pluronic acid increased the uptake to 6% and 3% of injected dose per gram, respectively. Systemic MN administration reduced hematologic toxicity in mice treated with external radiation or radioimmunotherapy, whereas no tumor protection by MNs was observed. Conclusions: MNs or similar structures provide a novel approach to protection of bone marrow from ionizing radiation

  8. Preparation of Thin Melanin-Type Films by Surface-Controlled Oxidation.

    PubMed

    Salomäki, Mikko; Tupala, Matti; Parviainen, Timo; Leiro, Jarkko; Karonen, Maarit; Lukkari, Jukka

    2016-04-26

    The preparation of thin melanin films suitable for applications is challenging. In this work, we present a new alternative approach to thin melanin-type films using oxidative multilayers prepared by the sequential layer-by-layer deposition of cerium(IV) and inorganic polyphosphate. The interfacial reaction between cerium(IV) in the multilayer and 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) in the adjacent aqueous solution leads to the formation of a thin uniform film. The oxidation of DHI by cerium(IV) proceeds via known melanin intermediates. We have characterized the formed DHI-melanin films using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), UV-vis spectroscopy, and spectroelectrochemistry. When a five-bilayer oxidative multilayer is used, the film is uniform with a thickness of ca. 10 nm. Its chemical composition, as determined using XPS, is typical for melanin. It is also redox active, and its oxidation occurs in two steps, which can be assigned to semiquinone and quinone formation within the indole structural motif. Oxidative multilayers can also oxidize dopamine, but the reaction stops at the dopamine quinone stage because of the limited amount of the multilayer-based oxidizing agent. However, dopamine oxidation by Ce(IV) was studied also in solution by UV-vis spectroscopy and mass spectrometry in order to verify the reaction mechanism and the final product. In solution, the oxidation of dopamine by cerium shows that the indole ring formation takes place already at low pH and that the mass spectrum of the final product is practically identical with that of commercial melanin. Therefore, layer-by-layer formed oxidative multilayers can be used to deposit functional melanin-type thin films on arbitrary substrates by a surface-controlled reaction. PMID:27049932

  9. Two-photon excited fluorescence lifetime imaging and spectroscopy of melanins in vitro and in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Stringari, Chiara; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Gratton, Enrico

    2012-01-01

    Abstract. Changes in the amounts of cellular eumelanin and pheomelanin have been associated with carcinogenesis. The goal of this work is to develop methods based on two-photon-excited-fluorescence (TPEF) for measuring relative concentrations of these compounds. We acquire TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000  nm) of melanin in vitro from melanoma cells, hair specimens, and in vivo from healthy volunteers. We find that the pheomelanin emission peaks at approximately 615 to 625 nm and eumelanin exhibits a broad maximum at 640 to 680 nm. Based on these data we define an optical melanin index (OMI) as the ratio of fluorescence intensities at 645 and 615 nm. The measured OMI for the MNT-1 melanoma cell line is 1.6±0.22 while the Mc1R gene knockdown lines MNT-46 and MNT-62 show substantially greater pheomelanin production (OMI=0.5±0.05 and 0.17±0.03, respectively). The measured values are in good agreement with chemistry-based melanin extraction methods. In order to better separate melanin fluorescence from other intrinsic fluorophores, we perform fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of in vitro specimens. The relative concentrations of keratin, eumelanin, and pheomelanin components are resolved using a phasor approach for analyzing lifetime data. Our results suggest that a noninvasive TPEF index based on spectra and lifetime could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo. PMID:23235925

  10. Condition-dependent expression of melanin-based coloration in the Eurasian kestrel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piault, Romain; van den Brink, Valentijn; Roulin, Alexandre

    2012-05-01

    Melanin is the most common pigment in animal integuments and is responsible for some of the most striking ornaments. A central tenet of sexual selection theory states that melanin-based traits can signal absolute individual quality in any environment only if their expression is condition-dependent. Significant costs imposed by an ornament would ensure that only the highest quality individuals display the most exaggerated forms of the signal. Firm evidence that melanin-based traits can be condition-dependent is still rare in birds. In an experimental test of this central assumption, we report condition-dependent expression of a melanin-based trait in the Eurasian kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus). We manipulated nestling body condition by reducing or increasing the number of nestlings soon after hatching. A few days before fledging, we measured the width of sub-terminal black bands on the tail feathers. Compared to nestlings from enlarged broods, individuals raised in reduced broods were in better condition and thereby developed larger sub-terminal bands. Furthermore, in 2 years, first-born nestlings also developed larger sub-terminal bands than their younger siblings that are in poorer condition. This demonstrates that expression of melanin-based traits can be condition-dependent.

  11. Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography of melanin provides intrinsic contrast based on depolarization

    PubMed Central

    Baumann, Bernhard; Baumann, Stefan O.; Konegger, Thomas; Pircher, Michael; Götzinger, Erich; Schlanitz, Ferdinand; Schütze, Christopher; Sattmann, Harald; Litschauer, Marco; Schmidt-Erfurth, Ursula; Hitzenberger, Christoph K.

    2012-01-01

    Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) is a functional extension of OCT. In addition to imaging based on tissue reflectivity, PS-OCT also enables depth-resolved mapping of sample polarization properties such as phase-retardation, birefringent axis orientation, Stokes vectors, and degree of polarization uniformity (DOPU). In this study, PS-OCT was used to investigate the polarization properties of melanin. In-vitro measurements in samples with varying melanin concentrations revealed polarization scrambling, i.e. depolarization of backscattered light. Polarization scrambling in the PS-OCT images was more pronounced for higher melanin concentrations and correlated with the concentration of the melanin granules in the phantoms. Moreover, in-vivo PS-OCT was performed in the retinas of normal subjects and individuals with albinism. Unlike in the normal eye, polarization scrambling in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) was less pronounced or even not observable in PS-OCT images of albinos. These results indicate that the depolarizing appearance of pigmented structures like, for instance, the RPE is likely to be caused by the melanin granules contained in these cells. PMID:22808437

  12. Melanin pigmentation gives rise to black spots on the wings of the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Ito, Katsuhiko; Yoshikawa, Manabu; Fujii, Takeshi; Tabunoki, Hiroko; Yokoyama, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    Several mutants of the silkworm Bombyx mori show body color variation at the larval and adult stages. The Wild wing spot (Ws) mutant exhibits a phenotype in which the moth has a spot on the apex of the forewing. In this study, we investigated this trait to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the color pattern. Microscopy of the black spot of Ws mutants showed that the pigment emerges in the scales of the wing, and accumulation of the pigment becomes strong just before eclosion. We next examined the relationship between the black spot of the Ws mutant and melanin. The spectrophotometry using alkaline extracts from the black spot in the wing showed the highest absorption intensity at 405nm, which is the absorbance wavelength of melanin. Moreover, inhibition assays for enzymes implicated in melanin synthesis using 3-iodo-l-tyrosine (a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor) and L-α-methyl-DOPA (a dopa decarboxylase inhibitor) revealed that treatment with each inhibitor disrupted the pigmentation of the wing of the Ws mutant. On the basis of these results, we analyzed the expression pattern of five genes involved in melanin formation, and found that the expression levels of yellow and laccase2 were increased just before pigmentation, whereas those of DDC, tan, and TH were increased when the apex of the wing turned black. These results showed that melanin pigmentation gives rise to the black spot on the wing. PMID:27405010

  13. Microneedling dilates the follicular infundibulum and increases transfollicular absorption of liposomal sepia melanin.

    PubMed

    Serrano, Gabriel; Almudéver, Patricia; Serrano, Juan M; Cortijo, Julio; Faus, Carmen; Reyes, Magda; Expósito, Inmaculada; Torrens, Ana; Millán, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Encapsulation of chemicals in liposomes and microneedling are currently used techniques to enhance the penetration of several substances through skin and hair. In this study, we apply a liposomal melanin-fluorescein compound to an ex vivo model of human skin, using a new electrical microneedling device (Nanopore turbo roller). The product was applied by hand massage (A) or with the assistance of the electrical roller for 2 minutes (B). An additional test was performed free of product and with only the E-roller (C). Histological changes and product absorption were evaluated by optical and fluorescent microscopy 60 and 90 minutes after the treatment. Site B showed larger deposits of melanin-fluorescein at superficial and deep levels of hair structures in comparison to site A. Light, epidermal deposits of the melanin-fluorescein complex were also observed. Sites B and C showed a significant widening (47%) of the follicular infundibulum which could explain the increased penetration of the formulation. Microneedling also removed the scales and sebum residues in the neighborhood of the infundibulum. Targeting hair follicles with melanin may be useful to dye poorly pigmented hairs, improving laser hair removal. The procedure accelerates the delivery of melanin into hair structures allowing an even absorption, larger pigment deposits, and deeper penetration of the formulation into the hair. PMID:26170707

  14. Two-photon excited fluorescence lifetime imaging and spectroscopy of melanins in vitro and in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Stringari, Chiara; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Gratton, Enrico; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2013-03-01

    Changes in the amounts of cellular eumelanin and pheomelanin have been associated with carcinogenesis. The goal of this work is to develop methods based on two-photon-excited-fluorescence (TPEF) for measuring relative concentrations of these compounds. We acquire TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000 nm) of melanin in vitro from melanoma cells, hair specimens, and in vivo from healthy volunteers. We find that the pheomelanin emission peaks at approximately 615 to 625 nm and eumelanin exhibits a broad maximum at 640 to 680 nm. Based on these data we define an optical melanin index (OMI) as the ratio of fluorescence intensities at 645 and 615 nm. The measured OMI for the MNT-1 melanoma cell line is 1.6±0.22 while the Mc1R gene knockdown lines MNT-46 and MNT-62 show substantially greater pheomelanin production (OMI=0.5±0.05 and 0.17±0.03, respectively). The measured values are in good agreement with chemistry-based melanin extraction methods. In order to better separate melanin fluorescence from other intrinsic fluorophores, we perform fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy of in vitro specimens. The relative concentrations of keratin, eumelanin, and pheomelanin components are resolved using a phasor approach for analyzing lifetime data. Our results suggest that a noninvasive TPEF index based on spectra and lifetime could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo.

  15. Evolutionary shifts in the melanin-based color system of birds.

    PubMed

    Eliason, Chad M; Shawkey, Matthew D; Clarke, Julia A

    2016-02-01

    Melanin pigments contained in organelles (melanosomes) impart earthy colors to feathers. Such melanin-based colors are distributed across birds and thought to be the ancestral color-producing mechanism in birds. However, we have had limited data on melanin-based color and melanosome diversity in Palaeognathae, which includes the flighted tinamous and large-bodied, flightless ratites and is the sister taxon to all other extant birds. Here, we use scanning electron microscopy and spectrophotometry to assess melanosome morphology and quantify reflected color for 19 species within this clade. We find that brown colors in ratites are uniquely associated with elongated melanosomes nearly identical in shape to those associated with black colors. Melanosome and color diversity in large-bodied ratites is limited relative to other birds (including flightless penguins) and smaller bodied basal maniraptoran dinosaur outgroups of Aves, whereas tinamous show a wider range of melanosome forms similar to neognaths. The repeated occurrence of novel melanosome forms in the nonmonophyletic ratites suggests that melanin-based color tracks changes in body size, physiology, or other life history traits associated with flight loss, but not feather morphology. We further anticipate these findings will be useful for future color reconstructions in extinct species, as variation in melanosome shape may potentially be linked to a more nuanced palette of melanin-based colors. PMID:26767728

  16. Improved production of melanin from Aspergillus fumigatus AFGRD105 by optimization of media factors.

    PubMed

    Raman, Nitya Meenakshi; Shah, Pooja Harish; Mohan, Misha; Ramasamy, Suganthi

    2015-12-01

    Melanins are indolic polymers produced by many genera included among plants, animals and microorganisms and targeted mainly for their wide range of applications in cosmetics, agriculture and medicine. An approach to analyse the cumulative effect of parameters for enhanced melanin production was carried out using response surface methodology. In this present study, optimization of media and process parameters for melanin production from Aspergillus fumigatus AFGRD105 (GenBank: JX041523; NFCCI accession number: 3826) was carried out by an initial univariate approach followed by statistical response surface methodology. The univariate approach was used to standardise the parameters that can be used for the 12-run Plackett-Burman design that is used for screening for critical parameters. Further optimization of parameters was analysed using Box-Behnken design. The optimum conditions observed were temperature, moisture and sodium dihydrogen phosphate concentration. The yield of every run of both designs were confirmed to be melanin by laboratory tests of analysis in the presence of acids, base and water. This is the first report confirming an increase in melanin production A. fumigatus AFGRD105 without the addition of costly additives. PMID:26597959

  17. Aspergillus Cell Wall Melanin Blocks LC3-Associated Phagocytosis to Promote Pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Akoumianaki, Tonia; Kyrmizi, Irene; Valsecchi, Isabel; Gresnigt, Mark S; Samonis, George; Drakos, Elias; Boumpas, Dimitrios; Muszkieta, Laetitia; Prevost, Marie-Christine; Kontoyiannis, Dimitrios P; Chavakis, Triantafyllos; Netea, Mihai G; van de Veerdonk, Frank L; Brakhage, Axel A; El-Benna, Jamel; Beauvais, Anne; Latge, Jean-Paul; Chamilos, Georgios

    2016-01-13

    Concealing pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) is a principal strategy used by fungi to avoid immune recognition. Surface exposure of PAMPs during germination can leave the pathogen vulnerable. Accordingly, β-glucan surface exposure during Aspergillus fumigatus germination activates an Atg5-dependent autophagy pathway termed LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP), which promotes fungal killing. We found that LAP activation also requires the genetic, biochemical or biological (germination) removal of A. fumigatus cell wall melanin. The attenuated virulence of melanin-deficient A. fumigatus is restored in Atg5-deficient macrophages and in mice upon conditional inactivation of Atg5 in hematopoietic cells. Mechanistically, Aspergillus melanin inhibits NADPH oxidase-dependent activation of LAP by excluding the p22phox subunit from the phagosome. Thus, two events that occur concomitantly during germination of airborne fungi, surface exposure of PAMPs and melanin removal, are necessary for LAP activation and fungal killing. LAP blockade is a general property of melanin pigments, a finding with broad physiological implications. PMID:26749442

  18. Amphetamine binding to synthetic melanin and scatchard analysis of binding data.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Lata; Scott, Karen S; Cole, Michael D

    2005-01-01

    Previous research into drug-hair binding shows that hair color affects drug-hair binding. There are no structural disparities in hair of different colors other than the type and content of melanin present. For this reason, this investigation focuses on synthetic eumelanin as a site for drug interaction using amphetamine as the candidate drug. The binding study was carried out at room temperature. The interaction between synthetic eumelanin and amphetamine was monitored using UV-Vis spectrophotometry at 257.2 nm. As the molecular weight of melanin is unknown, the number of binding sites could not be calculated directly. Hence the ratio of the number of mumoles of drug bound and the dry weight of melanin in mug was considered. Equilibrium was reached when approximately 32% of the drug was bound to melanin. Hence this study proves that amphetamine binds to synthetic eumelanin in vitro. Data interpretation using Scatchard analysis yielded a curvilinear plot with upward concavity indicating multiple binding sites on melanin and negative cooperativity. PMID:16105258

  19. A novel histochemical method for a simultaneous staining of melanin and collagen fibers.

    PubMed

    Carriel, Víctor S; Aneiros-Fernandez, Jose; Arias-Santiago, Salvador; Garzón, Ingrid J; Alaminos, Miguel; Campos, Antonio

    2011-03-01

    For the histopathologic diagnosis of melanocytic lesions, it could be necessary to identify the melanin pigment because its visualization is unspecific with hematoxylin-eosin (HE). The Fontana-Masson (FM) technique is used in histopathology in this type of lesion, which allows the identification of the pigment, but it loses all the morphologic parameters. The authors describe a modification to the FM method, for the evaluation of the morphology, the argentaffin reaction of the melanin, and collagens fibers of the extracellular matrix simultaneously, for which they have developed the Fontana-Masson picrosirius (FMPS) method. Biopsies of different melanocytic lesions were used for the performance of the HE, FM, and FMPS methods. The pixel intensity of the reaction for melanin, collagen, and epithelium was determined with ImageJ software. The FMPS method allows the evaluation of morphological characteristics, identifying the melanin pigment and collagen fibers with high intensity simultaneously. This method does not differ significantly from FM in the identification of melanin, maintaining its sensitivity and specificity. In addition, it does not differ in the demonstration of the morphology with HE. However, FMPS is significantly superior in the identification of collagen fibers. The FMPS method combines morphological and histochemical parameters that could be useful in the study of pigmented lesions of melanocytic origin. PMID:21378281

  20. Evolution of albinism in cave planthoppers by a convergent defect in the first step of melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Bilandžija, Helena; Cetković, Helena; Jeffery, William R

    2012-01-01

    Albinism, the reduction or loss of melanin pigment, is found in many diverse cave-dwelling animals. The mechanisms responsible for loss of melanin pigment are poorly understood. In this study we use a melanogenic substrate assay to determine the position where melanin synthesis is blocked in independently evolved cave planthoppers from Hawaii and Croatia. In this assay, substrates of enzymes responsible for melanin biosynthesis are added to fixed specimens in vitro and their ability to rescue black melanin pigmentation is determined. L-tyrosine, the first substrate in the pathway, did not produce melanin pigment, whereas L-DOPA, the second substrate, restored black pigment. Substrates in combination with enzyme inhibitors were used to test the possibility of additional downstream defects in the pathway. The results showed that downstream reactions leading from L-DOPA and dopamine to DOPA-melanin and dopamine-melanin, the two types of insect melanin, are functional. It is concluded that albinism is caused by a defect in the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway in cave-adapted planthoppers from widely separated parts of the world. However, Western blots indicated that tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the only enzyme shown to operate at the first step in insects, is present in Hawaiian cave planthoppers. Thus, an unknown factor(s) operating at this step may be important in the evolution of planthopper albinism. In the cavefish Astyanax mexicanus, a genetic defect has also been described at the first step of melanin synthesis suggesting convergent evolution of albinism in both cave-adapted insects and teleosts. PMID:23017027

  1. Detection of Melanin-Like Pigments in the Dimorphic Fungal Pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis In Vitro and during Infection

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, Beatriz L.; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Díez, Soraya; Youngchim, Sirida; Aisen, Philip; Cano, Luz E.; Restrepo, Angela; Casadevall, Arturo; Hamilton, Andrew J.

    2001-01-01

    Melanins are implicated in the pathogenesis of several human diseases, including some microbial infections. In this study, we analyzed whether the conidia and the yeasts of the thermally dimorphic fungal pathogen Paracoccidioides brasiliensis produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and during infection. Growth of P. brasiliensis mycelia on water agar alone produced pigmented conidia, and growth of yeasts in minimal medium with l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA) produced pigmented cells. Digestion of the pigmented conidia and yeasts with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant, and hot concentrated acid yielded dark particles that were the same size and shape as their propagules. Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated reactivity of a melanin-binding monoclonal antibody (MAb) with the pigmented conidia, yeasts, and particles. Electron spin resonance spectroscopy identified the yeast-derived particles produced in vitro when P. brasiliensis was grown in l-DOPA medium as a melanin-like compound. Nonreducing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of cytoplasmic yeast extract revealed a protein that catalyzed melanin synthesis from l-DOPA. The melanin binding MAb reacted with yeast cells in tissue from mice infected with P. brasiliensis. Finally digestion of infected tissue liberated particles reactive to the melanin binding MAb that had the typical morphology of P. brasiliensis yeasts. These data strongly suggest that P. brasiliensis propagules, both conidia and yeast cells, can produce melanin or melanin-like compounds in vitro and in vivo. Based on what is known about the function of melanin in the virulence of other fungi, this pigment may play a role in the pathogenesis of paracoccidioidomycosis. PMID:11500453

  2. Melanin-Concentrating Hormone: A New Sleep Factor?

    PubMed Central

    Torterolo, Pablo; Lagos, Patricia; Monti, Jaime M.

