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Sample records for melanins

  1. Urine melanin

    MedlinePlus

    Normally, melanin is not present in urine. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different samples. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

  2. Melanins from opioid peptides.

    PubMed

    Rosei, M A

    1996-12-01

    Opioid peptides and other Tyr-NH2-terminal peptides are substrates in vitro for mushroom and sepia tyrosine, giving rise to synthetic melanins retaining the peptide moiety (opiomelanins). The melanopeptides are characterized by a total solubility in hydrophylic solvents at neutral and basic pH. Opioid peptides (enkephalins, endorphins, and esorphins), if oxidized by tyrosinase in the presence of Dopa, are easily incorporated into Dopa-melanin, producing mixed-type pigments that can also be solubilized in hydrophylic solvents. Melanins derived from opioid peptides exhibit paramagnetism, as evidenced by an EPR spectrum identical to that of Dopa-melanin. However, the presence of the linked peptide chain is able to influence dramatically the electron transfer properties and the oxidizing behaviour of the melanopeptides, so that whereas Tyr-Gly-melanin appears to behave as Dopa-melanin, Enk-melanin does not exhibit any oxidizing activity. Opiomelanins are characterized by a peculiar UV-VIS spectrum; that is, by the presence of a distinct peak (330 nm) that disappears upon chemical treatment by acid hydrolysis. Opiomelanins are stable pigments at neutral and basic pH in the dark, whereas the addition of H2O2 leads to a 15% degradation. Under stimulated solar illumination, opiomelanins are more easily destroyed with respect to Dopa-melanin, with increasing degradation when exposed to increased hydrogen peroxide concentrations and more alkaline pH. Some speculations on the possible existence and role of opiomelanins have been outlined.

  3. 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)

  4. Role of Melanin in Oncogenesis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-08-01

    knockdown of individual enzymes that are specifically involved in melanin biosynthesis phenylalanine hydroxylase , tyrosinase, tyrosine hydroxylase and...with siRNAs directed against melanin biosynthetic enzymes, tyrosinase (siTYR), tyrosine hydroxylase (TYH), phenlyalanine hydroxylase (siPKU), and

  5. 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.

  6. The melanins and lipofuscin.

    PubMed

    Hack, M H; Helmy, F M

    1983-01-01

    An overview of the melanins and lipofuscin is presented, taking an integrating account of their morphological relationships and chemical characteristics wherever possible. This has required inclusion of the ommochromes, the schlerotizing process, and consideration of related neurotransmitters. A number of questions are raised and commented upon.

  7. Fluorescence of Melanin.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallas, James Martin

    1981-06-01

    Optical fluorescence in aqueous suspensions of synthetic dopa melanin has been detected and investigated. A fluorescence lifetime of 8.3 ns was measured in pulsed laser experiments. Fluorescence was observed for excitation between 290 and 420 nm. The emission as a function of wavelength displayed a single broad maximum falling between 440 and 480 nm, depending on excitation wavelength. The dependence of the quantum efficiency for fluorescence on parameters such as solution temperature, viscosity, pH, and concentration of metal ion, such as copper, has been investigated. The emission intensity decreased at both high and low values of pH, with increasing temperatures, and with increasing metal ion concentration, and decreasing viscosity. The pH dependence of the fluorescence can be related to changes in the ionization state of the various ionizable groups attached to the fluorophores. A self consistent model was developed in which proton transfer from these groups was fast compared with fluorescence rates for one type of fluorophore and slow compared with those for another type. The fluorescence dependence on copper ion concentration is explained in terms of a model invoking a reaction between melanin fluorophores and copper ions leading to the formation of a melanin-copper complex which is itself fluorescent. A model incorporating diffusion controlled chemical reactions between fluorescents groups and quencher groups on the melanin polymer is developed and used to explain the observed dependence of melanin fluorescence on solvent viscosity. Over the temperature range 20(DEGREES)C-70(DEGREES)C, an Arrhenius type behavior was found with an activation enthalpy of 1.3 Kcal/mole. Using the temperature dependence of the viscous quenching model as well as the temperature dependence of the fluorophore-radical equilibrium concentration leads to a temperature dependence which is in reasonable agreement with the observed behavior. Many aspects of the experimental results

  8. Spectroscopic Studies of Melanin.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-01-01

    il), and leading to the production of oxygen radicals (12). Gallas (13) and Kozikowski et al. (14) have studied melanin fluorescence. As part of a...Raman scattering unobservable in aqueous solution by continuous wave techniques. As was also observed by Kozikowski et al. (14), the intrinsic...168B. 14. Kozikowski SD, Wolfram LJ, Alfano RR. Fluorescence spectroscopy of eumelanins. IEEE J Quant Electron 1984;OE20:1379-1382. 15. Slawinski J

  9. 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.

  10. Role of Melanin in Oncogenesis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-02-28

    transient siRNA knockdown of enzymes specifically involved in melanin production- phenylalanine hydroxylase , tyrosinase, tyrosine hydroxylase and...biosynthetic enzymes, tyrosinase (siTYR), tyrosine hydroxylase (TYH), phenlyalanine hydroxylase (siPKU), and dopachrome tautomerase (siDCT). The

  11. 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

  12. Radicals in melanin biochemistry.

    PubMed

    Riley, P A

    1988-01-01

    Melanins are light-absorbant polymeric pigments found widely dispersed in nature. They possess many interesting physicochemical properties. One of these is the expression in the polymer of stable free radicals which appear to have a protective action in cells, probably by acting as a sink for diffusible free-radical species. Polymer formation is thought to occur by a free-radical process in which semiquinones are added to the chain. Semiquinones are formed by redox equilibration interactions between metabolic intermediates formed during the tyrosinase-catalyzed oxidation process. In the continued presence of substrate, steady-state concentrations of reactive species are predicted in the reaction system, and the melanogenic pathway may be considered as potentially hazardous for pigment-generating cells. This feature has been exploited by the use of analogue substrates to generate cytotoxic species as a possible rational approach to the treatment of malignant melanoma. One such substance is 4-hydroxyanisole, the oxidation of which gives rise to semiquinone radical species. The possibility that the anisyl semiquinone initiates a mechanism leading to cell damage has not been excluded. However, the current view is that the major cytotoxicity due to the oxidation products of this compound is the result of the action of the corresponding orthoquinone. A number of mechanisms exist for detoxifying quinones if they reach the cytosol such as O-methylation and the formation of thiol adducts with cysteine or glutathione, and these can be used as markers of melanogenesis. In general, however, only small amounts of reactive intermediates of melanogenesis escape from the confines of the melanosome, probably because of their limited lipid solubility. The selective toxic action of anisyl quinone in the treatment of melanoma may, in part, be due to membrane defects in the melanosomes of malignant melanocytes.

  13. Physical factors affecting chloroquine binding to melanin.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, R L; Pendleton, P; Gerber, J P

    2015-10-01

    Chloroquine is an antimalarial drug but is also prescribed for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Long-term users risk toxic side effects, including retinopathy, thought to be caused by chloroquine accumulation on ocular melanin. Although the binding potential of chloroquine to melanin has been investigated previously, our study is the first to demonstrate clear links between chloroquine adsorption by melanin and system factors including temperature, pH, melanin type, and particle size. In the current work, two Sepia melanins were compared with bovine eye as a representative mammalian melanin. Increasing the surface anionic character due to a pH change from 4.7 to 7.4 increased each melanin's affinity for chloroquine. Although the chloroquine isotherms exhibited an apparently strong interaction with each melanin, isosteric heat analysis indicated a competitive interaction. Buffer solution cations competed effectively at low surface coverage; chloroquine adsorption occurs via buffer cation displacement and is promoted by temperature-influenced secondary structure swelling.

  14. Fungal melanins differ in planar stacking distances.

    PubMed

    Casadevall, Arturo; Nakouzi, Antonio; Crippa, Pier R; Eisner, Melvin

    2012-01-01

    Melanins are notoriously difficult to study because they are amorphous, insoluble and often associated with other biological materials. Consequently, there is a dearth of structural techniques to study this enigmatic pigment. Current models of melanin structure envision the stacking of planar structures. X ray diffraction has historically been used to deduce stacking parameters. In this study we used X ray diffraction to analyze melanins derived from Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus niger, Wangiella dermatitides and Coprinus comatus. Analysis of melanin in melanized C. neoformans encapsulated cells was precluded by the fortuitous finding that the capsular polysaccharide had a diffraction spectrum that was similar to that of isolated melanin. The capsular polysaccharide spectrum was dominated by a broad non-Bragg feature consistent with origin from a repeating structural motif that may arise from inter-molecular interactions and/or possibly gel organization. Hence, we isolated melanin from each fungal species and compared diffraction parameters. The results show that the inferred stacking distances of fungal melanins differ from that reported for synthetic melanin and neuromelanin, occupying intermediate position between these other melanins. These results suggest that all melanins have a fundamental diffracting unit composed of planar graphitic assemblies that can differ in stacking distance. The stacking peak appears to be a distinguishing universal feature of melanins that may be of use in characterizing these enigmatic pigments.

  15. Spiders do have melanin after all.

    PubMed

    Hsiung, Bor-Kai; Blackledge, Todd A; Shawkey, Matthew D

    2015-11-01

    Melanin pigments are broadly distributed in nature - from bacteria to fungi to plants and animals. However, many previous attempts to identify melanins in spiders were unsuccessful, suggesting that these otherwise ubiquitous pigments were lost during spider evolution. Yet, spiders exhibit many dark colours similar to those produced by melanins in other organisms, and the low solubility of melanins makes isolation and characterization difficult. Therefore, whether melanins are truly absent or have simply not yet been detected is an open question. Raman spectroscopy provides a reliable way to detect melanins in situ, without the need for isolation. In this study, we document the presence of eumelanin in diverse species of spiders using confocal Raman microspectroscopy. Comparisons of spectra with theoretically calculated data falsify the previous hypothesis that dark colours are produced solely by ommochromes in spiders. Our data indicate that melanins are present in spiders and further supporting that they are present in most living organisms.

  16. Pneumocystis melanins confer enhanced organism viability.

    PubMed

    Icenhour, Crystal R; Kottom, Theodore J; Limper, Andrew H

    2006-06-01

    Pneumocystis continues to represent an important opportunistic fungal pathogen of those with compromised immunity. Thus, it is crucial to identify factors that affect its viability and pathogenicity. We previously reported the first identification of melanins in Pneumocystis. In the present study, we sought to further characterize these components and define the function for these melanins. Melanins extracted from Pneumocystis and melanized Pneumocystis cells were analyzed by electron spin resonance spectroscopy, revealing spectra consistent with melanins from other fungi. Immunofluorescence assays using anti-melanin monoclonal antibodies showed that melanins are widely present across Pneumocystis host species, including mouse-, ferret-, and human-derived Pneumocystis organisms, as well as Pneumocystis carinii derived from rat. Using immunoelectron microscopy, melanins were found to localize to the cell wall and cytoplasm of P. carinii cysts, as well as to intracystic bodies within mature cysts. Next, the role of melanins on the maintenance of Pneumocystis viability was determined by using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR measurement of the heat shock protein mRNA under adverse environmental conditions. Using a new method to promote the melanization of Pneumocystis, we observed that strongly melanized Pneumocystis retained viability to a greater degree when exposed to UV irradiation or desiccation compared to less-pigmented organisms. These studies support our previous identification of Pneumocystis melanins across the genus, further characterize these Pneumocystis components, and demonstrate that melanins protect Pneumocystis from environmental stressors.

  17. Synthesis and assembly of fungal melanin.

    PubMed

    Eisenman, Helene C; Casadevall, Arturo

    2012-02-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Some biochemical properties of melanins from opioid peptides.

    PubMed

    Rosei, M A; Mosca, L; Coccia, R; Blarzino, C; Musci, G; De Marco, C

    1994-03-02

    Opioid peptides are converted by mushroom tyrosinase into melanin-like compounds retaining the peptide moiety (opio-melanins). Opio-melanins, owing to the presence of the linked aminoacids and in contrast with DOPA-melanin, are soluble compounds. The enkephalin-generated melanins are cleaved by carboxypeptidase A and pronase whereas aminopeptidase M cannot remove aminoacids from the pigment. Enkephalins, as well as other opioid peptides, (alpha-endorphin, kyotorphin, esorphins) if oxidized in presence of DOPA and tyrosinase are readily incorporated into DOPA-melanin. The resulting mixed-melanins (opio-melanin + DOPA-melanin) can be solubilized in hydrophilic solvents. Melanin from leu-enkephalin exhibits paramagnetism as evidenced by an EPR spectrum identical to that of DOPA-melanin, but unlike the latter pigment, it does not appear to oxidize NADH, probably for the presence of the peptide moiety that exerts a hampering effect on the oxidizing capacity.

  2. Melanin biosynthesis during differentiation of Physarum polycephalum.

    PubMed

    Chet, I; Hüttermann, A

    1977-08-25

    Melanin synthesis in the myxomycete Physarum polycephalum occurs during sporulation but not during spherule formation. Melanin-like pigment was extracted from spores. An almost identical substance of polyphenols was extracted from spherules and characterized by its ultraviolet and infrared absorbance spectra. Polyphenol oxidase activity in spherules was very low and showed only one weak isoenzyme band in isoelectric focusing polyacrylamide gels. A much higher activity, and an increasing number of isoenzymes, were detected in sporulating cultures after illumination during the differentiation process. The addition of melanin precursors resulted in the synthesis of brownish-yellow spherules, probably containing dopachrome, whereas the addition of polyphenol oxidase inhibitors resulted in yellow sporangia. The results indicate that melanin synthesis is probably only a stage in maturation but not an essential part of the morphogenetic process itself.

  3. Actinobacterial melanins: current status and perspective for the future.

    PubMed

    Manivasagan, Panchanathan; Venkatesan, Jayachandran; Sivakumar, Kannan; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-10-01

    Melanins are enigmatic pigments that are produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including several species of bacteria and fungi. Melanins are biological macromolecules with multiple important functions, yet their structures are not well understood. Melanins are frequently used in medicine, pharmacology, and cosmetics preparations. Melanins also have great application potential in agriculture industry. They have several biological functions including photoprotection, thermoregulation, action as free radical sinks, cation chelators, and antibiotics. Plants and insects incorporate melanins as cell wall and cuticle strengtheners, respectively. Actinobacteria are the most economically as well as biotechnologically valuable prokaryotes. However, the melanin properties are, in general, poorly understood. In this review an evaluation is made on the present state of research on actinobacterial melanins and its perspectives. The highlights include the production and biotechnological applications of melanins in agriculture, food, cosmetic and medicinal fields. With increasing advancement in science and technology, there would be greater demands in the future for melanins produced by actinobacteria from various sources.

  4. DOPA and DHN pathway orchestrate melanin synthesis in Aspergillus species.

    PubMed

    Pal, Anuradha K; Gajjar, Devarshi U; Vasavada, Abhay R

    2014-01-01

    Melanins are high molecular weight hydrophobic pigments that have been studied for their role in the virulence of fungal pathogens. We investigated the amount and type of melanin in 20 isolates of Aspergillus spp.; A. niger (n = 3), A. flavus (n = 5), A. tamarii (n = 3), A. terreus (n = 3), A. tubingensis (n = 3), A. sydowii (n = 3). Aspergillus spp. were identified by sequencing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Extraction of melanin from culture filtrate and fungal biomass was done and followed by qualitative and quantitative analysis of melanin pigment. Ultraviolet (UV), Fourier transformed infrared (FT-IR), and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra analyses confirmed the presence of melanin. The melanin pathway was studied by analyzing the effects of inhibitors; kojic acid, tropolone, phthalide, and tricyclazole. The results indicate that in A. niger and A. tubingensis melanin was found in both culture filtrate and fungal biomass. For A. tamarii and A. flavus melanin was extracted from biomass only, whereas melanin was found only in culture filtrate for A. terreus. A negligible amount of melanin was found in A. sydowii. The maximum amount of melanin from culture filtrate and fungal biomass was found in A. niger and A. tamarrii, respectively. The DOPA (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) pathway produces melanin in A. niger, A. tamarii and A. flavus, whereas the DHN (1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene) pathway produces melanin in A. tubingensis and A. terreus. It can be concluded that the amount and type of melanin in aspergilli largely differ from species to species.

  5. 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.

  6. Photoprotective actions of natural and synthetic melanins.

    PubMed

    Krol, E S; Liebler, D C

    1998-12-01

    Melanins are thought to be important modulators of photochemistry in skin. Eumelanin, a black-brown pigment, is believed to protect against UV-induced photodamage, whereas pheomelanin, a red-yellow pigment, is believed to possess photosensitizing properties. To investigate the hypothesized dichotomy of melanins as both photoprotectants and photosensitizers, we examined the effects of melanins on UV-induced liposomal lipid peroxidation. Sepia melanin, a representative eumelanin, and both red hair pheomelanin and synthetic pheomelanin were employed in these studies. Both eumelanin and pheomelanin inhibited UVA/B- and UVA-induced liposomal lipid peroxidation in a concentration-dependent manner as measured by inhibition of conjugated diene formation. No change in protective properties of the melanins was observed in the presence of saturating levels of O2 during UVA irradiation. Pheomelanin irradiated with UVA/B or UVA induced superoxide-catalyzed reduction of nitroblue tetrazolium, whereas eumelanin did not. Melanins are known to bind various metals, and we examined the effect of iron on the photoproperties of melanins. Eumelanin complexed with Fe(III) did not inhibit UVA/B-induced lipid peroxidation, whereas pheomelanin complexed with Fe(III) stimulated UVA/B-induced lipid peroxidation. Thus, complexation with iron reversed the antioxidant effect of eumelanin and converted pheomelanin into a prooxidant. Analysis of lipid peroxidation products indicated that the oxidation was mediated by free radicals rather than by singlet oxygen. These data indicate that both eumelanin and pheomelanin exert antioxidant effects against UV-induced lipid peroxidation but that the prooxidant activities of pheomelanin result from pheomelanin-metal complexation.

  7. Interaction of melanosomal proteins with melanin.

    PubMed

    Donatien, P D; Orlow, S J

    1995-08-15

    Melanin is deposited in melanosomes upon a proteinaceous matrix enveloped by a melanosomal membrane. Since melanin is highly detergent insoluble, we hypothesized that the detergent solubility of proteins of the melanosomal matrix might be inversely related to the state of melanosomal melanization. Immunoblotting analyses were performed on extracts of albino and black melanocytes to test this hypothesis. The protein products of the silver (si) and the pink-eyed-dilution (p) loci as well as other matrix constituents were present at twofold higher levels in extracts of albino cells. When black cells were rendered amelanotic by growing cultures in the presence of the tyrosinase inhibitor phenylthiourea, the apparent levels of these proteins were also increased. To obviate the potential role of different levels of synthesis in contributing to these differences, we developed a cell-free melanosomal melanization assay. Upon incubation of a melanosome-rich fraction with the melanin precursor L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (Dopa) followed by immunoblot analysis, the si locus protein, the p locus protein, and other putative matrix constituents became rapidly insoluble in SDS when compared with the members of the tyrosinase-related family of melanosomal membrane proteins. Our results suggest that melanosomal proteins that interact with melanin may be identified by their relative insolubility in SDS under conditions of increasing melanization. In addition to the si locus protein and other putative melanosomal matrix proteins, the membrane-bound p locus protein may also interact closely with melanin.

  8. Thermohydrogel Containing Melanin for Photothermal Cancer Therapy.

    PubMed

    Kim, Miri; Kim, Hyun Soo; Kim, Min Ah; Ryu, Hyanghwa; Jeong, Hwan-Jeong; Lee, Chang-Moon

    2016-12-01

    Melanin is an effective absorber of light and can extend to near infrared (NIR) regions. In this study, a natural melanin is presented as a photothermal therapeutic agent (PTA) because it provides a good photothermal conversion efficiency, shows biodegradability, and does not induce long-term toxicity during retention in vivo. Poloxamer solution containing melanin (Pol-Mel) does not show any precipitation and shows sol-gel transition at body temperature. After irradiation from 808 nm NIR laser at 1.5 W cm(-2) for 3 min, the photothermal conversion efficiency of Pol-Mel is enough to kill cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. The tumor growth of mice bearing CT26 tumors treated with Pol-Mel injection and laser irradiation is suppressed completely without recurrence postirradiation. All these results indicate that Pol-Mel can become an attractive PTA for photothermal cancer therapy.

  9. Laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry in the study of natural and synthetic melanins. II--Serotonin melanins.

    PubMed

    Bertazzo, A; Biasiolo, M; Costa, C; Allegri, G; Elli, G; Seraglia, R; Traldi, P

    1994-07-01

    Various biosynthetic melanins obtained by enzymic oxidation of serotonin with polyphenol oxidase from Psalliota campestris mushroom or potato, and with tyrosinase from Sepia officinalis or from Sigma were studied by means of laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. Various oligomeric clusters were evidenced, proving that the examined melanins are composed of sets of different oligomers, the production of which strongly depends on the enzyme reaction. While serotonin melanins obtained with polyphenol oxidase from potato showed wide species distribution with molecular weights ranging from 2008 to 13,000 Da, the same melanins obtained from mushroom showed oligomer distributions from 1505 to 9000 Da. Serotonin melanins prepared with tyrosinase from Sepia showed oligomers from 1636 to 18,000 Da. A dopa-melanin obtained with mushroom polyphenol oxidase showed oligomer species from 1709 to 17,874 Da. Comparison of molecular weight distributions of the various oligomer sets in serotonin melanins with those in tyrosine melanins revealed clear differences, which are investigated and discussed.

  10. Melanin: The Effects of Dimethyl Sulfoxide on the Spectral Properties.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-01-01

    Kozikowski et al (14) recently observed fluorescence of melanins from argon ion laser excitation. Infrared absorption spectra of melanin compressed...Photobiol 1978;28:75-81. 13. Gallas JP. Fluorescence of melanin. Dtiss Abstr Int 1982;43:1681. 14. Kozikowski SD, Wolfram LJ, Alfano RR. Fluorescence

  11. Fluorescence properties of melanins from opioid peptides.

    PubMed

    Mosca, L; De Marco, C; Fontana, M; Rosei, M A

    1999-11-01

    Recently our group synthesized a new class of melanins obtained by the tyrosinase-catalyzed oxidation of opioid peptides (opiomelanins). Owing to the presence of the peptide moiety such pigments exhibit high solubility in hydrophilic solvents, which allows spectroscopic investigations. In particular, the absence of solid-state quenching effects enables the study of melanin fluorescence properties, till now poorly investigated due to the complete insolubility of melanins produced from tyrosine or Dopa. Opiomelanins dissolved in aqueous medium show a characteristic emission peaked at 440 and 520 nm when excited around 330 nm, where a maximum is observed in the absorption spectrum. Kinetic measurements performed on the tyrosinase-catalyzed oxidation of opioid peptides show that the 440-nm fluorescence band arises in the early stages of peptide oxidation, whereas the 520-nm band appears in later stages of oxidation, i.e., during the polymerization of indole-quinone units. Moreover, molecular sieve fractionation shows that in the opiomelanin fraction with a molecular weight lower than 10 kDa the 440-nm band is dominant in the fluorescence spectrum. The breakdown of the polymer induced by hydrogen peroxide and light (i.e., the photobleaching of melanin pigments) produces a marked enhancement of the 440-nm fluorescence band while the 520-nm band disappears. Hence, our findings suggest that the observed fluorescence contains contributions from both oligomeric units (440-nm band) and high-molecular-weight polymers (520-nm band).

  12. Melanin, Radiation, and Energy Transduction in Fungi.

    PubMed

    Casadevall, Arturo; Cordero, Radames J B; Bryan, Ruth; Nosanchuk, Joshua; Dadachova, Ekaterina

    2017-03-01

    Melanin pigments are found in many diverse fungal species, where they serve a variety of functions that promote fitness and cell survival. Melanotic fungi inhabit some of the most extreme habitats on earth such as the damaged nuclear reactor at Chernobyl and the highlands of Antarctica, both of which are high-radiation environments. Melanotic fungi migrate toward radioactive sources, which appear to enhance their growth. This phenomenon, combined with the known capacities of melanin to absorb a broad spectrum of electromagnetic radiation and transduce this radiation into other forms of energy, raises the possibility that melanin also functions in harvesting such energy for biological usage. The ability of melanotic fungi to harness electromagnetic radiation for physiological processes has enormous implications for biological energy flows in the biosphere and for exobiology, since it provides new mechanisms for survival in extraterrestrial conditions. Whereas some features of the way melanin-related energy transduction works can be discerned by linking various observations and circumstantial data, the mechanistic details remain to be discovered.

  13. 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.