    2011-01-01

    Neurons containing the neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) are mainly located in the lateral hypothalamus and the incerto-hypothalamic area, and have widespread projections throughout the brain. While the biological functions of this neuropeptide are exerted in humans through two metabotropic receptors, the MCHR1 and MCHR2, only the MCHR1 is present in rodents. Recently, it has been shown that the MCHergic system is involved in the control of sleep. We can summarize the experimental findings as follows: (1) The areas related to the control of sleep and wakefulness have a high density of MCHergic fibers and receptors. (2) MCHergic neurons are active during sleep, especially during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. (3) MCH knockout mice have less REM sleep, notably under conditions of negative energy balance. Animals with genetically inactivated MCHR1 also exhibit altered vigilance state architecture and sleep homeostasis. (4) Systemically administered MCHR1 antagonists reduce sleep. (5) Intraventricular microinjection of MCH increases both slow wave sleep (SWS) and REM sleep; however, the increment in REM sleep is more pronounced. (6) Microinjection of MCH into the dorsal raphe nucleus increases REM sleep time. REM seep is inhibited by immunoneutralization of MCH within this nucleus. (7) Microinjection of MCH in the nucleus pontis oralis of the cat enhances REM sleep time and reduces REM sleep latency. All these data strongly suggest that MCH has a potent role in the promotion of sleep. Although both SWS and REM sleep are facilitated by MCH, REM sleep seems to be more sensitive to MCH modulation. PMID:21516258

  3. Oral melanin pigmentation in 467 Thai and Malaysian people with special emphasis on smoker's melanosis.

    PubMed

    Hedin, C A; Axéll, T

    1991-01-01

    At the faculties of dentistry in Chiang Mai, Thailand (CM), and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KL), 234 and 233 consecutive out-patients were interviewed concerning tobacco and chewing habits and examined for the presence of oral melanin pigmentation. Tobacco was regularly used by 32% and 28% of the studied populations in CM and KL. Cigarette smoking was the predominant habit, but the chewing of betel and tea leaves (miang) and the smoking of banana leaf cigars (khi yo) was also registered. The genetically acquired pigmentation dominated. Although nearly all non-tobacco users in the Malay and Indian populations had oral melanin pigmentation, it was found that tobacco smokers had significantly more oral surfaces pigmented than non-tobacco users. Among Thais, the percentage of pigmented individuals was significantly higher among tobacco smokers. It was concluded that tobacco smoking stimulates oral melanocytes to a higher melanin production also in dark-skinned ethnic groups. PMID:2002444

  4. Quantitative photoacoustics to measure single cell melanin production and nanoparticle attachment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharyya, Kiran; Eshein, Adam; Chandrasekhar, Anand; Viator, John A.

    2015-04-01

    Photoacoustics can be used as a label-free spectroscopic method of identifying pigmented proteins and characterizing their intracellular concentration over time in a single living cell. The authors use a microscopic laser irradiation system with a 5 ns, Q-switched laser focused onto single cells in order to collect photoacoustic responses of melanoma cells from the HS936 cell line and gold nanoparticle labeled breast cancer cells from the T47D cell line. The volume averaged intracellular concentration of melanin is found to range from 29-270 mM for single melanoma cells and the number of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) is shown to range from 850-5900 AuNPs/cell. Additionally, the melanin production response to UV-A light stimulus is measured in four melanoma cells to find a mass production rate of 5.7 pg of melanin every 15 min.

  5. The Protective Role of Melanin Against UV Damage in Human Skin

    PubMed Central

    Brenner, Michaela; Hearing, Vincent J.

    2009-01-01

    Human skin is repeatedly exposed to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) that influences the function and survival of many cell types and is regarded as the main causative factor in the induction of skin cancer. It has been traditionally believed that skin pigmentation is the most important photoprotective factor, since melanin, besides functioning as a broadband UV absorbent, has antioxidant and radical scavenging properties. Besides, many epidemiological studies have shown a lower incidence for skin cancer in individuals with darker skin compared to those with fair skin. Skin pigmentation is of great cultural and cosmetic importance, yet the role of melanin in photoprotection is still controversial. This article outlines the major acute and chronic effects of UV radiation on human skin, the properties of melanin, the regulation of pigmentation and its effect on skin cancer prevention. PMID:18435612

  6. Phenolic melanin precursors provide a rational approach to the design of antitumor agents for melanoma

    SciTech Connect

    Jimbow, K.; Miura, T.; Ito, S.; Ishikawa, K.

    1989-01-01

    A unique biological property of the melanocyte, melanin synthesis may permit a rational approach to design agents for better management of malignant melanoma. This in vivo and in vitro study examined the selective melanocytotoxicity and antimelanoma effects of phenolic compounds, cysteinylphenol (CP), cysteaminylphenol (CAP), and related compounds, and found (1) that both 4-S-CP and 4-S-CAP are melanin precursors, (2) that 4-S-CAP possesses a marked depigmenting potency with selective destruction of melanocytes in black follicles, and (3) a significant inhibition in the protein synthesis and tumor growth of B16 melanoma. Importantly, a whole body autoradiography indicated that these phenolic melanin precursors are selectively incorporated into melanoma tissues after i.p. administration.

  7. Effect of aluminum (III) on the conversion of dopachrome in the melanin synthesis pathway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, Junwei; Bi, Shuping

    2003-06-01

    The effect of aluminum ions on the kinetics and mode of the conversion of dopachrome (DC) in acidic environment has been studied using UV-Vis spectrophotometric and cyclic voltammetric methods. The DC conversion step is an important reaction in melanogenesis. Aluminum ions catalyze greatly the decarboxylative transformation of DC to give 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) rather than 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) at pH 5.5, which enhance the ratio of formation DHI/DHICA in melanin synthesis pathway. The kinetics of DC conversion catalyzed by aluminum ions is dependent on the concentration of DC and aluminum ions. These results provide evidence that aluminum ions could play a role in the synthesis of melanin pathway in acidic condition through catalyzing the DC decarboxylative transformation to yield DHI and influence the melanin structure and properties.

  8. Quantitative photoacoustics to measure single cell melanin production and nanoparticle attachment

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharyya, Kiran; Eshein, Adam; Chandrasekhar, Anand; Viator, John A.

    2015-01-01

    Photoacoustics can be used as a label-free spectroscopic method of identifying pigmented proteins and characterizing their intracellular concentration over time in a single living cell. The authors use a microscopic laser irradiation system with a 5 ns, Q-switched laser focused onto single cells in order to collect photoacoustic responses of melanoma cells from the HS936 cell line and gold nanoparticle labeled breast cancer cells from the T47D cell line. The volume averaged intracellular concentration of melanin is found to range from 29–270mM for single melanoma cells and the number of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) is shown to range from 850–5900 AuNPs/cell. Additionally, the melanin production response to UV-A light stimulus is measured in four melanoma cells to find a mass production rate of 5.7 pg of melanin every 15 minutes. PMID:25803095

  9. Characterization of a Fungal Thioesterase Having Claisen Cyclase and Deacetylase Activities in Melanin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Vagstad, Anna L; Hill, Eric A; Labonte, Jason W; Townsend, Craig A

    2012-01-01

    Summary Melanins are a broad class of darkly-pigmented macromolecules formed by oxidative polymerization of phenolic monomers. In fungi, melanins are known virulence factors that contribute to pathogenicity. Their biosynthesis generally involves polymerization of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene via a 1,3,6,8- tetrahydroxynaphthalene (THN) precursor assembled by multidomain, nonreducing polyketide synthases. Multiple, convergent routes to THN have evolved in fungi. Parallel heptaketide and hexaketide pathways exist that utilize conventional C-terminal thioesterase/Claisen cyclase domains and separate side-chain deacylases. Here, in vitro characterization of Pks1 from Colletotrichum lagenarium establishes a true THN synthase with a bifunctional thioesterase (TE) catalyzing both cyclization and deacetylation of an enzyme-bound hexaketide substrate. Chimeric TE domains were generated by swapping lid regions of active sites between classes of melanin TEs to gain insight into this unprecedented catalysis of carbon–carbon bond making and breaking by an α/β-hydrolase fold enzyme. PMID:23261597

  10. Analysis of the melanin distribution in different ethnic groups by in vivo laser scanning microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antoniou, C.; Lademann, J.; Richter, H.; Astner, S.; Patzelt, A.; Zastrow, L.; Sterry, W.; Koch, S.

    2009-05-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether Laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSM) is able to visualize differences in melanin content and distribution in different Skin Phototypes. The investigations were carried out on six healthy volunteers with Skin Phototypes II, IV, and VI. Representative skin samples of Skin Phototypes II, V, and VI were obtained for histological analysis from remaining tissue of skin grafts and were used for LSM-pathologic correlation. LSM evaluation showed significant differences in melanin distribution in Skin Phototypes II, IV, and VI, respectively. Based on the differences in overall reflectivity and image brightness, a visual evaluation scheme showed increasing brightness of the basal and suprabasal layers with increasing Skin Phototypes. The findings correlated well with histological analysis. The results demonstrate that LSM may serve as a promising adjunctive tool for real time assessment of melanin content and distribution in human skin, with numerous clinical applications and therapeutic and preventive implications.

  11. In vivo measurements of cutaneous melanin across spatial scales: using multiphoton microscopy and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Saager, Rolf B.; Balu, Mihaela; Crosignani, Viera; Sharif, Ata; Durkin, Anthony J.; Kelly, Kristen M.; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. The combined use of nonlinear optical microscopy and broadband reflectance techniques to assess melanin concentration and distribution thickness in vivo over the full range of Fitzpatrick skin types is presented. Twelve patients were measured using multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy (SFDS) on both dorsal forearm and volar arm, which are generally sun-exposed and non-sun-exposed areas, respectively. Both MPM and SFDS measured melanin volume fractions between ∼5% (skin type I non-sun-exposed) and 20% (skin type VI sun exposed). MPM measured epidermal (anatomical) thickness values ∼30–65  μm, while SFDS measured melanin distribution thickness based on diffuse optical path length. There was a strong correlation between melanin concentration and melanin distribution (epidermal) thickness measurements obtained using the two techniques. While SFDS does not have the ability to match the spatial resolution of MPM, this study demonstrates that melanin content as quantified using SFDS is linearly correlated with epidermal melanin as measured using MPM (R2=0.8895). SFDS melanin distribution thickness is correlated to MPM values (R2=0.8131). These techniques can be used individually and/or in combination to advance our understanding and guide therapies for pigmentation-related conditions as well as light-based treatments across a full range of skin types. PMID:26065839

  12. In vivo measurements of cutaneous melanin across spatial scales: using multiphoton microscopy and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saager, Rolf B.; Balu, Mihaela; Crosignani, Viera; Sharif, Ata; Durkin, Anthony J.; Kelly, Kristen M.; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2015-06-01

    The combined use of nonlinear optical microscopy and broadband reflectance techniques to assess melanin concentration and distribution thickness in vivo over the full range of Fitzpatrick skin types is presented. Twelve patients were measured using multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy (SFDS) on both dorsal forearm and volar arm, which are generally sun-exposed and non-sun-exposed areas, respectively. Both MPM and SFDS measured melanin volume fractions between ˜5% (skin type I non-sun-exposed) and 20% (skin type VI sun exposed). MPM measured epidermal (anatomical) thickness values ˜30-65 μm, while SFDS measured melanin distribution thickness based on diffuse optical path length. There was a strong correlation between melanin concentration and melanin distribution (epidermal) thickness measurements obtained using the two techniques. While SFDS does not have the ability to match the spatial resolution of MPM, this study demonstrates that melanin content as quantified using SFDS is linearly correlated with epidermal melanin as measured using MPM (R2=0.8895). SFDS melanin distribution thickness is correlated to MPM values (R2=0.8131). These techniques can be used individually and/or in combination to advance our understanding and guide therapies for pigmentation-related conditions as well as light-based treatments across a full range of skin types.

  13. Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy Versus Mexameter(®) MX18 Measurements of Melanin and Erythema in an African Population.

    PubMed

    Wright, Caradee Y; Karsten, Aletta E; Wilkes, Marcus; Singh, Ann; du Plessis, Johan; Albers, Patricia N; Karsten, Petrus A

    2016-07-01

    Melanin provides protection against excess exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and related adverse health effects. Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) can be used to calculate cutaneous melanin and erythema, but this is complex and has been mostly used for light-to-medium pigmented skin. Handheld reflectance spectrophotometers, such as the Mexameter(®) MX18, can also be used. We compared DRS-calculated melanin and erythema values with Mexameter melanin and erythema index values to understand how these techniques/measurements correlate in an African population of predominantly deeply pigmented skin. Five hundred and three participants comprised 68.5% self-identified Black African, 9.9% Indian/Asian, 18.4% White and 2.9% Colored. The majority of Black African (45%), Indian/Asian (34%) and Colored (53%) participants self-identified their skin as being "brown." Measured melanin levels increased with darker self-reported skin color. DRS-calculated and Mexameter melanin values demonstrated a positive correlation (Spearman rho = 0.87, P < 0.001). The results from both instruments showed erythema values were strongly correlated with their own melanin values. This finding is considered spurious and may result from the complexity of separating brown and red pigment when using narrowband reflectance techniques. Further work is needed to understand melanin, erythema and color in Black skin given sun-related health risks in vulnerable groups in Africa. PMID:27276188

  14. Condition-dependence, pleiotropy and the handicap principle of sexual selection in melanin-based colouration.

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2016-05-01

    The signalling function of melanin-based colouration is debated. Sexual selection theory states that ornaments should be costly to produce, maintain, wear or display to signal quality honestly to potential mates or competitors. An increasing number of studies supports the hypothesis that the degree of melanism covaries with aspects of body condition (e.g. body mass or immunity), which has contributed to change the initial perception that melanin-based colour ornaments entail no costs. Indeed, the expression of many (but not all) melanin-based colour traits is weakly sensitive to the environment but strongly heritable suggesting that these colour traits are relatively cheap to produce and maintain, thus raising the question of how such colour traits could signal quality honestly. Here I review the production, maintenance and wearing/displaying costs that can generate a correlation between melanin-based colouration and body condition, and consider other evolutionary mechanisms that can also lead to covariation between colour and body condition. Because genes controlling melanic traits can affect numerous phenotypic traits, pleiotropy could also explain a linkage between body condition and colouration. Pleiotropy may result in differently coloured individuals signalling different aspects of quality that are maintained by frequency-dependent selection or local adaptation. Colouration may therefore not signal absolute quality to potential mates or competitors (e.g. dark males may not achieve a higher fitness than pale males); otherwise genetic variation would be rapidly depleted by directional selection. As a consequence, selection on heritable melanin-based colouration may not always be directional, but mate choice may be conditional to environmental conditions (i.e. context-dependent sexual selection). Despite the interest of evolutionary biologists in the adaptive value of melanin-based colouration, its actual role in sexual selection is still poorly understood. PMID

  15. Simultaneous in vivo imaging of melanin and lipofuscin in the retina with multimodal photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiangyang; Zhang, Hao F.; Zhou, Lixiang; Jiao, Shuliang

    2012-02-01

    We combined photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM) with autofluorescence imaging for simultaneous in vivo imaging of dual molecular contrasts in the retina using a single light source. The dual molecular contrasts come from melanin and lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Melanin and lipofuscin are two types of pigments and are believed to play opposite roles (protective vs. exacerbate) in the RPE in the aging process. We successfully imaged the retina of pigmented and albino rats at different ages. The experimental results showed that multimodal PAOM system can be a potentially powerful tool in the study of age-related degenerative retinal diseases.

  16. Melanin-concentrating hormone control of sleep-wake behavior.

    PubMed

    Monti, Jaime M; Torterolo, Pablo; Lagos, Patricia

    2013-08-01

    The melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a 19 aminoacid peptide found in mammals predominantly in neurons located in the lateral hypothalamus and incerto-hypothalamic area. The biological function of MCH is mediated by two G-protein-coupled receptors known as MCHR1 and MCHR2, although the latter is expressed only in carnivores, primates and man. The MCHR1 couples to Gi, Gq and Go proteins, with Gi leading to the inhibition of both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic events. Within the central nervous system (CNS) MCH participates in a number of functions including sleep-wake behavior. In this respect, MCHergic neurons project widely throughout the CNS to brain regions involved in the regulation of behavioral states. MCHergic neurons are silent during wakefulness (W), increase their firing during slow wave sleep (SWS) and still more during REM sleep (REMS). Studies in knockout mice for MCH (MCH(-/-)) have shown a reduction in SWS and an increase of W during the light and the dark phase of the light-dark cycle. Moreover, in response to food deprivation a marked reduction in REMS time was observed in these animals. Conflicting effects on sleep variables have been reported in MCHR1(-/-) mice by different authors. The i.c.v. administration of MCH increases REMS and SWS in the rat. In addition, an enhancement of REMS has been described following the microinjection of the neuropeptide into the nucleus pontis oralis of the cat, while its infusion into the dorsal raphe nucleus (DR) and the basal forebrain (horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca) is followed by an increase of REMS and a reduction of W in the rat. Immunoneutralization of MCH in the DR augmented W and suppressed REMS in the rat, as did the s.c. injection of selective MCHR1 antagonists. The robust REMS-inducing effect of MCH is likely related to the deactivation of monoaminergic, orexinergic, glutamatergic, cholinergic (W-on) and GABAergic (REM-off) neurons involved in the generation of W and the

  17. Visualisation of the distributions of melanin and indocyanine green in biological tissues

    SciTech Connect

    Genina, E A; Fedosov, I V; Bashkatov, A N; Zimnyakov, D A; Tuchin, V V; Altshuler, G B

    2008-03-31

    A double-wavelength laser scanning microphotometer with the high spectral and spatial resolutions is developed for studying the distribution of endogenic and exogenic dyes in biological tissues. Samples of hair and skin biopsy with hair follicles stained with indocyanine green are studied. The spatial distribution of indocyanine green and melanin in the biological tissue is determined from the measured optical transmittance. (laser biology)

  18. Transferring biomarker into molecular probe: melanin nanoparticle as a naturally active platform for multimodality imaging.

    PubMed

    Fan, Quli; Cheng, Kai; Hu, Xiang; Ma, Xiaowei; Zhang, Ruiping; Yang, Min; Lu, Xiaomei; Xing, Lei; Huang, Wei; Gambhir, Sanjiv Sam; Cheng, Zhen

    2014-10-29

    Developing multifunctional and easily prepared nanoplatforms with integrated different modalities is highly challenging for molecular imaging. Here, we report the successful transfer of an important molecular target, melanin, into a novel multimodality imaging nanoplatform. Melanin is abundantly expressed in melanotic melanomas and thus has been actively studied as a target for melanoma imaging. In our work, the multifunctional biopolymer nanoplatform based on ultrasmall (<10 nm) water-soluble melanin nanoparticle (MNP) was developed and showed unique photoacoustic property and natural binding ability with metal ions (for example, (64)Cu(2+), Fe(3+)). Therefore, MNP can serve not only as a photoacoustic contrast agent, but also as a nanoplatform for positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Traditional passive nanoplatforms require complicated and time-consuming processes for prebuilding reporting moieties or chemical modifications using active groups to integrate different contrast properties into one entity. In comparison, utilizing functional biomarker melanin can greatly simplify the building process. We further conjugated αvβ3 integrins, cyclic c(RGDfC) peptide, to MNPs to allow for U87MG tumor accumulation due to its targeting property combined with the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. The multimodal properties of MNPs demonstrate the high potential of endogenous materials with multifunctions as nanoplatforms for molecular theranostics and clinical translation. PMID:25292385

  19. Testing in Mice the Hypothesis That Melanin Is Protective in Malaria Infections

    PubMed Central

    Waisberg, Michael; Vickers, Brandi K.; Yager, Stephanie B.; Lin, Christina K.; Pierce, Susan K.