  14. Chemical degradation of melanins: application to identification of dopamine-melanin.

    PubMed

    Ito, S; Wakamatsu, K

    1998-04-01

    Melanocytes produce two chemically distinct types of melanin pigments, eumelanins and pheomelanins. These pigments can be quantitatively analyzed by acidic KMnO4 oxidation or reductive hydrolysis with hydriodic acid (HI) to form pyrrole-2,3,5-tricarboxylic acid (PTCA) or aminohydroxyphenylalanine (AHP), respectively. Dark brown melanin-like pigments are also widespread in nature, for example, in the substantia nigra of humans and primates (neuromelanin), in butterfly wings and in the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. To characterize such diverse types of melanins, we have improved the alkaline H2O2 oxidation method of Napolitano et al. (Tetrahedron, 51:5913-5920, 1995) and re-examined the HI hydrolysis method of Wakamatsu et al. (Neurosci. Lett., 131:57-60, 1991). The results obtained with H2O2 oxidation show that 1) pyrrole-2,3-dicarboxylic acid (PDCA), a specific marker of 5,6-dihydroxyindole units in melanins, is produced in yields ten times higher than by acidic KMnO4 oxidation, and 2) PTCA is artificially produced from pheomelanins. The results with HI hydrolysis show that dopamine-melanin produces a 1:1 mixture of 3-amino and 4-amino isomers of aminohydroxyphenylethylamine, while the isomer ratio is about 0.2 in melanins prepared from dopamine and cysteine. These results indicate that alkaline H2O2 oxidation is useful in characterizing synthetic and natural eumelanins and that reductive hydrolysis with HI can be applied to analyzing oxidation products of dopamine such as neuromelanin.

  15. Iron, melanin and dopamine interaction: relevance to Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Ben-Shachar, D; Youdim, M B

    1993-01-01

    1. Interaction between iron and melanin may provide a reasonable explanation for the vulnerability of the melanin containing dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) to neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD). 2. Scatchard analysis of the binding of iron to synthetic dopamine melanin revealed a high-affinity (KD = 13 nM) and a lower affinity (KD = 200 nM) binding sites. 3. The binding of iron to melanin is dependent on the concentration of melanin and on pH. 4. Iron chelators, U74500A, desferrioxamine and to a lesser extent 1,10-phenanthroline and chlorpromazine could displace iron from melanin. In contrast, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) and its metabolite 1-methyl-4-phenyl-pyridinium (MPP+), which cause Parkinsonism, were unable to displace iron. 5. Melanin alone reduced lipid peroxidation in rat cortical membrane preparations. However, iron induced lipid peroxidation, which could be inhibited by desferrioxamine, was potentiated by melanin. 6. Iron bound to neuromelanin in melanized dopamine neurons was detected only in parkinsonian brains and not in controls. The interaction of iron with neuromelanin as identified by x-ray defraction technique was identical to iron interaction with synthetic dopamine melanin. 7. In the absence of an identified exogenous or endogenous neurotoxin in idiopathic Parkinson's disease, iron-melanin interaction in the SN may serve as a candidate for the oxygen-radical induced neurodegeneration of the melanin containing dopaminergic neurons.

  16. Interaction of radicals from water radiolysis with melanin.

    PubMed

    Sarna, T; Pilas, B; Land, E J; Truscott, T G

    1986-08-06

    Melanins are considered to be natural photoprotectors in the melanocytes and keratinocytes of the skin. These pigments have also been suggested to play an important role in protection of melanin-containing cells against ionising radiation. Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain the protective role of melanin which invoke the radical scavenging properties of the polymer. In the present work the reactions of melanins with radicals generated in aqueous media by pulse radiolysis have been studied. Time-resolved changes in absorbance of the melanin or the radical species were recorded at selected wavelengths. Experiments were carried out on synthetic dopa- and 5-S-cysteinyldopa-melanins and a natural melanin in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4). Under the conditions employed, melanin reacted predominantly with either oxidising (OH., N3.) or reducing (eaq-, CO2-) species. We were also able to monitor the interaction of melanin with superoxide radical, which was reducing in this case. Detailed analysis of transient changes in melanin absorbance, detected at different wavelengths, was demonstrated to be a convenient method for studying redox processes of this substance, as shown by model experiments using ferricyanide and dithionite as oxidising and reducing agents, respectively. Among the radicals studied, OH. exhibited the strongest reactivity with melanins. Apparent rate constants for the reactions of radicals with autoxidative dopa-melanin (1.5 X 10(9) M-1 X s-1, 2.6 X 10(8) M-1 X s-1, 1.8 X 10(8) M-1 X s-1, 5 X 10(5) M-1 X s-1, 10(6)-10(7) M-1 X s-1 for OH., eaq-, N.3. O2- and CO2-, respectively) are reported. The reactivity of melanins with radicals from water radiolysis and their effect on pigment properties are discussed in terms of the structure and possible biological role of the pigments.

  17. Melanins and melanogenesis: methods, standards, protocols.

    PubMed

    d'Ischia, Marco; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Napolitano, Alessandra; Briganti, Stefania; Garcia-Borron, José-Carlos; Kovacs, Daniela; Meredith, Paul; Pezzella, Alessandro; Picardo, Mauro; Sarna, Tadeusz; Simon, John D; Ito, Shosuke

    2013-09-01

    Despite considerable advances in the past decade, melanin research still suffers from the lack of universally accepted and shared nomenclature, methodologies, and structural models. This paper stems from the joint efforts of chemists, biochemists, physicists, biologists, and physicians with recognized and consolidated expertise in the field of melanins and melanogenesis, who critically reviewed and experimentally revisited methods, standards, and protocols to provide for the first time a consensus set of recommended procedures to be adopted and shared by researchers involved in pigment cell research. The aim of the paper was to define an unprecedented frame of reference built on cutting-edge knowledge and state-of-the-art methodology, to enable reliable comparison of results among laboratories and new progress in the field based on standardized methods and shared information.

  18. Dopamine-melanin nanofilms for biomimetic structural coloration.

    PubMed

    Wu, Tong-Fei; Hong, Jong-Dal

    2015-02-09

    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.

  19. Spectroscopic features of native and bleached opio-melanins.

    PubMed

    Rosei, M A; Mosca, L; De Marco, C

    1995-01-18

    Opioid peptides can be converted by tyrosinase into melanin-like compounds, in which the peptide moiety is retained. Such pigments, named opio-melanins, exhibit a characteristic absorption spectrum with a maximum at about 330 nm and a different solubility behaviour with respect to dopa-melanin, being completely soluble in hydrophylic solvents at neutral and basic pH. Opio-melanins precipitate in aqueous solutions below pH 5.0, and show apparent pKa values of 3.1, 3.6 and 4.4 for Tyr-Gly-melanin, Tyr-Gly-Gly-melanin and leuenk-melanin, respectively. The concomitant oxidation of dopa and opioid peptides by tyrosinase produces mixed polymers, showing the distinctive absorption peak at 330 nm. In the dark, in the pH range 5.5-7.0 the pigments are completely stable, whereas H2O2 addition provokes a slight degradation. At higher pH values or under simulated solar illumination with or without hydrogen peroxide, bleaching occurs more rapidly than in dopa-melanin. Upon photoirradiation the absorption spectrum of opio-melanins undergoes a marked variation, the peak at 330 nm being replaced by a broad shoulder in the range 280-350 nm. The absorption spectra of native and bleached pigments and the extent of opio-melanins degradation by bleaching agents, confirm the hypothesis that the different initial structure of the precursors accounts for a final diverse polymeric architecture of these pigments with respect to dopa-melanin.

  20. Renal excretion of plasma soluble melanins by healthy human adults.

    PubMed

    Hegedus, Z L; Nayak, U

    1993-01-01

    The soluble melanins of blood plasma form in vivo and in vitro from dopa, catecholamines, catechol, hydroquinone, homogentisic acid, 3-hydroxykynurenine, 3-hydroxyanthranilic acid, p-aminophenol, p-phenylenediamine and other structurally related end(ex)ogenous compounds by oxidative polymerization. The mean quantity of natural melanins in normal plasma is 1.61 +/- 0.10 (standard deviation) mg/ml, (n = 20) and in uraemic plasma 2.72 +/- 0.38 mg/ml, (n = 16). The plasma melanins (approximately 3%), are associated with proteins (approximately 85%), mucoproteins (approximately 0.25%), lipids (approximately 0.4%), as soluble lipofuscins, and probably are associated with proteins without lipids as soluble melanoproteins. Fluorescence, UV-VIS and IR spectroscopies and the melanin isolation method show the presence of soluble melanins in the urine of healthy people. Soluble melanins can also be formed in vitro in the urine by oxidative polymerization of the precursors. In most of the urine samples we studied, melanins were present in larger amounts than the urinary proteins, indicating that the kidneys can selectively excrete the melanin components of the lipofuscins, and that the solubility of melanins does not depend upon combination with proteins. The quantities of purified melanins precipitated with 6 N HCl at 110 degrees C during 72 h from urine samples collected during 24 h periods ranged from 0.1460 g to 3.7627 g (mean 1.1303 +/- 1.1739 g, n = 8) and the plasma clearance rates ranged from 0.06 ml/min to 1.56 ml/min (mean 0.48 +/- 0.48 ml/min, n = 8). From the individual 24 h urine samples we obtained from 9 to 216 mg/dl of precipitated melanins while the individual plasma samples contained from 145 to 175 mg/dl.

  1. 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.

  2. A hypothetical structure of melanin and its relation to biology.

    PubMed

    Strzelecka, T

    1982-01-01

    Measurements of optical absorption of synthetic and natural melanins during their degradation in sodium hydroxide establish that from the "optical" point of view these polymers consist of two different parts. An explanation of this result and its possible relation to the biological role of melanin is given.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The use of spectrophotometry to estimate melanin density in Caucasians.

    PubMed

    Dwyer, T; Muller, H K; Blizzard, L; Ashbolt, R; Phillips, G

    1998-03-01

    The density of cutaneous melanin may be the property of the skin that protects it from damage by solar radiation, but there is not an accepted, noninvasive method of measuring it. To determine whether the density of cutaneous melanin can be estimated from reflectance of visible light by the skin, reflectance of 15-nm wavebands of light by the skin of the inner upper arm of each of 82 volunteers was measured at 20-nm intervals with a Minolta 508 spectrophotometer. A 3-mm skin biopsy was then taken from the same site, and four nonserial sections of it were stained with Masson Fontana for melanin. The melanin content of the basal area was calculated using the NIH Image analysis system. We show that cutaneous melanin in Caucasians can be estimated by the difference between two measurements of reflectance of visible light by the skin: those at wavelengths 400 and 420 nm. This new spectrophotometric measurement was more highly correlated (r = 0.68) with the histological measurements of cutaneous melanin than was skin reflectance of light of wavelength 680 nm (r = 0.33). Reflectances in the range of 650-700 nm have been used previously in skin cancer research. This relatively accurate measurement of melanin is quick and noninvasive and can be readily used in the field. It should provide improved discrimination of individual susceptibility to epidermal tumors in Caucasians and information about melanin's biological role in the causation of skin cancer.

  6. Matrix assisted pulsed laser deposition of melanin thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloisi, F.; Pezzella, A.; Barra, M.; Chiarella, F.; Cassinese, A.; Vicari, L.

    2011-07-01

    Melanins constitute a very important class of organic pigments, recently emerging as a potential material for a new generation of bioinspired biocompatible electrically active devices. In this paper, we report about the deposition of synthetic melanin films starting from aqueous suspensions by matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE). In particular, we demonstrate that it is possible to deposit melanin films by MAPLE even if melanin (a) is not soluble in water and (b) absorbs light from UV to IR. AFM images reveal that the film surface features are highly depending on the deposition parameters. UV-VIS and FTIR spectra show both the optical properties and the molecular structure typical of melanins are preserved.

  7. Optical properties of melanin in the skin and skinlike phantoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bashkatov, Alexey N.; Genina, Elina A.; Kochubey, Vyacheslav I.; Stolnitz, Mikhail M.; Bashkatova, Tatyana A.; Novikova, Olga V.; Peshkova, Anna Y.; Tuchin, Valery V.

    2000-11-01

    Experimental study and computer modeling were used to investigate the optical properties of melanin in the skin and skin-like phantoms. To investigate light scattering by melanosomes in skin we made skin-like phantoms on the base of gelatin with different content of melanin particles. Spectra of total transmittance and diffuse reflectance of the phantoms were obtained in the wavelength range from 400 to 800 nm. Absorption and reduced scattering coefficients of melanin were calculated. Mie theory was used to estimate the optical properties of melanin particles. Wavelength dependence of refractive indices of eumelanin particles (isolated and purified from the ink of the cuttlefish Sepia officinalis) and synthetic melanin particles was estimated.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Electronic structure calculations of ESR parameters of melanin units.

    PubMed

    Batagin-Neto, Augusto; Bronze-Uhle, Erika Soares; Graeff, Carlos Frederico de Oliveira

    2015-03-21

    Melanins represent an important class of natural pigments present in plants and animals that are currently considered to be promising materials for applications in optic and electronic devices. Despite their interesting properties, some of the basic features of melanins are not satisfactorily understood, including the origin of their intrinsic paramagnetism. A number of experiments have been performed to investigate the electron spin resonance (ESR) response of melanin derivatives, but until now, there has been no consensus regarding the real structure of the paramagnetic centers involved. In this work, we have employed electronic structure calculations to evaluate the ESR parameters of distinct melanin monomers and dimers in order to identify the possible structures associated with unpaired spins in this biopolymer. The g-factors and hyperfine constants of the cationic, anionic and radicalar structures were investigated. The results confirm the existence of at least two distinct paramagnetic centers in melanin structure, identifying the chemical species associated with them and their roles in electrical conductivity.

  11. 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

  12. Experimental melanin-protein induced uveitis (EMIU) is the sole type of uveitis evoked by a diversity of ocular melanin preparations and melanin-derived soluble polypeptides.

    PubMed

    Broekhuyse, R M; Kuhlmann, E D; Winkens, H J

    1996-01-01

    Experimental melanin-protein induced uveitis (EMIU) is a CD4 T cell-mediated disease involving the choroid and iris, but sparing the retina. The present study was designed to solubilize uveitogenic antigen from melanin granules without enzymatic digestion, and to investigate some of its elements by comparison with different purified melanin preparations. Many melanin surface-derived polypeptides with molecular weights ranging from 1 to > 100 kDa were obtained by extractions of the prepurified granules with hot lithium dodecyl sulfate (LDS). The mixture was electrophoretically separated into seven subfractions, each containing many components and capable of evoking the typical features of EMIU after footpad immunization of Lewis rats. The five low-molecular-weight fractions between M, 1 kDa and 30 kDa exhibited most pathogenicity which was evenly distributed among the fractions. Highly uveitogenic material remained in the melanin preparations even after multiple exhaustive extractions with LDS, and represented about 70% of the detectable protein. The uveal pathogen (UP-X) thus proved to be antigenically stable, and the major part of the pathogenic material was strongly bound to the granule surface layer. Concentrated urea solution was also capable of extracting many uveitogenic melanin polypeptides, but in a different composition than LDS did, and less effectively. Human choroidal melanin provided an LDS-soluble fraction with low pathogenicity. A single intraperitoneal injection of bovine melanin polypeptides together with pertussis toxin, but without footpad immunization in Freund's complete adjuvant, evoked EMIU as well. In all experiments, no uveitis except EMIU was observed, indicating that only one type of uveitogenic epitope was present in a wide variety of carrier molecules. An explanation for this phenomenon is discussed.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2015-12-28

    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.

  17. Melanin in Fonsecaea pedrosoi: a trap for oxidative radicals

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The pathogenic fungus Fonsecaea pedrosoi constitutively produces the pigment melanin, an important virulence factor in fungi. Melanin is incorporated in the cell wall structure and provides chemical and physical protection for the fungus. We evaluated the production of nitric oxide (NO) in macrophages, the oxidative burst and the inducible nitric oxide synthase (i-NOS) activity in interactions between activated murine macrophages and F. pedrosoi. Experiments were carried out with or without tricyclazole (TC) treatment, a selective inhibitor of the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthesis pathway in F. pedrosoi. The paramagnetisms of melanin and the TC-melanin were analysed by electron spin resonance. The fungal growth responses to H2O2 and to S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP), a nitric oxide donor, were also evaluated. Results Melanised F. pedrosoi cells were more resistant to both H2O2 and NO. Nitrite was not detected in the supernatant of macrophages incubated with melanised fungal cells. However, i-NOS expression was unaffected by the presence of either untreated control F. pedrosoi or TC-treated F. pedrosoi. In addition, the inhibition of the DHN-melanin pathway by TC improved the oxidative burst capability of the macrophages. Conclusion The NO-trapping ability of F. pedrosoi melanin is an important mechanism to escape the oxidative burst of macrophages. PMID:20233438

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. [Generation of superoxides during the interaction of melanins with oxygen].

    PubMed

    Lapina, V A; Dontsov, A E; Ostrovskiĭ, M A

    1984-10-01

    The rate of nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) reduction by dihydroxyphenylalanine-melanin, pheomelanin and retinal pigment epithelium melanosomes under aerobic conditions (pH 7.4) is low both in the dark and upon illumination, but increases drastically in the presence of cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB). Under these conditions, the light insignificantly stimulates NBT reduction (1.3-fold). The reaction is effectively inhibited by superoxide dismutase. This suggests that superoxide anions (O2-. are formed as intermediate reaction products in the course of NBT reduction by melanins. At alkaline values of pH (greater than or equal to 9.0), the O2-.-dependent reduction of NBT can also take place in the absence of CTAB. In contrast with oxidation of photoreduced riboflavin, the melanin oxidation by O2 cannot induce lipid peroxidation. It is concluded that O2-. generation via melanin oxidation of melanosomes occurs only under non-physiological conditions and can hardly take place in vivo.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-05

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Chemical characterization of melanins in sheep wool and human hair.

    PubMed

    Ozeki, H; Ito, S; Wakamatsu, K

    1996-04-01

    The color of hair and wool in mammals and feathers in birds is mostly determined by the quantity and quality of melanins that are synthesized in follicular melanocytes and transferred to keratinocytes. These are two chemically distinct types of melanin pigments: the black to brown eumelanins and the yellow to reddish pheomelanins. Melanins in sheep wool and human hair of various colors were characterized by HPLC methods to estimate 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA)-derived units in eumelanins and benzothiazine units in pheomelanins. Melanins were also characterized by spectrophotometric methods after differential solubilization in alkalies. It was demonstrated that 1) black wool in Asiatic sheep contains eumelanin with the DHICA content similar to black mouse melanin, while black to brown melanins from human hair contain much lower ratios of DHICA-derived units, comparable to the slaty mutation in mice, 2) dark brown to brown hair in human contains eumelanin whose chemical properties are indistinguishable from those of black hair; 3) dark red wool and red human hair contain pheomelanic pigments whose chemical properties are rather different from those of yellow pheomelanins in mice, and 4) light brown, blonde, and red hairs in human can be differentiated from each other with this methodology.

  5. UVA phototransduction drives early melanin synthesis in human melanocytes.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-22

    Exposure of human skin to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR), a powerful carcinogen [1] comprising ~95% ultraviolet A (UVA) and ~5% ultraviolet B (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 phospholipase C (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 5-fold after 24 hr. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Galván, Ismael; Solano, Francisco

    2016-04-08

    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.

  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. Biosynthesis and Functions of Melanin in Sporothrix schenckii

    PubMed Central

    Romero-Martinez, Rafael; Wheeler, Michael; Guerrero-Plata, Antonieta; Rico, Guadalupe; Torres-Guerrero, Haydée

    2000-01-01

    Sporothrix schenckii is a human pathogen that causes sporotrichosis, an important cutaneous mycosis with a worldwide distribution. It produces dark-brown conidia, which infect the host. We found that S. schenckii synthesizes melanin via the 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene pentaketide pathway. Melanin biosynthesis in the wild type was inhibited by tricyclazole, and colonies of the fungus were reddish brown instead of black on tricyclazole-amended medium. Two melanin-deficient mutant strains were analyzed in this study: an albino that produced normal-appearing melanin on scytalone-amended medium and a reddish brown mutant that accumulated and extruded melanin metabolites into its medium. Scytalone and flaviolin obtained from cultures of the reddish brown mutant were identified by thin-layer chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, and UV spectra. Transmission electron microscopy showed an electron-dense granular material believed to be melanin in wild-type conidial cell walls, and this was absent in conidial walls of the albino mutant unless the albino was grown on a scytalone-amended medium. Melanized cells of wild-type S. schenckii and the albino grown on scytalone-amended medium were less susceptible to killing by chemically generated oxygen- and nitrogen-derived radicals and by UV light than were conidia of the mutant strains. Melanized conidia of the wild type and the scytalone-treated albino were also more resistant to phagocytosis and killing by human monocytes and murine macrophages than were unmelanized conidia of the two mutants. These results demonstrate that melanin protects S. schenckii against certain oxidative antimicrobial compounds and against attack by macrophages. PMID:10816530

  11. Paramagnetic Centers in DOPA-Melanin-Dihydrostreptomycin Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buszman, E.; Pilawa, B.; Zdybel, M.; Wrześniok, D.; Grzegorczyk, A.; Wilczok, T.

    2006-08-01

    DOPA-melanin-dihydrostreptomycin complexes with drug concentrations 1×10-4-1×10-2 M were examined by the use of electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy at X-band (9.3 GHz). Dihydrostreptomycin was chosen for studies, because this aminoglycoside antibiotic causes strong toxic effects in organism. It was stated that dihydrostreptomycin generates o-semiquinone free radicals with g=2.0038 in melanin. Free radicals formation increases with increase in the antibiotic concentration. Changes of EPR lines with microwave powers pointed out that slow spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in DOPA-melanin and in its complexes with dihydrostreptomycin. The measured EPR lines were homogeneously broadened.

  12. Suppression of Melanin Production by Expression of HSP70*

    PubMed Central

    Hoshino, Tatsuya; Matsuda, Minoru; Yamashita, Yasuhiro; Takehara, Masaya; Fukuya, Masayo; Mineda, Kazutaka; Maji, Daisuke; Ihn, Hironobu; Adachi, Hiroaki; Sobue, Gen; Funasaka, Yoko; Mizushima, Tohru

    2010-01-01

    Skin hyperpigmentation disorders due to abnormal melanin production induced by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation are both a clinical and cosmetic problem. UV irradiation stimulates melanin production in melanocytes by increasing intracellular cAMP. Expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs), especially HSP70, is induced by various stressors, including UV irradiation, to provide cellular resistance to such stressors. In this study we examined the effect of expression of HSP70 on melanin production both in vitro and in vivo. 3-Isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), a cAMP-elevating agent, stimulated melanin production in cultured mouse melanoma cells, and this stimulation was suppressed in cells overexpressing HSP70. IBMX-dependent transcriptional activation of the tyrosinase gene was also suppressed in HSP70-overexpressing cells. Expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), which positively regulates transcription of the tyrosinase gene, was up-regulated by IBMX; however, this up-regulation was not suppressed in HSP70-overexpressing cells. On the other hand, immunoprecipitation and immunostaining analyses revealed a physical interaction between and co-localization of MITF and HSP70, respectively. Furthermore, the transcription of tyrosinase gene in nuclear extract was inhibited by HSP70. In vivo, UV irradiation of wild-type mice increased the amount of melanin in the basal layer of the epidermis, and this increase was suppressed in transgenic mice expressing HSP70. This study provides the first evidence of an inhibitory effect of HSP70 on melanin production both in vitro and in vivo. This effect seems to be mediated by modulation of MITF activity through a direct interaction between HSP70 and MITF. PMID:20177067

  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. Melanin as a virulence factor of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and other dimorphic pathogenic fungi

    PubMed Central

    Taborda, Carlos P.; da Silva, Marcelo B.; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Travassos, Luiz R.

    2008-01-01

    Melanin pigments are substances produced by a broad variety of pathogenic microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and helminths. Microbes predominantly produce melanin pigment via tyrosinases, laccases, catecholases, and the polyketide synthase pathway. In fungi, melanin is deposited in the cell wall and cytoplasm, and melanin particles (“ghosts”) can be isolated from these fungi that have the same size and shape of the original cells. Melanin has been reported in several human pathogenic dimorphic fungi including Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, Sporothrix schenckii, Histoplasma capsulatum, Blastomyces dermatitidis, and Coccidioides posadasii. Melanization appears to contribute to virulence by reducing the susceptibility of melanized fungi to host defense mechanisms and antifungal drugs. PMID:18777637

  15. [Synthesis of melanin pigments by Antarctic black yeast].