    2012-01-01

    Malaria has had the largest impact of any infectious disease on shaping the human genome, exerting enormous selective pressure on genes that improve survival in severe malaria infections. Modern humans originated in Africa and lost skin melanization as they migrated to temperate regions of the globe. Although it is well documented that loss of melanization improved cutaneous Vitamin D synthesis, melanin plays an evolutionary ancient role in insect immunity to malaria and in some instances melanin has been implicated to play an immunoregulatory role in vertebrates. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that melanization may be protective in malaria infections using mouse models. Congenic C57BL/6 mice that differed only in the gene encoding tyrosinase, a key enzyme in the synthesis of melanin, showed no difference in the clinical course of infection by Plasmodium yoelii 17XL, that causes severe anemia, Plasmodium berghei ANKA, that causes severe cerebral malaria or Plasmodium chabaudi AS that causes uncomplicated chronic disease. Moreover, neither genetic deficiencies in vitamin D synthesis nor vitamin D supplementation had an effect on survival in cerebral malaria. Taken together, these results indicate that neither melanin nor vitamin D production improve survival in severe malaria. PMID:22242171

  20. Inhibitory Effect of Arctigenin from Fructus Arctii Extract on Melanin Synthesis via Repression of Tyrosinase Expression

    PubMed Central

    Park, Hwayong; Song, Kwang Hoon; Jung, Pil Mun; Kim, Ji-Eun; Kim, Mi Yoon; Ma, Jin Yeul

    2013-01-01

    To identify the active compound arctigenin in Fructus Arctii (dried seed of medicinal plant Arctium lappa) and to elucidate the inhibitory mechanism in melanogenesis, we analyzed melanin content and tyrosinase activity on B16BL6 murine melanoma and melan-A cell cultures. Water extracts of Fructus Arctii were shown to inhibit tyrosinase activity in vitro and melanin content in α-melanocyte stimulating hormone-stimulated cells to similar levels as the well-known kojic acid and arbutin, respectively. The active compound arctigenin of Fructus Arctii displayed little or no cytotoxicity at all concentrations examined and decreased the relative melanin content and tyrosinase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Melanogenic inhibitory activity was also identified in vivo with zebrafish embryo. To determine the mechanism of inhibition, the effects of arctigenin on tyrosinase gene expression and tyrosinase promoter activity were examined. Also in addition, in the signaling cascade, arctigenin dose dependently decreased the cAMP level and promoted the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase. This result suggests that arctigenin downregulates cAMP and the tyrosinase enzyme through its gene promoter and subsequently upregulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity by increasing phosphorylation in the melanogenesis signaling pathway, which leads to a lower melanin content. PMID:23781272

  1. Metal exposure influences the melanin and carotenoid-based colorations in great tits.

    PubMed

    Giraudeau, M; Mateos-Gonzalez, F; Cotín, J; Pagani-Nuñez, E; Torné-Noguera, A; Senar, J C

    2015-11-01

    Metals are naturally found in the environment but are also emitted through anthropogenic activities, raising some concerns about the potential deleterious effects of these elements on wildlife. The potential effects of metals on bird coloration have been the focus of several recent studies since animal colored-signals often reflect the physiology of their bearers and are thus used by animals to assess the quality of another individual as a mate or competitor. These studies have shown that the melanin pigmentation seems to be positively associated and the carotenoid-based coloration negatively associated with metal exposure in wild birds. Although these studies have been very useful to show the associations between metal exposure and coloration, only few of them have actually quantified the levels of metal exposure at the individual level; always focusing on one or two of them. Here, we measured the concentrations of eight metals in great tits' feathers and then assessed how these levels of metals were associated with the carotenoid and melanin-based colorations. We found that the melanin pigmentation was positively associated with the copper concentration and negatively correlated with the chromium concentration in feathers. In addition, we have shown that the carotenoid-based coloration was negatively associated with the feather's mercury concentration. This study is the first one to identify some metals that might affect positively and negatively the deposition of melanin and carotenoid into the plumage of wild birds. PMID:26100730

  2. Transferring Biomarker into Molecular Probe: Melanin Nanoparticle as a Naturally Active Platform for Multimodality Imaging

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Developing multifunctional and easily prepared nanoplatforms with integrated different modalities is highly challenging for molecular imaging. Here, we report the successful transfer of an important molecular target, melanin, into a novel multimodality imaging nanoplatform. Melanin is abundantly expressed in melanotic melanomas and thus has been actively studied as a target for melanoma imaging. In our work, the multifunctional biopolymer nanoplatform based on ultrasmall (<10 nm) water-soluble melanin nanoparticle (MNP) was developed and showed unique photoacoustic property and natural binding ability with metal ions (for example, 64Cu2+, Fe3+). Therefore, MNP can serve not only as a photoacoustic contrast agent, but also as a nanoplatform for positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Traditional passive nanoplatforms require complicated and time-consuming processes for prebuilding reporting moieties or chemical modifications using active groups to integrate different contrast properties into one entity. In comparison, utilizing functional biomarker melanin can greatly simplify the building process. We further conjugated αvβ3 integrins, cyclic c(RGDfC) peptide, to MNPs to allow for U87MG tumor accumulation due to its targeting property combined with the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. The multimodal properties of MNPs demonstrate the high potential of endogenous materials with multifunctions as nanoplatforms for molecular theranostics and clinical translation. PMID:25292385

  3. [Obtaining of water soluble microbial melanin and study of its some properties].

    PubMed

    Agadzhanian, A A; Asaturian, R A; Ambartsumian, A A; Sargisian, L B; Ovsepian, A S; Vardanian, A H; Sagiian, A S

    2011-01-01

    The effective sorption method for melanin isolation and purification from fermentation solutions of Bacillus thuringiensis serovar galleriae K1 has been elaborated, the principle process flowsheet is presented. The identification of obtained pigment with the samples of natural and synthetic melanin was done by IR-spectroscopy, and the intensity ratio of optical absorption at 650 and 500 nm allows to refer the isolated melanin to eumelanin class. By thermal treatment it was determined, that melanin's amorphous sediment is steady at up to 120 degrees C temperatures, at that the concentration of paramagnetic centers is changed from 0.053 x 10(18) spin/g (48 degrees C) to 0.25 x 10(18) spin/g (120 degrees C). The rising of the temperature of treatment up to 210 degrees C brings to substantial increase of the concentration of unpaired electrons, and at 280 degrees C its sharp growth is observed. At 350 degrees C growth stops, then sharp decrease is observed. The obtained results were confirmed by methods of IR spectroscopy and derivatographic analysis. PMID:22232896

  4. Interpreting melanin-based coloration through deep time: a critical review

    PubMed Central

    Lindgren, Johan; Moyer, Alison; Schweitzer, Mary H.; Sjövall, Peter; Uvdal, Per; Nilsson, Dan E.; Heimdal, Jimmy; Engdahl, Anders; Gren, Johan A.; Schultz, Bo Pagh; Kear, Benjamin P.

    2015-01-01

    Colour, derived primarily from melanin and/or carotenoid pigments, is integral to many aspects of behaviour in living vertebrates, including social signalling, sexual display and crypsis. Thus, identifying biochromes in extinct animals can shed light on the acquisition and evolution of these biological traits. Both eumelanin and melanin-containing cellular organelles (melanosomes) are preserved in fossils, but recognizing traces of ancient melanin-based coloration is fraught with interpretative ambiguity, especially when observations are based on morphological evidence alone. Assigning microbodies (or, more often reported, their ‘mouldic impressions’) as melanosome traces without adequately excluding a bacterial origin is also problematic because microbes are pervasive and intimately involved in organismal degradation. Additionally, some forms synthesize melanin. In this review, we survey both vertebrate and microbial melanization, and explore the conflicts influencing assessment of microbodies preserved in association with ancient animal soft tissues. We discuss the types of data used to interpret fossil melanosomes and evaluate whether these are sufficient for definitive diagnosis. Finally, we outline an integrated morphological and geochemical approach for detecting endogenous pigment remains and associated microstructures in multimillion-year-old fossils. PMID:26290071

  5. Melanin-independent accumulation of turgor pressure in appressoria of Phakopsora pachyrhizi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In some plant pathogenic fungi, turgor pressure accumulation in appressoria produces a mechanical force enabling the direct penetration of hyphae through the plant cell epidermis. Melanin has been reported to function as an impermeable barrier to osmolytes, which allow appressoria to accumulate high...

  6. Inhibitory Effect of Arctigenin from Fructus Arctii Extract on Melanin Synthesis via Repression of Tyrosinase Expression.

    PubMed

    Park, Hwayong; Song, Kwang Hoon; Jung, Pil Mun; Kim, Ji-Eun; Ro, Hyunju; Kim, Mi Yoon; Ma, Jin Yeul

    2013-01-01

    To identify the active compound arctigenin in Fructus Arctii (dried seed of medicinal plant Arctium lappa) and to elucidate the inhibitory mechanism in melanogenesis, we analyzed melanin content and tyrosinase activity on B16BL6 murine melanoma and melan-A cell cultures. Water extracts of Fructus Arctii were shown to inhibit tyrosinase activity in vitro and melanin content in α -melanocyte stimulating hormone-stimulated cells to similar levels as the well-known kojic acid and arbutin, respectively. The active compound arctigenin of Fructus Arctii displayed little or no cytotoxicity at all concentrations examined and decreased the relative melanin content and tyrosinase activity in a dose-dependent manner. Melanogenic inhibitory activity was also identified in vivo with zebrafish embryo. To determine the mechanism of inhibition, the effects of arctigenin on tyrosinase gene expression and tyrosinase promoter activity were examined. Also in addition, in the signaling cascade, arctigenin dose dependently decreased the cAMP level and promoted the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase. This result suggests that arctigenin downregulates cAMP and the tyrosinase enzyme through its gene promoter and subsequently upregulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase activity by increasing phosphorylation in the melanogenesis signaling pathway, which leads to a lower melanin content. PMID:23781272

  7. LASER BIOLOGY: Visualisation of the distributions of melanin and indocyanine green in biological tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genina, E. A.; Fedosov, I. V.; Bashkatov, A. N.; Zimnyakov, D. A.; Altshuler, G. B.; Tuchin, V. V.

    2008-03-01

    A double-wavelength laser scanning microphotometer with the high spectral and spatial resolutions is developed for studying the distribution of endogenic and exogenic dyes in biological tissues. Samples of hair and skin biopsy with hair follicles stained with indocyanine green are studied. The spatial distribution of indocyanine green and melanin in the biological tissue is determined from the measured optical transmittance.

  8. Melanins and melanogenesis: from pigment cells to human health and technological applications.

    PubMed

    d'Ischia, Marco; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Cicoira, Fabio; Di Mauro, Eduardo; Garcia-Borron, Josè Carlos; Commo, Stephane; Galván, Ismael; Ghanem, Ghanem; Kenzo, Koike; Meredith, Paul; Pezzella, Alessandro; Santato, Clara; Sarna, Tadeusz; Simon, John D; Zecca, Luigi; Zucca, Fabio A; Napolitano, Alessandra; Ito, Shosuke

    2015-09-01

    During the past decade, melanins and melanogenesis have attracted growing interest for a broad range of biomedical and technological applications. The burst of polydopamine-based multifunctional coatings in materials science is just one example, and the list may be expanded to include melanin thin films for organic electronics and bioelectronics, drug delivery systems, functional nanoparticles and biointerfaces, sunscreens, environmental remediation devices. Despite considerable advances, applied research on melanins and melanogenesis is still far from being mature. A closer intersectoral interaction between research centers is essential to raise the interests and increase the awareness of the biomedical, biomaterials science and hi-tech sectors of the manifold opportunities offered by pigment cells and related metabolic pathways. Starting from a survey of biological roles and functions, the present review aims at providing an interdisciplinary perspective of melanin pigments and related pathway with a view to showing how it is possible to translate current knowledge about physical and chemical properties and control mechanisms into new bioinspired solutions for biomedical, dermocosmetic, and technological applications. PMID:26176788

  9. Melanin-based color of plumage: role of condition and of feathers' microstructure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    D'Alba, Liliana; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Spencer, Karen A.; Heidinger, Britt J.; Gill, Lisa; Evans, Neil P.; Monaghan, Pat; Handel, Colleen M.; Shawkey, Matthew D.

    2014-01-01

    Whether melanin-based colors honestly signal a bird's condition during the growth of feathers is controversial, and it is unclear if or how the physiological processes underlying melanogenesis or color-imparting structural feather microstructure may be adversely affected by condition. Here we report results from two experiments designed to measure the effect of condition on expression of eumelanic and pheomelanic coloration in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), respectively. In chickadees, we compared feathers of birds affected and unaffected by avian keratin disorder, while in zebra finches we compared feathers of controls with feathers of those subjected to an unpredictable food supply during development. In both cases we found that control birds had brighter feathers (higher total reflectance) and more barbules, but similar densities of melanosomes. In addition, the microstructure of the feathers explained variation in color more strongly than did melanosome density. Together, these results suggest that melanin-based coloration may in part be condition-dependent, but that this may be driven by changes in keratin and feather development, rather than melanogenesis itself. Researchers should be cautious when assigning variation in melanin-based color to melanin alone and microstructure of the feather should be taken into account.

  10. Differential effects of endoparasitism on the expression of carotenoid- and melanin-based ornamental coloration.

    PubMed Central

    McGraw, K J; Hill, G E

    2000-01-01

    The striking diversity of sexual dimorphisms in nature begs the question: Why are there so many signal types? One possibility is that ornamental traits convey different sets of information about the quality of the sender to the receiver. The colourful, pigmented feathers of male birds seem to meet the predictions of this hypothesis. Evidence suggests that carotenoid pigmentation reflects the nutritional condition of males during moult, whereas in many instances melanin pigmentation is a reliable indicator of social status. However, as of yet there have been no experimental tests to determine how these two ornament types respond to the same form of environmental stress. In this study, we tested the effect of endoparasitic infection by intestinal coccidians (Isospora sp.) on the expression of both carotenoid- and melanin-based ornamental coloration in captive male American goldfinches (Carduelis tristis). We found that the carotenoid-based plumage and bill coloration of parasitized males was less saturated than that developed by unparasitized males, but that the brightness and size of melanin-based black caps did not differ between the groups. These findings provide the most robust empirical support to date for the notion that carotenoid and melanin ornaments reveal different information to conspecifics. PMID:11007328

  11. Pharmacokinetics study of Zr-89-labeled melanin nanoparticle in iron-overload mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Pengjun; Yue, Yuanyuan; Pan, Donghui; Yang, Runlin; Xu, Yuping; Wang, Lizhen; Yan, Junjie; Li, Xiaotian; Yang, Min

    2016-09-01

    Melanin, a natural biological pigment present in many organisms, has been found to exhibit multiple functions. An important property of melanin is its ability to chelate metal ions strongly, which might be developed as an iron chelator for iron overload therapy. Herein, we prepared the ultrasmall water-soluble melanin nanoparticle (MP) and firstly evaluate the pharmacokinetics of MP in iron-overload mice to provide scientific basis for treating iron-overload. To study the circulation time and biodistribution, MP was labeled with (89)Zr, a long half-life (78.4h) positron-emitting metal which is suited for the labeling of nanoparticles and large bioactive molecule. MP was chelated with (89)Zr directly at pH5, resulting in non-decay-corrected yield of 89.6% and a radiochemical purity of more than 98%. The specific activity was at least190 MBq/μmol. The (89)Zr-MP was stable in human plasma and PBS for at least 48h. The half-life of (89)Zr-MP was about 15.70±1.74h in iron-overload mice. Biodistribution studies and MicroPET imaging showed that (89)Zr-MP mainly accumulated in liver and spleen, which are the target organ of iron-overload. The results indicate that the melanin nanoparticle is promising for further iron overload therapy. PMID:27359110

  12. Melanin-based color of plumage: role of condition and of feathers' microstructure.

    PubMed

    D'Alba, Liliana; Van Hemert, Caroline; Spencer, Karen A; Heidinger, Britt J; Gill, Lisa; Evans, Neil P; Monaghan, Pat; Handel, Colleen M; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2014-10-01

    Whether melanin-based colors honestly signal a bird's condition during the growth of feathers is controversial, and it is unclear if, or how, the physiological processes underlying melanogenesis or the role of the microstructure of feathers in imparting structural color to feathers may be adversely affected by condition. Here, we report results from two experiments designed to measure the effect of condition on expression of eumelanic and pheomelanic coloration in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), respectively. In chickadees, we compared feathers of birds affected and unaffected by avian keratin disorder, whereas in zebra finches we compared feathers of controls with feathers of those subjected to an unpredictable food supply during development. In both cases, we found that control birds had brighter feathers (higher total reflectance) and more barbules, but similar densities of melanosomes. In addition, the microstructure of the feathers explained variation in color more strongly than did melanosome density. Together, these results suggest that melanin-based coloration may in part be condition-dependent, but that this may be driven by changes in keratin and feather development, rather than melanogenesis itself. Researchers should be cautious when assigning variation in melanin-based color to melanin alone and microstructure of the feather should be taken into account. PMID:24987010

  13. Dual functions of a melanin-based ornament in the common yellowthroat

    PubMed Central

    Tarof, Scott A; Dunn, Peter O; Whittingham, Linda A

    2005-01-01

    Melanin-based ornaments often function as signals in male–male competition, whereas carotenoid-based ornaments appear to be important in female mate choice. This difference in function is thought to occur because carotenoid pigments are more costly to produce than melanins and are thus more reliable indicators of male quality. We examined the role of melanin- and carotenoid-based ornaments in male–male competition and female choice in the common yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas, a sexually dichromatic passerine. Males display a black facial mask produced by melanin pigmentation and a bright yellow bib (throat, breast and belly) produced by carotenoid pigmentation. In controlled aviary experiments, mask size was the best predictor of both male–male competition and female mate choice, and, therefore, mask size may be regarded as an ornament of dual function. These dual functions may help to maintain the reliability of mask size as an indicator of male quality, despite the potentially low cost of production. The size of the bib was unrelated to male–male competition or female choice, but there was a tendency for females to prefer males with more colourful bibs. We propose that the black mask is important in competition for territories with other males and for attracting females. Our results highlight the need for more studies of the mechanisms of sexual selection in species with ornaments composed of different pigment types. PMID:16024373

  14. Insulin-sensitizing and beneficial lipid-metabolic effects of the water-soluble melanin complex extracted from Inonotus obliquus.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jung-Han; Hyun, Chang-Kee

    2014-09-01

    Inonotus obliquus has been traditionally used for treatment of metabolic diseases; however, the mechanism remains to be elucidated. In this study, we found that the water-soluble melanin complex extracted from I. obliquus improved insulin sensitivity and reduced adiposity in high fat (HF)-fed obese mice. When the melanin complex was treated to 3T3-L1 adipocytes, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake was increased significantly, and its phosphoinositide 3-kinase-dependent action was proven with wortmannin treatment. Additionally, dose-dependent increases in Akt phosphorylation and glucose transporter 4 translocation into the plasma membrane were observed in melanin complex-treated cells. Adiponectin gene expression in 3T3-L1 cells incubated with melanin complex increased which was corroborated by increased AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation in HepG2 and C2C12 cells treated with conditioned media from the 3T3-L1 culture. Melanin complex-treated 3T3-L1 cells showed no significant change in expression of several lipogenic genes, whereas enhanced expressions of fatty acid oxidative genes were observed. Similarly, the epididymal adipose tissue of melanin complex-treated HF-fed mice had higher expression of fatty acid oxidative genes without significant change in lipogenic gene expression. Together, these results suggest that the water-soluble melanin complex of I. obliquus exerts antihyperglycemic and beneficial lipid-metabolic effects, making it a candidate for promising antidiabetic agent. PMID:24615848

  15. GAMMA RADIATION INTERACTS WITH MELANIN TO ALTER ITS OXIDATION-REDUCTION POTENTIAL AND RESULTS IN ELECTRIC CURRENT PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Turick, C.; Ekechukwu, A.; Milliken, C.

    2011-05-17

    The presence of melanin pigments in organisms is implicated in radioprotection and in some cases, enhanced growth in the presence of high levels of ionizing radiation. An understanding of this phenomenon will be useful in the design of radioprotective materials. However, the protective mechanism of microbial melanin in ionizing radiation fields has not yet been elucidated. Here we demonstrate through the electrochemical techniques of chronoamperometry, chronopotentiometry and cyclic voltammetry that microbial melanin is continuously oxidized in the presence of gamma radiation. Our findings establish that ionizing radiation interacts with melanin to alter its oxidation-reduction potential. Sustained oxidation resulted in electric current production and was most pronounced in the presence of a reductant, which extended the redox cycling capacity of melanin. This work is the first to establish that gamma radiation alters the oxidation-reduction behavior of melanin, resulting in electric current production. The significance of the work is that it provides the first step in understanding the initial interactions between melanin and ionizing radiation taking place and offers some insight for production of biomimetic radioprotective materials.

  16. Surface Structure Characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus Conidia Mutated in the Melanin Synthesis Pathway and Their Human Cellular Immune Response

    PubMed Central

    Bayry, Jagadeesh; Beaussart, Audrey; Dufrêne, Yves F.; Sharma, Meenu; Bansal, Kushagra; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Aimanianda, Vishukumar; Brakhage, Axel A.; Kaveri, Srini V.; Kwon-Chung, Kyung J.

    2014-01-01

    In Aspergillus fumigatus, the conidial surface contains dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin. Six-clustered gene products have been identified that mediate sequential catalysis of DHN-melanin biosynthesis. Melanin thus produced is known to be a virulence factor, protecting the fungus from the host defense mechanisms. In the present study, individual deletion of the genes involved in the initial three steps of melanin biosynthesis resulted in an altered conidial surface with masked surface rodlet layer, leaky cell wall allowing the deposition of proteins on the cell surface and exposing the otherwise-masked cell wall polysaccharides at the surface. Melanin as such was immunologically inert; however, deletion mutant conidia with modified surfaces could activate human dendritic cells and the subsequent cytokine production in contrast to the wild-type conidia. Cell surface defects were rectified in the conidia mutated in downstream melanin biosynthetic pathway, and maximum immune inertness was observed upon synthesis of vermelone onward. These observations suggest that although melanin as such is an immunologically inert material, it confers virulence by facilitating proper formation of the A. fumigatus conidial surface. PMID:24818666

  17. Gamma radiation interacts with melanin to alter its oxidation-reduction potential and results in electric current production.

    PubMed

    Turick, Charles E; Ekechukwu, Amy A; Milliken, Charles E; Casadevall, Arturo; Dadachova, Ekaterina

    2011-08-01

    The presence of melanin pigments in organisms is implicated in radioprotection and in some cases, enhanced growth in the presence of high levels of ionizing radiation. An understanding of this phenomenon will be useful in the design of radioprotective materials. However, the protective mechanism of microbial melanin in ionizing radiation fields has not yet been elucidated. Here we demonstrate through the electrochemical techniques of chronoamperometry, chronopotentiometry and cyclic voltammetry that microbial melanin is continuously oxidized in the presence of gamma radiation. Our findings establish that ionizing radiation interacts with melanin to alter its oxidation-reduction potential. Sustained oxidation resulted in electric current production and was most pronounced in the presence of a reductant, which extended the redox cycling capacity of melanin. This work is the first to establish that gamma radiation alters the oxidation-reduction behavior of melanin, resulting in electric current production. The significance of the work is that it provides the first step in understanding the initial interactions between melanin and ionizing radiation taking place and offers some insight for production of biomimetic radioprotective materials. PMID:21632287

  18. Real-time in vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy of melanin-containing cells: A promising diagnostic intervention.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Wenzhong; Song, Xiuzu; Peng, Jianzhong; Xu, Aie; Bi, Zhigang

    2015-12-01

    The use of noninvasive imaging techniques to evaluate different types of skin lesions is increasing popular. In vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) is a new method for high resolution non-invasive imaging of intact skin in situ and in vivo. Although many studies have investigated melanin-containing cells in lesions by in vivo CLSM, few studies have systematically characterized melanin-containing cells based on their morphology, size, arrangement, density, borders, and brightness. In this study, the characteristics of melanin-containing cells were further investigated by in vivo CLSM. A total of 130 lesions, including common nevi, giant congenital pigmented nevi, vitiligo, melasma, melanoma, and chronic eczema, were imaged by in vivo CLSM. This research helps dermatologists understand the characteristics of melanin-containing cells and facilitate the clinical application of melanin-containing cells in the investigation of dermatological disease. In summary, melanin-containing cells include keratinocytes, melanocytes, macrophages, and melanocytic skin tumor cells. Our study presents the CLSM characteristics of melanin-containing cells to potentially facilitate in vivo diagnosis based on shape, size, arrangement, density, borders, and brightness. PMID:26515646

  19. Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli to optimize melanin synthesis from glucose

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Natural aromatic polymers, mainly melanins, have potential and current applications in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and chemical industries. The biotechnological production of this class of compounds is based on tyrosinase-dependent conversion of L-tyrosine and other aromatic substrates into melanins. The purpose of this work was to apply metabolic engineering for generating Escherichia coli strains with the capacity to synthesize an aromatic polymer from a simple carbon source. Results The strategy was based on the expression in E. coli of the MutmelA gene from Rhizobium etli, encoding an improved mutant tyrosinase. To direct the carbon flow from central metabolism into the common aromatic and the L-tyrosine biosynthetic pathways, feedback inhibition resistant versions of key enzymes were expressed in strains lacking the sugar phosphotransferase system and TyrR repressor. The expressed tyrosinase consumed intracellular L-tyrosine, thus causing growth impairment in the engineered strains. To avoid this issue, a two phase production process was devised, where tyrosinase activity was controlled by the delayed addition of the cofactor Cu. Following this procedure, 3.22 g/L of melanin were produced in 120 h with glucose as carbon source. Analysis of produced melanin by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy revealed similar characteristics to a pure eumelanin standard. Conclusions This is the first report of a process for producing melanin from a simple carbon source at grams level, having the potential for reducing production cost when compared to technologies employing L-tyrosine as raw material. PMID:24225202

  20. Inhibitory effect of Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kanehira ethanol extracts on melanin synthesis via repression of tyrosinase expression.

    PubMed

    Lee, Shih-Chieh; Chen, Chun-Hao; Yu, Chih-Wen; Chen, Hsiao Ling; Huang, Wei-Tung; Chang, Yun-Shiang; Hung, Shu-Hsien; Lee, Tai-Lin

    2016-09-01

    Melanin contributes to skin color, and tyrosinase is the enzyme that catalyzes the initial steps of melanin formation. Therefore, tyrosinase inhibitors may contribute to the control of skin hyperpigmentation. The inhibition of tyrosinase activity by Cinnamomum zeylanicum extracts was previously reported. In this report, we test the hypothesis that Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kanehira, an endemic plant to Taiwan, contains compounds that inhibit tyrosinase activity, similar to C. zeylanicum. The cytotoxicity of three sources of C. osmophloeum Kanehira ethanol extracts was measured in B16-F10 cells using a methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. At concentrations greater than 21.25 μg/mL, the ethanol extracts were toxic to the cells; therefore, 21.25 μg/mL was selected to test the tyrosinase activities. At this concentration, all three ethanol extracts decreased the melanin content by 50% in IBMX-induced B16-F10 cells. In addition to the melanin content, greater than 20% of the tyrosinase activity was inhibited by these ethanol extracts. The RT-PCR results showed that tyrosinase and transcription factor MITF mRNAs expression were down-regulated. Consistent with the mRNA results, greater than 40% of the human tyrosinase promoter activity was inhibited based on the reporter assay. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that the ethanol extracts protect cells from UV exposure. C. osmophloeum Kanehira neutralized the IBMX-induced increase in melanin content in B16-F10 cells by inhibiting tyrosinase gene expression at the level of transcription. Moreover, the ethanol extracts also partially inhibited UV-induced cell damage and prevented cell death. Taken together, we conclude that C. osmophloeum Kanehira is a potential skin-whitening and protective agent. PMID:27084445

  1. In vivo isolation of the effects of melanin from underlying hemodynamics across skin types using spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saager, Rolf B.; Sharif, Ata; Kelly, Kristen M.; Durkin, Anthony J.

    2016-05-01

    Skin is a highly structured tissue, raising concerns as to whether skin pigmentation due to epidermal melanin may confound accurate measurements of underlying hemodynamics. Using both venous and arterial cuff occlusions as a means of inducing differential hemodynamic perturbations, we present analyses of spectra limited to the visible or near-infrared regime, in addition to a layered model approach. The influence of melanin, spanning Fitzpatrick skin types I to V, on underlying estimations of hemodynamics in skin as interpreted by these spectral regions are assessed. The layered model provides minimal cross-talk between melanin and hemodynamics and enables removal of problematic correlations between measured tissue oxygenation estimates and skin phototype.

  2. Ex vivo models to evaluate the role of ocular melanin in trans-scleral drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Pescina, Silvia; Santi, Patrizia; Ferrari, Giulio; Padula, Cristina; Cavallini, Pierugo; Govoni, Paolo; Nicoli, Sara

    2012-08-15

    Trans-scleral delivery is nowadays considered as a possible way to deliver drugs to the posterior segment of the eye. Despite the potentiality of this administration route, there is a lack of fundamental knowledge on the role of the numerous barriers involved. The aim of this work was to develop an easy and cheap ex vivo method to evaluate the barrier properties of the choroid-Bruch's layer and in particular to estimate the role of melanin in drug diffusion through ocular tissues. In vitro binding studies were performed to estimate drug affinity for melanin; model molecules used were methylene blue, propranolol, levofloxacin and methylprednisolone sodium succinate. The ex vivo model set up is based on porcine eye bulbs with light blue iris or brown iris. While the choroid of brown eyes is dark, the choroid of blue eyes is transparent, due to the absence of melanin. Permeation experiments using pigmented and not-pigmented porcine tissues gave the opportunity to discriminate between the barrier role of choroid-Bruch's membrane as such and the barrier role of melanin. Ex vivo permeation experiments can be performed using isolated choroid-Bruch's or the sclera-choroid-Bruch's layer. In this last case, it is possible to take into account also the barrier role of the sclera that tends to decrease the drug concentration at the sclera/choroid interface, thus amplifying the effect of melanin. The data obtained in this paper indicate that for some drugs melanin can really represent a barrier and the effect can imply a lower drug flux or simply a longer lag time depending on the kind of drug and the concentration applied. However, it is a saturable barrier, thus its effect can probably be overtaken by high doses or multiple administrations. The ex vivo model set up can help to refine computational models, to better evaluate the interplay among static, dynamic and metabolic barriers. Additionally, since human eyes display a full range of pigmentation, the model could also be

  3. Quantifying melanin distribution using pump-probe microscopy and a 2D morphological autocorrelation transformation for melanoma diagnosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robles, Francisco E.; Wilson, Jesse W.; Warren, Warren S.

    2014-03-01

    Pump-probe microscopy is a quantitative molecular imaging technique that yields diagnostically relevant information from endogenous pigments, like melanin, by probing their ultrafast photodynamic properties. Previously, the method was applied to image thin, pigmented, cutaneous samples at different stages of melanoma, and results have shown a correlation between melanin photodynamic behavior and malignancy. Here, we add to the diagnostic power of the method by applying principles of mathematical morphology to parameterize melanins' image structure. Along with bulk melanin chemical information, results show that this method can differentiate invasive melanomas from non-invasive and benign lesions with high sensitivity and specificity (92.3% and 97.5%, respectively, with N = 53). The mathematical method and the statistical analysis are described in detail and results from cutaneous and ocular conjuctival melanocytic lesions are presented.

  4. EPR characteristics of free radicals in DOPA-melanin-moxifloxacin complexes at ambient level of UVA radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beberok, Artur; Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Buszman, Ewa; Wrześniok, Dorota

    2014-01-01

    EPR studies pointed out that o-semiquinone free radicals with g-values 2.0038-2.0040 take part in moxifloxacin-melanin complex formation. The process contributed to increase in free radicals concentration in nonirradiated complexes. This effect was observed for the complexes with 1 × 10-4 M, 1 × 10-3 M and 4 × 10-3 M drug concentrations. UV irradiation contributed to decrease in free radicals concentration in DOPA-melanin complexes with moxifloxacin, besides the complexes with the drug concentration of 1 × 10-4 M. The strongest decrease was observed for DOPA-melanin-moxifloxacin complexes with the drug concentration of 1 × 10-3 M. Homogeneous broadening of EPR lines, strong dipolar interactions and slow spin-lattice relaxation processes characterized all the tested melanin samples.

  5. Preparation of water-soluble melanin from squid ink using ultrasound-assisted degradation and its anti-oxidant activity.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xin; Chen, Shiguo; Hu, Yaqin; Li, Guoyun; Liao, Ningbo; Ye, Xingqian; Liu, Donghong; Xue, Changhu

    2014-12-01

    Water-soluble squid melanin fractions were firstly prepared using ultrasound-assistant degradation method under alkaline condition, which is optimized by response surface methodology. The processing melanin fractions were divided into different molecular weight (Mw) fractions by membrane separation (below 10 kDa, among 10-50 kDa and over 50 kDa). The AFM image and particle-size analysis showed monomer units of the melanin were destroyed, and huge polymers were degraded into smaller soluble particles after ultrasound. While, UV, IR and solid (13)C NMR spectra indicated that the basic structure of melanin fraction was still retained after ultrasound process. Further analysis showed soluble melanin fractions obtained in 0.5 and 1 M NaOH, with Mw above 10 kDa exhibited much higher in vitro antioxidant potency. The IC50 of these fractions (IC50 among 19-80 μg) on scavenging O 2 ∙¯ is more efficient than carnosine (IC50 = 355 μg/ml.), a commercialized antioxidant. They (IC50 mong 115-180 μg/ml) are as efficient as carnosine (IC50 = 110 μg/ml) on scavenging ∙OH. Our research has reported a novel method for preparation of water-soluble melanin fractions from squid ink, which could be a promising free radical scavenger from nature resource. PMID:25477634

  6. Statistical analysis on activation and photo-bleaching of step-wise multi-photon activation fluorescence of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Zetong; Lai, Zhenhua; Zhang, Xi; Yin, Jihao; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2015-03-01

    Melanin is regarded as the most enigmatic pigments/biopolymers found in most organisms. We have shown previously that melanin goes through a step-wise multi-photon absorption process after the fluorescence has been activated with high laser intensity. No melanin step-wise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) can be obtained without the activation process. The step-wise multi-photon activation fluorescence has been observed to require less laser power than what would be expected from a non-linear optical process. In this paper, we examined the power dependence of the activation process of melanin SMPAF at 830nm and 920nm wavelengths. We have conducted research using varying the laser power to activate the melanin in a point-scanning mode for multi-photon microscopy. We recorded the fluorescence signals and position. A sequence of experiments indicates the relationship of activation to power, energy and time so that we can optimize the power level. Also we explored regional analysis of melanin to study the spatial relationship in SMPAF and define three types of regions which exhibit differences in the activation process.

  7. Macular pigment, photopigments, and melanin: distributions in young subjects determined by four-wavelength reflectometry.

    PubMed

    Bone, Richard A; Brener, Betty; Gibert, Jorge C

    2007-12-01

    We have developed an objective procedure, using a modified retinal camera, to determine macular pigment (MP) optical density distributions in the human retina. Using two multi-band filters, reflectance maps of the retinas of young subjects (<25 years old) were obtained at 460, 528, 610 and 670 nm, without pupil dilation. The log-transformed maps were combined linearly to yield optical density maps of MP, cone and rod photopigments, and melanin. MP optical density and heterochromatic flicker photometry results for 22 subjects were in reasonable agreement. Cone photopigments, like MP, showed similar, well-defined peaks at the fovea, whereas rod photopigment showed a minimum. Melanin was more broadly distributed. PMID:17937965

  8. Melanin Photosensitization and the Effect of Visible Light on Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chiarelli-Neto, Orlando; Ferreira, Alan Silva; Martins, Waleska Kerllen; Pavani, Christiane; Severino, Divinomar; Faião-Flores, Fernanda; Maria-Engler, Silvya Stuchi; Aliprandini, Eduardo; Martinez, Glaucia R.; Di Mascio, Paolo; Medeiros, Marisa H. G.; Baptista, Maurício S.

    2014-01-01

    Protecting human skin from sun exposure is a complex issue that involves unclear aspects of the interaction between light and tissue. A persistent misconception is that visible light is safe for the skin, although several lines of evidence suggest otherwise. Here, we show that visible light can damage melanocytes through melanin photosensitization and singlet oxygen (1O2) generation, thus decreasing cell viability, increasing membrane permeability, and causing both DNA photo-oxidation and necro-apoptotic cell death. UVA (355 nm) and visible (532 nm) light photosensitize 1O2 with similar yields, and pheomelanin is more efficient than eumelanin at generating 1O2 and resisting photobleaching. Although melanin can protect against the cellular damage induced by UVB, exposure to visible light leads to pre-mutagenic DNA lesions (i.e., Fpg- and Endo III-sensitive modifications); these DNA lesions may be mutagenic and may cause photoaging, as well as other health problems, such as skin cancer. PMID:25405352

  9. Remittance at a single wavelength of 390 nm to quantify epidermal melanin concentration.

    PubMed

    Verkruysse, Wim; Svaasand, Lars O; Franco, Walfre; Nelson, J Stuart

    2009-01-01

    Objective quantification of epidermal melanin concentration (EMC) should be useful in laser dermatology to determine the individual maximum safe radiant exposure (IMSRE). We propose a single-wavelength remittance measurement at 390 nm as an alternative optical method to determine EMC and IMSRE. Remittance spectra (360 to 740 nm), melanin index (MI) measurements and the transient radiometric temperature increase, DeltaT(t), upon skin irradiation with an Alexandrite laser (755 nm, 3-ms pulse duration, 6 Jcm(2)) were measured on 749 skin spots (arm and calf) on 23 volunteers (skin phototypes I to IV). Due to the shallow penetration depth and independence of blood oxygen saturation (isosbestic point), remittance at 390 nm appears to provide better estimates for EMC and IMSRE than MI. PMID:19256693

  10. Scopoletin from Cirsium setidens Increases Melanin Synthesis via CREB Phosphorylation in B16F10 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Mi-Ja; Hur, Sun-Jung; Kim, Eun-Hyun; Lee, Seung Hoon; Shin, Jun Seob; Kim, Myo-Kyoung; Uchizono, James A.; Whang, Wan-Kyunn

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we isolated scopoletin from Cirsium setidens Nakai (Compositae) and tested its effects on melanogenesis. Scopoletin was not toxic to cells at concentrations less than 50 µM and increased melanin synthesis in a dose-dependent manner. As melanin synthesis increased, scopoletin stimulated the total tyrosinase activity, the rate-limiting enzyme of melanogenesis. In a cell-free system, however, scopoletin did not increase tyrosinase activity, indicating that scopoletin is not a direct activator of tyrosinase. Furthermore, Western blot analysis showed that scopoletin stimulated the production of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase expression via cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) phosphorylation in a dose-dependent manner. Based on these results, preclinical and clinical studies are needed to assess the use of scopoletin for the treatment of vitiligo. PMID:25177162

  11. Isolation and Characterization of Melanin-Producing (mel) Mutants of Vibrio cholerae

    PubMed Central

    Ivins, Bruce E.; Holmes, Randall K.