    PubMed

    Tashirev, A B; Romanovskaia, V A; Rokitko, P V; Matveeva, N A; Shilin, S O; Tashireva, A A

    2012-01-01

    Five strains of the black yeast similar to Exophiala nigra (Nadsoniela nigra), which we have isolated from the Antarctic biotopes, are studied. At cultivation in a periodic operation the maximum level of absolutely dry biomass in five tested strains constituted 3.2-7.8 g/l of medium, melanin pigment yield being 6-9% of absolutely dry mass of cells. Two highly productive strains have been selected. Pigments of the studied black yeast are water-insoluble, however dissolve in alkali and concentrated acids. The maximum absorption of the yeast pigments was in the range of 220 nm. The above-stated properties of pigments of the investigated yeast correspond to the description of melanin fractions of Nadsoniela nigra and some microscopic mushrooms. The water-soluble melanin-pigments have been obtained after the dialysis of alkaline solution of the pigment. UV-spectra and visible absorption spectra of water solution of melanin-pigments are almost identical to those of initial alkaline solutions. It is shown that the studied yeast are resistant to high concentrations of toxic metals (Hg2+, Cu2+, Co2+, Cr(VI) and Ni2+), and introduction of Co2+ into the cultivation medium leads to the increase of pigments synthesis.

  16. The actions of melanin and melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH).

    PubMed

    Rasmussen, Natalie; Nelson, Francine; Govitrapong, Piyarat; Ebadi, Manuchair

    1999-01-01

    The skin, the largest organ of the body, plays an important role in the total metabolism of several hormones. Melanin, the major product of the melanocyte, is largely responsible for the coloring of skin. Melanin is a complex of insoluble, polyquinone, brown or red pigment and protein, formed by the oxidation of tyrosine and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine in the presence of tyrosinase. There exists two main groups of melanin: the black to dark-brown insoluble eumelanins and the yellow to reddish brown, alkali-soluble pheomelanins. MSH, ACTH and beta-lipoprotein are able to influence skin pigmentation. The functions attributed to melanins are acting as a barrier against ionizing radiation; participating in developmental processes, serving as a cosmetic entity, and scavenging cytotoxic radicals and intermediates. Melanocytes express numerous receptors that allow interaction with other cells in their microenvironment, including keratinocytes and the immune component of the skin Langerhans cells. Albinism represents a group of inherited abnormalities that present with congenital hypopigmentation that can involve the skin, hair, and eyes (oculocutaneous albinism) or be limited primarily to the eyes (ocular albinism). The inherited disorders of keratin include epidermolysis bullosu simplex causing cell degeneration within the basal layer. Sunlight and ultraviolet radiation from artificial light sources could be tonic or toxic to human skin. The harmful effects of solar radiation are skin cancer, photosensitivity diseases, sunburn, photoallergy, photoimmunologic alterations, cataracts, mutations, skin aging and phototoxicity. Sunscreen chemicals protect the skin against ultraviolet radiation.

  17. Melanin: the biophysiology of oral melanocytes and physiological oral pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Feller, Liviu; Masilana, Aubrey; Khammissa, Razia A G; Altini, Mario; Jadwat, Yusuf; Lemmer, Johan

    2014-03-24

    The presence of melanocytes in the oral epithelium is a well-established fact, but their physiological functions are not well defined. Melanin provides protection from environmental stressors such as ultraviolet radiation and reactive oxygen species; and melanocytes function as stress-sensors having the capacity both to react to and to produce a variety of microenvironmental cytokines and growth factors, modulating immune, inflammatory and antibacterial responses. Melanocytes also act as neuroendocrine cells producing local neurotransmitters including acetylcholine, catecholamines and opioids, and hormones of the melanocortin system such as proopiomelanocortin, adrenocorticotropic hormone and α-melanocyte stimulating hormone, that participate in intracellular and in intercellular signalling pathways, thus contributing to tissue homeostasis.There is a wide range of normal variation in melanin pigmentation of the oral mucosa. In general, darker skinned persons more frequently have oral melanin pigmentation than light-skinned persons. Variations in oral physiological pigmentation are genetically determined unless associated with some underlying disease.In this article, we discuss some aspects of the biophysiology of oral melanocytes, of the functions of melanin, and of physiological oral pigmentation.

  18. Synthesis of melanin-like pigments by Sporothrix schenckii in vitro and during mammalian infection.

    PubMed

    Morris-Jones, Rachael; Youngchim, Sirida; Gomez, Beatriz L; Aisen, Phil; Hay, Roderick J; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Casadevall, Arturo; Hamilton, Andrew J

    2003-07-01

    Melanin has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several important human fungal pathogens. Existing data suggest that the conidia of the dimorphic fungal pathogen Sporothrix schenckii produce melanin or melanin-like compounds; in this study we aimed to confirm this suggestion and to demonstrate in vitro and in vivo production of melanin by yeast cells. S. schenckii grown on Mycosel agar produced visibly pigmented conidia, although yeast cells grown in brain heart infusion and minimal medium broth appeared to be nonpigmented macroscopically. However, treatment of both conidia and yeast cells with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant, and concentrated hot acid yielded dark particles similar in shape and size to the corresponding propagules, which were stable free radicals consistent with identification as melanins. Melanin particles extracted from S. schenckii yeast cells were used to produce a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) which labeled pigmented conidia, yeast cells, and the isolated particles. Tissue from hamster testicles infected with S. schenckii contained fungal cells that were labeled by melanin-binding MAbs, and digestion of infected hamster tissue yielded dark particles that were also reactive. Additionally, sera from humans with sporotrichosis contained antibodies that bound melanin particles. These findings indicate that S. schenckii conidia and yeast cells 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 in the pathogenesis of sporotrichosis.

  19. Synthesis of Melanin-Like Pigments by Sporothrix schenckii In Vitro and during Mammalian Infection

    PubMed Central

    Morris-Jones, Rachael; Youngchim, Sirida; Gomez, Beatriz L.; Aisen, Phil; Hay, Roderick J.; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Casadevall, Arturo; Hamilton, Andrew J.

    2003-01-01

    Melanin has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several important human fungal pathogens. Existing data suggest that the conidia of the dimorphic fungal pathogen Sporothrix schenckii produce melanin or melanin-like compounds; in this study we aimed to confirm this suggestion and to demonstrate in vitro and in vivo production of melanin by yeast cells. S. schenckii grown on Mycosel agar produced visibly pigmented conidia, although yeast cells grown in brain heart infusion and minimal medium broth appeared to be nonpigmented macroscopically. However, treatment of both conidia and yeast cells with proteolytic enzymes, denaturant, and concentrated hot acid yielded dark particles similar in shape and size to the corresponding propagules, which were stable free radicals consistent with identification as melanins. Melanin particles extracted from S. schenckii yeast cells were used to produce a panel of murine monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) which labeled pigmented conidia, yeast cells, and the isolated particles. Tissue from hamster testicles infected with S. schenckii contained fungal cells that were labeled by melanin-binding MAbs, and digestion of infected hamster tissue yielded dark particles that were also reactive. Additionally, sera from humans with sporotrichosis contained antibodies that bound melanin particles. These findings indicate that S. schenckii conidia and yeast cells 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 in the pathogenesis of sporotrichosis. PMID:12819091

  20. 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

  1. Isolation, purification and physicochemical characterization of water-soluble Bacillus thuringiensis melanin.

    PubMed

    Aghajanyan, Armen E; Hambardzumyan, Artur A; Hovsepyan, Anichka S; Asaturian, Rafael A; Vardanyan, Andranik A; Saghiyan, Ashot A

    2005-04-01

    Melanins are widely used in medicine, pharmacology, cosmetics and other fields. Although several technologies for the purification of water-insoluble dioxyphenylalanine (DOPA) melanins have been described, a source of water-soluble melanin is highly desirable. Here we describe an effective procedure for the isolation and purification of water-soluble melanin using the culture medium of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. galleriae strain K1. Water-soluble melanin from this organism has an isoelectric point (pI=3.0-3.2) and was purified optimally by adsorbtion using the IA-1r resin and elution as a concentrated solution. The purified melanin obtained exhibited a similar infra-red absorbtion spectrum to synthetic melanin and contained quinolic and phenolic structures and an amino acid content of around 20% after acid hydrolysis. The molecular weight of the purified melanin determined by SDS-PAGE was 4 kDa and the electromagnetic spin resonance spectrum of the purified microbial melanin was a slightly asymmetric singlet without hyperfine structure with about 7 Gauss width of the line between points of the maximum incline and g=2.006. The concentration of paramagnetic centers in melanin is 0.21x10(18) spin/g. The results obtained provide a rapid, simple and inexpensive method for the large scale purification of water soluble melanin that may have widespread applications.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-26

    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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Keratinocyte-derived laminin-332 protein promotes melanin synthesis via regulation of tyrosine uptake.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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.

  8. Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of Raccoon Dog Skin to Determine Melanin Content in Hair and Melanin Distribution in Skin

    PubMed Central

    Du, Zhanyu; Huang, Kai; Zhao, Jiaping; Song, Xingchao; Xing, Xiumei; Wu, Qiong; Zhang, Linbo; Xu, Chao

    2017-01-01

    The raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) is an important canid fur-bearing animal species worldwide. Chinese raccoon dogs that present a white mutation, especially those with a white coat. Exploring melanin biosynthesis in the hair and skin of raccoon dogs is important for understanding the survival and evolutionary mechanisms of them. In this study, we measured the content of melanin in the hair of two types of raccoon dog and generated stained slices of skin tissue. The results indicated that melanin biosynthesis occurs in the wild-type (W) and white-type (B) raccoon dog skin, although less melanin is produced in B skin. We then sequenced the skin transcriptomes of W and B, compared the similarities and differences in expressed genes. A comparison of the gene expression showed 60 up-regulated genes and 127 down-regulated genes in B skin. We analyzed the unigenes and pathways related to the melanogenesis pathway and found that TYR, TYRP1, MC1R, SLC24a5, SLC45a2 and OCA2 were significantly down-regulated in B skin and these results were verified via qRT-PCR. We surmised that the phenotypic characteristics of the white mutation might be caused by the reduced expression of these genes and this finding provides new insights for future experiments in raccoon dogs. PMID:28098220

  9. The effect of melanin on iron associated decomposition of hydrogen peroxide.

    PubMed

    Pilas, B; Sarna, T; Kalyanaraman, B; Swartz, H M

    1988-01-01

    The effects of melanin on the iron-catalyzed decomposition of hydrogen peroxide to hydroxyl radicals and hydroxyl ions have been studied using electron spin resonance, spin trapping and visible light spectrophotometry. Melanin altered these reactions by several different mechanisms and consequently, depending on conditions, can significantly increase or decrease the yield of reactive products, including hydroxyl radicals. For low concentrations of ferrous ions, melanin decreased the yield of hydroxyl radicals due to binding of ferrous ions by melanin; ferrous ions bound to melanin did not decompose H2O2 efficiently. Melanins increased the rate of hydroxyl radical production if the predominant form of iron was ferric, due to the ability of melanin to reduce ferric to ferrous iron. Hydroxyl radical production in the presence of a strong chelator (e.g. EDTA) and melanin was greater than in the presence of a weak chelator (e.g. ADP) and melanin. Melanin also increased the rate of destruction of the DMPO-OH adduct.

  10. Isolation and characterization of melanin pigment from yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Xiujun; Wu, Biao; Zhou, Liqing; Liu, Zhihong; Dong, Yinghui; Yang, Aiguo

    2017-04-01

    Melanin is one of the essential compounds in the pigments of molluscan shells. However, the effects of melanin on color variations in molluscs are largely unknown. Our previous study suggests that Yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis might contain melanin pigment in the dark brown shell. We therefore isolated melanin from the pigmented shells using hydrochloric acid method, and characterized the types of melanin pigments by spectrophotometry. The purified melanin, which was verified by spectrophotometry scanning and HPLC analysis, showed the typical characteristics of melanin absorption spectra and HPLC chromatograms. The contents of pheomelanin and eumelanin in pigmented shells, which were determined by the linear standard curve of melanin at 405 nm and 350 nm absorbance, were 48.23 ± 1.350 and 157.65 ± 5.905 mg, respectively. The present results indicate that the brown-pigmented shells of scallops comprise approximately 76.6% of eumelanin and 23.4% of pheomelanin, which supports the presence of eumelanin-rich pigment in scallop shells. Therefore, the combination of hydrochloric acid extraction and spectrophotometric quantification is a rapid and efficient method to isolate and quantify melanin in shells. This will facilitate the melanin studies related to shell color polymorphism and the selective breeding of bivalves with different shell colors.

  11. Detection of antibodies against Paracoccidioides brasiliensis melanin in in vitro and in vivo studies during infection.

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

    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.

  12. Molecular preservation of the pigment melanin in fossil melanosomes.

    PubMed

    Lindgren, Johan; Uvdal, Per; Sjövall, Peter; Nilsson, Dan E; Engdahl, Anders; Schultz, Bo Pagh; Thiel, Volker

    2012-05-08

    Fossil feathers, hairs and eyes are regularly preserved as carbonized traces comprised of masses of micrometre-sized bodies that are spherical, oblate or elongate in shape. For a long time, these minute structures were regarded as the remains of biofilms of keratinophilic bacteria, but recently they have been reinterpreted as melanosomes; that is, colour-bearing organelles. Resolving this fundamental difference in interpretation is crucial: if endogenous then the fossil microbodies would represent a significant advancement in the fields of palaeontology and evolutionary biology given, for example, the possibility to reconstruct integumentary colours and plumage colour patterns. It has previously been shown that certain trace elements occur in fossils as organometallic compounds, and hence may be used as biomarkers for melanin pigments. Here we expand this knowledge by demonstrating the presence of molecularly preserved melanin in intimate association with melanosome-like microbodies isolated from an argentinoid fish eye from the early Eocene of Denmark.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Femtosecond two-photon-excited fluorescence of melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teuchner, Klaus; Mueller, Susanne; Freyer, Wolfgang; Leupold, Dieter; Altmeyer, Peter; Stuecker, Markus; Hoffmann, Klaus

    2003-02-01

    Spectral and time-resolved fluorescence studies of different eumelanins (natural, synthetic, enzymatic) in solution have been carried out by two-photon excitation at 800 nm, using 80 fs pulses with photon flux densities <= 1027 cm-2.s-1. Whereas all samples show monotonously decreasing absorption between near UV and near IR, their fluorescence behavior indicates strong heterogeneity. With respect to the also measured one-photon excited fluorescence (OPF) of melanin at 400 nm, the overall spectral shape of the two-photon excited fluorescence (TPF) is red-shifted. Both OPF and TPF exhibit three-exponential decay with a shortest component # 200 ps. As is also shown, the fluorescence properties of melanin are dependent on the micro-environment. This allows the hypothesis, that the process of malignant transformation in skin tissue could be reflected in the fluorescence, provided the melanin in skin is selectively excited. The latter is realized by the described stepwise absorption of two 800 nm photons. In this way, indeed characteristic differences between the TPF spectra of healthy tissue, nevus cell nevi and malignant melanoma have been found.

  16. Imaging melanin by two-photon absorption microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ye, Tong; Yurtsever, Gunay; Fischer, Martin; Simon, John D.; Warren, Warren S.

    2006-02-01

    Multiphoton excitation fluorescence microscopy has proven to be a powerful method for non-invasive, in vivo, thick tissue imaging with molecular specificity. However, many important endogenous biomolecules do not fluoresce (NAD) or fluoresce with low efficiency (Melanin). In this report femtosecond pulse shaping methods are used to measure two-photon absorption (TPA) directly with very high sensitivity. Combining with the laser scanning microscope, this Two-photon Absorption Microscopy (TPAM) retains the penetration and localization advantages of two-photon fluorescence microscopy and permits direct observation of important endogenous molecular markers (melanin or hemoglobin) which are invisible in multiphoton fluorescence microscopy. We have demonstrated here for the first time that TPAM can successfully and more efficiently image melanoma cells and tissues and provide a good melanin contrast in optical sectioning of the melanoma lesions which are comparable to pathological histology. Combining with the two-photon fluorescence images acquired simultaneously, the distribution patterns of the melanocytes and their intratissue behavior could be studied without cutting the lesions from patients. TPAM will undoubtedly find the applications in the clinical diagnosis and biomedical research.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Melanin-Associated Synthesis of SERS-Active Nanostructures and the Application for Monitoring of Intracellular Melanogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Haixin; Liu, Zhiming; Zhong, Huiqing; Yang, Hui; Zhou, Yan; Hou, Yuqing; Long, Jia; Lin, Jin; Guo, Zhouyi

    2017-01-01

    Melanin plays an indispensable role in the human body. It serves as a biological reducer for the green synthesis of precious metal nanoparticles. Melanin–Ag nanocomposites were successfully produced which exhibited very strong surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) effect because of the reducibility property of melanin. A melanin–Ag composite structure was synthesized in situ in melanin cells, and SERS technique was performed for the rapid imaging and quantitative assay of intracellular melanin. This imaging technique was also used to successfully trace the formation and secretion of intracellular melanin after stimulation with melanin-stimulating hormones. Based on the self-reducing property of melanin, the proposed SERS imaging method can provide potentially powerful analytical detection tools to study the biological functions of melanin and to prevent and cure melanin-related diseases. PMID:28336903

  1. 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 .

  2. Melanin from the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum: a spectroscopic characterization.

    PubMed

    Banerjee, Aulie; Supakar, Subhrangshu; 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 (13)C 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Role of semiconductivity and ion transport in the electrical conduction of melanin.

    PubMed

    Mostert, Albertus B; Powell, Benjamin J; Pratt, Francis L; Hanson, Graeme R; Sarna, Tadeusz; Gentle, Ian R; Meredith, Paul

    2012-06-05

    Melanins are pigmentary macromolecules found throughout the biosphere that, in the 1970s, were discovered to conduct electricity and display bistable switching. Since then, it has been widely believed that melanins are naturally occurring amorphous organic semiconductors. Here, we report electrical conductivity, muon spin relaxation, and electron paramagnetic resonance measurements of melanin as the environmental humidity is varied. We show that hydration of melanin shifts the comproportionation equilibrium so as to dope electrons and protons into the system. This equilibrium defines the relative proportions of hydroxyquinone, semiquinone, and quinone species in the macromolecule. As such, the mechanism explains why melanin at neutral pH only conducts when "wet" and suggests that both carriers play a role in the conductivity. Understanding that melanin is an electronic-ionic hybrid conductor rather than an amorphous organic semiconductor opens exciting possibilities for bioelectronic applications such as ion-to-electron transduction given its biocompatibility.

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Current Understanding of the Binding Sites, Capacity, Affinity, and Biological Significance of Metals in Melanin

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Lian; Simon, John D.

    2008-01-01

    Metal chelation is often invoked as one of the main biological functions of melanin. In order to understand the interaction between metals and melanin, extensive studies have been carried out to determine the nature of the metal binding sites, binding capacity and affinity. These data are central to efforts aimed at elucidating the role metal binding plays in determining the physical, structural, biological, and photochemical properties of melanin. This article examines the current state of understanding of this field. PMID:17580858

  9. 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).

  10. Dependence of third-harmonic generation on melanin concentration in solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Tung-Yu; Liao, Chien-Sheng; Yang, Chih-Yuan; Zhuo, Zong-Yan; Chen, Szu-Yu; Chu, Shi-Wei

    2011-03-01

    In this study, we performed theoretical analysis and experimental measurement of third harmonic generation (THG) in melanin solution with different concentrations. As predicted by theory, only THG at glass/solution interface was observed due to Guoy phase shift effect. We have shown that this interfacial THG intensity is strongly affected by index matching condition between the two media, leading to minimal THG at a certain melanin concentration. By fitting the dependence of THG intensity versus melanin concentration, linear and nonlinear electric susceptibilities of melanin are obtained, providing a valuable tool to characterize optical properties of biological molecules.

  11. Production and cytotoxicity of extracellular insoluble and droplets of soluble melanin by Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3.

    PubMed

    Madhusudhan, D N; Mazhari, Bi Bi Zainab; Dastager, Syed G; Agsar, Dayanand

    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.

  12. Production of natural edible melanin by Auricularia auricula and its physicochemical properties.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shujing; Zhang, Xiaojuan; Chen, Wenxing; Zhang, Liaoyuan; Zhu, Hu

    2016-04-01

    Fermentation conditions of natural edible melanin by Auricularia auricula were optimized to obtain a high melanin yield and physicochemical properties of melanin were firstly investigated. The results indicated that yeast extract, tyrosine and lactose have significant effects on melanin production. Under the proposed optimized conditions, the melanin experimental yield (2.97 g/L) closely matched the value (3.04 g/L) predicted by the second-order model, which provided a statistically prediction of media in submerged fermentation of A. auricula. The yield achieved was 2.14-fold higher compared to the control. It was firstly revealed that tyrosine could stimulate melanin synthesis in A. auricula. The results showed that this melanin had better thermostability and light resistance, and its solubility was relatively high under alkaline conditions. Zn(2+) and Cu(2+) could result in melanin precipitation. The results should be useful for the efficient production of melanin and enable numerous applications in food, cosmetics, pharmacology, medicines and other fields.

  13. Isolation and characterization of biologically active melanin from Actinoalloteichus sp. MA-32.

    PubMed

    Manivasagan, Panchanathan; Venkatesan, Jayachandran; Senthilkumar, Kalimuthu; Sivakumar, Kannan; Kim, Se-Kwon

    2013-07-01

    Melanins are enigmatic pigments and biological macromolecules that are produced by a wide variety of microorganisms including several species of bacteria and fungi. The present study was carried out on isolation and characterization of melanin from marine actinobacteria, Actinoalloteichus sp. MA-32. Medium composition and culture conditions for the melanin production by Actinoalloteichus sp. MA-32 were optimized using two statistical methods: Plackett-Burman design applied to find the key ingredients and conditions for the best yield of melanin production and central composite design used to optimize the concentration of the four significant variables: glycerol, L-tyrosine, NaCl and trace salt solution. The melanin was optimally active at pH 7-9 and temperature 45-60°C and it was most stable up to pH 11 and 4% of NaCl concentration. Melanin was examined by UV-vis absorption spectroscopy and infrared spectrometry. Melanin has potential antibacterial activity as it showed greater antagonistic and it has a strong antioxidant potential observed in the in vitro evaluation of its DPPH radical-scavenging activity, superoxide radical-scavenging activity, nitric oxide-scavenging activity, reducing power and metal chelating activity. The observed activities indicate that melanin might be a novel potential antioxidant. This study suggested that the melanin could potentially be used as a natural antioxidant in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The Effect of Retinal Melanin on Optical Coherence Tomography Images

    PubMed Central

    Wilk, Melissa A.; Huckenpahler, Alison L.; Collery, Ross F.; Link, Brian A.; Carroll, Joseph

    2017-01-01

    Purpose We assessed the effect of melanin on the appearance of hyperreflective outer retinal bands in optical coherence tomography (OCT) images. Methods A total of 23 normal subjects and 51 patients with albinism were imaged using the Bioptigen high-resolution spectral-domain OCT. In addition, three wild type, three albino (slc45a2b4/b4), and eight tyrosinase mosaic zebrafish were imaged with the hand-held Bioptigen Envisu R2200 OCT. To identify pigmented versus nonpigmented regions in the tyrosinase mosaic zebrafish, en face summed volume projections of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) were created from volume scans. Longitudinal reflectivity profiles were generated from B-scans to assess the width and maximum intensity of the RPE band in fish, or the presence of one or two RPE/Bruch's membrane (BrM) bands in humans. Results The foveal RPE/BrM appeared as two bands in 71% of locations in patients with albinism and 45% of locations in normal subjects (P = 0.0003). Pigmented zebrafish retinas had significantly greater RPE reflectance, and pigmented regions of mosaic zebrafish also had significantly broader RPE bands than all other groups. Conclusions The hyperreflective outer retinal bands in OCT images are highly variable in appearance. We showed that melanin is a major contributor to the intensity and width of the RPE band on OCT. One should use caution in extrapolating findings from OCT images of one or even a few individuals to define the absolute anatomic correlates of the hyperreflective outer retinal bands in OCT images. Translational Relevance Melanin affects the appearance of the outer retinal bands in OCT images. Use of animal models may help dissect the anatomic correlates of the complex reflective signals in OCT retinal images. PMID:28392975

  19. Induced melanin reduces mutations and cell killing in mouse melanoma.

    PubMed

    Li, W; Hill, H Z

    1997-03-01

    When melanin absorbs light energy, it can produce potentially damaging active oxygen species. There is little doubt that constitutive pigment in dark-skinned individuals is photoprotective against skin cancer, but induced pigment-as in tanning-may not be. The first step in cancer induction is mutation in DNA. The most suitable systems for evaluating the role of melanin are those in which pigment can be varied and mutations can be measured. Several cell lines from Cloudman S91 mouse melanoma can be induced to form large quantities of melanin pigment after treatment with a number of different agents enabling comparison of mutant yields in the same cells differing principally in pigment concentration. In these studies, melanin was induced with synthetic alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone and with isobutyl methyl xanthine in the cell line S91/mel. The former inducer produced about 50% more pigment than the latter. Survival and mutation induction at the Na+/K(+)-ATPase locus were studied using ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS), a standard mutagen and five UV lamps emitting near monochromatic and polychromatic UV light in the three wave-length ranges of UV. There was greater protection against killing and mutation induction in the more heavily pigmented cells after exposure to EMS and after irradiation with monochromatic UVC and UVB. There was significant protection against killing by polychromatic UVB + UVA (FS20), but the small degree of protection against mutation was not significant. No significant change in killing and mutation using the same protocol was seen in S91/amel, a related cell line that does not respond to these inducers. No mutants were produced by either monochromatic or polychromatic UVA at doses that killed 50% of the cells. Our results show that induced pigment-shown earlier to be eumelanin (K. A. Cieszka et al., Exp. Dermatol. 4, 192-198, 1995)-is photo- and chemoprotective, but it is less effective in protection against mutagenesis by polychromatic

  20. Odontogenic Cyst with Verrucous Proliferation Exhibiting Melanin Pigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Soni, Krupa Mehta; Ahmed, Junaid; Bhat, Keshava; Kottieth Pallam, Nandita; Lewis, Amitha Juanita

    2017-01-01

    Verrucous proliferation arising from odontogenic cysts is a rare entity. We report an unusual case of an infected odontogenic cyst with verrucous proliferation and melanin pigmentation in a 13-year-old male patient who presented with an intraoral swelling in relation to impacted teeth 26 and 27. The enucleated lesion was diagnosed as an odontogenic keratocyst and the patient died within two years of presentation due to multiple recurrences. The clinical, radiological, and microscopic features of the lesion are presented with an attempt to discuss the etiopathogenesis. The case hereby reported is uncommon with only eight cases reported in the literature.