    1980-01-01

    Vibrio cholerae strain Htx-3, a hypertoxinogenic mutant of V. cholerae 569B Inaba, produces a dark brown pigment under certain growth conditions, whereas strain 569B does not. We investigated the biochemical basis for this pigment production and the possible relationships between pigmentation and other phenotypic properties in V. cholerae. After mutagenesis of V. cholerae 569B with N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine, 28 independently derived pigment-forming (mel) mutants were isolated and characterized. The mel mutants frequently differed from wild type in toxinogenicity or motility and occasionally differed in other phenotypic traits. Individual mel mutants differed from wild type both in the amount of toxin produced and in the growth conditions optimal for toxin production. It has not yet been established whether multiple phenotypic changes in individual mel mutants represent pleiotropic effects of single mutations or induction of multiple mutations by N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine or both. Production of pigment by mel mutants occurred at temperatures from 22 to 40°C, was inhibited by anaerobiosis, and was stimulated by supplementation of growth media with the amino acid precursors of melanin (l-phenylalanine, l-tyrosine, or l-tyrosine plus l-cysteine). The pigment possessed several other properties reported for microbial melanins. We conclude that a biochemical pathway for melanin production is present in V. cholerae, that this pathway cannot be fully expressed in wild-type strain 569B, and that mutations in the gene(s) which we have designated mel can permit hyperproduction of melanin under appropriate conditions. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 PMID:7380551

  12. Endothelin-1 increases melanin synthesis in an established sheep skin melanocyte culture.

    PubMed

    Pang, Yamiao; Geng, Jianjun; Qin, Yilong; Wang, Haidong; Fan, Ruiwen; Zhang, Ying; Li, Hongquan; Jiang, Shan; Dong, Changsheng

    2016-08-01

    The aims of the study were to establish a culture system for sheep skin melanocytes and uncover the effects of endothelin-1 on melanin synthesis in cultured melanocytes in order to provide an optimal cell system and a theoretical basis for studying the regulatory mechanism of coat color in sheep. In this study, skin punch biopsies were harvested from the dorsal region of 1-3-yr-old sheep, and skin melanocytes were then obtained by the two-step digestion using dispase II and trypsin/ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA). The primary cultures of the melanocytes were established and characterized by dopa-staining, immunocytochemical localization of melanocyte markers, and RT-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of coat color genes. To determine the effect of endothelin-1 on proliferation and melanin synthesis of melanocytes, the cultured cells were treated with different doses of endothelin-1 (10(-7), 10(-8), 10(-9), 10(-10), and 0 mol/L), and the growth rate of melanocytes, production of melanin, expression of related genes, and location of related protein in cultured cells were examined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), ultraviolet spectrophotometry, qRT-PCR, and immunocytochemical localization, respectively. The results showed that the established melanocyte culture functions properly. Endothelin-1 treatment increased markedly the number of melanocytes and melanin content. In responding to this treatment, expressions of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), tyrosinase (TYR), and endothelin receptor B (EDNRB) in the melanocytes were significantly up regulated (P < 0.05). Immunocytochemical localization revealed that TYR was mainly localized in the cytoplasm. Positive staining of TYR in the melanocytes was significant. The findings demonstrated that the culture system of sheep skin melanocytes was established successfully in vitro, and endothelin-1 promotes the

  13. Effects of bavachin and its regulation of melanin synthesis in A375 cells

    PubMed Central

    WANG, JING-HUA; PEI, YUAN-YUAN; XU, HONG-DAN; LI, LI-JING; WANG, YE-QIU; LIU, GUO-LIANG; QU, YAN; ZHANG, NING

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of bavachin treatment on A375 cells and the regulation of melanin synthesis. The cultured A375 cells in vitro were treated with bavachin; and the effect of bavachin on cell activity, tyrosinase (TYR) activity and melanin synthesis were respectively tested by the MTT assay, L-dopa oxidation assay and the NaOH lysis assay. The expression levels of TYR and c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) proteins were tested by western blot analysis. The expression levels of TYR, tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1), TRP-2, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 (ERK1), ERK2 and JNK2 mRNA were tested by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay. Simultaneously, the effect of estrogen receptor inhibitor (ICI182780) and ERK pathway inhibitor (U0126) was also tested on A375 cells following bavachin. The safe dose of bavachin significantly inhibited melanin synthesis and TYR activity. Bavachin (10 µmol/l) inhibited the expression of TYR and JNK proteins, and the expression of TYR, TRP-1, TRP-2, ERK1, ERK2 and JNK2 mRNA in A375 cells. ICI182780 and U0126 could significantly reverse the bavachin treatment on the protein expression levels and the mRNA expression of TYR, TRP-1, TRP-2, ERK1, ERK2 and JNK2. In conclusion, bavachin inhibited the synthesis of melanin on A375 cells by inhibiting the protein and mRNA expression of TYR, TRP-1, TRP-2, ERK1, ERK2 and JNK2. PMID:27347410

  14. Two-photon excited fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging of melanin in vitro and in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2012-03-01

    The ability to detect early melanoma non-invasively would improve clinical outcome and reduce mortality. Recent advances in two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) in vivo microscopy offer a powerful tool in early malignant melanoma diagnostics. The goal of this work was to develop a TPEF optical index for measuring relative concentrations of eumelanin and pheomelanin since ex vivo studies show that changes in this ratio have been associated with malignant transformation. We acquired TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000 nm) of melanin from several specimens, including human hair, malignant melanoma cell lines, and normal melanocytes and keratinocytes in different skin layers (epidermis, papillary dermis) in five healthy volunteers in vivo. We found that the pheomelanin emission peaks at around 620 nm and is blue-shifted from the eumelanin with broad maximum at 640-680nm. We defined "optical melanin index" (OMI) as a ratio of fluorescence signal intensities measured at 645 nm and 615nm. The measured OMI for a melanoma cell line MNT-1 was 1.6+/-0.2. The MNT-46 and MNT-62 lines (Mc1R gene knockdown) showed an anticipated change in melanins production ratio and had OMI of 0.55+/-0.05 and 0.17+/-0.02, respectively, which strongly correlated with HPLC data obtained for these lines. Average OMI measured for basal cells layers (melanocytes and keratinocytes) in normal human skin type I, II-III (not tanned and tanned) in vivo was 0.5, 1.05 and 1.16 respectively. We could not dependably detect the presence of pheomelanin in highly pigmented skin type V-VI. These data suggest that a non-invasive TPEF index could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo, including pigmented lesions.

  15. Melanin protects Paracoccidioides brasiliensis from the effects of antimicrobial photodynamic inhibition and antifungal drugs.

    PubMed

    Baltazar, Ludmila Matos; Werneck, Silvia Maria Cordeiro; Soares, Betânia Maria; Ferreira, Marcus Vinicius L; Souza, Danielle G; Pinotti, Marcos; Santos, Daniel Assis; Cisalpino, Patrícia Silva

    2015-07-01

    Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a public health concern in Latin America and South America that when not correctly treated can lead to patient death. In this study, the influence of melanin produced by Paracoccidioides spp. on the effects of treatment with antimicrobial photodynamic inhibition (aPI) and antifungal drugs was evaluated. aPI was performed using toluidine blue (TBO) as a photosensitizer and a 630-nm light-emitting diode (LED) light. The antifungals tested were itraconazole and amphotericin B. We evaluated the effects of each approach, aPI or antifungals, against nonmelanized and melanized yeast cells by performing susceptibility tests and by quantifying oxidative and nitrosative bursts during the experiments. aPI reduced nonmelanized cells by 3.0 log units and melanized cells by 1.3 log units. The results showed that melanization protects the fungal cell, probably by acting as a scavenger of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species, but not of peroxynitrite. Melanin also increased the MICs of itraconazole and amphotericin B, and the drugs were fungicidal for nonmelanized and fungistatic for melanized yeast cells. Our study shows that melanin production by Paracoccidioides yeast cells serves a protective function during aPI and treatment with itraconazole and amphotericin B. The results suggest that melanin binds to the drugs, changing their antifungal activities, and also acts as a scavenger of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide, but not of peroxynitrite, indicating that peroxynitrite is the main radical that is responsible for fungal death after aPI. PMID:25896704

  16. Ultrasonic shear spectrum in hydrated diethylamine melanins and its relation to stacking in a planar group

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kono, Ryusuke; Yoshizaki, Haruyo; Miyake, Yasuhiro; Izumi, Yoshinobu; McGinness, John E.

    1981-11-01

    Shear mechanical relaxation and resonance data are reported for 20 wt % hydration of diethylamine melanins with different pH values ranging from 2 to 7. Shear impedance measurements in the temperature range from 60 to -80 °C, with frequencies from 1 to 362 MHz, indicate a Davidson-Cole spectrum in the primary relaxation and a single relaxation with a characteristic frequency of f = 4 MHz at 60 °C referred to the molecular motions of a group composed of an average molecular weight Mn?1.4×104. A resonance at 250 MHz is found in the specific melanin called No. 1, associated with stacking of indole monomer units, and a single relaxation at f = 270 MHz at 60 °C is found in the hydrate of melanin No. 2. The nature of the stacking is surveyed on account of Fitzgerald's theory. The limiting shear modulus in the primary relaxation related to the molecular motion of backbone chains obeys the modified Hirai-Eyring equation. All the hydrations have an amorphous phase composed of a three-dimensional network structure.

  17. Photoprotection by melanin--a comparison of black and Caucasian skin.

    PubMed

    Kaidbey, K H; Agin, P P; Sayre, R M; Kligman, A M

    1979-09-01

    The photoprotective role of melanin was evaluated by comparing the transmission of ultraviolet (UV) radiation through skin samples of blacks and Caucasians, using both biologic and spectroscopic techniques. UVA transmission was measured using fluoranthene, which causes a phototoxic response to UVA wavelength. UVB was measured by monitoring erythema produced by either a 150-watt xenon arc or FS-20 sunlamps. It was found that on the average, five times as much ultraviolet light (UVB and UVA) reaches the upper dermis of Caucasians as reaches that of blacks. Differences in transmission between the stratum corneum of blacks and of Caucasians were far less striking. The main site of UV filtration in Caucasians is the stratum corneum, whereas in blacks it is the malpighian layers. Melanin acts as a neutral density filter, reducing all wavelengths of light equally. The superior photoprotection of black epidermis is due not only to increased melanin content but also to other factors related to packaging and distribution of melanosomes. Not only are these data consistent with epidemiologic evidence, but they also may indicate why blacks are less disposed to phototoxic drug responses as well as less susceptible to acute and chronic actinic damage. PMID:512075

  18. Melanin granule model for laser-induced thermal damage in the retina

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, C.R.; Rogers, M.E.; Gerstman, B.S.; Jacques, S.L.

    1996-05-01

    An analytical model for thermal damage of retinal tissue due to absorption of laser energy by finite-sized melanin granules is developed. Since melanin is the primary absorber of visible and near-IR light in the skin and in the retina, bulk heating of tissue can be determined by superposition of individual melanin granule effects. Granules are modeled as absorbing spheres surrounded by an infinite medium of water. Analytical solutions to the heat equation result in computations that are quick and accurate. Moreover, the model does not rely on symmetric beam profiles, and so arbitrary images can be studied. The important contribution of this model is to provide a more accurate biological description of submillisecond pulse exposures than previous retinal models, while achieving agreement for longer pulses. This model can also be naturally extended into the sub-microsecond domain by including vaporization as a damage mechanism. It therefore represents the beginning of a model which can be applied across the entire pulse duration domain.

  19. KHG26792 Inhibits Melanin Synthesis in Mel-Ab Cells and a Skin Equivalent Model

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hailan; Kim, Jandi; Hahn, Hoh-Gyu; Yun, Jun; Jeong, Hyo-Soon; Yun, Hye-Young; Baek, Kwang Jin; Kwon, Nyoun Soo; Min, Young Sil; Park, Kyoung-Chan

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to characterize the effects of KHG26792 (3-(naphthalen-2-yl(propoxy) methyl)azetidine hydrochloride), a potential skin whitening agent, on melanin synthesis and identify the underlying mechanism of action. Our data showed that KHG26792 significantly reduced melanin synthesis in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, KHG26792 downregulated microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in melanogenesis, although tyrosinase was not inhibited directly. KHG26792 activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), whereas an ERK pathway inhibitor, PD98059, rescued KHG26792-induced hypopigmentation. These results suggest that KHG26792 decreases melanin production via ERK activation. Moreover, the hypopigmentary effects of KHG26792 were confirmed in a pigmented skin equivalent model using Cervi cornus Colla (deer antler glue), in which the color of the pigmented artificial skin became lighter after treatment with KHG26792. In summary, our findings suggest that KHG26792 is a novel skin whitening agent. PMID:24976765

  20. Effect of saucerneol D on melanin production in cAMP-elevated melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Yun, Ji Young; Roh, Eunmiri; Son, Jong-Keun; Lee, Seung Ho; Seo, Chang-Seob; Hwang, Bang Yeon; Han, Sang-Bae; Kim, Youngsoo

    2011-08-01

    Intracellular cAMP stimulates microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) induction in melanocytes through cAMP-responsive element binding protein (CREB), which plays a pivotal role in the gene expression of tyrosinase for melanin biosynthesis. In the present study, saucerneol D as a lignan constituent of Saururus chinensis (Saururaceae family) efficiently inhibited melanin production with IC(50) values of 188-297 nM in B16 melanoma cells stimulated with α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) or other cAMP elevators. Moreover, saucerneol D down-regulated α-MSH-induced gene expression of tyrosinase at the transcription level in B16 cells, but it did not directly inhibit the catalytic activity of cell-free tyrosinase. As to the molecular basis of hypopigmenting action, saucerneol D inhibited α-MSH-induced phosphorylation of CREB in the cells, and sequentially suppressed MITF induction. Taken together, this study provides saucerneol D down-regulated the gene expression of tyrosinase, resulting in the inhibition of cAMP-induced melanin biosynthesis, and suggests pharmacological potential of the lignan structure in skin hyperpigmentation. PMID:21910056

  1. Melanin bleaching with dilute hydrogen peroxide: a simple and rapid method.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chia-Hsing; Lin, Chih-Hung; Tsai, Min-Jan; Chen, Wan-Tzu; Chai, Chee-Yin; Huang, Ya-Chun; Tsai, Kun-Bow

    2013-05-01

    Melanins are naturally occurring pigments in both normal and pathologic tissues. Two common bleaching processes are potassium permanganate followed by oxalic acid treatment and dilute hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) process. The potassium permanganate/oxalic acid method is faster and more easily incorporated in conventional daily immunostaining protocols, whereas the dilute H2O2 method requires 24 hours. This study aimed to reduce melanin bleaching time by using a 10% H2O2 dilution. First, reaction time was reduced to 30 minutes by raising the temperature to 65°C. Second, containers with high thermal conductivity were used to improve bleaching effectiveness. Experimental comparisons of melanin treatments with H2O2 contained in an iron jar, a glass coplin jar, and a plastic steel jar obtained bleaching time of 20, 30, and 40 minutes, respectively. These modifications of the conventional bleaching method significantly improve the speed and efficiency of the procedure and are recommended when performing immunohistochemical studies. PMID:23060296

  2. The effect of melanin bleaching on immunohistochemical staining in heavily pigmented melanocytic neoplasms.

    PubMed

    Orchard, G E; Calonje, E

    1998-08-01

    The accumulation of excessive amounts of melanin in melanocytic lesions can obscure cellular morphology and can further hinder immunocytochemical procedures. We have used a modification of the potassium permanganate/oxalic acid melanin-bleaching technique, involving much reduced bleaching times, in order to remove melanin granules prior to incubation with primary antibody. We have assessed a panel of antibodies applicable to the evaluation of melanocytic lesions and in addition have also assessed antibodies that may be more useful in research. The study attempts to determine which antigens may be affected by bleaching and which are not. Antigens S100, HMB 45, NKIC3, CD34, and L26 are relatively unaffected by this procedure. Factor-VIII-related antigen and vimentin and CD68 antigens produced enhanced staining. In contrast, antigens CD3, CD31, and CD45RO were abolished. In addition, smooth muscle actin and desmin antigens demonstrated considerable nonspecific background staining and were not reliable in this study. This technique demonstrates that a fairly wide range of antigens are preserved after bleaching and that distinction between melanocytes and melanophages can reliably be performed using the conventional immunocytochemical chromogen 3,3-diaminobenzidine and without the need for elaborate counterstaining. PMID:9700373

  3. Multi-spectral mapping of in vivo skin hemoglobin and melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakovels, Dainis; Spigulis, Janis; Saknite, Inga

    2010-04-01

    The multi-spectral imaging technique has been used for distant mapping of in-vivo skin chromophores by analyzing spectral data at each reflected image pixel and constructing 2-D maps of the relative concentrations of oxy-/deoxyhemoglobin and melanin. Instead of using a broad visible-NIR spectral range, this study focuses on narrowed spectral band 500-700 nm, so speeding-up the signal processing procedure. Regression analysis confirmed that superposition of three Gaussians is optimal analytic approximation for the oxy-hemoglobin absorption tabular spectrum in this spectral band, while superposition of two Gaussians fits well for deoxy-hemoglobin absorption and exponential function - for melanin absorption. The proposed approach was clinically tested for three types of in-vivo skin provocations - ultraviolet irradiance, chemical reaction with vinegar essence and finger arterial occlusion. Spectral range 500-700 nm provided better sensitivity to oxy-hemoglobin changes and higher response stability to melanin than two reduced ranges 500-600 nm and 530-620 nm.

  4. Immunity to melanin and to tyrosinase in melanoma patients, and in people with vitiligo

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to determine the presence and the intensity of humoral immunity to melanoma-associated antigens: tyrosinase and melanin, in patients with melanoma, in persons with vitiligo and in control healthy people. Methods The study involved 63 patients with melanoma and 19 persons with vitiligo. Control group consisted up to 41 healthy volunteers. Mushroom tyrosinase and synthetic melanin were used as the antigens. Results ELISA test showed significantly (p < 0.0000004 and p < 0.04) lower levels of IgM anti-tyrosinase autoantibodies, in melanoma and vitiligo patients respectively, compared to controls. Although there was no significant difference between the levels of IgA anti-melanin autoantibodies in melanoma or vitiligo patients in comparison with controls, the enhanced concentrations of anti-melanin IgA autoantibodies were preferentially found in melanoma patients with metastatic disease. Significantly high percentage in the Fc alphaRI (CD89) positive cells was determined in melanoma patients (p < 0.002 and p < 0.008) in comparison to that found in healthy people or in patients with vitiligo, in the already mentioned order, pointing that IgA dependent cellular cytotoxicity is not important for the immune action against melanoma, even more that it is included in some immune suppression. Levels of IgG autoantibodies to mentioned antigens in melanoma patients although low were not significantly lower from controls. These findings analyzed together with the statistically significant low percentage of FcgammaRIII, (CD16) positive immunocompetent cells (p < 0.0007 and p < 0.003), which was found in patients with melanoma compared with healthy or vitiligo people respectively, and statistically significant low percentage of (CD16 + CD56+) natural killer (NK) cells (p < 0.005) found in melanoma patients in comparison to healthy controls pointed to the low probability for anti-melanoma IgG mediated, antibody

  5. Mechanical and photo-fragmentation processes for nanonization of melanin to improve its efficacy in protecting cells from reactive oxygen species stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yi-Cheng; Chen, Sih-Min; Liu, Jhong-Han; Hsu, Hsiang-Wei; Lin, Hoang-Yan; Chen, Szu-yuan

    2015-02-01

    It has been well established ex vivo that melanin has the ability of scavenging free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), besides other functions. Therefore, we propose to utilize nanonized melanin as medication against acute oxidative stress. For this purpose, we developed and characterized two techniques based on mechanical stir and photo-fragmentation using femtosecond laser pulses, respectively, for disintegration of suspended melanin powder to produce nanometer-sized and water-dispersible melanin. This resolves a major obstacle in the medical and industrial applications of melanin. The viabilities of cultured retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells exposed to exogenous H2O2 stress and treated with various conditions of melanin and irradiation were compared. It was found that melanin could be nanonized very effectively with the techniques, and nanonized melanin exhibited a much stronger effect than unprocessed melanin on raising the viability of cultured RPE cells under acute ROS stress. The effect was even more prominent without simultaneous light irradiation, promising for effective in vivo application to the whole body.

  6. Detection and quantitation of a pheomelanin component in melanin pigments using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry system with multiple reaction monitoring mode.

    PubMed

    Dzierżęga-Lęcznar, Anna; Kurkiewicz, Slawomir; Stępień, Krystyna

    2012-02-01

    Here, we describe the reliable method for the detection and quantitation of a pheomelanin component in melanin pigments. Synthetic melanins with various contents of pheomelanin-type structural units were thermally degraded, and the multiple reaction monitoring mode was applied to detect the pheomelanin markers in the pyrolysates by GC/MS/MS. The method allowed the specific detection and quantitation of a pheomelanin component in melanin with the incorporation of pheomelanin-type units as low as 0.05%. Considering highly universal character of the pheomelanin markers, the method could be applied for structural studies of natural melanin pigments being mixtures of eumelanin and pheomelanin. PMID:22359335

  7. Mechanical and photo-fragmentation processes for nanonization of melanin to improve its efficacy in protecting cells from reactive oxygen species stress

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Yi-Cheng; Chen, Sih-Min; Liu, Jhong-Han; Hsu, Hsiang-Wei; Lin, Hoang-Yan; Chen, Szu-yuan

    2015-02-14

    It has been well established ex vivo that melanin has the ability of scavenging free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), besides other functions. Therefore, we propose to utilize nanonized melanin as medication against acute oxidative stress. For this purpose, we developed and characterized two techniques based on mechanical stir and photo-fragmentation using femtosecond laser pulses, respectively, for disintegration of suspended melanin powder to produce nanometer-sized and water-dispersible melanin. This resolves a major obstacle in the medical and industrial applications of melanin. The viabilities of cultured retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells exposed to exogenous H{sub 2}O{sub 2} stress and treated with various conditions of melanin and irradiation were compared. It was found that melanin could be nanonized very effectively with the techniques, and nanonized melanin exhibited a much stronger effect than unprocessed melanin on raising the viability of cultured RPE cells under acute ROS stress. The effect was even more prominent without simultaneous light irradiation, promising for effective in vivo application to the whole body.