  1. 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.

  2. Melanostatin, a new melanin synthesis inhibitor. Production, isolation, chemical properties, structure and biological activity.

    PubMed

    Ishihara, Y; Oka, M; Tsunakawa, M; Tomita, K; Hatori, M; Yamamoto, H; Kamei, H; Miyaki, T; Konishi, M; Oki, T

    1991-01-01

    Melanostatin, a new antibiotic with melanin synthesis inhibitor activity, was isolated from the fermentation broth of Streptomyces clavifer No. N924-2. Its structure was determined by spectral analysis and degradation experiments. Melanostatin strongly inhibited melanin formation in Streptomyces bikiniensis NRRL B-1049 and B16 melanoma cells.

  3. Continuous microwave saturation of EPR spectra of melanin complexes at different temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Buszman, Ewa; Wrzesniok, Dorota; Krzyminiewski, Ryszard; Kruczynski, Zdzislaw

    2011-01-01

    Paramagnetic centers in DOPA-melanin and complexes of DOPA-melanin with netilmicin and Cu(II) were studied by the use of an X-band (9.3 GHz) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. Measurements of continuous microwave saturation of EPR spectra at temperatures: 125 K, 175 K, 225 K, 275 K, were performed. Homogeneous broadening of all the examined EPR spectra was observed. EPR spectra of DOPA-melanin-Cu(II) complexes saturated at higher microwave powers than the others tested melanin samples. Fast spin-lattice relaxation exists in DOPA-melanin-Cu(II) complexes. Slow spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in melanin's paramagnetic centers of DOPA-melanin and its complexes with netilmicin, and its complexes with both netilimicin and Cu(II). EPR spectra of all the tested samples saturated at higher microwave powers with increasing of the measuring temperature. Faster spin-lattice relaxation processes occurs in DOPA-melanin and its complexes with netilmicin and Cu(II) at higher temperature.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. Color reduction of melanin by lysosomal and peroxisomal enzymes isolated from mammalian cells.

    PubMed

    Park, Dong Jun; Sekhon, Simranjeet Singh; Yoon, Jihee; Kim, Yang-Hoon; Min, Jiho

    2016-02-01

    Lysosomes and peroxisomes are organelles with many functions in all eukaryotic cells. Lysosomes contain hydrolytic enzymes (lysozyme) that degrade molecules, whereas peroxisomes contain enzymes such as catalase that convert hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to water and oxygen and neutralize toxicity. In contrast, melanin is known as a helpful element to protect the skin against harmful ultraviolet rays. However, a high quantity of melanin leads to hyperpigmentation or skin cancer in human. New materials have already been discovered to inhibit tyrosinase in melanogenesis; however, melanin reduction does not suggest their preparation. In this study, we report that the color intensity because of melanin decreased by the cellular activation of lysosomes and peroxisomes. An increase in the superficial intensity of lysosome and peroxisome activities of HeLa cells was observed. In addition, a decrease in the amount of melanin has also been observed in mammalian cells without using any other chemical, showing that the process can work in vivo for treating melanin. Therefore, the results of this study indicate that the amount of melanin decreases by the lysosome and peroxisome activity after entering the cells, and functional organelles are effective in color reduction. This mechanism can be used in vivo for treating melanin.

  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.

  7. 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

  8. Synthesis of melanin pigment by Candida albicans in vitro and during infection.

    PubMed

    Morris-Jones, Rachael; Gomez, Beatriz L; Diez, Soraya; Uran, Martha; Morris-Jones, Stephen D; Casadevall, Arturo; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Hamilton, Andrew J

    2005-09-01

    Melanins are implicated in the pathogenesis of several important human diseases. This study confirmed the presence of melanin particles in Candida albicans in vitro and during infection. Dark particles were isolated from the digestion of C. albicans cultures and from infected tissue, as established by electron microscopy and immunofluorescence techniques.

  9. Synthesis of Melanin Pigment by Candida albicans In Vitro and during Infection

    PubMed Central

    Morris-Jones, Rachael; Gomez, Beatriz L.; Diez, Soraya; Uran, Martha; Morris-Jones, Stephen D.; Casadevall, Arturo; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Hamilton, Andrew J.

    2005-01-01

    Melanins are implicated in the pathogenesis of several important human diseases. This study confirmed the presence of melanin particles in Candida albicans in vitro and during infection. Dark particles were isolated from the digestion of C. albicans cultures and from infected tissue, as established by electron microscopy and immunofluorescence techniques. PMID:16113337

  10. 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.

  11. Interactions between Melanin Enzymes and Their Atypical Recruitment to the Secretory Pathway by Palmitoylation

    PubMed Central

    Upadhyay, Srijana; Xu, Xinping

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Melanins are biopolymers that confer coloration and protection to the host organism against biotic or abiotic insults. The level of protection offered by melanin depends on its biosynthesis and its subcellular localization. Previously, we discovered that Aspergillus fumigatus compartmentalizes melanization in endosomes by recruiting all melanin enzymes to the secretory pathway. Surprisingly, although two laccases involved in the late steps of melanization are conventional secretory proteins, the four enzymes involved in the early steps of melanization lack a signal peptide or a transmembrane domain and are thus considered “atypical” secretory proteins. In this work, we found interactions among melanin enzymes and all melanin enzymes formed protein complexes. Surprisingly, the formation of protein complexes by melanin enzymes was not critical for their trafficking to the endosomal system. By palmitoylation profiling and biochemical analyses, we discovered that all four early melanin enzymes were strongly palmitoylated during conidiation. However, only the polyketide synthase (PKS) Alb1 was strongly palmitoylated during both vegetative hyphal growth and conidiation when constitutively expressed alone. This posttranslational lipid modification correlates the endosomal localization of all early melanin enzymes. Intriguingly, bioinformatic analyses predict that palmitoylation is a common mechanism for potential membrane association of polyketide synthases (PKSs) and nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) in A. fumigatus. Our findings indicate that protein-protein interactions facilitate melanization by metabolic channeling, while posttranslational lipid modifications help recruit the atypical enzymes to the secretory pathway, which is critical for compartmentalization of secondary metabolism. PMID:27879337

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. 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. PMID:26469564

  13. EFFECT OF CADMIUM(II) ON FREE RADICALS IN DOPA-MELANIN TESTED BY EPR SPECTROSCOPY.

    PubMed

    Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Chodurek, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy may be applied to examine interactions of melanin with metal ions and drugs. In this work EPR method was used to examination of changes in free radical system of DOPA-melanin--the model eumelanin after complexing with diamagnetic cadmium(II) ions. Cadmium(II) may affect free radicals in melanin and drugs binding by this polymer, so the knowledge of modification of properties and free radical concentration in melanin is important to pharmacy. The effect of cadmium(II) in different concentrations on free radicals in DOPA-melanin was determined. EPR spectra of DOPA-melanin, and DOPA-melanin complexes with cadmium(II) were measured by an X-band (9.3 GHz) EPR spectrometer produced by Radiopan (Poznań, Poland) and the Rapid Scan Unit from Jagmar (Krak6w, Poland). The DOPA (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) to metal ions molar ratios in the reaction mixtures were 2:1, 1:1, and 1: 2. High concentrations of o-semiquinone (g ~2.0040) free radicals (~10(21)-10(22) spin/g) characterize DOPA-melanin and its complexes with cadmium(II). Formation of melanin complexes with cadmium(II) increase free radical concentration in DOPA-melanin. The highest free radical concentration was obtained for DOPA-melanin-cadmium(II) (1:1) complexes. Broad EPR lines with linewidths: 0.37-0.73 mT, were measured. Linewidths increase after binding of cadmium(II) to melanin. Changes of integral intensities and linewidths with increasing microwave power indicate the homogeneous broadening of EPR lines, independently on the metal ion concentration. Slow spin-lattice relaxation processes existed in all the tested samples, their EPR lines saturated at low microwave powers. Cadmium(II) causes fastening of spin-lattice relaxation processes in DOPA-melanin. The EPR results bring to light the effect of cadmium(II) on free radicals in melanin, and probably as the consequence on drug binding to eumelanin.

  14. Melanin: dietary mucosal immune modulator from Echinacea and other botanical supplements.

    PubMed

    Pugh, Nirmal D; Balachandran, Premalatha; Lata, Hemant; Dayan, Franck E; Joshi, Vaishali; Bedir, Erdal; Makino, Toshiaki; Moraes, Rita; Khan, Ikhlas; Pasco, David S

    2005-04-01

    The agents responsible for the therapeutic effects of many botanical supplements have not been established in spite of their popularity. Here we show that melanin is a previously unrecognized immunostimulatory compound that is a major component of botanicals traditionally used to enhance immune function. While melanin is present in commonly consumed vegetables, its specific activity is several orders of magnitude less than melanin extracted from these botanicals. The major reason that this agent has eluded detection is its solvent-specific requirement for extraction/solubility. Melanin activates NF-kappa B in monocytes in vitro through a toll-like receptor 2-dependent process. Ingestion of melanin by mice for four days increases production ex vivo of interferon-gamma by spleen cells and IgA and interleukin-6 by Peyer's patch cells. The identification of this new class of mucosal immune stimulants will allow further characterization of botanical products and advances our understanding of the basis for their traditional use.

  15. Melanin pigmentation in mammalian skin and its hormonal regulation.

    PubMed

    Slominski, Andrzej; Tobin, Desmond J; Shibahara, Shigeki; Wortsman, Jacobo

    2004-10-01

    Cutaneous melanin pigment plays a critical role in camouflage, mimicry, social communication, and protection against harmful effects of solar radiation. Melanogenesis is under complex regulatory control by multiple agents interacting via pathways activated by receptor-dependent and -independent mechanisms, in hormonal, auto-, para-, or intracrine fashion. Because of the multidirectional nature and heterogeneous character of the melanogenesis modifying agents, its controlling factors are not organized into simple linear sequences, but they interphase instead in a multidimensional network, with extensive functional overlapping with connections arranged both in series and in parallel. The most important positive regulator of melanogenesis is the MC1 receptor with its ligands melanocortins and ACTH, whereas among the negative regulators agouti protein stands out, determining intensity of melanogenesis and also the type of melanin synthesized. Within the context of the skin as a stress organ, melanogenic activity serves as a unique molecular sensor and transducer of noxious signals and as regulator of local homeostasis. In keeping with these multiple roles, melanogenesis is controlled by a highly structured system, active since early embryogenesis and capable of superselective functional regulation that may reach down to the cellular level represented by single melanocytes. Indeed, the significance of melanogenesis extends beyond the mere assignment of a color trait.

  16. [Utilization of melanin precursors for experimental chemotherapy of malignant melanoma].

    PubMed

    Jimbow, K; Miura, S; Ito, Y; Kasuga, T; Ito, S

    1984-10-01

    Melanin synthesis is a metabolic pathway unique and specific to melanocytes. It occurs by conversion of tyrosine to dopa and dopaquinone in the presence of tyrosinase. It is highly accelerated in malignant melanoma with a marked increase of tyrosinase activity. This study summarizes the recent progress in experimental chemotherapeutic approaches to malignant melanoma by utilizing melanin precursors, and presents our current results. Our studies indicated (a) that hydroquinone and 4-isopropylcatechol are selectively toxic to melanocytes and melanoma cells, (b) that their actions are mediated through tyrosinase, and (c) that dopa is selectively and highly incorporated into melanoma cells and melanocytes depending on the tyrosinase activity. In addition, our new compounds, i.e., 4-S-cysteinylphenol and 4-S-cysteaminylphenol were highly toxic to melanoma cells, increasing the life span of B16 melanoma bearing mice and decreasing melanoma growth in C57 BL mice. Other synthetic compounds, e.g., cysteinylcatechols and their devivatives, were, however, not toxic to melanoma cells. 4-S-cysteinylphenol and 4-S-cysteaminylphenol appeared to exert their cytotoxicity through the action of tyrosinase present in melanoma cells, thus providing a kind of "guided missile" approach to melanoma chemotherapy.

  17. Physico-Chemical Evaluation of Rationally Designed Melanins as Novel Nature-Inspired Radioprotectors

    PubMed Central

    Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Howell, Robertha C.; Jiang, Zewei; Bryan, Ruth A.; Gerfen, Gary; Chen, Chin-Cheng; Mah, Dennis; Cahill, Sean

    2009-01-01

    Background Melanin, a high-molecular weight pigment that is ubiquitous in nature, protects melanized microorganisms against high doses of ionizing radiation. However, the physics of melanin interaction with ionizing radiation is unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings We rationally designed melanins from either 5-S-cysteinyl-DOPA, L-cysteine/L-DOPA, or L-DOPA with diverse structures as shown by elemental analysis and HPLC. Sulfur-containing melanins had higher predicted attenuation coefficients than non-sulfur-containing melanins. All synthetic melanins displayed strong electron paramagnetic resonance (2.14·1018, 7.09·1018, and 9.05·1017 spins/g, respectively), with sulfur-containing melanins demonstrating more complex spectra and higher numbers of stable free radicals. There was no change in the quality or quantity of the stable free radicals after high-dose (30,000 cGy), high-energy (137Cs, 661.6 keV) irradiation, indicating a high degree of radical stability as well as a robust resistance to the ionizing effects of gamma irradiation. The rationally designed melanins protected mammalian cells against ionizing radiation of different energies. Conclusions/Significance We propose that due to melanin's numerous aromatic oligomers containing multiple π-electron system, a generated Compton recoil electron gradually loses energy while passing through the pigment, until its energy is sufficiently low that it can be trapped by stable free radicals present in the pigment. Controlled dissipation of high-energy recoil electrons by melanin prevents secondary ionizations and the generation of damaging free radical species. PMID:19789711

  18. 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

  19. Melanin or a Melanin-Like Substance Interacts with the N-Terminal Portion of Prion Protein and Inhibits Abnormal Prion Protein Formation in Prion-Infected Cells.

    PubMed

    Hamanaka, Taichi; Nishizawa, Keiko; Sakasegawa, Yuji; Oguma, Ayumi; Teruya, Kenta; Kurahashi, Hiroshi; Hara, Hideyuki; Sakaguchi, Suehiro; Doh-Ura, Katsumi

    2017-03-15

    Prion diseases are progressive fatal neurodegenerative illnesses caused by the accumulation of transmissible abnormal prion protein (PrP). To find treatments for prion diseases, we searched for substances from natural resources that inhibit abnormal PrP formation in prion-infected cells. We found that high-molecular-weight components from insect cuticle extracts reduced abnormal PrP levels. The chemical nature of these components was consistent with that of melanin. In fact, synthetic melanin produced from tyrosine or 3-hydroxy-l-tyrosine inhibited abnormal PrP formation. Melanin did not modify cellular or cell surface PrP levels, nor did it modify lipid raft or cellular cholesterol levels. Neither did it enhance autophagy or lysosomal function. Melanin was capable of interacting with PrP at two N-terminal domains. Specifically, it strongly interacted with the PrP region of amino acids 23 to 50 including a positively charged amino acid cluster and weakly interacted with the PrP octarepeat peptide region of residues 51 to 90. However, the in vitro and in vivo data were inconsistent with those of prion-infected cells. Abnormal PrP formation in protein misfolding cyclic amplification was not inhibited by melanin. Survival after prion infection was not significantly altered in albino mice or exogenously melanin-injected mice compared with that of control mice. These data suggest that melanin, a main determinant of skin color, is not likely to modify prion disease pathogenesis, even though racial differences in the incidence of human prion diseases have been reported. Thus, the findings identify an interaction between melanin and the N terminus of PrP, but the pathophysiological roles of the PrP-melanin interaction remain unclear.IMPORTANCE The N-terminal region of PrP is reportedly important for neuroprotection, neurotoxicity, and abnormal PrP formation, as this region is bound by many factors, such as metal ions, lipids, nucleic acids, antiprion compounds, and several

  20. 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.

  1. Absorption mechanisms of human melanin in the visible, 400-720 nm.

    PubMed

    Kollias, N; Baqer, A H

    1987-10-01

    In this paper we propose that human melanin absorbs visible radiation through two distinct mechanisms: one that is in effect over the entire visible range and is linear in wavelength, and a second one that is evident at wavelengths in the range 400-500 nm and is exponential in frequency. These mechanisms are apparent in all human diffuse reflectance spectra that we have collected. We show that the absorber is the same in all human volunteer skin samples. By studying the diffuse reflection spectra of DOPA-melanin in solution and DOPA-melanin in powder form, we find that we can correlate the absorption mechanisms, one with melanin in solution (a low molecular weight form) and the other with melanin in powder (a high molecular weight form). Therefore, we propose that melanin exists in two distinct states. This model is of biologic significance, as it provides a reasonable interpretation for the diffuse reflection spectra obtained from delayed pigment (UVB-induced) and immediate pigment (UVA-induced). Delayed pigment appears as an increase of both forms of melanin (neomelanogenesis), whereas immediate pigment appears as an increase in the higher molecular weight form with a commensurate decrease in the lower molecular weight form: the two mechanisms change independently of each other. Finally, we show that we can distinguish spectroscopically between the delayed pigment and the immediate pigment.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Fruit over sunbed: carotenoid skin colouration is found more attractive than melanin colouration.

    PubMed

    Lefevre, Carmen E; Perrett, David I

    2015-01-01

    Skin colouration appears to play a pivotal part in facial attractiveness. Skin yellowness contributes to an attractive appearance and is influenced both by dietary carotenoids and by melanin. While both increased carotenoid colouration and increased melanin colouration enhance apparent health in Caucasian faces by increasing skin yellowness, it remains unclear, firstly, whether both pigments contribute to attractiveness judgements, secondly, whether one pigment is clearly preferred over the other, and thirdly, whether these effects depend on the sex of the face. Here, in three studies, we examine these questions using controlled facial stimuli transformed to be either high or low in (a) carotenoid colouration, or (b) melanin colouration. We show, firstly, that both increased carotenoid colouration and increased melanin colouration are found attractive compared to lower levels of these pigments. Secondly, we show that carotenoid colouration is consistently preferred over melanin colouration when levels of colouration are matched. In addition, we find an effect of the sex of stimuli with stronger preferences for carotenoids over melanin in female compared to male faces, irrespective of the sex of the observer. These results are interpreted as reflecting preferences for sex-typical skin colouration: men have darker skin than women and high melanization in male faces may further enhance this masculine trait, thus carotenoid colouration is not less desirable, but melanin colouration is relatively more desirable in males compared to females. Taken together, our findings provide further support for a carotenoid-linked health-signalling system that is highly important in mate choice.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-24

    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.

  9. Production of natural melanin by Auricularia auricula and study on its molecular structure.

    PubMed

    Sun, Shujing; Zhang, Xiaojuan; Sun, Shiwei; Zhang, Liaoyuan; Shan, Shukai; Zhu, Hu

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the production and structure of melanin produced by Auricularia auricula have been determined and analyzed in detail. The results showed that the highest mycelial growth rate was observed in low-carbon and carbon-free medium. In low-nitrogen and nitrogen-free medium, melanin yield was very low. Deficiency of tyrosine in medium led to weak secretion of melanin. The inorganic salt could markedly influence mycelia morphology, but did not obviously impact mycelia growth rate and melanin yield. Meanwhile the condensed molecular formula ([C18(OR)3H7O4N2]n) and structural formula of melanin were concluded based on UV-Vis, HPLC, FTIR, NMR and elemental assay. This is an eumelanin and also a macromolecular polymer of 5,6-dihydroxyindole and 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid. The 6 main components were phenolic hydroxyl, carboxyl, amidogen, carbonyl, methylene, methyne and sulfur. This work testified that nutritional control was very important to promote melanin production, making melanin more affordable as material in food, cosmetics and medicines.

  10. Syndecan-2 regulates melanin synthesis via protein kinase C βII-mediated tyrosinase activation.

    PubMed

    Jung, Hyejung; Chung, Heesung; Chang, Sung Eun; Choi, Sora; Han, Inn-Oc; Kang, Duk-Hee; Oh, Eok-Soo

    2014-05-01

    Syndecan-2, a transmembrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan that is highly expressed in melanoma cells, regulates melanoma cell functions (e.g. migration). Since melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes, which largely function to synthesize melanin, we investigated the possible involvement of syndecan-2 in melanogenesis. Syndecan-2 expression was increased in human skin melanoma tissues compared with normal skin. In both mouse and human melanoma cells, siRNA-mediated knockdown of syndecan-2 was associated with reduced melanin synthesis, whereas overexpression of syndecan-2 increased melanin synthesis. Similar effects were also detected in human primary epidermal melanocytes. Syndecan-2 expression did not affect the expression of tyrosinase, a key enzyme in melanin synthesis, but instead enhanced the enzymatic activity of tyrosinase by increasing the membrane and melanosome localization of its regulator, protein kinase CβII. Furthermore, UVB caused increased syndecan-2 expression, and this up-regulation of syndecan-2 was required for UVB-induced melanin synthesis. Taken together, these data suggest that syndecan-2 regulates melanin synthesis and could be a potential therapeutic target for treating melanin-associated diseases.

  11. 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.

  12. Experimental autoimmune anterior uveitis (EAAU): induction by melanin antigen and suppression by various treatments.

    PubMed

    Broekhuyse, R M; Kuhlmann, E D; Winkens, H J

    1993-02-01

    The uveitogenicity of melanin has been a controversial subject for a long time, presumably as a result of the use of ill-defined preparations in the experiments. We have developed procedures for the preparation of purified uveitogenic melanins from the retinal pigment epithelium and choroid that are free from pathogenic retinal photoreceptor proteins. The active melano-antigen is located at the surface of the melanin granules and is probably identical in both tissues. It retains its pathogenicity in hot polar detergent and during in vitro proteolysis, but it is inactivated by macrophage phagocytosis and hydrolysis in hot hydrochloric acid. Lewis rats immunized with microgram doses of bovine retinal pigment epithelial or choroidal melanin develop severe experimental autoimmune anterior uveitis (EAAU) about 10 days later. Retinitis and pinealitis are not observed. Skin melanin prepared in a similar way evokes EAAU as well, but it is only weakly pathogenic. EAAU cannot be transferred by serum, and its development can effectively be inhibited by antibodies to the inciting antigen and by cyclosporin. Vitamin E treatment of the animals causes a delay in its onset. The results indicate that cell-mediated immunity plays a dominant role in the pathogenesis of EAAU. This is the first time it has been shown that purified ocular and skin melanins are able to induce an autoimmune disease. The relevance of this finding for the study of melanin-related immunopathology in man is discussed.