  8. S-(−)-10,11-Dihydroxyfarnesoic Acid Methyl Ester Inhibits Melanin Synthesis in Murine Melanocyte Cells

    PubMed Central

    Baek, Seung-Hwa; Ahn, Jun-Won; Nam, Sung-Hee; Yoon, Cheol-Sik; Shin, Jae-Cheon; Lee, Sang-Han

    2014-01-01

    The development of antimelanogenic agents is important for the prevention of serious aesthetic problems such as melasmas, freckles, age spots, and chloasmas. In the course of screening for melanin synthesis inhibitors, we found that the culture broth from an insect morphopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana CS1029, exhibits potent antimelanogenic activity. We isolated and purified an active metabolite and identified it as S-(−)-10,11-dihydroxyfarnesoic acid methyl ester (dhFAME), an insect juvenile hormone. To address whether dhFAME inhibits melanin synthesis, we first measured the size of the melanin biosynthesis inhibition zone caused by dhFAME. dhFAME also showed inhibitory activity against mushroom tyrosinase in Melan-a cells. Intracellular, dose-dependent tyrosinase inhibition activity was also confirmed by zymography. In addition, we showed that dhFAME strongly inhibits melanin synthesis in Melan-a cells. Furthermore, we compared levels of TYR, TRP-1, TRP-2, MITF, and MC1R mRNA expression by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and showed that treatment of Melan-a cells with 35 μM dhFAME led to an 11-fold decrease in TYR expression, a 6-fold decrease in TRP-2 expression, and a 5-fold decrease in MITF expression. Together, these results indicate that dhFAME is a potent inhibitor of melanin synthesis that can potentially be used for cosmetic biomaterial(s). PMID:25046747

  9. The pbrB Gene Encodes a Laccase Required for DHN-Melanin Synthesis in Conidia of Talaromyces (Penicillium) marneffei

    PubMed Central

    Sapmak, Ariya; Boyce, Kylie J.; Andrianopoulos, Alex; Vanittanakom, Nongnuch

    2015-01-01

    Talaromyces marneffei (Basionym: Penicillium marneffei) is a significant opportunistic fungal pathogen in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus in Southeast Asia. T. marneffei cells have been shown to become melanized in vivo. Melanins are pigment biopolymers which act as a non-specific protectant against various stressors and which play an important role during virulence in fungi. The synthesis of the two most commonly found melanins in fungi, the eumelanin DOPA-melanin and the allomelanin DHN-melanin, requires the action of laccase enzymes. The T. marneffei genome encodes a number of laccases and this study describes the characterization of one of these, pbrB, during growth and development. A strain carrying a PbrB-GFP fusion shows that pbrB is expressed at high levels during asexual development (conidiation) but not in cells growing vegetatively. The pbrB gene is required for the synthesis of DHN-melanin in conidia and when deleted results in brown pigmented conidia, in contrast to the green conidia of the wild type. PMID:25866870

  10. Ultrastructural changes produced in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells by ultraviolet-visible radiation in the presence of melanins

    SciTech Connect

    Lea, P.J.; Pawlowski, A.; Persad, S.D.; Menon, I.A.; Haberman, H.F.

    1988-01-01

    Irradiation of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells in the presence of pheomelanin, i.e., red hair melanin (RHM), has been reported to produce extensive cell lysis. Irradiation in the presence of eumelanin, i.e., black hair melanin (BHM), or irradiation in the absence of either type of melanin did not produce this effect. We observed that RHM particles penetrated the cell membrane without apparent structural damage to the cell or the cell membrane. Irradiation of the cells in the absence of melanin did not produce any changes in the ultrastructure of the cells. Incubation of the cells in the dark in the presence of RHM produced only minor structural, mainly cytoplasmic changes. Irradiation of the cells in the presence of RHM produced extensive ultrastructural changes prior to complete cell lysis; these changes were more severe than the effects of incubation of the cells in the dark in the presence of RHM. When the cells incubated in the dark or irradiated in the presence of latex particles or either one of the eumelanins particles, viz. BHM or synthetic dopa melanin, these particles did not penetrate into the cells or produce any ultrastructural changes. These particles were in fact not even ingested by the cells.

  11. Characterization of the BMR1 gene encoding a transcription factor for melanin biosynthesis genes in the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris oryzae.

    PubMed

    Kihara, Junichi; Moriwaki, Akihiro; Tanaka, Nozomi; Tanaka, Chihiro; Ueno, Makoto; Arase, Sakae

    2008-04-01

    We isolated and characterized Bipolaris melanin regulation 1 gene (BMR1) encoding a transcription factor for melanin biosynthesis genes in the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris oryzae. Sequence analysis showed that the BMR1 gene encodes a putative protein of 1012 amino acids that has 99% sequence similarity to transcription factor Cmr1 of Cochliobolus heterostrophus. The predicted B. oryzae Bmr1 protein has two DNA-binding motifs, two Cys2His2 zinc finger domains, and a Zn(II)2Cys6 binuclear cluster domain at the N-terminal region of Bmr1. Targeted disruption of the BMR1 gene showed that BMR1 is essential for melanin biosynthesis in B. oryzae. The overexpression of the BMR1 gene led to more dark colonies than in the wild-type strain under dark conditions. Real-time PCR analysis showed that the BMR1 expression of the overexpression transformant was about 10-fold that of the wild type under dark conditions and of the expression of three melanin biosynthesis genes. These results indicated that BMR1 encodes the transcription factor of melanin biosynthesis genes in B. oryzae. PMID:18312572

  12. Inhibitory Effects of Adlay Extract on Melanin Production and Cellular Oxygen Stress in B16F10 Melanoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Huey-Chun; Hsieh, Wan-Yu; Niu, Yu-Lin; Chang, Tsong-Min

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effects of adlay extract on melanin production and the antioxidant characteristics of the extract. The seeds were extracted by the supercritical fluid CO2 extraction (SFE) method. The effect of adlay extract on melanin production was evaluated using mushroom tyrosinase activity assay, intracellular tyrosinase activity, antioxidant properties and melanin content. Those assays were performed spectrophotometrically. In addition, the expression of melanogenesis-related proteins was determined by western blotting. The results revealed that the adlay extract suppressed intracellular tyrosinase activity and decreased the amount of melanin in B16F10 cells. The adlay extract decreased the expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase, tyrosinase related protein-1 (TRP-1) and tyrosinase related protein-2 (TRP-2). The extract also exhibited antioxidant characteristics such as free radical scavenging capacity and reducing power. It effectively decreased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in B16F10 cells. We concluded that the adlay extract inhibits melanin production by down-regulation of MITF, tyrosinase, TRP-1 and TRP-2. The antioxidant properties of the extract may also contribute to the inhibition of melanogenesis. The adlay extract can therefore be applied as an inhibitor of melanogenesis and could also act as a natural antioxidant in skin care products. PMID:25244016

  13. pH-Induced aggregated melanin nanoparticles for photoacoustic signal amplification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ju, Kuk-Youn; Kang, Jeeun; Pyo, Jung; Lim, Joohyun; Chang, Jin Ho; Lee, Jin-Kyu

    2016-07-01

    We present a new melanin-like nanoparticle (MelNP) and its performance evaluation results. This particle is proposed as an exogenous contrast agent for photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Conventional PA contrast agents are based on non-biological materials. In contrast, the MelNPs are organic nanoparticles inspired by natural melanin. Melanin is an endogenous chromophore that has the ability to produce a PA signal in vivo. The developed MelNPs are capable of aggregating with one another under mildly acidic conditions after introducing hydrolysis-susceptible citraconic amide on the surface of bare MelNPs. We ascertained that the physical aggregation of the MelNPs resulted in an increased PA signal strength in the near-infrared window of biological tissue (i.e., 700 nm) without absorption tuning. This phenomenon is likely because of the overlapping thermal fields of the developed MelNPs. The PA signal produced from the developed MelNPs, after exposure to mildly acidic conditions (i.e., pH 6), is 8.1 times stronger than under neutral conditions. This unique characteristic found in this study can be utilized in a practical strategy for highly sensitive in vivo cancer target imaging in response to its acidic microenvironment. This approach to amplify the PA response of MelNPs in clusters could accelerate the use of MelNPs as an alternative to non-biological nanoprobes, so that MelNPs may be applicable in PA imaging and functional PA imaging such as stimuli sensitive, multimodal, and theranostic imaging.We present a new melanin-like nanoparticle (MelNP) and its performance evaluation results. This particle is proposed as an exogenous contrast agent for photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Conventional PA contrast agents are based on non-biological materials. In contrast, the MelNPs are organic nanoparticles inspired by natural melanin. Melanin is an endogenous chromophore that has the ability to produce a PA signal in vivo. The developed MelNPs are capable of aggregating with one

  14. pH-Induced aggregated melanin nanoparticles for photoacoustic signal amplification.

    PubMed

    Ju, Kuk-Youn; Kang, Jeeun; Pyo, Jung; Lim, Joohyun; Chang, Jin Ho; Lee, Jin-Kyu

    2016-08-14

    We present a new melanin-like nanoparticle (MelNP) and its performance evaluation results. This particle is proposed as an exogenous contrast agent for photoacoustic (PA) imaging. Conventional PA contrast agents are based on non-biological materials. In contrast, the MelNPs are organic nanoparticles inspired by natural melanin. Melanin is an endogenous chromophore that has the ability to produce a PA signal in vivo. The developed MelNPs are capable of aggregating with one another under mildly acidic conditions after introducing hydrolysis-susceptible citraconic amide on the surface of bare MelNPs. We ascertained that the physical aggregation of the MelNPs resulted in an increased PA signal strength in the near-infrared window of biological tissue (i.e., 700 nm) without absorption tuning. This phenomenon is likely because of the overlapping thermal fields of the developed MelNPs. The PA signal produced from the developed MelNPs, after exposure to mildly acidic conditions (i.e., pH 6), is 8.1 times stronger than under neutral conditions. This unique characteristic found in this study can be utilized in a practical strategy for highly sensitive in vivo cancer target imaging in response to its acidic microenvironment. This approach to amplify the PA response of MelNPs in clusters could accelerate the use of MelNPs as an alternative to non-biological nanoprobes, so that MelNPs may be applicable in PA imaging and functional PA imaging such as stimuli sensitive, multimodal, and theranostic imaging. PMID:27406260

  15. Candidate Gene Analysis Suggests Untapped Genetic Complexity in Melanin-Based Pigmentation in Birds.

    PubMed

    Bourgeois, Yann X C; Bertrand, Joris A M; Delahaie, Boris; Cornuault, Josselin; Duval, Thomas; Milá, Borja; Thébaud, Christophe

    2016-07-01

    Studies on melanin-based color variation in a context of natural selection have provided a wealth of information on the link between phenotypic and genetic variation. Here, we evaluated associations between melanic plumage patterns and genetic polymorphism in the Réunion grey white-eye (Zosterops borbonicus), a species in which mutations on MC1R do not seem to play any role in explaining melanic variation. This species exhibits 5 plumage color variants that can be grouped into 3 color forms which occupy discrete geographic regions in the lowlands of Réunion, and a fourth high-elevation form which comprises 2 color morphs (grey and brown) and represents a true color polymorphism. We conducted a comprehensive survey of sequence variation in 96 individuals at a series of 7 candidate genes other than MC1R that have been previously shown to influence melanin-based color patterns in vertebrates, including genes that have rarely been studied in a wild bird species before: POMC, Agouti, TYR, TYRP1, DCT, Corin, and SLC24A5 Of these 7 genes, 2 (Corin and TYRP1) displayed an interesting shift in allele frequencies between lowland and highland forms and a departure from mutation-drift equilibrium consistent with balancing selection in the polymorphic highland form only. Sequence variation at Agouti, a gene frequently involved in melanin-based pigmentation patterning, was not associated with color forms or morphs. Thus, we suggest that functionally important changes in loci other than those classically studied are involved in the color polymorphism exhibited by the Réunion grey white-eye and possibly many other nonmodel species. PMID:26995742

  16. Transcription Factor Amr1 Induces Melanin Biosynthesis and Suppresses Virulence in Alternaria brassicicola

    SciTech Connect

    Cho, Yangrae; Srivastava, Akhil; Ohm, Robin A.; Lawrence, Christopher B.; Wang, Koon-Hui; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Marahatta, Sharadchandra P.

    2012-05-01

    Alternaria brassicicola is a successful saprophyte and necrotrophic plant pathogen. Several A. brassicicola genes have been characterized as affecting pathogenesis of Brassica species. To study regulatory mechanisms of pathogenesis, we mined 421 genes in silico encoding putative transcription factors in a machine-annotated, draft genome sequence of A. brassicicola. In this study, targeted gene disruption mutants for 117 of the transcription factor genes were produced and screened. Three of these genes were associated with pathogenesis. Disruption mutants of one gene (AbPacC) were nonpathogenic and another gene (AbVf8) caused lesions less than half the diameter of wild-type lesions. Unexpectedly, mutants of the third gene, Amr1, caused lesions with a two-fold larger diameter than the wild type and complementation mutants. Amr1 is a homolog of Cmr1, a transcription factor that regulates melanin biosynthesis in several fungi. We created gene deletion mutants of ?amr1 and characterized their phenotypes. The ?amr1 mutants used pectin as a carbon source more efficiently than the wild type, were melanin-deficient, and more sensitive to UV light and glucanase digestion. The AMR1 protein was localized in the nuclei of hyphae and in highly melanized conidia during the late stage of plant pathogenesis. RNA-seq analysis revealed that three genes in the melanin biosynthesis pathway, along with the deleted Amr1 gene, were expressed at low levels in the mutants. In contrast, many hydrolytic enzyme-coding genes were expressed at higher levels in the mutants than in the wild type during pathogenesis. The results of this study suggested that a gene important for survival in nature negatively affected virulence, probably by a less efficient use of plant cell-wall materials. We speculate that the functions of the Amr1 gene are important to the success of A. brassicicola as a competitive saprophyte and plant parasite.

  17. Dopamine-melanin film deposition depends on the used oxidant and buffer solution.

    PubMed

    Bernsmann, Falk; Ball, Vincent; Addiego, Frédéric; Ponche, Arnaud; Michel, Marc; Gracio, José Joaquin de Almeida; Toniazzo, Valérie; Ruch, David

    2011-03-15

    The deposition of "polydopamine" films, from an aqueous solution containing dopamine or other catecholamines, constitutes a new and versatile way to functionalize solid-liquid interfaces. Indeed such films can be deposited on almost all kinds of materials. Their deposition kinetics does not depend markedly on the surface chemistry of the substrate, and the films can reach thickness of a few tens of nanometers in a single reaction step. Up to now, even if a lot is known about the oxidation mechanism of dopamine in solution, only little information is available to describe the deposition mechanism on surfaces either by oxidation in solution or by electrodeposition. The deposition kinetics of melanin was only investigated from dopamine solutions using oxygen or ammonium persulfate as an oxidant and from a tris(hydroxymethyl) aminomethane (Tris) containing buffer solutions at pH 8.5. Many other oxidants could be used, and the buffer agent containing a primary amine group may influence the deposition process. Herein we show that the deposition kinetics of melanin from dopamine containing buffers at pH 8.5 can be markedly modified using Cu(2+) instead of O2 as an oxidant: the deposition kinetics remains linear up to thicknesses of more than 70 nm, whereas the film growth stops at 45 ± 5 nm in the presence of 02. In addition, the films prepared from Cu(2+) containing solutions display an absorption spectrum with defined peaks at 320 and 370 nm, which are absent in the spectra of films prepared in oxygenated solutions. The replacement of Tris buffer by phosphate buffer also has a marked effect on the melanin deposition kinetics. PMID:21332218

  18. Monitoring the Metabolic State of Fungal Hyphae and the Presence of Melanin by Nonlinear Spectral Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Knaus, Helene; Blab, Gerhard A.; Agronskaia, Alexandra V.; van den Heuvel, Dave J.; Gerritsen, Hans C.

    2013-01-01

    Label-free nonlinear spectral imaging microscopy (NLSM) records two-photon-excited fluorescence emission spectra of endogenous fluorophores within the specimen. Here, NLSM is introduced as a novel, minimally invasive method to analyze the metabolic state of fungal hyphae by monitoring the autofluorescence of NAD(P)H and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD). Moreover, the presence of melanin was analyzed by NLSM. NAD(P)H, FAD, and melanin were used as biomarkers for freshness of mushrooms of Agaricus bisporus (white button mushroom) that had been stored at 4°C for 0 to 17 days. During this period, the mushrooms did not show changes in morphology or color detectable by eye. In contrast, FAD/NAD(P)H and melanin/NAD(P)H ratios increased over time. For instance, these ratios increased from 0.92 to 2.02 and from 0.76 to 1.53, respectively, at the surface of mushroom caps that had been harvested by cutting the stem. These ratios were lower under the skin than at the surface of fresh mushrooms (0.78 versus 0.92 and 0.41 versus 0.76, respectively), indicative of higher metabolism and lower pigment formation within the fruiting body. Signals were different not only between tissues of the mushroom but also between neighboring hyphae. These data show that NLSM can be used to determine the freshness of mushrooms and to monitor the postharvest browning process at an early stage. Moreover, these data demonstrate the potential of NLSM to address a broad range of fundamental and applied microbiological processes. PMID:23934488

  19. A multimodal assessment of melanin and melanocyte activity in abnormally pigmented hypertrophic scar.

    PubMed

    Travis, Taryn E; Ghassemi, Pejhman; Ramella-Roman, Jessica C; Prindeze, Nicholas J; Paul, Dereck W; Moffatt, Lauren T; Jordan, Marion H; Shupp, Jeffrey W

    2015-01-01

    Using a validated swine model of human scar formation, hyperpigmented and hypopigmented scar samples were examined for their histological and optical properties to help elucidate the mechanisms and characteristics of dyspigmentation. Full-thickness wounds were created on the flanks of red Duroc pigs and allowed to heal. Biopsies from areas of hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, and uninjured tissue were fixed and embedded for histological examination using Azure B and primary antibodies to S100B, HMB45, and α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH). Spatial frequency domain imaging (SFDI) was then used to examine the optical properties of scars. Hyperpigmentation was first noticeable in healing wounds around weeks 2 to 3, gradually becoming darker. There was no significant difference in S100B staining for the presence of melanocytes between hyperpigmented and hypopigmented scar samples. Azure B staining of melanin was significantly greater in histological sections from hyperpigmented areas than in sections from both uninjured skin and hypopigmented scar (P < .0001). There was significantly greater staining for α-MSH in hyperpigmented samples compared with hypopigmented samples (P = .0121), and HMB45 staining was positive for melanocytes in hyperpigmented scar. SFDI at a wavelength of 632 nm resulted in an absorption coefficient map correlating with visibly hyperpigmented areas of scars. In a red Duroc model of hypertrophic scar formation, melanocyte number is similar in hyperpigmented and hypopigmented tissues. Hyperpigmented tissues, however, show a greater amount of melanin and α-MSH, along with immunohistochemical evidence of stimulated melanocytes. These observations encourage further investigation of melanocyte stimulation and the inflammatory environment within a wound that may influence melanocyte activity. Additionally, SFDI can be used to identify areas of melanin content in mature, pigmented scars, which may lead to its usefulness in wounds at earlier

  20. Plumage coloration and nutritional condition in the great tit Parus major: the roles of carotenoids and melanins differ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senar, Juan Carlos; Figuerola, Jordi; Domènech, Jordi

    2003-05-01

    The size and coloration of some body characters seem to influence mate choice in many species. Most animal colours are either structural or based on melanin or carotenoid pigments. It has recently been suggested that carotenoid-based or structural coloration may be a condition-dependent trait, whereas melanin-based coloration is not; a difference that may be highly relevant when studying the evolution of multiple mating preferences. We tested this hypothesis in the great tit ( Parus major). The size of the melanin breast band was not correlated to nutritional condition as estimated by the rate of tail growth (ptilochronology), controlling for locality, age, sex, year and season effects. However, the correlation was significant for the hue of yellow breast (carotenoid-based coloration), and the slopes of the regressions of the two pigments to growth bars differed significantly. These results suggest that the expression of the two traits may be regulated by different mechanisms.