  13. Inhibition of melanin synthesis pathway by tricyclazole increases susceptibility of Fonsecaea pedrosoi against mouse macrophages.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Marcel M L; Franzen, Anderson J; Alviano, Daniela S; Zanardi, Erica; Alviano, Celuta S; De Souza, Wanderley; Rozental, Sonia

    2005-12-15

    Fonsecaea pedrosoi produces melanin, a pigment related to virulence in pathogenic fungi. To understand the involvement of melanin in the protection of fungi, the authors used tricyclazole to inhibit the melanin pathway in F. pedrosoi. Experiments of pigmentation suggested that F. pedrosoi uniquely produces dihydroxynaphthalene-melanin. Pigments produced on cultures modified or not with tricyclazole were extracted by an alkali-acid method and submitted to infrared and ion exchange chromatography analysis; also cytochemistry analysis for cationized ferritin of whole cells was carried out. This group of experiments showed that the tricyclazole treatment on F. pedrosoi produced a melanin-like pigment, but less negatively charged and with less affinity for iron ions than that without the tricyclazole treatment, and this in turn lead to a less negatively charge cell wall surface. Scanning electron microscopy of such pigments showed that the melanin from control cultures maintained their hyphae-like structures, which have been described as "melanin-ghosts," whereas the tricyclazole pigment showed an amorphous surface. Interaction of conidia from cultures of F. pedrosoi, modified by tricyclazole or not, with peritoneal activated macrophages suggested that tricyclazole causes higher association of fungus with macrophages, weakens the fungus capacity to destroy the macrophages, and diminishes the resistance to dry fracture procedures on samples prepared for high resolution scanning electron microscopy.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Chemical characterization of hair melanins in various coat-color mutants of mice.

    PubMed

    Ozeki, H; Ito, S; Wakamatsu, K; Hirobe, T

    1995-09-01

    Mammalian melanins exist in two chemically distinct forms: the brown to black eumelanins and the yellow to reddish pheomelanins. Melanogenesis is influenced by a number of genes, the levels of whose products determine the quantity and quality of the melanins produced. To examine the effects of various coat-color genes on the chemical properties of melanins synthesized in the follicular melanocytes of mice, we have introduced new methods to solubilize differentially pheomelanins and brown-type eumelanins. We applied these and previously developed high-performance liquid chromatography and spectrophotometric methods for assaying eu- and pheomelanins to characterize melanins in various mutant mice: black, lethal yellow, viable yellow, agouti, brown, light, albino, dilute, recessive yellow, pink-eyed dilution, slaty, and silver. It was demonstrated that 1) complete solubilization of melanins in Soluene-350 is a convenient method to estimate the total amount of eu- and pheomelanins, 2) lethal yellow, viable yellow, and recessive yellow hairs contain almost pure pheomelanins, and 3) melanins from brown, light, silver, and pink-eyed black hairs share chemical properties in common that are characterized by partial solubility in strong alkali. We suggest that 1) the brown-type eumelanins have lower degrees of polymerization than the black-type eumelanins, and 2) slaty hair melanin contains a greatly reduced ratio of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid-derived units as compared with black and other eumelanic hair melanins. These results indicate that our methodology, high-performance liquid chromatography and spectrophotometric methods combined, may be useful in chemically characterizing melanin pigments produced in follicular melanocytes.

  17. Synthesis and characterization of melanins from dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid and dihydroxyindole.

    PubMed

    Orlow, S J; Osber, M P; Pawelek, J M

    1992-09-01

    Several studies have confirmed that a melanocyte-specific enzyme, dopachrome tautomerase (EC 5.3.2.3), catalyzes the isomerization of dopachrome to 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) (Pawelek, 1991). Here we report that DHICA, produced either enzymatically with dopachrome tautomerase or through chemical synthesis, spontaneously polymerized to form brown melanin that was soluble in aqueous solutions above pH 5. Under the same reaction conditions, solutions of either DOPA, DOPAchrome, or 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) formed black, insoluble melanin precipitates. When DHICA and DHI were mixed together, with DHICA in molar excess, little or no precipitation of DHI-melanin occurred and the rate and extent of soluble melanin formation was markedly enhanced over that achieved with DHICA alone, suggesting co-polymerization of DHICA and DHI. With or without DHI, DHICA-melanins absorbed throughout the ultraviolet and visible spectra (200-600 nm). The DHICA-melanins precipitated below pH 5, at least in part because of protonation of the carboxyl groups. DHICA-melanins could be passed through 0.22 micron filters but could not be dialyzed through semi-permeable membranes with exclusion limits of 12,000-14,000 daltons. HPLC/molecular sieve analyses revealed apparent molecular weights ranging from 20,000 to 200,000 daltons, corresponding to 100-1,000 DHICA monomers per molecule of melanin. DHICA-melanins were stable to boiling, lyophilization, freezing and thawing, and incubation at room temperature for more than 1 year. The natural occurrence of oligomers of DHICA was first reported by Ito and Nichol (1974) in their studies of the brown tapetal pigment in the eye of the sea catfish (Arius felis L.).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  18. 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

  19. Melanin concentration gradients in modern and fossil feathers.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Screening of micro-organisms for decolorization of melanins produced by bluestain fungi.

    PubMed

    Rättö, M; Chatani, M; Ritschkoff, A C; Viikari, L

    2001-03-01

    A total of 17 fungi and four bacteria were screened for their ability to decolorize melanin, using isolated extracellular melanin of the bluestain fungus Aureobasidium pullulans as substrate. On agar media, decolorization was observed by four fungal strains: Bjerkandera adusta VTT-D-99746, Galactomyces geotrichum VTT-D-84228, Trametes hirsuta VTT-D-95443 and Trametes versicolor VTT-D-99747. The four fungi were more efficient on nitrogen-limited medium than on complete medium. The melanin-decolorizing activity of G. geotrichum appeared to be located on the mycelium and could be liberated into the medium enzymatically.

  2. Royal jelly reduces melanin synthesis through down-regulation of tyrosinase expression.

    PubMed

    Han, Sang Mi; Yeo, Joo Hong; Cho, Yoon Hee; Pak, Sok Cheon

    2011-01-01

    For cosmetic reasons, the demand for effective and safe skin-whitening agents is high. Since the key enzyme in the melanin synthetic pathway is tyrosinase, many depigmenting agents in the treatment of hyperpigmentation act as tyrosinase inhibitors. In this study, we have investigated the hypo-pigmentary mechanism of royal jelly in a mouse melanocyte cell line, B16F1. Treatment of B16F1 cells with royal jelly markedly inhibited melanin biosynthesis in a dose-dependent manner. Decreased melanin content occurred through the decrease of tyrosinase activity. The mRNA levels of tyrosinase were also reduced by royal jelly. These results suggest that royal jelly reduces melanin synthesis by down-regulation of tyrosinase mRNA transcription and serves as a new candidate in the design of new skin-whitening or therapeutic agents.

  3. Melanin and blood concentration in human skin studied by multiple regression analysis: experiments.

    PubMed

    Shimada, M; Yamada, Y; Itoh, M; Yatagai, T

    2001-09-01

    Knowledge of the mechanism of human skin colour and measurement of melanin and blood concentration in human skin are needed in the medical and cosmetic fields. The absorbance spectrum from reflectance at the visible wavelength of human skin increases under several conditions such as a sunburn or scalding. The change of the absorbance spectrum from reflectance including the scattering effect does not correspond to the molar absorption spectrum of melanin and blood. The modified Beer-Lambert law is applied to the change in the absorbance spectrum from reflectance of human skin as the change in melanin and blood is assumed to be small. The concentration of melanin and blood was estimated from the absorbance spectrum reflectance of human skin using multiple regression analysis. Estimated concentrations were compared with the measured one in a phantom experiment and this method was applied to in vivo skin.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Melanin and blood concentration in human skin studied by multiple regression analysis: experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimada, M.; Yamada, Y.; Itoh, M.; Yatagai, T.

    2001-09-01

    Knowledge of the mechanism of human skin colour and measurement of melanin and blood concentration in human skin are needed in the medical and cosmetic fields. The absorbance spectrum from reflectance at the visible wavelength of human skin increases under several conditions such as a sunburn or scalding. The change of the absorbance spectrum from reflectance including the scattering effect does not correspond to the molar absorption spectrum of melanin and blood. The modified Beer-Lambert law is applied to the change in the absorbance spectrum from reflectance of human skin as the change in melanin and blood is assumed to be small. The concentration of melanin and blood was estimated from the absorbance spectrum reflectance of human skin using multiple regression analysis. Estimated concentrations were compared with the measured one in a phantom experiment and this method was applied to in vivo skin.

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Elemental characterisation of melanin in feathers via synchrotron X-ray imaging and absorption spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Nicholas P.; van Veelen, Arjen; Anné, Jennifer; Manning, Phillip L.; Bergmann, Uwe; Sellers, William I.; Egerton, Victoria M.; Sokaras, Dimosthenis; Alonso-Mori, Roberto; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Wogelius, Roy A.

    2016-01-01

    Melanin is a critical component of biological systems, but the exact chemistry of melanin is still imprecisely known. This is partly due to melanin’s complex heterogeneous nature and partly because many studies use synthetic analogues and/or pigments extracted from their natural biological setting, which may display important differences from endogenous pigments. Here we demonstrate how synchrotron X-ray analyses can non-destructively characterise the elements associated with melanin pigment in situ within extant feathers. Elemental imaging shows that the distributions of Ca, Cu and Zn are almost exclusively controlled by melanin pigment distribution. X-ray absorption spectroscopy demonstrates that the atomic coordination of zinc and sulfur is different within eumelanised regions compared to pheomelanised regions. This not only impacts our fundamental understanding of pigmentation in extant organisms but also provides a significant contribution to the evidence-based colour palette available for reconstructing the appearance of fossil organisms. PMID:27658854

  11. Mechanistic insights into the bleaching of melanin by alkaline hydrogen peroxide.

    PubMed

    Smith, R A W; Garrett, B; Naqvi, K R; Fülöp, A; Godfrey, S P; Marsh, J M; Chechik, V

    2017-03-18

    This work aims to determine the roles of reactive oxygen species HO∙ and HO2(-) in the bleaching of melanins by alkaline hydrogen peroxide. Experiments using melanosomes isolated from human hair indicated that the HO∙ radical generated in the outside solution does not contribute significantly to bleaching. However, studies using soluble Sepia melanin demonstrated that both HO2(-) and HO∙ will individually bleach melanin. Additionally, when both oxidants are present, bleaching is increased dramatically in both rate and extent. Careful experimental design enabled the separation of the roles and effects of these key reactive species, HO∙ and HO2(-). Rationalisation of the results presented, and review of previous literature, allowed the postulation of a simplified general scheme whereby the strong oxidant HO∙ is able to pre-oxidise melanin units to o-quinones enabling more facile ring opening by the more nucleophilic HO2(-). In this manner the efficiency of the roles of both species is maximised.

  12. Elemental characterisation of melanin in feathers via synchrotron X-ray imaging and absorption spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Nicholas P.; van Veelen, Arjen; Anné, Jennifer; Manning, Phillip L.; Bergmann, Uwe; Sellers, William I.; Egerton, Victoria M.; Sokaras, Dimosthenis; Alonso-Mori, Roberto; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Wogelius, Roy A.

    2016-09-01

    Melanin is a critical component of biological systems, but the exact chemistry of melanin is still imprecisely known. This is partly due to melanin’s complex heterogeneous nature and partly because many studies use synthetic analogues and/or pigments extracted from their natural biological setting, which may display important differences from endogenous pigments. Here we demonstrate how synchrotron X-ray analyses can non-destructively characterise the elements associated with melanin pigment in situ within extant feathers. Elemental imaging shows that the distributions of Ca, Cu and Zn are almost exclusively controlled by melanin pigment distribution. X-ray absorption spectroscopy demonstrates that the atomic coordination of zinc and sulfur is different within eumelanised regions compared to pheomelanised regions. This not only impacts our fundamental understanding of pigmentation in extant organisms but also provides a significant contribution to the evidence-based colour palette available for reconstructing the appearance of fossil organisms.

  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. Quick analysis of optical spectra to quantify epidermal melanin and papillary dermal blood content of skin.

    PubMed

    Jacques, Steven L

    2015-04-01

    This paper presents a practical approach for assessing the melanin and blood content of the skin from total diffuse reflectance spectra, R(λ), where λ is wavelength. A quick spectral analysis using just three wavelengths (585 nm, 700 nm and 800 nm) is presented, based on the 1985 work of Kollias and Baquer who documented epidermal melanin of skin using the slope of optical density (OD) between 620 nm and 720 nm. The paper describes the non-rectilinear character of such a quick analysis, and shows that almost any choice of two wavelengths in the 600-900 range can achieve the characterization of melanin. The extrapolation of the melanin slope to 585 nm serves as a baseline for subtraction from the OD (585 nm) to yield a blood perfusion score. Monte Carlo simulations created spectral data for a skin model with epidermis, papillary dermis and reticular dermis to illustrate the analysis.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Examination by EPR spectroscopy of free radicals in melanins isolated from A-375 cells exposed on valproic acid and cisplatin.

    PubMed

    Chodurek, Ewa; Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Dzierzewicz, Zofia

    2012-01-01

    Drug binding by melanin biopolymers influence the effectiveness of the chemotherapy, radiotherapy and photodynamic therapy. Free radicals of melanins take part in formation of their complex with drugs. The aim of this work was to determine the effect of the two compounds: valproic acid (VPA) and cisplatin (CPT) on free radicals properties of melanin isolated from A-375 melanoma cells. Free radicals were examined by an X-band (9.3 GHz) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. EPR spectra were measured for the model synthetic eumelanin - DOPA-melanin, the melanin isolated from the control A-375 cells and these cells treated by VPA, CPT and both VPA and CPT. For all the examined samples broad EPR lines (deltaBpp: 0.48-0.68 mT) with g-factors of 2.0045-2.0060 characteristic for o-semiquinone free radicals were observed. Free radicals concentrations (N) in the tested samples, g-factors, amplitudes (A), integral intensities (I) and linewidths (deltaBpp) of the EPR spectra, were analyzed. The EPR lines were homogeneously broadened. Continuous microwave saturation of the EPR spectra indicated that slow spin-lattice relaxation processes existed in all the tested melanin samples. The relatively slowest spin-lattice relaxation processes characterized melanin isolated from A-375 cells treated with both VPA and CPT. The changes of the EPR spectra with increasing microwave power in the range of 2.2-70 mW were evaluated. Free radicals concentrations in the melanin from A-375 cells were higher than in the synthetic DOPA-melanin. The strong increase of free radicals concentration in the melanin from A-375 cells was observed after their treating by VPA. CPT also caused the increase of free radicals concentrations in the examined natural melanin. The free radicals concentration in melanin isolated from A-375 cells treated with both VPA and CPT was slightly higher than those in melanin from the control cells.

  18. 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

  19. Ability of melanins to protect against the radiolysis of thymine and thymidine.

    PubMed

    Hill, H Z; Huselton, C; Pilas, B; Hill, G J

    1987-01-01

    Individuals with black skin rarely get skin cancer, and melanomas, tumors arising from pigmented cells, are generally resistant to radiation therapy. The role of melanin in these two phenomena has not been defined, but oxygen-radical species have been implicated in both effects. These studies were undertaken to determine the ability of various melanins to compete for ionizing radiation-produced radicals which destroy nucleic acid bases. The ability of Sigma eumelanin (S-eumelanin) to protect against the radiolysis of thymidine in buffered solutions was compared to the protective ability of seven amino acids, including melanin precursors; bovine serum albumin, as a model protein; ficoll, as a model polysaccharide; and DNA. Both proteins and polysaccharides are known to scavenge hydroxyl radicals in cells. The concentration of thymidine after exposure to gamma radiation was determined by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis after removal of insoluble melanin by acid precipitation. S-eumelanin was more effective at competing with thymidine for free radicals than bovine serum albumin, Ficoll, or DNA, but less effective than certain of the small molecules. Several of the above compounds were also examined for ability to protect against thymine radiolysis. In addition, melanins from other sources were compared to S-eumelanin. Of these, enzymatically synthesized phaeomelanin was the most effective. The results indicate that melanins can compete for base- and nucleoside-damaging free radicals more effectively than other cellular macromolecules. Of the small molecules, the phenolic compounds had the greatest scavenging ability. In vivo, melanins are found in melanosomes bound to protein. Therefore, the relevance of these findings to the photo- and radiobiology of melanins in vivo has yet to be determined.

  20. Sexual Dimorphism in Melanin Pigmentation, Feather Coloration and Its Heritability in the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

    PubMed Central

    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

  1. 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

  2. Melanin, a promising radioprotector: mechanisms of actions in a mice model.

    PubMed

    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 50mg/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 (7Gy, 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Modeling drug-melanin interaction with theoretical linear solvation energy relationships.

    PubMed

    Lowrey, A H; Famini, G R; Loumbev, V; Wilson, L Y; Tosk, J M

    1997-10-01

    The affinity of drugs and other xenobiotic agents for melanin is a well-known phenomenon, often occurring with serious physiological consequences. For example, the interaction of anti-psychotic drugs with neuromelanin may play a pivotal role in the induction of extrapyramidal movement disorders associated with the chronic administration of phenothiazine and other neuroleptic agents. Little, however, is known about the complete nature of melanin-drug binding and the impact of these interactions on the physico-chemical properties of melanin. Data, such as binding affinities, can be analyzed using recently developed computational methods that combine mathematical models of chemical structure with statistical analysis. In particular, theoretical linear solvation energy relationships provide a convenient model for understanding and predicting biological, chemical, and physical properties. By using this modeling technique, drug-melanin binding of a set of 16 compounds has been analyzed with correlation analysis and a set of theoretical molecular parameters in order to better understand and characterize drug-melanin interactions. The resulting correlation equation supports a charge transfer model for drug-melanin complex formation and can also be used to estimate binding constants for related compounds.

  7. Protein, lipid, and DNA radicals to measure skin UVA damage and modulation by melanin.

    PubMed

    Haywood, Rachel; Rogge, Fabrice; Lee, Martin

    2008-03-15

    Afro-Caribbeans have a lower incidence of skin cancer than Caucasians, but the effectiveness of melanin as a photoprotective pigment is debated. We investigated the UVA and solar irradiation of ex vivo human skin and DMPO using electron spin resonance spectroscopy, to determine whether pigmented skin is protected by melanin against free radical damage. Initial ascorbate radicals in Caucasian skin were superseded by lipid and/or protein radical adducts with isotropic (a(H)=1.8 mT) and anisotropic spectra comparable to spectra in irradiated pig fat (a(H)=1.9 mT) and BSA. DNA carbon-centered radical adducts (a(H)=2.3 mT) and a broad singlet were detected in genomic DNA/melanin but were not distinguishable in irradiated Caucasian skin. Protein and lipid radicals (n=6 in Caucasian skin) were minimal in Afro-Caribbean skin (n=4) and intermediate skin pigmentations were variable (n=3). In irradiated Afro-Caribbean skin a shoulder to the melanin radical (also in UVA-irradiated pigmented melanoma cells and genomic DNA/melanin and intrinsic to pheomelanin) was detected. In this sample group, protein (but not lipid) radical adducts decreased directly with pigmentation. ESR/spin trapping methodology has potential for screening skin susceptibility to aging and cancer-related radical damage and for measuring protection afforded by melanin, sunscreens, and antiaging creams.

  8. UV causation of melanoma in Xiphophorus is dominated by melanin photosensitized oxidant production

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Simon R.; Berwick, Marianne; Ley, Ronald D.; Walter, Ronald B.; Setlow, Richard B.; Timmins, Graham S.

    2006-01-01

    Controversy continues both as to which wavelengths of sunlight cause melanoma and the mechanisms by which these different wavelengths act. Direct absorption of UVB by DNA is central in albino animal models, but melanin-pigmented models have shown major contributions by wavelengths longer than UVB that are thought to be mediated by photosensitized oxidant production. The only model for which the action spectrum of melanoma causation is known is a genetically melanoma-susceptible specific cross of Xiphophorus fish. We used electron paramagnetic resonance to quantitatively detect the UV induction of reactive melanin radicals in situ in the melanin-containing cells in the skin of this model and derived the action spectrum for melanin-photosensitized oxidant production (Φox). This action spectrum was identical to that for melanoma induction (Φmel). These results confirm the hypothesis that melanin-photosensitized radical production is the major causative step of melanoma in this model and demonstrate that the wavelengths and mechanisms of melanoma causation in different models are dependent on the presence of melanin. This approach should be applicable to humans, thus providing an accurate surrogate for Φmel for prevention studies. PMID:16537493

  9. Preparation of melanin from Catharsius molossus L. and preliminary study on its chemical structure.

    PubMed

    Xin, Chao; Ma, Jia-hua; Tan, Cheng-jia; Yang, Zhou; Ye, Feng; Long, Chan; Ye, Shuang; Hou, Da-bin

    2015-04-01

    A great deal of melanin was found in the waste alkali liquor produced by extraction of chitin from Catharsius molossus L. Discarding the lye could harm the environment and cause waste of resources. In this paper, melanin from C. molossus L. was recovered through acid precipitation and purified by pepsin and so on. The purity, chemical composition and structure of the prepared melanin were explored by UV-visible absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, high resolution (13)C Cross polarization magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry, X ray diffraction, X ray fluorescence, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight tandem mass spectrometry, thermal analysis, and so on. The results showed that the purity of the prepared melanin was higher than the commercial standard melanin and it was a kind of nanoaggregates composed of a large quantity of 5,6-dihydroxyindole eumelanin and a small amount of phaeomelanin. In addition, the prepared melanin was irregular in shape and its structure could be divided into three levels: advanced structure maintained by polypeptides, substructure maintained by the ferric ion and microstructure. In particular, the smallest structural unit showed the graphite-like layered structure containing five layers linked by non-covalent bonds and each layer mainly consisted of 5,6-dihydroxyindole and its derivatives, which might be connected to each other through various chemical bonds.

  10. 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.

  11. High-level production of melanin by a novel isolate of Streptomyces kathirae.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jing; Rao, Zhiming; Yang, Taowei; Man, Zaiwei; Xu, Meijuan; Zhang, Xian

    2014-08-01

    Forty-five bacterial strains that produced diffusive pigments were isolated from 40 soil samples. Maximum pigment production was from a Streptomyces kathirae strain designated SC-1. The diffused pigment was characterized by UV-visual and infrared spectroscopy, MS and (1) H nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and was confirmed as melanin. This may be the first report of melanin production by S. kathirae. To enhance melanin production, the culture medium was optimized by conducting a series of batch fermentations in a defined medium, and the results were analysed statistically using a response surface method. The optimal culture medium comprised 3.3 g L(-1) amylodextrine, 37 g L(-1) yeast extract, 5 g L(-1) NaCl, 0.1 g L(-1) CaCl2 and 54.4 μM CuSO4 . The pH of this medium was 6.0. Under optimal conditions, the melanin concentration was maximized at 13.7 g L(-1) , c. 8.6-fold higher than obtained in suboptimal medium. To our knowledge, the results provide novel data on melanin fermentation, and identify an excellent candidate for industrial-scale microbial fermentation of melanin.

  12. 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.

  13. Manassantin A and B from Saururus chinensis inhibiting cellular melanin production.

    PubMed

    Seo, Chang-Seob; Lee, Won-Hee; Chung, Hee-Wook; Chang, Eun Ju; Lee, Seung Ho; Jahng, Yurngdong; Hwang, Bang Yeon; Son, Jong-Keun; Han, Sang-Bae; Kim, Youngsoo

    2009-11-01

    Hyperpigmentation disorders such as freckles and senile lentigines in the skin are associated with abnormal accumulation of melanin pigments. In this study, two lignan constituents were isolated from Saururus chinensis Baill (Saururaceae) as inhibitors of cellular melanin production by bioassay-guided fractionations. The active constituents were manassantin A and B that dose-dependently inhibited melanin production in alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH)-activated melanoma B16 cells with IC(50) values of 13 nm and 8 nm, respectively. Arbutin as a positive control exhibited an IC(50) value of 96 microm on alpha-MSH-induced melanin production. Further, manassantin A inhibited forskolin- or 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX)-induced melanin production with IC(50) values of 14 nm or 12 nm, respectively. Manassantin A decreased cellular amounts of IBMX-inducible tyrosinase protein but could not affect the catalytic activity of cell-free tyrosinase, a key enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of melanin pigments. Finally, this study could provide a pharmacological potential of S. chinensis in hyperpigmentation disorders.

  14. Design of a Monocular Multi-Spectral Skin Detection, Melanin Estimation, and False-Alarm Suppression System

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-03-01

    Design of a Monocular Multi-Spectral Skin Detection, Melanin Estimation, and False-Alarm Suppression System THESIS Keith R. Peskosky, Second...Skin Detection, Melanin Estimation, and False-Alarm Suppression System THESIS Presented to the Faculty Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering...alarm reduction, and melanin estimation system is designed targeting search and rescue (SAR) with application to special operations for manhunting and

  15. Two-color excited-state absorption imaging of melanins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Dan; Ye, Tong; Matthews, Thomas E.; Yurtsever, Gunay; Hong, Lian; Simon, John D.; Warren, Warren S.