  1. Inducing self-rotation of cells with natural and artificial melanin in a linearly polarized alternating current electric field

    PubMed Central

    Ouyang, Mengxing; Ki Cheung, Wing; Liang, Wenfeng; Mai, John D.; Keung Liu, Wing; Jung Li, Wen

    2013-01-01

    The phenomenon of self-rotation observed in naturally and artificially pigmented cells under an applied linearly polarized alternating current (non-rotating) electrical field has been investigated. The repeatable and controllable rotation speeds of the cells were quantified and their dependence on dielectrophoretic parameters such as frequency, voltage, and waveform was studied. Moreover, the rotation behavior of the pigmented cells with different melanin content was compared to quantify the correlation between self-rotation and the presence of melanin. Most importantly, macrophages, which did not originally rotate in the applied non-rotating electric field, began to exhibit self-rotation that was very similar to that of the pigmented cells, after ingesting foreign particles (e.g., synthetic melanin or latex beads). We envision the discovery presented in this paper will enable the development of a rapid, non-intrusive, and automated process to obtain the electrical conductivities and permittivities of cellular membrane and cytoplasm in the near future. PMID:24404075

  2. Invasive hyphal growth in Wangiella dermatitidis is induced by stab inoculation and shows dependence upon melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Brush, L; Money, N P

    1999-12-01

    Stab inoculation of agar medium with yeasts of the human pathogen Wangiella dermatitidis resulted in induction of invasive hyphae. Mechanical penetration of agar was indicated by the observation that an increase in medium gel strength slowed the rate of substrate invasion. A melanized wild-type strain (8656) exhibited much faster invasive growth through 2-8% agar than three melanin-deficient mutants. Inhibition of melanin synthesis in strain 8656 using tricyclazole resulted in a decrease in its rate of invasive growth, while scytalone restored melanin synthesis in the albino mel3 strain and boosted its rate of invasive growth. Earlier research established that cellular melanization is also associated with invasive hyphal growth in the mouse brain, and infections with strain 8656 are invariably lethal. Together, these in vitro and in vivo data indicate that biomechanical characteristics of fungi may be important determinants of virulence and disease progression in human and animal mycoses. PMID:10669584

  3. Correlation map analysis between appearances of Japanese facial images and amount of melanin and hemoglobin components in the skin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsumura, Norimichi; Uetsuki, Keiji; Ojima, Nobutoshi; Miyake, Yoichi

    2001-06-01

    Skin color reproduction becomes increasingly important with the recent progress in various imaging systems. In this paper, based on subjective experiments, correlation maps are analyzed between appearance of Japanese facial images and amount of melanin and hemoglobin components in the facial skin. Facial color images were taken by digital still camera. The spatial distributions of melanin and hemoglobin components in the facial color image were separated by independent component analysis of skin colors. The separated components were synthesized to simulate the various facial color images by changing the quantities of the two separated pigments. The synthesized images were evaluated subjectively by comparing with the original facial images. From the analysis of correlation map, we could find the visual or psychological terms that are well related to melanin components influence the appearance of facial color image.

  4. Insertional mutagenesis and characterization of a polyketide synthase gene (PKS1) required for melanin biosynthesis in Bipolaris oryzae.

    PubMed

    Moriwaki, Akihiro; Kihara, Junichi; Kobayashi, Tsutomu; Tokunaga, Toshiko; Arase, Sakae; Honda, Yuichi

    2004-09-01

    A polyketide synthase gene named PKS1, involved in the melanin biosynthesis pathway of the phytopathogenic fungus Bipolaris oryzae, was isolated using restriction enzyme-mediated integration. Sequence analysis showed that the PKS1 encodes a putative protein that has 2155 amino acids and significant similarity to other fungal polyketide synthases. Targeted disruption of the PKS1 gene showed that it is necessary for melanin biosynthesis in B. oryzae. Northern blot analysis showed that PKS1 transcripts were specifically enhanced by near-ultraviolet radiation (300-400 nm) and that its temporal transcriptional patterns were similar to those of THR1 and SCD1 genes involved in the melanin biosynthesis pathway of B. oryzae. PMID:15336395

  5. Medullary thyroid carcinoma with a paraganglioma-like pattern and melanin production: a case report with ultrastructural and immunohistochemical studies.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, T; Satoh, M; Azuma, K; Sawada, N; Mori, M

    1998-06-01

    We report a case of medullary thyroid carcinoma with a paraganglioma-like pattern and melanin production. Macroscopically, a rectangular black area within a gray-white background was seen on the cut surface of the tumor. Histologically, the tumor was found to have a trabecular or nestlike architecture with many pigmented dendritic cells, resembling the "sustentacular cells" of paraganglioma, scattered among nonpigmented polygonal tumor cells. Fontana-Masson staining and bleaching with potassium permanganate and oxalic acid revealed that this pigment was melanin, which was also confirmed by electron microscopy. Immunohistochemically, pigmented dendritic cells were positive for calcitonin, as were the surrounding typical medullary thyroid carcinoma cells. These cells were also positive for S100 protein but not for HMB-45, compatible with sustentacular cells. These findings suggest that this tumor could be considered to bridge the gap between two variants of medullary thyroid carcinoma, the melanin-producing (pigmented) type and the paraganglioma-like type. PMID:9625426

  6. EPR examination of free radical properties of DOPA-melanin complexes with ciprofloxacin, lomefloxacin, norfloxacin and sparfloxacin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beberok, Artur; Buszman, Ewa; Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Wrześniok, Dorota

    2010-09-01

    Paramagnetic complexes of DOPA-melanin with ciprofloxacin, lomefloxacin, norfloxacin and sparfloxacin were studied by EPR spectroscopy. The aim of this work was to determine free radical concentration and properties of these complexes. Free radical concentrations in the studied complexes were ˜10 19-10 20 spin/g. Relatively lower and similar (5.1-6.6 × 10 19 spin/g) free radical concentrations characterized DOPA-melanin complexes with ciprofloxacin, and lomefloxacin. Higher concentrations (0.8-1.2 × 10 20 spin/g) were obtained for complexes of norfloxacin and sparfloxacin. Effect of the drug concentration on free radicals in melanin was observed. Strong dipolar spin-spin interactions and slow spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in all of the samples.

  7. Dietary flavonoids enhance conspicuousness of a melanin-based trait in male blackcaps but not of the female homologous trait or of sexually monochromatic traits.

    PubMed

    Catoni, C; Peters, A; Schaefer, H M

    2009-08-01

    Signalling theory predicts that signals should fulfil three fundamental requirements: high detectability, discriminability and, most importantly, reliability. Melanins are the most common pigments in animals. Correlations between genotypic and phenotypic qualities of the sender and size and morph of melanin-based traits are known, but it is contentious whether melanin-based colouration may signal any quality. We examined the effect of supplementing blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) with flavonoids, potent plant antioxidants, on plumage colouration. We demonstrate that melanin-based colour can fulfil all requirements of signals of phenotypic condition. As predicted by sexual selection theory, flavonoid supplementation influenced only the sexually dichromatic black cap of males, whereas the female homologous trait and the sexually monochromatic back colouration remained unaffected. Using avian vision models we show that birds can estimate male flavonoid intake from colouration of males' black cap. Because flavonoid ingestion can increase immune responsiveness in blackcaps, melanin head colouration may signal environmentally determined immune condition. PMID:19555443

  8. Simultaneous in vivo imaging of melanin and lipofuscin in the retina with photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy and autofluorescence imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiangyang; Zhang, Hao F.; Puliafito, Carmen A.; Jiao, Shuliang

    2011-08-01

    We combined photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM) with autofluorescence imaging for simultaneous in vivo imaging of dual molecular contrasts in the retina using a single light source. The dual molecular contrasts come from melanin and lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Melanin and lipofuscin are two types of pigments and are believed to play opposite roles (protective versus exacerbate) in the RPE in the aging process. We have successfully imaged the retina of pigmented and albino rats at different ages. The experimental results showed that multimodal PAOM system can be a potentially powerful tool in the study of age-related degenerative retinal diseases.

  9. Singlet molecular oxygen generation by light-activated DHN-melanin of the fungal pathogen Mycosphaerella fijiensis in black Sigatoka disease of bananas.

    PubMed

    Beltrán-García, Miguel J; Prado, Fernanda M; Oliveira, Marilene S; Ortiz-Mendoza, David; Scalfo, Alexsandra C; Pessoa, Adalberto; Medeiros, Marisa H G; White, James F; Di Mascio, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    In pathogenic fungi, melanin contributes to virulence, allowing tissue invasion and inactivation of the plant defence system, but has never been implicated as a factor for host cell death, or as a light-activated phytotoxin. Our research shows that melanin synthesized by the fungal banana pathogen Mycosphaerella fijiensis acts as a virulence factor through the photogeneration of singlet molecular oxygen O2 (1Δg). Using analytical tools, including elemental analysis, ultraviolet/infrared absorption spectrophometry and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis, we characterized both pigment content in mycelia and secreted to the culture media as 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin type compound. This is sole melanin-type in M. fijiensis. Isolated melanins irradiated with a Nd:YAG laser at 532 nm produced monomol light emission at 1270 nm, confirming generation of O2 (1Δg), a highly reactive oxygen specie (ROS) that causes cellular death by reacting with all cellular macromolecules. Intermediary polyketides accumulated in culture media by using tricyclazole and pyroquilon (two inhibitors of DHN-melanin synthesis) were identified by ESI-HPLC-MS/MS. Additionally, irradiation at 532 nm of that mixture of compounds and whole melanized mycelium also generated O2 (1Δg). A pigmented-strain generated more O2 (1Δg) than a strain with low melanin content. Banana leaves of cultivar Cavendish, naturally infected with different stages of black Sigatoka disease, were collected from field. Direct staining of the naturally infected leaf tissues showed the presence of melanin that was positively correlated to the disease stage. We also found hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) but we cannot distinguish the source. Our results suggest that O2 (1Δg) photogenerated by DHN-melanin may be involved in the destructive effects of Mycosphaerella fijiensis on banana leaf tissues. Further studies are needed to fully evaluate contributions of melanin-mediated ROS to microbial pathogenesis. PMID:24646830

  10. Singlet Molecular Oxygen Generation by Light-Activated DHN-Melanin of the Fungal Pathogen Mycosphaerella fijiensis in Black Sigatoka Disease of Bananas

    PubMed Central

    Beltrán-García, Miguel J.; Prado, Fernanda M.; Oliveira, Marilene S.; Ortiz-Mendoza, David; Scalfo, Alexsandra C.; Pessoa, Adalberto; Medeiros, Marisa H. G.; White, James F.; Di Mascio, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    In pathogenic fungi, melanin contributes to virulence, allowing tissue invasion and inactivation of the plant defence system, but has never been implicated as a factor for host cell death, or as a light-activated phytotoxin. Our research shows that melanin synthesized by the fungal banana pathogen Mycosphaerella fijiensis acts as a virulence factor through the photogeneration of singlet molecular oxygen O2 (1Δg). Using analytical tools, including elemental analysis, ultraviolet/infrared absorption spectrophometry and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis, we characterized both pigment content in mycelia and secreted to the culture media as 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin type compound. This is sole melanin-type in M. fijiensis. Isolated melanins irradiated with a Nd:YAG laser at 532 nm produced monomol light emission at 1270 nm, confirming generation of O2 (1Δg), a highly reactive oxygen specie (ROS) that causes cellular death by reacting with all cellular macromolecules. Intermediary polyketides accumulated in culture media by using tricyclazole and pyroquilon (two inhibitors of DHN-melanin synthesis) were identified by ESI-HPLC-MS/MS. Additionally, irradiation at 532 nm of that mixture of compounds and whole melanized mycelium also generated O2 (1Δg). A pigmented-strain generated more O2 (1Δg) than a strain with low melanin content. Banana leaves of cultivar Cavendish, naturally infected with different stages of black Sigatoka disease, were collected from field. Direct staining of the naturally infected leaf tissues showed the presence of melanin that was positively correlated to the disease stage. We also found hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) but we cannot distinguish the source. Our results suggest that O2 (1Δg) photogenerated by DHN-melanin may be involved in the destructive effects of Mycosphaerella fijiensis on banana leaf tissues. Further studies are needed to fully evaluate contributions of melanin-mediated ROS to microbial pathogenesis. PMID:24646830

  11. Melanin Transfer in Human 3D Skin Equivalents Generated Exclusively from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Gledhill, Karl; Guo, Zongyou; Umegaki-Arao, Noriko; Higgins, Claire A.; Itoh, Munenari; Christiano, Angela M.

    2015-01-01

    The current utility of 3D skin equivalents is limited by the fact that existing models fail to recapitulate the cellular complexity of human skin. They often contain few cell types and no appendages, in part because many cells found in the skin are difficult to isolate from intact tissue and cannot be expanded in culture. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) present an avenue by which we can overcome this issue due to their ability to be differentiated into multiple cell types in the body and their unlimited growth potential. We previously reported generation of the first human 3D skin equivalents from iPSC-derived fibroblasts and iPSC-derived keratinocytes, demonstrating that iPSCs can provide a foundation for modeling a complex human organ such as skin. Here, we have increased the complexity of this model by including additional iPSC-derived melanocytes. Epidermal melanocytes, which are largely responsible for skin pigmentation, represent the second most numerous cell type found in normal human epidermis and as such represent a logical next addition. We report efficient melanin production from iPSC-derived melanocytes and transfer within an entirely iPSC-derived epidermal-melanin unit and generation of the first functional human 3D skin equivalents made from iPSC-derived fibroblasts, keratinocytes and melanocytes. PMID:26308443

  12. The adaptive function of melanin-based plumage coloration to trace metals

    PubMed Central

    Chatelain, M.; Gasparini, J.; Jacquin, L.; Frantz, A.

    2014-01-01

    Trace metals produced by anthropogenic activities are of major importance in urban areas and might constitute a new evolutionary force selecting for the ability to cope with their deleterious effects. Interestingly, melanin pigments are known to bind metal ions, thereby potentially sequestering them in inert body parts such as coat and feathers, and facilitating body detoxification. Thus, a more melanic plumage or coat coloration could bring a selective advantage for animals living in polluted areas. We tested this hypothesis by investigating the link between melanin-based coloration and zinc and lead concentrations in feathers of urban feral pigeons, both at capture time and after one year of captivity in standardized conditions. Results show that differently coloured pigeons had similar metal concentrations at capture time. Metal concentrations strongly decreased after one year in standardized conditions, and more melanic pigeons had higher concentrations of zinc (but not lead) in their feathers. This suggests that more melanic pigeons have a higher ability to store some metals in their feathers compared with their paler counterparts, which could explain their higher success in urbanized areas. Overall, this work suggests that trace metal pollution may exert new selective forces favouring more melanic phenotypes in polluted environments. PMID:24671830

  13. The DNA methylation inhibitor 5-azacytidine decreases melanin synthesis by inhibiting CREB phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Shin, Jun Seob; Jeong, Hyo-Soon; Kim, Myo-Kyoung; Yun, Hye-Young; Baek, Kwang Jin; Kwon, Nyoun Soo; Kim, Dong-Seok

    2015-10-01

    Here we examined the effects of a DNA methylation inhibitor, 5-azacytidine, on melanogenesis in Mel-Ab cells. We found that 5-azacytidine decreased the melanin content and tyrosinase activity in these cells in a dose-dependent manner; importantly, 5-azacytidine was not cytotoxic at the concentrations used in these experiments. On the other hand, 5-azacytidine did not affect tyrosinase activity in a cell-free system, indicating that 5-azacytidine is not a direct tyrosinase inhibitor. Instead, 5-azacytidine decreased the protein levels of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase. Thus, we investigated the effects of 5-azacytidine on signal transduction pathways related to melanogenesis. However, 5-azacytidine did not have any effect on either Akt or glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) phosphorylation. The phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) is well known to regulate MITF expression, thereby also regulating tyrosinase expression. We found that 5-azacytidine decreased the phosphorylation of CREB. Therefore, we propose that 5-azacytidine may decrease melanin synthesis by downregulating MITF and tyrosinase via CREB inactivation. PMID:26601420

  14. Photoprotective role of epidermal melanin granules against ultraviolet damage and DNA repair in guinea pig skin

    SciTech Connect

    Ishikawa, T.; Kodama, K.; Matsumoto, J.; Takayama, S.

    1984-11-01

    We previously developed a quantitative autoradiographic technique with special forceps for measuring unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) in mouse skin after treatment with ultraviolet light in vivo. By this method, we investigated the relationship between the protective role of melanin and UV-induced DNA repair in black-and-white guinea pigs. Flat areas containing a sharp border between pigmented and unpigmented skin were selected. The skin of the selected areas was shaved and irradiated with short-wave UV (254 nm) or UV-AB (270 to 440 nm, emission peak at 312 nm) at various doses. Immediately after irradiation, the skin was clamped off with forceps, and an isotonic aqueous solution of (methyl-/sup 3/H)thymidine was injected s.c. into the clamped off portion. UDS was clearly demonstrated as silver grains in this portion of the skin after irradiation with 254 nm UV or UV-AB. Errors due to individual differences were avoided by comparing the intensities of UDS in basal cells from pigmented skin and unpigmented skin of the same animals. Unexpectedly, in groups of animals treated with 254 nm UV or UV-AB, no difference in UDS in pigmented and unpigmented skin was seen at any UV dose. These results suggested that epidermal melanin granules do not significantly protect DNA of basal cells against 254 nm UV or UV-AB irradiation. Results of a study on the effect of the wavelength of irradiation on the UDS response of albino guinea pigs are also reported.

  15. Microneedling dilates the follicular infundibulum and increases transfollicular absorption of liposomal sepia melanin

    PubMed Central

    Serrano, Gabriel; Almudéver, Patricia; Serrano, Juan M; Cortijo, Julio; Faus, Carmen; Reyes, Magda; Expósito, Inmaculada; Torrens, Ana; Millán, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Encapsulation of chemicals in liposomes and microneedling are currently used techniques to enhance the penetration of several substances through skin and hair. In this study, we apply a liposomal melanin–fluorescein compound to an ex vivo model of human skin, using a new electrical microneedling device (Nanopore turbo roller). The product was applied by hand massage (A) or with the assistance of the electrical roller for 2 minutes (B). An additional test was performed free of product and with only the E-roller (C). Histological changes and product absorption were evaluated by optical and fluorescent microscopy 60 and 90 minutes after the treatment. Site B showed larger deposits of melanin–fluorescein at superficial and deep levels of hair structures in comparison to site A. Light, epidermal deposits of the melanin–fluorescein complex were also observed. Sites B and C showed a significant widening (47%) of the follicular infundibulum which could explain the increased penetration of the formulation. Microneedling also removed the scales and sebum residues in the neighborhood of the infundibulum. Targeting hair follicles with melanin may be useful to dye poorly pigmented hairs, improving laser hair removal. The procedure accelerates the delivery of melanin into hair structures allowing an even absorption, larger pigment deposits, and deeper penetration of the formulation into the hair. PMID:26170707

  16. Effects of melanin-induced free radicals on the isolated rat peritoneal mast cells

    SciTech Connect

    Ranadive, N.S.; Shirwadkar, S.; Persad, S.; Menon, I.A.

    1986-03-01

    Pheomelanin from human red hair (RHM) produces considerably more cellular damage in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells when subjected to radiations of wavelength 320-700 nm than eumelanin from black hair (BHM). Irradiation of RHM generated large amounts of superoxide while BHM did not produce detectable amounts of superoxide. The present investigations describe the effects of irradiation of mast cells in the presence of various natural and synthetic melanins. Irradiation of mast cells in the presence of RHM and red hair melanoprotein released large amounts of histamine while BHM and synthetic melanins prepared from dopa, cysteinyldopa, or a mixture of dopa and cysteinyldopa did not release histamine. The release of histamine at lower concentrations of RHM was not accompanied by the release of /sup 51/Cr from chromium-loaded cells, suggesting that this release was of noncytotoxic nature. On the other hand, the release of histamine at higher concentrations of RHM was due to cell lysis since both histamine and cytoplasmic marker /sup 51/Cr were released to the same extent. The release evoked by large concentration RHM was not inhibited by superoxide dismutase or catalase. This suggests that the cell lysis under these conditions was not due to H/sub 2/O/sub 2/ or O-2. The finding that mast cells release histamine when irradiated in the presence of RHM suggests that the immediate and late-phase reactions seen in sunburn may in part be due to the release of mediators from these cells.

  17. The role of fibres and the hypodermis in Compositae melanin secretion.

    PubMed

    De-Paula, Orlando Cavalari; Marzinek, Juliana; Oliveira, Denise Maria Trombert; Machado, Silvia Rodrigues

    2013-01-01

    Melanins are dark, insoluble pigments that are resistant to concentrated acids and bleaching by oxidising agents. Phytomelanin (or phytomelan) is present in the seed coat of some Asparagales and in the fruits of some Compositae. In Compositae fruits, melanin is deposited in the schizogenous spaces between the hypodermis and underlying fibrous layer. Phytomelanin in Compositae is poorly understood, and there are only speculations regarding the cells that produce the pigment and the cellular processes involved in the secretion and polymerisation of phytomelanin. This report describes the cellular processes involved in the secretion of phytomelanin in the pericarp of Praxelis diffusa, a species with a structure typical of the family. The ovaries and fruits at different stages were fixed and processed according to the standard methods of studies of light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Hypodermal cells have abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, and the nuclei have chromatin that is less dense than other cells. These characteristics are typical of cells that synthesise protein/amino acids and suggest no carbohydrate secretion. The fibres, however, have a dense cytoplasm rich in the Golgi bodies that are associated with vesicles and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, common characteristics of carbohydrate secretory cells. Our results indicate that the hypodermal cells are not responsible for the secretion of phytomelanin, as previously described in the literature; in contrast, this function is assigned to the adjacent fibres, which have an organisation typical of cells that secrete carbohydrates. PMID:22940570

  18. Analysis of l-DOPA-derived melanin and a novel degradation product formed under alkaline conditions.

    PubMed

    Omotani, Hidetoshi; Yasuda, Makoto; Ishii, Ritsuko; Ikarashi, Tsukasa; Fukuuchi, Tomoko; Yamaoka, Noriko; Mawatari, Ken-Ichi; Kaneko, Kiyoko; Nakagomi, Kazuya

    2016-06-01

    When the therapeutic drug l-DOPA, which is used to treat Parkinson's disease, is combined with magnesium oxide (MgO), a formulation change produces a dark substance. Infrared spectroscopy reveals that this substance is melanin. After allowing the l-DOPA and MgO mixture to stand, the l-DOPA content decreases significantly, and a new degradation product (the final degradation product of l-DOPA, FDP-D) is generated. Formation of this product requires a solution with a pH of >10, and the presence of MgO is not necessary. FDP-D is not produced by tyrosinase decomposition of l-DOPA and is therefore not a melanin-related compound. Pure FDP-D is isolated by adjusting the l-DOPA solution to pH 10 with ammonium hydroxide, allowing it to stand for 3 days at room temperature, adding trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), filtering the precipitate, and separating the supernatant with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Mass spectrometry indicates that the isolated FDP-D has a molecular formula of C9H9NO7. On the basis of NMR analysis ((1)H NMR, (13)C NMR, DEPT, H-H COSY, HMQC, and HMBC), FDP-D appears to be a substance with the novel structure 7a-hydroxy-5-oxo-1,2,3,5,7,7a-hexahydropyrano [3,4-b]pyrrole-2,7-dicarboxylic acid. PMID:26999318

  19. Evidence for excitation of fluorescence in RPE melanin by multiphoton absorption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glickman, Randolph D.; Rockwell, Benjamin A.; Noojin, Gary D.; Stolarski, David J.; Denton, Michael L.

    2002-06-01

    Previously, we reported that ultrashort, near infrared (NIR) laser pulses caused more DNA breakage in cultured retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells than did CW, NIR laser radiation delivering a similar radiant exposure. We hypothesized that this difference was due to multiphoton absorption in an intracellular chromophore such as the RPE melanin. We investigated two-photon excitation of fluorescence in a suspension of isolated bovine RPE melanosomes exposed to a 1-KHz train of approximately 50- fsec laser pulses at 810 nm from a Ti:Sapphire laser, and compared this to the fluorescence excited by CW exposures at 406 nm from a Krypton ion laser. Fluorescence was measured with a PC-based spectrometer. The CW sources excited fluorescence with a peak at 525 nm. The fluorescence intensity depended on the irradiance of the sample, as well as the melanosome concentration. Peak fluorescence was obtained with a suspension of ~2 x 107 melanin granules/ml. The 810-nm, ultrashort pulses also excited fluorescence, but with a broader, lower-amplitude peak. The weaker fluorescence signal excited by the 810-nm ultrashort pulse laser for a given melanosome concentration, compared to 406-nm CW excitation, is possibly due to the smaller two- photon absorption cross-section. These results indicate the involvement of multiphoton absorption in DNA damage.

  20. Photochemistry. Chemiexcitation of melanin derivatives induces DNA photoproducts long after UV exposure.

    PubMed

    Premi, Sanjay; Wallisch, Silvia; Mano, Camila M; Weiner, Adam B; Bacchiocchi, Antonella; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Bechara, Etelvino J H; Halaban, Ruth; Douki, Thierry; Brash, Douglas E

    2015-02-20

    Mutations in sunlight-induced melanoma arise from cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), DNA photoproducts that are typically created picoseconds after an ultraviolet (UV) photon is absorbed at thymine or cytosine. We found that in melanocytes, CPDs are generated for >3 hours after exposure to UVA, a major component of the radiation in sunlight and in tanning beds. These "dark CPDs" constitute the majority of CPDs and include the cytosine-containing CPDs that initiate UV-signature C→T mutations. Dark CPDs arise when UV-induced reactive oxygen and nitrogen species combine to excite an electron in fragments of the pigment melanin. This creates a quantum triplet state that has the energy of a UV photon but induces CPDs by energy transfer to DNA in a radiation-independent manner. Melanin may thus be carcinogenic as well as protective against cancer. These findings also validate the long-standing suggestion that chemically generated excited electronic states are relevant to mammalian biology. PMID:25700512

  1. Chemiexcitation of Melanin Derivatives Induces DNA Photoproducts Long after UV Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Premi, Sanjay; Wallisch, Silvia; Mano, Camila M.; Weiner, Adam B.; Bacchiocchi, Antonella; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Bechara, Etelvino J. H.; Halaban, Ruth; Douki, Thierry; Brash, Douglas E.

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in sunlight-induced melanoma arise from cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD), DNA photoproducts that are typically created picoseconds after an ultraviolet (UV) photon is absorbed at thymine or cytosine. Here we show that in melanocytes, CPD are generated for >3 hours after exposure to UVA, a major component of the radiation in sunlight and in tanning beds. These “dark CPD” constitute the majority of CPD and include the cytosine-containing CPD that initiate UV-signature C→T mutations. Dark CPD arise when UV-induced reactive oxygen and nitrogen species combine to excite an electron in fragments of the pigment melanin. This creates a quantum triplet state that has the energy of a UV photon but that induces CPD by energy transfer to DNA in a radiation-independent manner. Melanin may thus be carcinogenic as well as protective against cancer. These findings also validate the long-standing suggestion that chemically-generated excited electronic states are relevant to mammalian biology. PMID:25700512

  2. Topical microemulsion containing Punica granatum extract: its control over skin erythema and melanin in healthy Asian subjects

    PubMed Central

    Parveen, Rashida; Akhtar, Naveed

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Punica granatum is apotent source of polyphenolic compounds with strong free radicals scavenging activity. The skin lightening effects of Punica granatum are assumed due to ellagic acid which acts by chelating copper at the active site of tyrosinase. Aim To explore a topical microemulsion (O/W) of pomegranate (Punica granatum) extract for its control on skin erythema and melanin. Material and methods Microemulsions were formulated using a polysorbate surfactant (Tween 80®) along with cosurfactant (propylene glycol) and were characterized regarding their stability. The placebo microemulsion (without extract) and the active microemulsion (containing Punica extract) were applied in a split face fashion by the volunteers (n = 11) for a period of 12 weeks. Skin erythema and melanin were measured at baseline and after every 15 days to determine any effect produced by these formulations. Results Active formulation showed a significant impact on skin erythema and melanin (p < 0.05). Conclusions This study reveals that a suitable topical formulation like microemulsion could employ the Punica granatum extract for conditions where elevated skin melanin and erythema have significantly prone skin physiology. PMID:25610348

  3. Melanin biosynthesis inhibitory activity of a compound isolated from young green barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) in B16 melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Meng, Tian Xiao; Irino, Nobuto; Kondo, Ryuichiro

    2015-07-01

    In the course to find compounds that inhibit melanin biosynthesis (i.e., whitening agents), we evaluated the effects of the methanol-soluble fraction (i.e., the water-soluble portion of methanol extracts-CHP20P-MeOH eluted fraction) from young green barley leaves on melanin production in B16 melanoma cells. Activity-guided fractionation led to an isolate called tricin (compound 1) as an inhibitory compound of melanin production in B16 melanoma cells. Furthermore, tricin analogs such as tricetin, tricetin trimethyl ether, luteolin, and apigenin were used for analyzing the structure-activity relationships (SAR) of 5,7-dihydroxyflavones studies. Tricin demonstrated stronger inhibitory activity compared to three other compounds. The results suggest that a hydroxyl group at the C-4' position and methoxy groups at the C-3',5' positions of the tricin skeleton may have important roles in this inhibitory activity in B16 melanoma cells. Our results suggest that tricin inhibits melanin biosynthesis with higher efficacy than arbutin, and it could be used as a whitening agent. PMID:25827948

  4. Inhibitory effect of a novel combination of Salvia hispanica (chia) seed and Punica granatum (pomegranate) fruit extracts on melanin production.

    PubMed

    Diwakar, Ganesh; Rana, Jatinder; Saito, Lisa; Vredeveld, Doug; Zemaitis, Dorothy; Scholten, Jeffrey

    2014-09-01

    In recent years, dietary fatty acids have been extensively evaluated for nutritional as well as cosmetic benefits. Among the dietary fats, the omega-3 (ω3) and omega-6 (ω6) forms of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been found to exhibit many biological functions in the skin such as prevention of transepidermal water loss, maintenance of the stratum corneum epidermal barrier, and disruption of melanogenesis in epidermal melanocytes. In this study, we examined the effect of chia seed extract, high in ω3 (linolenic acid) and ω6 (linoleic acid) PUFAs, for its capacity to affect melanogenesis. Chia seed extract was shown to inhibit melanin biosynthesis in Melan-a cells; however, linoleic and α-linolenic acids alone did not effectively reduce melanin content. Further investigation demonstrated that chia seed extract in combination with pomegranate fruit extract had a synergistic effect on the inhibition of melanin biosynthesis with no corresponding effect on tyrosinase activity. Investigation of the possible mechanism of action revealed that chia seed extract downregulated expression of melanogenesis-related genes (Tyr, Tyrp1, and Mc1r), alone and in combination with pomegranate fruit extract, suggesting that the inhibition of melanin biosynthesis by a novel combination of chia seed and pomegranate fruit extracts is possibly due to the downregulation of gene expression of key melanogenic enzymes. PMID:24909999

  5. Using tyrosinase as a monophenol monooxygenase: A combined strategy for effective inhibition of melanin formation.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang-Hyuk; Baek, Kiheon; Lee, Ju-Eun; Kim, Byung-Gee

    2016-04-01

    Tyrosinase is a binuclear copper-containing metalloprotein that leads the fast and regio-selective o-hydroxylation of monophenols to o-diphenols. However, the subsequent second oxidation to produce o-quinones, i.e., melanin precursors, from the o-diphenols has restricted its use to the production of functional o-diphenol derivatives. Herein, we present a combined strategy for the effective inhibition of melanin formation in tyrosinase reaction, which allows the use of tyrosinase as a monophenol monooxygenase. The o-diphenolic products were protected from being oxidized in the tyrosinase reaction by borate ions and L-ascorbic acid (LAA). Borate-o-diphenol complexes were favorable formed at high pH and consequentially protected the o-diphenolic products from the catecholase activity of tyrosinase. LAA not only directly reduced the byproduct, o-quinones, into o-diphenols but also assisted the completion of the tyrosinase reaction cycle by removing a hydroxyl group attached to the copper metal cluster at the active site of the met-form tyrosinase. The regio-selective o-hydroxylation of 7,4'-dihydroxyisoflavone (daidzein) to produce 7,3',4'-trihydroxyisoflavone (3'-ODI) was successfully carried out by whole E. coli cell biotransformation with heterologously expressed tyrosinase from Bacillus megaterium. The yield of this o-hydroxylation of 5 mM daidzein in one-pot 400 mL reaction was ca. 100% in 90 min and the productivity was 16.3 mg 3'-ODI · L(-1)  ·  h(-1)  ·  DCW mg(-1) , which is considerably higher than that of other monooxygenases. The method effectively abolished melanin synthesis, so that the o-diphenolic product remained stable without enzyme inactivation. Other monophenolic phytochemicals such as resveratrol and genistein could be subjected to the same strategy. After 1 h, 1 mM of genistein and resveratrol were both converted to orobol and piceatannol, respectively, with ca. 95% conversion yield. These results support the strong

  6. Interpretation of Ocular Melanin Drug Binding Assays. Alternatives to the Model of Multiple Classes of Independent Sites.

    PubMed

    Manzanares, José A; Rimpelä, Anna-Kaisa; Urtti, Arto

    2016-04-01

    Melanin has a high binding affinity for a wide range of drugs. The determination of the melanin binding capacity and its binding affinity are important, e.g., in the determination of the ocular drug distribution, the prediction of drug effects in the eye, and the trans-scleral drug delivery. The binding parameters estimated from a given data set vary significantly when using different isotherms or different nonlinear fitting methods. In this work, the commonly used bi-Langmuir isotherm, which assumes two classes of independent sites, is confronted with the Sips isotherm. Direct, log-log, and Scatchard plots are used, and the interpretation of the binding curves in the latter is critically analyzed. In addition to the goodness of fit, the emphasis is placed on the physical meaning of the binding parameters. The bi-Langmuir model imposes a bimodal distribution of binding energies for the sites on the melanin granules, but the actual distribution is most likely continuous and unimodal, as assumed by the Sips isotherm. Hence, the latter describes more accurately the distribution of binding energies and also the experimental results of melanin binding to drugs and metal ions. Simulations are used to show that the existence of two classes of sites cannot be confirmed on the sole basis of the shape of the binding curve in the Scatchard plot, and that serious doubts may appear on the meaning of the binding parameters of the bi-Langmuir model. Experimental results of melanin binding to chloroquine and metoprolol are used to illustrate the importance of the choice of the binding isotherm and of the method used to evaluate the binding parameters. PMID:26820602

  7. Melanin Index in Assessing the Treatment Efficacy of 1064 nm Q Switched Nd-Yag Laser in Nevus of Ota

    PubMed Central

    Sethuraman, Gomathy; Sharma, Vinod K; Sreenivas, Vishnubhatla

    2013-01-01

    Background: Q-switched neodymium-yttrium aluminium-garnet (Q switched Nd-Yag) laser has been used in the treatment of nevus of Ota in all skin types with variable success rate. Data with an objective assessment parameter to this laser treatment is lacking. Objective: To evaluate the utility of melanin index in assessing the treatment response and also determine the efficacy and safety of the Q-switched Nd-Yag laser (1064-nm) in the treatment of nevus of Ota in Fitzpatrick skin types IV and V. Materials and Methods: A total of 35 patients treated with Nd-Yag laser were studied. The objective improvement (pigment clearance) was determined by melanin index from two fixed points: A1, 2 cm below the pupil at the mid pupillary line (when the gaze is fixed); A2, the most prominent part of zygoma. The melanin index in these two areas was recorded as M1 and M2, respectively. The subjective clinical improvement was determined by the physician and the patient global assessment score. Results: The mean baseline melanin indices M1 and M2 were 59.54 ± 9.72 and 59.02 ± 9.16, respectively. At the last visit the mean M1 and M2 decreased to 53.8 ± 8.55 (P < 0.001) and 54.13 ± 6.01 (P < 0.001), respectively. Patient and the physician global assessment score showed that 26 (74.3%) and 20 (57.14%) patients, respectively, had >50% pigment clearance. Conclusion: The melanin index, a simple non-invasive parameter is useful in assessing the treatment response more objectively. The 1064-nm Q-switched Nd-Yag laser offers good improvement in patients with nevus of Ota in darker skin types IV/V. PMID:24470713

  8. Pharmacokinetics of Ro 03-8799 in mice bearing melanosarcoma: comparison with tumors without melanin

    SciTech Connect

    Laurent, F.; Canal, P.; Soula, G.

    1989-04-01

    The pharmacokinetics of Ro 03-8799 has been studied in melanic and non-melanic tumor bearing mice after iv administration of 150 mg/kg. The peak concentration in B16 melanosarcoma tumor reached 152 micrograms/g, that is 7.6-fold higher than the plasma concentration at the same time. This concentration is 3-times greater than that obtained in the tumor of mice bearing non-melanic sarcoma (DB16) or Lewis lung carcinoma (3LL). The exposure of B16 tumor (AUC) is respectively 15-times and 11-times higher than the 3LL and the DB16 ones. These experimental data confirm that this 2-nitro-imidazol compound has an important affinity for melanin and suggest that it might be used as a radiosensitizer for the treatment of malignant melanoma.

  9. Detection of melanomas. Approach with radiolabeled false precursors of melanin synthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Levine, N.; Queen, L.; Chalom, A.

    1983-04-01

    Thiouracil is a thiol-containing pyrimidine that is selectively incorporated into cells that synthesize melanin. In an effort to delineate further the specificity and dynamics of uptake, we injected thiouracil labeled with radioactive carbon into S91 melanoma-bearing mice; biopsy specimens were taken of the tumors and organs at various time intervals thereafter. The data showed a substantial uptake of thiouracil by the melanomas, with peak uptake occurring at 24 hours. All other organs examined showed only minor amounts of radioactivity, which probably reflected the presence of thiouracil in the blood perfusing these tissues. Because of its incorporation into melanomas, the use of radioactive thiouracil has potential as a marker for tumor growth, as a diagnostic tracer compound, and as a carrier for chemotherapeutic agents.

  10. Melanin Biosynthesis Inhibition Effects of Ginsenoside Rb2 Isolated from Panax ginseng Berry.

    PubMed

    Lee, Dae Young; Jeong, Yong Tae; Jeong, Sang Chul; Lee, Mi Kyoung; Min, Jin Woo; Lee, Jae Won; Kim, Geum Soog; Lee, Seung Eun; Ahn, Young Sup; Kang, Hee Cheol; Kim, Jin Hee

    2015-12-28

    Ginsenoside Rb2 (Gin-Rb2) was purified from the fruit extract of Panax ginseng. Its chemical structure was measured by spectroscopic analysis, including HR-FAB-MS, (1)H-NMR, and IR spectroscopy. Gin-Rb2 decreased potent melanogenesis in melan-a cells, with 23.4% at 80 μM without cytotoxicity. Gin-Rb2 also decreased tyrosinase and MITF protein expression in melan-a cells. Furthermore, Gin-Rb2 presented inhibition of the body pigmentation in the zebrafish in vivo system and reduced melanin contents and tyrosinase activity. These results show that Gin-Rb2 isolated from P. ginseng may be an effective skin-whitening agent via the in vitro and in vivo systems. PMID:26437949