    2007-02-01

    We have demonstrated a new method for imaging melanin with two-color excited state absorption microscopy. If one of two synchronized mode-locked pulse trains at different colors is intensity modulated, the modulation transfers to the other pulse train when nonlinear absorption takes place in the medium. We can easily measure 10 -6 absorption changes caused by either instantaneous two-photon absorption or relatively long lived excited state absorption with a RF lock-in amplifier. Eumelanin and pheomelanin exhibit similar excited state dynamics. However, their difference in excited state absorption and ground state absorption leads to change in the phase of the transient absorption signal. Scanning microscopic imaging is performed with B16 cells, melanoma tissue to demonstrate the 3D high resolution imaging capability. Different melanosome samples are also imaged to illustrate the differences between eumelanin and pheomelanin signals. These differences could enable us to image their respective distribution in tissue samples and provide us with valuable information in diagnosing malignant transformation of melanocytes.

  16. Redox activity of melanin from the ink sac of Sepia officinalis by means of colorimetric oxidative assay.

    PubMed

    Srisuk, Pathomthat; Correlo, Vitor M; Leonor, Isabel B; Palladino, Pasquale; Reis, Rui L

    2016-01-01

    The redox properties of natural extract from cuttlefish ink sac (Sepia officinalis) and synthetic melanin used as a biomimetic in melanin structural investigation were determined by comparison of this phenol-based heterogeneous pigment with gallic acid used as a standard in Folin-Ciocalteu colorimetric assay widely employed for characterisation of oxidative properties of biomaterials. Reactivity of sepia melanin reported here is much higher than previously indicated and this protocol should allow the redox characterisation of all melanins irrespective of their origin and composition.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Melanin dependent survival of Apergillus fumigatus conidia in lung epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Amin, Shayista; Thywissen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Saluz, Hans Peter; Brakhage, Axel A

    2014-07-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne pathogenic fungus of humans. Upon inhalation of conidia, the fungus makes close contact with lung epithelial cells, which only possess low phagocytic activity. These cells are in particular interesting to address the question whether there is some form of persistence of conidia of A. fumigatus in the human host. Therefore, by also using uracil-auxotrophic mutant strains, we were able to investigate the interaction of A549 lung epithelial cells and A. fumigatus conidia in detail for long periods. Interestingly, unlike professional phagocytes, our study showed that the presence of conidial dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin enhanced the uptake of A. fumigatus conidia by epithelial cells when compared with non-pigmented pksP mutant conidia. Furthermore, conidia of A. fumigatus were able to survive within epithelial cells. This was due to the presence of DHN melanin in the cell wall of conidia, because melanised wild-type conidia showed a higher survival rate inside epithelial cells and led to inhibition of acidification of phagolysosomes. Both effects were not observed for white (non-melanised) conidia of the pksP mutant strain. Moreover, in contrast to pksP mutant conidia, melanised wild-type conidia were able to inhibit the extrinsic apoptotic pathway in A549 lung epithelial cells even for longer periods. The anti-apoptotic effect was not restricted to conidia, because both conidia-derived melanin ghosts (cell-free DHN melanin) and a different type of melanin, dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) melanin, acted anti-apoptotically. Taken together, these data indicate the possibility of melanin-dependent persistence of conidia in lung epithelial cells.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Redox buffering by melanin and Fe(II) in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed Central

    Jacobson, E S; Hong, J D

    1997-01-01

    Melanin is a fungal extracellular redox buffer which, in principle, can neutralize antimicrobial oxidants generated by immunologic effector cells, but its source of reducing equivalents is not known. We wondered whether Fe(II) generated by the external ferric reductase of fungi might have the physiologic function of reducing fungal melanin and thereby promoting pathogenesis. We observed that exposure of a melanin film electrode to reductants decreased the open-circuit potential (OCP) and reduced the area of a cyclic voltammetric reduction wave whereas exposure to oxidants produced the opposite effects. Exposure to 10, 100, 1,000 or 10,000 microM Fe(II) decreased the OCP of melanin by 0.015, 0.038, 0.100, and 0.120 V, respectively, relative to a silver-silver chloride standard, and decreased the area of the cyclic voltammetric reduction wave by 27, 35, 50, and 83%, respectively. Moreover, exposure to Fe(II) increased the buffering capacity by 44%, while exposure to millimolar dithionite did not increase the buffering capacity. The ratio of the amount of bound iron to the amount of the incremental increase in the following oxidation wave was approximately 1.0, suggesting that bound iron participates in buffering. Light absorption by melanin suspensions was decreased 14% by treatment with Fe(II), consistent with reduction of melanin. Light absorption by suspensions of melanized Cryptococcus neoformans was decreased 1.3% by treatment with Fe(II) (P < 0.05). Cultures of C. neoformans generated between 2 and 160 microM Fe(II) in culture supernatant, depending upon the strain and the conditions [the higher values were achieved by a constitutive ferric reductase mutant in high concentrations of Fe(III)]. We infer that Fe(II) can reduce melanin under physiologic conditions; moreover, it binds to melanin and cooperatively increases redox buffering. The data support a model for physiologic redox cycling of fungal melanin, whereby electrons exported by the yeast to form

  3. Generation and suppression of singlet oxygen in hair by photosensitization of melanin.

    PubMed

    Chiarelli-Neto, Orlando; Pavani, Christiane; Ferreira, Alan S; Uchoa, Adjaci F; Severino, Divinomar; Baptista, Maurício S

    2011-09-15

    We have studied the spectroscopic properties of hair (white, blond, red, brown, and black) under illumination with visible light, giving special emphasis to the photoinduced generation of singlet oxygen ((1)O(2)). Irradiation of hair shafts (λ(ex)>400 nm) changed their properties by degrading the melanin. Formation of C3 hydroperoxides in the melanin indol groups was proven by (1)H NMR. After 532-nm excitation, all hair shafts presented the characteristic (1)O(2) emission (λ(em)=1270 nm), whose intensity varied inversely with the melanin content. (1)O(2) lifetime was also shown to vary with hair type, being five times shorter in black hair than in blond hair, indicating the role of melanin as a (1)O(2) suppressor. Lifetime ranged from tenths of a nanosecond to a few microseconds, which is much shorter than the lifetime expected for (1)O(2) in the solvents in which the hair shafts were suspended, indicating that (1)O(2) is generated and suppressed inside the hair structure. Both eumelanin and pheomelanin were shown to produce and to suppress (1)O(2), with similar efficiencies. The higher amount of (1)O(2) generated in blond hair and its longer lifetime is compatible with the stronger damage that light exposure causes in blond hair. We propose a model to explain the formation and suppression of (1)O(2) in hair by photosensitization of melanin with visible light and the deleterious effects that an excess of visible light may cause in hair and skin.

  4. 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

  5. Melanocyte biology and function with reference to oral melanin hyperpigmentation in HIV-seropositive subjects.

    PubMed

    Feller, Liviu; Chandran, Rakesh; Kramer, Beverley; Khammissa, Razia A G; Altini, Mario; Lemmer, Johan

    2014-09-01

    The color of normal skin and of oral mucosa is not determined by the number of melanocytes in the epithelium but rather by their melanogenic activity. Pigmented biopolymers or melanins are synthesized in melanosomes. Tyrosinase is the critical enzyme in the biosynthesis of both brown/black eumelanin and yellow/red pheomelanin. The number of the melanosomes within the melanocytes, the type of melanin within the melanosomes, and the efficacy of the transfer of melanosomes from the melanocytes to the neighboring keratinocytes all play an important role in tissue pigmentation. Melanin production is regulated by locally produced factors including proopiomelanocortin and its derivative peptides, particularly alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), adrenergic and cholinergic agents, growth factors, cytokines, and nitric oxide. Both eumelanin and pheomelanin can be produced by the same melanocytes, and the proportion of the two melanin types is influenced by the degree of functional activity of the α-MSH/MC1R intracellular pathway. The cause of HIV oral melanosis is not fully understood but may be associated with HIV-induced cytokine dysregulation, with the medications commonly prescribed to HIV-seropositive persons, and with adrenocortical dysfunction, which is not uncommon in HIV-seropositive subjects with AIDS. The purpose of this article is to discuss some aspects of melanocyte biology and HIV-associated oral melanin hyperpigmentation.

  6. Role of GTP-CHI links PAH and TH in melanin synthesis in silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ping; Wang, Jiying; Li, Haiyin; Li, Yan; Chen, Peng; Li, Tian; Chen, Xi; Xiao, Junjie; Zhang, Liang

    2015-08-10

    In insects, pigment patterns are formed by melanin, ommochromes, and pteridines. Here, the effects of pteridine synthesis on melanin formation were studied using 4th instar larvae of a wild-type silkworm strain, dazao (Bombyx mori), with normal color and markings. Results from injected larvae and in vitro integument culture indicated that decreased activity of guanosine triphosphate cyclohydrolase I (GTP-CH I, a rate-limiting enzyme for pteridine synthesis), lowers BH4 (6R-l-erythro-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrobiopterin, a production correlated with GTP-CH I activity) levels and eliminates markings and coloration. The conversion of phenylalanine and tyrosine to melanin was prevented when GTP-CH I was inhibited. When BH4 was added, phenylalanine was converted to tyrosine, and the tyrosine concentration increased. Tyrosine was then converted to melanin to create normal markings and coloration. Decreasing GTP-CH I activity did not affect L-DOPA (3,4-l-dihydroxyphenylalanine). GTP-CH I affected melanin synthesis by generating the BH4 used in two key reaction steps: (1) conversion of phenylalanine to tyrosine by PAH (phenylalanine hydroxylase) and (2) conversion of tyrosine to L-DOPA by TH (tyrosine hydroxylase). Expression profiles of BmGTPCH Ia, BmGTPCH Ib, BmTH, and BmPAH in the integument were consistent with the current findings.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Separating melanin from hemodynamics in nevi using multimode hyperspectral dermoscopy and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasefi, Fartash; MacKinnon, Nicholas; Saager, Rolf; Kelly, Kristen M.; Maly, Tyler; Booth, Nicholas; Durkin, Anthony J.; Farkas, Daniel L.

    2016-11-01

    Changes in the pattern and distribution of both melanocytes (pigment producing) and vasculature (hemoglobin containing) are important in distinguishing melanocytic proliferations. The ability to accurately measure melanin distribution at different depths and to distinguish it from hemoglobin is clearly important when assessing pigmented lesions (benign versus malignant). We have developed a multimode hyperspectral dermoscope (SkinSpect™) able to more accurately image both melanin and hemoglobin distribution in skin. SkinSpect uses both hyperspectral and polarization-sensitive measurements. SkinSpect's higher accuracy has been obtained by correcting for the effect of melanin absorption on hemoglobin absorption in measurements of melanocytic nevi. In vivo human skin pigmented nevi (N=20) were evaluated with the SkinSpect, and measured melanin and hemoglobin concentrations were compared with spatial frequency domain spectroscopy (SFDS) measurements. We confirm that both systems show low correlation of hemoglobin concentrations with regions containing different melanin concentrations (R=0.13 for SFDS, R=0.07 for SkinSpect).

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties of grape melanin. Inhibitory effects on paw edema and adjuvant induced disease.

    PubMed

    Avramidis, N; Kourounakis, A; Hadjipetrou, L; Senchuk, V

    1998-07-01

    Natural or synthetic melanin (CAS 8049-97-6) is a high molecular weight heteropolymer, product of the enzyme tyrosinase, found to possess radical scavenging and antioxidant functions. It was of interest, therefore, to study in detail the possible anti-inflammatory and/or immunosuppressive properties of a melanin isolated from grapes. The inhibitory effect of melanin on carrageenin-induced edema, as well as on edemas produced by other phlogistics, was remarkable suggesting that melanin interferes with the prostaglandin as well as the leukotriene and/or complement system mediated inflammation. Grape melanin showed potent inhibitory effect on adjuvant induced disease (AID) in rat, suppressing significantly the primary inflammation and almost totally the secondary lesions of arthritis. Melanin under the present experimental conditions not only strongly inhibited the in vitro lipid peroxidation of rat liver microsomal membranes, but furthermore protected the in vivo hepatic peroxidation occurring in AID rats, demonstrating its antioxidant and cytoprotective properties. The serum proinflammatory cytokines IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-a and the serum globulin fraction were elevated in AID rats, parameters which were more or less normalised by melanin treatment in contrast to the reduced serum levels of IL-2 which were not affected. Similarly to other lipoxygenase inhibitors and hydroxyl radical scavenger NSAIDs, melanin treatment did not affect IL-1 neither increased the splenic mitogenic responses, unlike the classical cyclooxygenase inhibitory NSAIDs. The subpopulation Th1 (T4+ or T8+) of lymphocytes is mainly responsible for cellular immune responses and thus their possible inhibition by melanin could lead to suppression of the development of AID, a model for cell-mediated immunity. The effect of melanin on T-cells is exhibited by the reduced spleen mitogenic responses to a T-cell mitogen and the reduced serum levels of IL-2 of treated rats. In conclusion, grape melanin is an

  13. 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.

  14. Study of optical properties of electropolymerized melanin films by photopyroelectric spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    de Albuquerque, José Eduardo; Giacomantonio, Clare; White, Andrew G; Meredith, Paul

    2006-02-01

    Photopyroelectric (PPE) spectroscopy, in the 350-1,075 nm wavelength range, was used to study the optical properties of electropolymerized melanin films on indium tin oxide (ITO) coated glass. The PPE intensity signal as a function of the wavelength lambda, V (n)(lambda) and its phase F (n)(lambda) were independently measured. Using the PPE signal intensity and the thermal and optical properties of the pyroelectric detector, we were able to calculate the optical absorption coefficient beta of melanin in the solid-state. We believe this to be the first such measurement of its kind on this material. Additionally, we found an optical gap in these melanin films at 1.70 eV.

  15. Melanin-containing films: growth from dopamine solutions versus layer-by-layer deposition.

    PubMed

    Bernsmann, Falk; Ersen, Ovidiu; Voegel, Jean-Claude; Jan, Edward; Kotov, Nicholas A; Ball, Vincent

    2010-10-25

    Films formed by oxidation of dopamine are of interest for functionalisation of solid-liquid interfaces owing to their versatility. However, the ability to modulate the properties of such films, for example, permeability to ionic species and the absorption coefficient, is urgently needed. Indeed, melanin films produced by oxidation of dopamine absorb strongly over the whole UV/Vis part of the electromagnetic spectrum and are impermeable to anions even for a film thickness as low as a few nanometers. Herein we combine oxidation of dopamine to produce a solution containing dopamine-melanin particles and their alternating deposition with poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) to produce films which have nearly the same morphology as pure dopamine-melanin films but are less compact, more transparent and more permeable to ferrocyanide anions.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Innovative use of Mucuna monosperma (Wight) callus cultures for continuous production of melanin by using statistically optimized biotransformation medium.

    PubMed

    Inamdar, Shrirang; Joshi, Swati; Bapat, Vishwas; Jadhav, Jyoti

    2014-01-20

    Melanins are predominantly indolic polymers which are having extensive applications in cosmetics, agriculture and medicine. In the present study, optimization of nutritional parameters influencing melanin production by Mucuna monosperma callus cultures was attempted using the response surface methodology (RSM). Standardization of four factors was carried out using the Box-Behnken design. The optimized levels of factors predicted by the model include tyrosine 0.978gL(-1), pH 5.85, SDS 34.55mgL(-1)and copper sulphate 21.14mgL(-1) tyrosine, which resulted in highest melanin yield of 0.887gL(-1). The optimization of medium using RSM resulted in a 3.06-fold increase in the yield of melanin. The ANOVA analysis showed a significant R(2)-value (0.9995), model F-value (1917.72) and probability (0.0001), with insignificant lack of fit. Optimized medium was used in the laboratory scale column reactor for the continuous production of melanin. Uninterrupted flow column exhibited maximum melanin production rate of 250mgL(-1)h(-1) which is the highest value ever reported using plant as a biotransformation source. Melanin production was confirmed by spectrophotometric and chemical analysis. Thus, this study demonstrates the production of melanin by M. monosperma callus, using a laboratory scale column reactor.

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

    PubMed

    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 (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.

  2. 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.

  3. Multivariate heredity of melanin-based coloration, body mass and immunity.

    PubMed

    Kim, S-Y; Fargallo, J A; Vergara, P; Martínez-Padilla, J

    2013-08-01

    The genetic covariation among different traits may cause the appearance of correlated response to selection on multivariate phenotypes. Genes responsible for the expression of melanin-based color traits are also involved in other important physiological functions such as immunity and metabolism by pleiotropy, suggesting the possibility of multivariate evolution. However, little is known about the relationship between melanin coloration and these functions at the additive genetic level in wild vertebrates. From a multivariate perspective, we simultaneously explored inheritance and selection of melanin coloration, body mass and phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-mediated immune response by using long-term data over an 18-year period collected in a wild population of the common kestrel Falco tinnunculus. Pedigree-based quantitative genetic analyses showed negative genetic covariance between melanin-based coloration and body mass in male adults and positive genetic covariance between body mass and PHA-mediated immune response in fledglings as predicted by pleiotropic effects of melanocortin receptor activity. Multiple selection analyses showed an increased fitness in male adults with intermediate phenotypic values for melanin color and body mass. In male fledglings, there was evidence for a disruptive selection on rump gray color, but a stabilizing selection on PHA-mediated immune response. Our results provide an insight into the evolution of multivariate traits genetically related with melanin-based coloration. The differences in multivariate inheritance and selection between male and female kestrels might have resulted in sexual dimorphism in size and color. When pleiotropic effects are present, coloration can evolve through a complex pathway involving correlated response to selection on multivariate traits.

  4. An Intracellular Antioxidant Determines the Expression of a Melanin-Based Signal in a Bird

    PubMed Central

    Galván, Ismael; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos

    2008-01-01

    To understand how traits used in animal communication evolved and are maintained as honest signals, we need to understand the mechanisms that prevent cheating. It has been proposed that honest signaling is guaranteed by the costs associated with the signal expression. However, the nature of these costs is still under debate. Melanin-based signals are intriguing because their expression seems to be tightly controlled by genes and the resource involved (i.e. melanin) seems to be not limited. However, in vertebrates, low levels of a key intracellular antioxidant (i.e. glutathione) are needed to promote melanogenesis. We propose that melanin-based ornaments can signal the ability to cope with oxidative stress because those individuals with low enough levels of glutathione, such as those required for melanin production, should manage well the whole of the antioxidant machinery in order to maintain a certain oxidative status. We analysed the expression of a melanin-based signal: the well-known black stripe of the great tit (Parus major). Great tit nestlings were injected with a specific inhibitor of glutathione production (DL-buthionine-S,R-sulfoximine; BSO) throughout their development. BSO effectively decreased intracellular glutathione levels without apparent side effects on growth or body condition. Instead, treated nestlings developed black breast stripes 70–100% larger than controls. Moreover, treated nestlings also compensated the decrease in glutathione levels by increasing the levels of circulating antioxidants. Results indicate that melanin-based signals can be at least partially permeable to environmental influences such as those associated to oxidative stress. They also reveal a potential handicap associated to the expression of this kind of signals. Finally, although other contributing factors could have been present, our findings emphasize the role of oxidative stress in shaping the evolution of animal signals in general and, in particular, those produced

  5. Multivariate heredity of melanin-based coloration, body mass and immunity

    PubMed Central

    Kim, S-Y; Fargallo, J A; Vergara, P; Martínez-Padilla, J

    2013-01-01

    The genetic covariation among different traits may cause the appearance of correlated response to selection on multivariate phenotypes. Genes responsible for the expression of melanin-based color traits are also involved in other important physiological functions such as immunity and metabolism by pleiotropy, suggesting the possibility of multivariate evolution. However, little is known about the relationship between melanin coloration and these functions at the additive genetic level in wild vertebrates. From a multivariate perspective, we simultaneously explored inheritance and selection of melanin coloration, body mass and phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-mediated immune response by using long-term data over an 18-year period collected in a wild population of the common kestrel Falco tinnunculus. Pedigree-based quantitative genetic analyses showed negative genetic covariance between melanin-based coloration and body mass in male adults and positive genetic covariance between body mass and PHA-mediated immune response in fledglings as predicted by pleiotropic effects of melanocortin receptor activity. Multiple selection analyses showed an increased fitness in male adults with intermediate phenotypic values for melanin color and body mass. In male fledglings, there was evidence for a disruptive selection on rump gray color, but a stabilizing selection on PHA-mediated immune response. Our results provide an insight into the evolution of multivariate traits genetically related with melanin-based coloration. The differences in multivariate inheritance and selection between male and female kestrels might have resulted in sexual dimorphism in size and color. When pleiotropic effects are present, coloration can evolve through a complex pathway involving correlated response to selection on multivariate traits. PMID:23591519

  6. 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.

  7. Biochemical characterization of three hamster melanoma variants--I. Tyrosinase activity and melanin content.

    PubMed

    Słomiński, A; Scisłowski, P W; Bomirski, A

    1984-01-01

    Tyrosinase activity in the soluble fraction of the cells and melanin content in the whole cells of the black-melanotic (Ma), brown-melanotic (MI) and amelanotic (Ab) hamster melanomas were studied. The activity of the soluble tyrosinase was highest in MI lower in Ma, and very low in Ab melanoma. Melanin content was greatest in the Ma, lower in MI, and none in Ab melanoma. Acrylamide gel electrophoretic pattern of the soluble tyrosinase consisted of 2 bands in Ma and MI melanomas, and of 1 band in Ab melanoma.

  8. 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.

  9. Lipoxygenase/H2O2-catalyzed oxidation of dihdroxyindoles: synthesis of melanin pigments and study of their antioxidant properties.

    PubMed

    Blarzino, C; Mosca, L; Foppoli, C; Coccia, R; De Marco, C; Rosei, M A

    1999-02-01

    5,6-Dihydroxyindole (DHI) and 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA), which are important intermediates in melanogenesis, can be converted into the corresponding melanin pigments by the action of the lipoxygenase/H2O2 system. Kinetic and HPLC analyses indicate that both DHI and DHICA are good substrates for this enzymatic system. Enzyme activity on both substrates was measured in comparison with peroxidase and tyrosinase; the oxidizing behaviour of lipoxygenase is more similar to that of peroxidase rather than that of tyrosinase. The antioxidant properties of DHI- and DHICA-melanins have been investigated in comparison with other kinds of melanins. DHICA-melanin shows a more pronounced antioxidant effect than that of DHI-melanin and this behaviour can be ascribed to the different structure and solubility of the two pigments. The mixed polymer synthesized from DHI and DHICA is the most effective one. Some implications about the possible explanation of the above mentioned behaviour are discussed.

  10. 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

  11. Dual-wavelength pump-probe microscopy analysis of melanin composition

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Andrew; Robles, Francisco E.; Wilson, Jesse W.; Deb, Sanghamitra; Calderbank, Robert; Warren, Warren S.

    2016-01-01

    Pump-probe microscopy is an emerging technique that provides detailed chemical information of absorbers with sub-micrometer spatial resolution. Recent work has shown that the pump-probe signals from melanin in human skin cancers correlate well with clinical concern, but it has been difficult to infer the molecular origins of these differences. Here we develop a mathematical framework to describe the pump-probe dynamics of melanin in human pigmented tissue samples, which treats the ensemble of individual chromophores that make up melanin as Gaussian absorbers with bandwidth related via Frenkel excitons. Thus, observed signals result from an interplay between the spectral bandwidths of the individual underlying chromophores and spectral proximity of the pump and probe wavelengths. The model is tested using a dual-wavelength pump-probe approach and a novel signal processing method based on gnomonic projections. Results show signals can be described by a single linear transition path with different rates of progress for different individual pump-probe wavelength pairs. Moreover, the combined dual-wavelength data shows a nonlinear transition that supports our mathematical framework and the excitonic model to describe the optical properties of melanin. The novel gnomonic projection analysis can also be an attractive generic tool for analyzing mixing paths in biomolecular and analytical chemistry. PMID:27833147

  12. 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)

  13. Effect of Purified Mushroom Tyrosinase on Melanin Content and Melanogenic Protein Expression

    PubMed Central

    Ali, Ayesha S.

    2016-01-01

    In mammalian melanocytes, melanosome is a highly specialized organelle where melanin is synthesized. Melanin synthesis is controlled by tyrosinase, the vital enzyme in melanogenic pathway. The present investigation is based on an effect of purified mushroom tyrosinase of Agaricus bisporus on B16F10 melanocytes for the melanin production via blocking pigment cell machinery. Using B16F10 melanocytes showed that the stimulation of melanogenesis by purified tyrosinase is due to increased tyrosinase absorption. Cellular tyrosinase activity and melanin content in B16F10 melanocytes were increased by purified tyrosinase in a dose-dependent manner. Western blot analysis revealed that cellular tyrosinase levels were enhanced after treatment with purified tyrosinase for 48 hours. Furthermore, tyrosinase induced phosphorylation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) response element-binding protein (CREB) in a dose-dependent manner. The purified tyrosinase-mediated increase of tyrosinase activity was significantly attenuated by H89, LY294002, Ro-32-0432, and PD98059, cAMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitors. The results indicate that purified tyrosinase can be used as contestant for the treatment of vitiligous skin conditions. PMID:27699070

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Silver nanoparticles mediated altered gene expression of melanin biosynthesis genes in Bipolaris sorokiniana.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Sandhya; Singh, H B

    2015-03-01

    Melanin production in many fungal phytopathogens has been investigated to play direct or indirect role in pathogenesis. However, in Bipolaris sorokiniana, the spot blotch pathogen of wheat, much less is known about the role melanin play in pathogenesis. As an extension of our previous report, the present study aims to investigate the plausible association between melanin production and virulence factor in B. sorokiniana. In the previous study, we carried out analysis on the antifungal efficacy of biosynthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) against B. sorokiniana. The present investigation revealed the gene expression analysis of melanin biosynthesis genes viz. polyketide synthase (PKS1) and scytalone dehydratase (SCD1) under the influence of AgNPs. The 0.05mg/ml concentration of AgNPs yielded noticeable inhibition of B. sorokiniana growth, while 0.1mg/ml concentration of AgNPs accounted for complete inhibition of pathogen growth. In addition, the semiquantitative RT-PCR analysis exhibited reduced expression of PKS1 and SCD1 under the influence of AgNPs treatment. Furthermore, the qRT-PCR demonstrated 6.47 and 1.808 fold significant decrease in the expression pattern of PKS1 and SCD1, respectively, in B. sorokiniana treated with AgNPs. The present study provides probable understanding of molecular events underlying the antifungal role of AgNPs against B. sorokiniana.

  17. [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.

  18. Dual-wavelength pump-probe microscopy analysis of melanin composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Andrew; Robles, Francisco E.; Wilson, Jesse W.; Deb, Sanghamitra; Calderbank, Robert; Warren, Warren S.

    2016-11-01

    Pump-probe microscopy is an emerging technique that provides detailed chemical information of absorbers with sub-micrometer spatial resolution. Recent work has shown that the pump-probe signals from melanin in human skin cancers correlate well with clinical concern, but it has been difficult to infer the molecular origins of these differences. Here we develop a mathematical framework to describe the pump-probe dynamics of melanin in human pigmented tissue samples, which treats the ensemble of individual chromophores that make up melanin as Gaussian absorbers with bandwidth related via Frenkel excitons. Thus, observed signals result from an interplay between the spectral bandwidths of the individual underlying chromophores and spectral proximity of the pump and probe wavelengths. The model is tested using a dual-wavelength pump-probe approach and a novel signal processing method based on gnomonic projections. Results show signals can be described by a single linear transition path with different rates of progress for different individual pump-probe wavelength pairs. Moreover, the combined dual-wavelength data shows a nonlinear transition that supports our mathematical framework and the excitonic model to describe the optical properties of melanin. The novel gnomonic projection analysis can also be an attractive generic tool for analyzing mixing paths in biomolecular and analytical chemistry.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-08-22

    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.

  3. Methionine supplementation influences melanin-based plumage colouration in Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus, nestlings.

    PubMed

    Parejo, Deseada; Silva, Nadia

    2009-11-01

    The extent to which the expression of melanin-based plumage colouration in birds is genetically or environmentally determined is controversial. Here, we performed a between-nest design supplementation with either the sulphur amino acid dl-methionine or with water to investigate the importance of the non-genetic component of melanin-based plumage colouration in the Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus. Methionine affects growth and immunity, thus we aimed to modify nestling growth and immunity before feather development. Then, we measured the effect of the experiment on colouration of two melanin-based plumage patches of nestling kestrels. We found that methionine slowed down nestling growth through treatment administration and that nestlings compensated by speeding up their growth later. We did not find any effects of methionine on nestling immunity (i.e. lymphocyte counts, natural antibody levels or complement-mediated immunity). Effects on growth seemed to be mirrored by changes in nestling colouration in the two sexes: methionine-nestlings showed less intense brown plumage on their backs compared with control nestlings. These results provide support for a non-genetic determination of a melanin-based plumage patch in the two sexes of nestling kestrels.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Aspergillus fumigatus melanins: interference with the host endocytosis pathway and impact on virulence

    PubMed Central

    Heinekamp, Thorsten; Thywißen, Andreas; Macheleidt, Juliane; Keller, Sophia; Valiante, Vito; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2013-01-01

    The opportunistic human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus produces at least two types of melanin, namely pyomelanin and dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin. Pyomelanin is produced during tyrosine catabolism via accumulation of homogentisic acid. Although pyomelanin protects the fungus against reactive oxygen species (ROS) and acts as a defense compound in response to cell wall stress, mutants deficient for pyomelanin biosynthesis do not differ in virulence when tested in a murine infection model for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. DHN melanin is responsible for the characteristic gray-greenish color of A. fumigatus conidia. Mutants lacking a functional polyketide synthase PksP, the enzyme responsible for the initial step in DHN-melanin formation, i.e., the synthesis of naphthopyrone, produce white spores and are attenuated in virulence. The activity of PksP was found to be essential not only for inhibition of apoptosis of phagocytes by interfering with the host PI3K/Akt signaling cascade but also for effective inhibition of acidification of conidia-containing phagolysosomes. These features allow A. fumigatus to survive in phagocytes and thereby to escape from human immune effector cells and to become a successful pathogen. PMID:23346079

  8. Melanin precursors prevent premature age-related and noise-induced hearing loss in albino mice.

    PubMed

    Murillo-Cuesta, Silvia; Contreras, Julio; Zurita, Esther; Cediel, Rafael; Cantero, Marta; Varela-Nieto, Isabel; Montoliu, Lluís

    2010-02-01

    Strial melanocytes are required for normal development and correct functioning of the cochlea. Hearing deficits have been reported in albino individuals from different species, although melanin appears to be not essential for normal auditory function. We have analyzed the auditory brainstem responses (ABR) of two transgenic mice: YRT2, carrying the entire mouse tyrosinase (Tyr) gene expression-domain and undistinguishable from wild-type pigmented animals; and TyrTH, non-pigmented but ectopically expressing tyrosine hydroxylase (Th) in melanocytes, which generate the precursor metabolite, L-DOPA, but not melanin. We show that young albino mice present a higher prevalence of profound sensorineural deafness and a poorer recovery of auditory thresholds after noise-exposure than transgenic mice. Hearing loss was associated with absence of cochlear melanin or its precursor metabolites and latencies of the central auditory pathway were unaltered. In summary, albino mice show impaired hearing responses during ageing and after noise damage when compared to YRT2 and TyrTH transgenic mice, which do not show the albino-associated ABR alterations. These results demonstrate that melanin precursors, such as L-DOPA, have a protective role in the mammalian cochlea in age-related and noise-induced hearing loss.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Rab11b mediates melanin transfer between donor melanocytes and acceptor keratinocytes via coupled exo/endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Tarafder, Abul K; Bolasco, Giulia; Correia, Maria S; Pereira, Francisco J C; Iannone, Lucio; Hume, Alistair N; Kirkpatrick, Niall; Picardo, Mauro; Torrisi, Maria R; Rodrigues, Inês P; Ramalho, José S; Futter, Clare E; Barral, Duarte C; Seabra, Miguel C

    2014-04-01

    The transfer of melanin from melanocytes to keratinocytes is a crucial process underlying maintenance of skin pigmentation and photoprotection against UV damage. Here, we present evidence supporting coupled exocytosis of the melanin core, or melanocore, by melanocytes and subsequent endocytosis by keratinocytes as a predominant mechanism of melanin transfer. Electron microscopy analysis of human skin samples revealed three lines of evidence supporting this: (1) the presence of melanocores in the extracellular space; (2) within keratinocytes, melanin was surrounded by a single membrane; and (3) this membrane lacked the melanosomal membrane protein tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TYRP1). Moreover, co-culture of melanocytes and keratinocytes suggests that melanin exocytosis is specifically induced by keratinocytes. Furthermore, depletion of Rab11b, but not Rab27a, caused a marked decrease in both keratinocyte-stimulated melanin exocytosis and transfer to keratinocytes. Thus, we propose that the predominant mechanism of melanin transfer is keratinocyte-induced exocytosis, mediated by Rab11b through remodeling of the melanosome membrane, followed by subsequent endocytosis by keratinocytes.

  13. Surface structure characterization of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia mutated in the melanin synthesis pathway and their human cellular immune response.

    PubMed

    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; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Beauvais, Anne

    2014-08-01

    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.

  14. Role of melanin in release of extracellular enzymes and selection of aggressive isolates of Bipolaris sorokiniana in barley.

    PubMed

    Chand, Ramesh; Kumar, Manoj; Kushwaha, Chanda; Shah, Kavita; Joshi, Arun K

    2014-08-01

    Eighteen barley isolates of Bipolaris sorokiniana belonging to wild and clonal type of black, mixed and white subpopulations were quantitatively assayed for their melanin content and aggressiveness with respect to production of some of the extracellular enzymes such as cellulase, pectinase, amylase and protease. Cellulase and pectinase constituted major portion of the enzymes recovered from the black, mixed and white isolates. Enzyme production and aggressiveness were relatively higher in melanin devoid or low melanin isolates. The melanin deficient isolates were also differentiated from black and mixed isolates on the basis of variation in internal transcribed spacer region of the ribosomal DNA. Higher enzyme productions positively correlated with area under disease progress curve (AUDPC) and lesion development. Melanin content was negatively correlated with extracellular enzymes and aggressiveness of the isolates. Based on melanin content, lesion size, AUDPC and extracellular enzymes, the isolates were grouped in two major clusters (I and II) with further division of cluster II into two sub-clusters (II-A and II-B). The results appears to indicate a possible role of melanin in release of extracellular enzymes and hence in evolution and selection of aggressive isolates of B. sorokiniana in barley.

  15. Melanin is required for the formation of the multi-cellular conidia in the endophytic fungus Pestalotiopsis microspora.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xi; Huo, Liang; Liu, Heng; Chen, Longfei; Wang, Yu; Zhu, Xudong

    2015-10-01

    Melanin plays an important role in regulating various biological processes in many fungi. However, its biological role in conidiation remains largely elusive. We report here that conidia production, morphogenesis, integrity, germination and their viability in Pestalotiopsis microspora require the polyketide-derived melanin. A polyketide synthase gene, pks1, was identified and demonstrated responsible for melanin biosynthesis in this fungus. A targeted deletion mutant strain Δpks1 displayed a defect in pigmentation of conidia and had an albino colonial phenotype. Interestingly, Δpks1 produced approximately 6-fold as many conidia as the wild type did, suggesting a negative modulation of melanin on conidia production in this fungus. Moreover, the conidia failed to develop into the normal five-cell morphology, rather the three main-body cells separated via constriction at the original septum position to generate three independent mutant conidia. This result suggests a novel role of melanin in the formation of the multi-cellular conidia. Germ tubes could develop from the three different types of mutant conidia and kept elongating, despite a significantly lower germination rate was observed for them. Still more, the unpigmented conidia became permeable to Calcofluor White and DAPI, suggesting the integrity of the conidia was impaired. Deliberate inhibition of melanin biosynthesis by a specific inhibitor, tricyclazole, led to a similar phenotypes. This work demonstrates a new function of fungal melanin in conidial development.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Action spectrum of oxidative reactions mediated by light-activated melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glickman, Randolph D.; Rockwell, Benjamin A.; Jacques, Steven L.

    1997-06-01

    The melanin of the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells is generally thought to have a photoprotective role in the eye, yet it is excited by light to a free radical which can react with cellular components. Soluble proteins extracted from the retina are photo-oxidized by the output of a Xenon arc lamp containing UVA and visible wavelengths. The oxidative damage in this model consists of carbonyl adducts to the peptides, and is proportional to the amount of UVA present. Melanosomes isolated from bovine RPE cells and added to the retinal protein extract partly protect the proteins from photo-oxidation resulting from this broadband exposure. However, if the proteins are instead exposed to the 488 and 514.5 nm outputs of an Argon continuous wave laser, the amount of protein oxidation is markedly increased when melanosomes are present. This observation suggests that the melanin free radical is optimally excited by wavelengths in the blue-green region of the visible spectrum, and in fact the action spectrum for the photo-oxidation of NADPH by laser-excited melanin peaks between 450 and 500 nm. The present data do not distinguish between two alternative hypotheses, i.e. that the apparent action spectrum peak is due to (1) a chromophore different from the one determining the overall optical absorption of melanin, or (2) the lower efficiency of UVA photons in activating melanosomes because of their strong absorption at the solution surface. Nevertheless these data implicate melanin in the so-called 'blue light' retinal hazard.

  19. The inhibitory effect of glycolic acid and lactic acid on melanin synthesis in melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Usuki, Akiko; Ohashi, Akiko; Sato, Hirofumi; Ochiai, Yasunobu; Ichihashi, Masamitsu; Funasaka, Yoko

    2003-01-01

    Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid (GA) and lactic acid (LA) have been reported to be effective in treating pigmentary lesions such as melasma, solar lentigines, and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. The mechanism of this effect might be due to epidermal remodeling and accelerated desquamation, which would result in quick pigment dispersion. However, the direct effect of AHAs on melanin synthesis has not yet been well studied. To elucidate such a direct effect of AHAs on melanogenesis, we performed melanin assays, growth curve determinations, Northern and Western blotting for melanogenic proteins [tyrosinase, tyrosinase related protein (TRP)-1 and TRP-2], and tyrosinase and, 4-dihydroxyphenylalaninechrome tautomerase enzyme activity assays using mouse B16 and human melanoma cells. GA or LA (at doses of 300 or 500 microg/ml) inhibited melanin formation in similar dose-dependent manner, without affecting cell growth. Although the mRNA and protein expression or molecular size of tyrosinase, TRP-1 and TRP-2 were not affected, tyrosinase activity was inhibited. To see whether GA and/or LA directly inhibit tyrosinase catalytic function, the effect of GA and LA on human tyrosinase purified from the melanosome-rich large granule fraction of human melanoma cells was performed. GA or LA were shown to inhibit tyrosinase enzyme activity directly, but this effect was not due to the acidity of GA or LA, because adjusting the pH to 5.6 (the pH of GA and LA at concentrations of 2500 microg/ml), did not affect tyrosinase activity. Taken together, these results show that GA and LA suppress melanin formation by directly inhibiting tyrosinase activity, an effect independent of their acidic nature. GA and LA might work on pigmentary lesions not only by accelerating the turnover of the epidermis but also by directly inhibiting melanin formation in melanocytes.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Selective antiviral activity of synthetic soluble L-tyrosine and L-dopa melanins against human immunodeficiency virus in vitro.

    PubMed

    Montefiori, D C; Zhou, J Y

    1991-01-01

    Melanins are pigments found in hair, skin, irides of the eye, and brain. Their functions in mammals include protection from exposure to sunlight, camouflage from predators, sexual recognition within species, and possible electron transfer reactants. Most natural melanins exist in an insoluble form, which is one reason there is little information on the biological properties of soluble melanins. Here, synthetic soluble melanins were obtained by chemical oxidation of L-tyrosine or spontaneous oxidation of L-beta-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-dopa). Replication of human immunodeficiency virus types 1 and 2 (HIV-1 and HIV-2) was inhibited by soluble melanin in two human lymphoblastoid cell lines (MT-2 and H9) and in phytohemagglutinin-stimulated human T cells. Effective concentrations of 0.15-10 micrograms/ml had no cell toxicity. Melanin blocked infection by cell-free virus and interfered with HIV-induced syncytium formation and cytopathic effects when fusion-susceptible, uninfected cells, were mixed with chronically infected cells. Melanin also impeded the HIV-1 envelope surface glycoprotein, and T cell specific monoclonal antibody leu-3a (CD4), but not leu-5b (CD2), from binding to the surface of MT-2 cells. No effect on HIV-1 reverse transcriptase activity in viral lysates was observed. These results identify a unique biological property of melanin, and suggest that soluble melanins may represent a new class of pharmacologically active substances which should be further investigated for potential therapeutic utility in the treatment of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

  3. Following fungal melanin biosynthesis with solid-state NMR: biopolymer molecular structures and possible connections to cell-wall polysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Junyan; Frases, Susana; Wang, Hsin; Casadevall, Arturo; Stark, Ruth E

    2008-04-22

    Melanins serve a variety of protective functions in plants and animals, but in fungi such as Cryptococcus neoformans they are also associated with virulence. A recently developed solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) strategy, based on the incorporation of site-specific (13)C-enriched precursors into melanin, followed by spectroscopy of both powdered and solvent-swelled melanin ghosts, was used to provide new molecular-level insights into fungal melanin biosynthesis. The side chain of an l-dopa precursor was shown to cyclize and form a proposed indole structure in C. neoformans melanin, and modification of the aromatic rings revealed possible patterns of polymer chain elongation and cross-linking within the biopolymer. Mannose supplied in the growth medium was retained as a beta-pyranose moiety in the melanin ghosts even after exhaustive degradative and dialysis treatments, suggesting the possibility of tight binding or covalent incorporation of the pigment into the polysaccharide fungal cell walls. In contrast, glucose was scrambled metabolically and incorporated into both polysaccharide cell walls and aliphatic chains present in the melanin ghosts, consistent with metabolic use as a cellular nutrient as well as covalent attachment to the pigment. The prominent aliphatic groups reported previously in several fungal melanins were identified as triglyceride structures that may have one or more sites of chain unsaturation. These results establish that fungal melanin contains chemical components derived from sources other than l-dopa polymerization and suggest that covalent linkages between l-dopa-derived products and polysaccharide components may serve to attach this pigment to cell wall structures.

  4. Melanin directly converts light for vertebrate metabolic use: heuristic thoughts on birds, Icarus and dark human skin.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Geoffrey; Bercovich, Dani

    2008-08-01

    Pigments serve many visually obvious animal functions (e.g. hair, skin, eyes, feathers, scales). One is 'melanin', unusual in an absorption across the UV-visual spectrum which is controversial. Any polymer or macro-structure of melanin monomers is 'melanin'. Its roles derive from complex structural and physical-chemical properties e.g. semiconductor, stable radical, conductor, free radical scavenger, charge-transfer. Clinicians and researchers are well acquainted with melanin in skin and ocular pathologies and now increasingly are with internal, melanized, pathology-associated sites not obviously subject to light radiation (e.g. brain, cochlea). At both types of sites some findings puzzle: positive and negative neuromelanin effects in Parkinsons; unexpected melanocyte action in the cochlea, in deafness; melanin reduces DNA damage, but can promote melanoma; in melanotic cells, mitochondrial number was 83% less, respiration down 30%, but development similar to normal amelanotic cells. A little known, avian anatomical conundrum may help resolve melanin paradoxes. One of many unique adaptations to flight, the pecten, strange intra-ocular organ with unresolved function(s), is much enlarged and heavily melanized in birds fighting gravity, hypoxia, thirst and hunger during long-distance, frequently sub-zero, non-stop migration. The pecten may help cope with energy and nutrient needs under extreme conditions, by a marginal but critical, melanin-initiated conversion of light to metabolic energy, coupled to local metabolite recycling. Similarly in Central Africa, reduction in body hair and melanin increase may also have lead to 'photomelanometabolism' which, though small scale/ unit body area, in total may have enabled a sharply increased development of the energy-hungry cortex and enhanced human survival generally. Animal inability to utilize light energy directly has been traditionally assumed. Melanin and the pecten may have unexpected lessons also for human physiology

  5. 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.

  6. Pigmented epidermal cyst with dense collection of melanin: A rare entity - Report of a case with review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Jayalakshmy, P S; Subitha, K; Priya, P V; Johnson, Gerald

    2012-05-01

    Epidermal cyst is a very common benign cystic lesion of the skin. It is usual to find ulceration of the lining epithelium, rupture of the cyst wall with chronic inflammation and foreign body giant cell reaction. But, it is very rare to see an epidermal cyst with marked accumulation of melanin pigment. Only a few cases of pigmented epidermal cyst with dense collection of melanin pigment have been published in the literature. Here, we are reporting a case of ruptured epidermal cyst with keratin granuloma formation and showing dense collection of melanin pigment.

  7. Inhibitory components from the buds of clove (Syzygium aromaticum) on melanin formation in B16 melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Arung, Enos Tangke; Matsubara, Eri; Kusuma, Irawan Wijaya; Sukaton, Edi; Shimizu, Kuniyoshi; Kondo, Ryuichiro

    2011-03-01

    In the course to find a new whitening agent, we evaluated the methanol extract from bud of clove (Syzygium aromaticum) on melanin formation in B16 melanoma cells. Eugenol and eugenol acetate were isolated as the active compounds and showed melanin inhibition of 60% and 40% in B16 melanoma cell with less cytotoxicity at the concentration of 100 and 200 μg/mL, respectively. Furthermore, an essential oil prepared from the bud of clove, which contain eugenol and eugenol acetate as dominant components, showed melanin inhibition of 50% and 80% in B16 melanoma cells at the concentration of 100 and 200 μg/mL, respectively.

  8. Morpho-histology of head kidney of female catfish Heteropneustes fossilis: seasonal variations in melano-macrophage centers, melanin contents and effects of lipopolysaccharide and dexamethasone on melanins.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ravi; Joy, K P; Singh, S M

    2016-10-01

    In the catfish Heteropneustes fossilis, the anterior kidney is a hemopoietic tissue which surrounds the adrenal homologues, interrenal (IR) and chromaffin tissues corresponding to the adrenal cortical and adrenal medulla of higher mammals. The IR tissue is arranged in cell cords around the posterior cardinal vein (PCV) and its tributaries and secretes corticosteroids. The chromaffin tissue is scattered singly or in nests of one or more cells around the epithelial lining of the PCV or blood capillaries within the IR tissue. They are ferric ferricyanide-positive. Leukemia-inhibitory factor (LIF)-like reactivity was noticed in the lining of the epithelium of the IR cell cords and around the wall of the PCV and blood capillaries. No staining was observed in the hemopoietic cells. IL-1β- and TNF-α-like immunoreactivity was seen in certain cells in the hemopoietic tissue but not in the IR region. Macrophages were identified with mammalian macrophage-specific MAC387 antibodies and are present in the hemopoietic mass but not in the IR tissue. Pigments accumulate in the hemopoietic mass as melano-macrophage centers (MMCs) and are PAS-, Schmorl's- and Perls'-positive. The pigments contain melanin (black), hemosiderin (blue) and lipofuscin/ceroid (oxidized lipid, yellowish tan), as evident from the Perls' reaction. The MMCs were TUNEL-positive as evident from FITC fluorescence, indicating their apoptotic nature. The MMCs showed significant seasonal variation with their density increasing to the peak in the postspawning phase. Melanins were characterized spectrophotometrically for the first time in fish anterior kidney. The predominant form is pheomelanin (PM), followed by eumelanin (EM) and alkali-soluble melanin (ASM). Melanins showed significant seasonal variations with the level low in the resting phase and increasing to the peak in the postspawning phase. Under in vitro conditions, lipopolysaccharide (10 µg/mL) treatment increased significantly the levels of PM and EM

  9. 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.

  10. Amikacin, kanamycin and tobramycin binding to melanin in the presence of Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) ions.

    PubMed

    Wrześniok, Dorota; Buszman, Ewa; Miernik-Biela, Ewa

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the presented work was to examine the interaction of amikacin, kanamycin and tobramycin with melanin in the presence of Ca(2+ )and Mg(2+) ions. It has been demonstrated that the analyzed aminoglycosides form complexes with melanin in the presence of metal ions and the amount of drugs bound to the polymer increases with increasing initial antibiotics concentration. It has been also shown that two classes of binding sites participate in the formation of amikacin, kanamycin and tobramycin complexes with melanin containing Ca(2+) or Mg(2+) ions: high affinity binding sites (n1) with the association constant K1 approximately 10(4)-10(5)M(-1) and low affinity binding sites (n2) with K2 approximately 10(3)M(-1). It has been demonstrated that calcium and magnesium significantly decrease the number of total binding sites (ntot) as compared with aminoglycoside-melanin complexes obtained in the absence of metal ions.

  11. A thioredoxin of Sinorhizobium meliloti CE52G is required for melanin production and symbiotic nitrogen fixation.

    PubMed

    Castro-Sowinski, Susana; Matan, Ofra; Bonafede, Paula; Okon, Yaacov

    2007-08-01

    A miniTn5-induced mutant of a melanin-producing strain of Sinorhizobium meliloti (CE52G) that does not produce melanin was mapped to a gene identified as a probable thioredoxin gene. It was proved that the thiol-reducing activity of the mutant was affected. Addition to the growth medium of substrates that induce the production of melanin (L-tyrosine, guaiacol, orcinol) increased the thioredoxin-like (trxL) mRNA level in the wild-type strain. The mutant strain was affected in the response to paraquat-induced oxidative stress, symbiotic nitrogen fixation, and both laccase and tyrosinase activities. The importance of thioredoxin in melanin production in bacteria, through the regulation of laccase or tyrosinase activities, or both, by the redox state of structural or catalytic SH groups, is discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. Compton scattering by internal shields based on melanin-containing mushrooms provides protection of gastrointestinal tract from ionizing radiation.

    PubMed

    Revskaya, Ekaterina; Chu, Peter; Howell, Robertha C; Schweitzer, Andrew D; Bryan, Ruth A; Harris, Matthew; Gerfen, Gary; Jiang, Zewei; Jandl, Thomas; Kim, Kami; Ting, Li-Min; Sellers, Rani S; Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2012-11-01

    There is a need for radioprotectors that protect normal tissues from ionizing radiation in patients receiving high doses of radiation and during nuclear emergencies. We investigated the possibility of creating an efficient oral radioprotector based on the natural pigment melanin that would act as an internal shield and protect the tissues via Compton scattering followed by free radical scavenging. CD-1 mice were fed melanin-containing black edible mushrooms Auricularia auricila-judae before 9 Gy total body irradiation. The location of the mushrooms in the body before irradiation was determined by in vivo fluorescent imaging. Black mushrooms protected 80% of mice from the lethal dose, while control mice or those given melanin-devoid mushrooms died from gastrointestinal syndrome. The crypts of mice given black mushrooms showed less apoptosis and more cell division than those in control mice, and their white blood cell and platelet counts were restored at 45 days to preradiation levels. The role of melanin in radioprotection was proven by the fact that mice given white mushrooms supplemented with melanin survived at the same rate as mice given black mushrooms. The ability of melanin-containing mushrooms to provide remarkable protection against radiation suggests that they could be developed into oral radioprotectors.

  14. Compton Scattering by Internal Shields Based on Melanin-Containing Mushrooms Provides Protection of Gastrointestinal Tract from Ionizing Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Revskaya, Ekaterina; Chu, Peter; Howell, Robertha C.; Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Bryan, Ruth A.; Harris, Matthew; Gerfen, Gary; Jiang, Zewei; Jandl, Thomas; Kim, Kami; Ting, Li-Min; Sellers, Rani S.; Casadevall, Arturo

    2012-01-01

    Abstract There is a need for radioprotectors that protect normal tissues from ionizing radiation in patients receiving high doses of radiation and during nuclear emergencies. We investigated the possibility of creating an efficient oral radioprotector based on the natural pigment melanin that would act as an internal shield and protect the tissues via Compton scattering followed by free radical scavenging. CD-1 mice were fed melanin-containing black edible mushrooms Auricularia auricila-judae before 9 Gy total body irradiation. The location of the mushrooms in the body before irradiation was determined by in vivo fluorescent imaging. Black mushrooms protected 80% of mice from the lethal dose, while control mice or those given melanin-devoid mushrooms died from gastrointestinal syndrome. The crypts of mice given black mushrooms showed less apoptosis and more cell division than those in control mice, and their white blood cell and platelet counts were restored at 45 days to preradiation levels. The role of melanin in radioprotection was proven by the fact that mice given white mushrooms supplemented with melanin survived at the same rate as mice given black mushrooms. The ability of melanin-containing mushrooms to provide remarkable protection against radiation suggests that they could be developed into oral radioprotectors. PMID:23113595

  15. [THE INFLUENCE OF MELANIN ON THE GASTRIC MUCOSA AND HYPOTHALAMIC-PITUITARY-ADRENOCORTICAL AXIS UNDER ACUTE STRESS CONDITIONS].

    PubMed

    Golyshkin, D V; Falalyeyeva, T M; Neporada, K S; Beregova, T V

    2015-01-01

    We studied the influence of melanin from yeast-like fungi Nadsoniella nigra strain X1 on the changes of the levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol in blood serum of rats, adrenal glands weight ratio and lesions of the gastric mucosa (GM) caused by neuromuscular tension by Selye. Melanin administration restored functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis that was evident by an increase of ACTH concentration by 42% and a decrease of cortisol concentration by 19% compared to the rats injected with water (group 2). In rats treated with melanin, the adrenal glands weight ratio, didn't differ from intact control group of the rats. Melanin decreased ulcers area by 64% and reduced the content of free hydroxyproline by 29%, the free fucose by 16% and the free hexuronic acids by 24% in the GM compared to the group 2 of the rats. It is established that the mechanism of melanin stress-protective properties are based on its regulation of the glucocorticoids secretion and prevention of GM collagen and extracellular matrix substances depolymerization. Melanin possesses gastroprotective properties and is a perspective agent for preventing and treatment of consequences of the stress influence on the organism.

  16. Role of thiol compounds in mammalian melanin pigmentation: Part I. Reduced and oxidized glutathione.

    PubMed

    Benedetto, J P; Ortonne, J P; Voulot, C; Khatchadourian, C; Prota, G; Thivolet, J

    1981-11-01

    Evidence for the postulated role of glutathione reductase in melanin pigmentation has been obtained by determinations of the glutathione concentrations in Tortoiseshell guinea pig skin of different colors (black, yellow, red, and white). As expected, the lowest levels of reduced glutathione (GSH) were found associated with eumelanin type pigmentation, whereas the highest ones were found in the skin with phaeomelanin producing melanocytes. On the other hand, white skin of guinea pig having no active melanocytes showed GSH levels which were intermediate between those of the black and yellow areas. These results are consistent with the view that the activity of the enzyme glutathione reductase, though not primarily related to pigmentation, plays an important role in the regulation and control of the biosynthetic activity of melanocytes leading to various types of melanin pigments.

  17. Melanoma induction by ultraviolet A but not ultraviolet B radiation requires melanin pigment.

    PubMed

    Noonan, Frances P; Zaidi, M Raza; Wolnicka-Glubisz, Agnieszka; Anver, Miriam R; Bahn, Jesse; Wielgus, Albert; Cadet, Jean; Douki, Thierry; Mouret, Stephane; Tucker, Margaret A; Popratiloff, Anastas; Merlino, Glenn; De Fabo, Edward C

    2012-06-06

    Malignant melanoma of the skin (CMM) is associated with ultraviolet radiation exposure, but the mechanisms and even the wavelengths responsible are unclear. Here we use a mammalian model to investigate melanoma formed in response to precise spectrally defined ultraviolet wavelengths and biologically relevant doses. We show that melanoma induction by ultraviolet A (320-400 nm) requires the presence of melanin pigment and is associated with oxidative DNA damage within melanocytes. In contrast, ultraviolet B radiation (280-320 nm) initiates melanoma in a pigment-independent manner associated with direct ultraviolet B DNA damage. Thus, we identified two ultraviolet wavelength-dependent pathways for the induction of CMM and describe an unexpected and significant role for melanin within the melanocyte in melanomagenesis.

  18. Melanin- and carotenoid-dependent signals of great tits ( Parus major) relate differently to metal pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dauwe, Tom; Eens, Marcel

    2008-10-01

    Due to their high phenotypic plasticity, the expression of secondary sexual characteristics is particularly sensitive to stress. Here, we investigated the expression of two conspicuous visual signals in great tits ( Parus major) in a metal pollution gradient. In three study sites with marked differences in metal contamination (mainly lead, cadmium, copper and zinc), we compared melanin and carotenoid colouration of great tits. While carotenoid colouration (yellow breast) was negatively related to metal pollution, the size of a melanin trait (breast stripe) was larger in the most polluted sites. Environmental pollutants not only affect the expression of conspicuous signals but may even enhance, directly or indirectly, a signal of male quality such as breast stripe. Our results also support the multiple messages hypothesis predicting that different signals highlight different aspects of geno- and phenotypic condition of the bearer.

  19. [The magnetic susceptibility of the melanin in the eyes of representatives of different vertebrate classes].

    PubMed

    Zagal'skaia, E O

    1995-01-01

    The magnetoperceptivity (Chi) and element composition of eye pigment epitelium (EPE) melanin in vertebrate animals were measured. The minimal values of EPE Chi were found in winter-sleeping and anabiotic animals (Ursus arctos, Rana temporaria). The magnetoperception was high in migrating animals (Oncorhynchus keta, 0. gorbuscha, Anas crecca) and in wild gray rats as well, EPE magnetoperceptivity in albino rats wasn't practicaly established. In the majority of cases the quantity of magnetoperceptivity correlates with per-cent content of iron. The evident correlation between melanin magnet properties and the life strategy of the investigated animals allows to propose the participance of eye pigment epithelium in orientation and navigation of the animals.

  20. Marine hydroid perisarc: a chitin- and melanin-reinforced composite with DOPA-iron(III) complexes.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Dong Soo; Masic, Admir; Prajatelistia, Ekavianty; Iordachescu, Mihaela; Waite, J Herbert

    2013-09-01

    Many marine invertebrates utilize biomacromolecules as building blocks to form their load-bearing tissues. These polymeric tissues are appealing for their unusual physical and mechanical properties, including high hardness and stiffness, toughness and low density. Here, a marine hydroid perisarc of Aglaophenia latirostris was investigated to understand how nature designs a stiff, tough and lightweight sheathing structure. Chitin, protein and a melanin-like pigment, were found to represent 10, 17 and 60 wt.% of the perisarc, respectively. Interestingly, similar to the adhesive and coating of marine mussel byssus, a DOPA (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) containing protein and iron were detected in the perisarc. Resonance Raman microprobe analysis of perisarc indicates the presence of catechol-iron(III) complexes in situ, but it remains to be determined whether the DOPA-iron(III) interaction plays a cohesive role in holding the protein, chitin and melanin networks together.

  1. 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

  2. Conidial Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Interferes with the Host Endocytosis Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Thywißen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Schmaler-Ripcke, Jeannette; Nietzsche, Sandor; Zipfel, Peter F.; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen of humans. The interaction of the pathogen with the host's immune system represents a key process to understand pathogenicity. For elimination of invading microorganisms, they need to be efficiently phagocytosed and located in acidified phagolysosomes. However, as shown previously, A. fumigatus is able to manipulate the formation of functional phagolysosomes. Here, we demonstrate that in contrast to pigmentless pksP mutant conidia of A. fumigatus, the gray-green wild-type conidia inhibit the acidification of phagolysosomes of alveolar macrophages, monocyte-derived macrophages, and human neutrophil granulocytes. Therefore, this inhibition is independent of the cell type and applies to the major immune effector cells required for defense against A. fumigatus. Studies with melanin ghosts indicate that the inhibitory effect of wild-type conidia is due to their dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin covering the conidia, whereas the hydrophobin RodA rodlet layer plays no role in this process. This is also supported by the observation that pksP conidia still exhibit the RodA hydrophobin layer, as shown by scanning electron microscopy. Mutants defective in different steps of the DHN-melanin biosynthesis showed stronger inhibition than pksP mutant conidia but lower inhibition than wild-type conidia. Moreover, A. fumigatus and A. flavus led to a stronger inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification than A. nidulans and A. terreus. These data indicate that a certain type of DHN-melanin that is different in the various Aspergillus species, is required for maximal inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification. Finally, we identified the vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) as potential target for A. fumigatus based on the finding that addition of bafilomycin which inhibits vATPase, led to complete inhibition of the acidification whereas the fusion of phagosomes containing wild-type conidia and lysosomes was not affected. PMID

  3. 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

  4. Melanocytes and melanin represent a first line of innate immunity against Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Tapia, Cecilia V; Falconer, Maryanne; Tempio, Fabián; Falcón, Felipe; López, Mercedes; Fuentes, Marisol; Alburquenque, Claudio; Amaro, José; Bucarey, Sergio A; Di Nardo, Anna

    2014-07-01

    Melanocytes are dendritic cells located in the skin and mucosae that synthesize melanin. Some infections induce hypo- or hyperpigmentation, which is associated with the activation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), especially TLR4. Candida albicans is an opportunist pathogen that can switch between blastoconidia and hyphae forms; the latter is associated with invasion. Our objectives in this study were to ascertain whether C. albicans induces pigmentation in melanocytes and whether this process is dependent on TLR activation, as well as relating this with the antifungal activity of melanin as a first line of innate immunity against fungal infections. Normal human melanocytes were stimulated with C. albicans supernatants or with crude extracts of the blastoconidia or hyphae forms, and pigmentation and TLR2/TLR4 expression were measured. Expression of the melanosomal antigens Melan-A and gp100 was examined for any correlation with increased melanin levels or antifungal activity in melanocyte lysates. Melanosomal antigens were induced earlier than cell pigmentation, and hyphae induced stronger melanization than blastoconidia. Notably, when melanocytes were stimulated with crude extracts of C. albicans, the cell surface expression of TLR2/TLR4 began at 48 h post-stimulation and peaked at 72 h. At this time, blastoconidia induced both TLR2 and TLR4 expression, whereas hyphae only induced TLR4 expression. Taken together, these results suggest that melanocytes play a key role in innate immune responses against C. albicans infections by recognizing pathogenic forms of C. albicans via TLR4, resulting in increased melanin content and inhibition of infection.

  5. A band model for melanin deducted from optical absorption and photoconductivity experiments.

    PubMed

    Crippa, P R; Cristofoletti, V; Romeo, N

    1978-01-03

    Natural and synthetic melanins have been studied by optical absorption and photoconductivity measurements in the range 200--700 nm. Both optical absorption and photoconductivity increase in the ultraviolet region, and a negative photoconductivity was observed with a maximum near 500 nm. This behaviour has been interpreted by the band model of amorphous materials and an "optical gap" of 3.4 eV has been determined.

  6. 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.

  7. Melanin Protects Paracoccidioides brasiliensis from the Effects of Antimicrobial Photodynamic Inhibition and Antifungal Drugs

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  8. Engineering Melanin Nanoparticles as an Efficient Drug-Delivery System for Imaging-Guided Chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ruiping; Fan, Quli; Yang, Min; Cheng, Kai; Lu, Xiaomei; Zhang, Lei; Huang, Wei; Cheng, Zhen

    2015-09-09

    In order to promote imaging-guided chemotherapy for preclinical and clinical applications, endogenous nanosystems with both contrast and drug-delivery properties are highly desired. Here, the simple use of melanin is first reported, and this biopolymer with good biocompatibility and biodegradability, binding ability to drugs and ions, and intrinsic photoacoustic properties, can serve as an efficient endogenous nanosystem for imaging-guided tumor chemotherapy in living mice.

  9. Conidial Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin of the Human Pathogenic Fungus Aspergillus fumigatus Interferes with the Host Endocytosis Pathway.

    PubMed

    Thywißen, Andreas; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Dahse, Hans-Martin; Schmaler-Ripcke, Jeannette; Nietzsche, Sandor; Zipfel, Peter F; Brakhage, Axel A

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the most important air-borne fungal pathogen of humans. The interaction of the pathogen with the host's immune system represents a key process to understand pathogenicity. For elimination of invading microorganisms, they need to be efficiently phagocytosed and located in acidified phagolysosomes. However, as shown previously, A. fumigatus is able to manipulate the formation of functional phagolysosomes. Here, we demonstrate that in contrast to pigmentless pksP mutant conidia of A. fumigatus, the gray-green wild-type conidia inhibit the acidification of phagolysosomes of alveolar macrophages, monocyte-derived macrophages, and human neutrophil granulocytes. Therefore, this inhibition is independent of the cell type and applies to the major immune effector cells required for defense against A. fumigatus. Studies with melanin ghosts indicate that the inhibitory effect of wild-type conidia is due to their dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin covering the conidia, whereas the hydrophobin RodA rodlet layer plays no role in this process. This is also supported by the observation that pksP conidia still exhibit the RodA hydrophobin layer, as shown by scanning electron microscopy. Mutants defective in different steps of the DHN-melanin biosynthesis showed stronger inhibition than pksP mutant conidia but lower inhibition than wild-type conidia. Moreover, A. fumigatus and A. flavus led to a stronger inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification than A. nidulans and A. terreus. These data indicate that a certain type of DHN-melanin that is different in the various Aspergillus species, is required for maximal inhibition of phagolysosomal acidification. Finally, we identified the vacuolar ATPase (vATPase) as potential target for A. fumigatus based on the finding that addition of bafilomycin which inhibits vATPase, led to complete inhibition of the acidification whereas the fusion of phagosomes containing wild-type conidia and lysosomes was not affected.

  10. Specific melanin content in human hairs and mitochondrial DNA typing success.

    PubMed

    Linch, Charles A; Champagne, Jarrod R; Bonnette, Michelle D; Dawson Cruz, Tracey

    2009-06-01

    This study investigated whether a difference exists in the ability to obtain quality mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence data from hair shafts due to specific melanin content differences. Eumelanin, the pigment in darker hairs, protects nuclear DNA in the skin by absorbing and scattering UV radiation. In contrast, sensitized pheomelanin, the predominate melanin in red hairs and some blond hairs, is unable to prevent DNA damage in skin upon exposure to UV radiation. It has been reported in the literature that darker hairs (predominate eumelanin content) have a higher mtDNA sequencing success rate than lighter colored hairs. However, others have reported to the contrary when different methodologies are used. In this study, 2-cm hair fragments were cut from dark brown, red, and gray white hairs and typed using standard casework mtDNA sequence analysis methods. All 30 hair fragments produced quality mtDNA sequence data on first attempt from the second half of hypervariable region 1. These results are likely due to the apparent shielding of mtDNA by the hard protein of the hair shaft fiber from radiation-induced damage, regardless of melanin type, after 10-months minimal solar exposure. Nonetheless, this study may serve as a guide for future quantitative studies that investigate hair mtDNA photodamage in circumstances of increased solar, chemical, environmental, or mechanical damage.

  11. Physicochemical characteristics and antioxidant activity of arginine-modified melanin from Lachnum YM-346.

    PubMed

    Ye, Ming; Wang, Yan; Guo, Geng-yi; He, Yun-long; Lu, Ying; Ye, Ying-wang; Yang, Qing-hua; Yang, Pei-zhou

    2012-12-15

    Seven kinds of amino acids were used to modify the non-water-soluble extracellular melanin (LEM346) from Lachnum YM-346. It was found that arginine-melanin (ALEM346) had the highest solubility, being 4.55% (gg(-1)) in 30°C distilled water. Elemental analysis, infrared spectrum and mass spectrum analysis revealed that LEM346 molecule contained indole quinone structure, its molecular formula speculated to be C(18)H(8)O(6)N(2). Infrared spectrum analysis showed that ALEM346 had characteristic absorption peaks at 1672.346 and 1637.679 cm(-1). Mass spectrum analysis indicated that ALEM346 contained three types of arginine-melanin molecules. When the ALEM346 concentration was 500 mgL(-1), its total antioxidant capacity was equivalent to α-tocopherol of 46.65 mmolL(-1), the DPPH() and O(2)(-) scavenging rates and the Fe(2+) chelating rate were 89.05%, 93.81% and 80.18%, respectively, suggesting that the antioxidant activity of ALEM346 was stronger than that of LEM346.

  12. Synthesis and in Vivo Evaluation of [123I]Melanin-Targeted Agents.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Maxine P; Nguyen, Vu; Ashford, Mark E; Berghofer, Paula; Wyatt, Naomi A; Krause-Heuer, Anwen M; Pham, Tien Q; Taylor, Stephen R; Hogan, Leena; Jiang, Cathy D; Fraser, Benjamin H; Lengkeek, Nigel A; Matesic, Lidia; Gregoire, Marie-Claude; Denoyer, Delphine; Hicks, Rodney J; Katsifis, Andrew; Greguric, Ivan

    2015-08-13

    This study reports the synthesis, [(123)I]radiolabeling, and biological profile of a new series of iodinated compounds for potential translation to the corresponding [(131)I]radiolabeled compounds for radionuclide therapy of melanoma. Radiolabeling was achieved via standard electrophilic iododestannylation in 60-90% radiochemical yield. Preliminary SPECT imaging demonstrated high and distinct tumor uptake of all compounds, as well as high tumor-to-background ratios compared to the literature compound [(123)I]4 (ICF01012). The most favorable compounds ([(123)I]20, [(123)I]23, [(123)I]41, and [(123)I]53) were selected for further biological investigation. Biodistribution studies indicated that all four compounds bound to melanin containing tissue with low in vivo deiodination; [(123)I]20 and [(123)I]53 in particular displayed high and prolonged tumor uptake (13% ID/g at 48 h). [(123)I]53 had the most favorable overall profile of the cumulative uptake over time of radiosensitive organs. Metabolite analysis of the four radiotracers found [(123)I]41 and [(123)I]53 to be the most favorable, displaying high and prolonged amounts of intact tracer in melanin containing tissues, suggesting melanin specific binding. Results herein suggest that compound [(123)I]53 displays favorable in vivo pharmacokinetics and stability and hence is an ideal candidate to proceed with further preclinical [(131)I] therapeutic evaluation.

  13. 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.

  14. [Melanin properties studies of the recombinant of Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes containing tyrosinase gene].

    PubMed

    Cai, X

    2001-12-01

    Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes is a notably killing maggots bacterium, which was isolated from natural dead maggots. Tyrosinase gene of P. maltophilia AT18 has been introduced into P. pseudoalcaligenes, and enabled it the ability of producing melanin steadily. Antiradiation effect of the melanin is quite strong. The melanin of the recombinant is nonfixiform material. It's solubility is very little in many sorts of organic or inorganic solvent. It's solubility is big in alkaline solution, but little in neutral or weak acid solution. It is deposited when pH < 4. It is oxidized by H2O2 or NaC10. It is also reduced by Ag+ or H2S. It has free radical and it can absorbs free radical generated by ultra-violent ray. It can absorbs ray of all sorts of wave length. The absorption rate of ultra-violet ray is the biggest in all sorts of wave length. It can effectively protects protein, DNA and other biomacromolecule matter against the damages by ultra-violet ray.

  15. Melanin granula distribution and phagocytosis in psoriasis vulgaris after PUVA therapy.

    PubMed

    Stüttgen, G; Brinkmann-Raestrupp, I; Haller, L; Kentsch, V; Schalla, W

    1979-02-23

    Melanin-containing basal cells of the epidermis, melanin-containing macrophages, mast cells, eosinophilic granulocytes and plasma cells were quantitatively investigated with the purpose of gaining an understanding of the quantitative changes in these cell systems under PUVA therapy. This patients have been exposed to solar radiation some weeks or months before the begin of the PUVA-treatment. Different dying-processes were used to investigate biopsy samples of psoriatically healthy and psoriatically affected skin, from 28 patients before, and 39 patients after PUVA therapy, using a 2 d micrometer with a field of view of 0.1 mm2. Altogether more than 9,000 fields of view have been analysed. The average radiation amount was 12 irradiations with an average total energy of 21.5 J/cm2. It was found that the count of granula-containing basal layer cells decreases in the psoriatic "healthy" region due to pigment incontinence and increase in the psoriatically affected region. The subepidermal melanin-containing phagocytes increase in both regions to a similar extent. In the case of the mast cells there was no trend to degranulation. The count of eosinophilic granulocytes and plasma cells was unchanged.

  16. Prenylated flavonoids from Artocarpus altilis: antioxidant activities and inhibitory effects on melanin production.

    PubMed

    Lan, Wen-Chun; Tzeng, Cheng-Wei; Lin, Chun-Ching; Yen, Feng-Lin; Ko, Horng-Huey

    2013-05-01

    Flavonoids, 10-oxoartogomezianone (1), 8-geranyl-3-(hydroxyprenyl)isoetin (2), hydroxyartoflavone A (3), isocycloartobiloxanthone (4), and furanocyclocommunin (5), together with 12 known compounds, were isolated from heartwood and cortex of Artocarpus altilis, and their structures were identified by comparing their spectra with those of similar compounds. To identify natural antioxidants and whitening agents, the ability of these prenylated flavonoids was assessed to scavenge the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH), the 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS(+·)) radical cation, and the superoxide anion (O2(-·)), and their abilities to inhibit tyrosinase and melanin production. It was found that compounds 3, 4, and artoflavone A (15) had moderate DPPH(·)-scavenging activity, whereas compound 4 exhibited significant ABTS(+·)-scavenging activity, and that norartocarpetin (7) and artogomezianone (8) exhibited moderate ABTS(+·)-scavenging activity, with compounds 2, 7, and artocarpin (6) displaying good superoxide anion-scavenging activity. In addition, compounds 7, 8, cudraflavone A (14), and artonin M (17), inhibited melanin production by strongly suppressing tyrosinase activity. Compound 6 reduced the melanin content without inhibiting tyrosinase activity. These results suggest that flavonoids isolated from A. altilis may be candidate antioxidants and/or skin-whitening agents. However, further investigations are required to determine their mechanisms of action.

  17. Biocatalysis on the surface of Escherichia coli: melanin pigmentation of the cell exterior

    PubMed Central

    Gustavsson, Martin; Hörnström, David; Lundh, Susanna; Belotserkovsky, Jaroslav; Larsson, Gen

    2016-01-01

    Today, it is considered state-of-the-art to engineer living organisms for various biotechnology applications. Even though this has led to numerous scientific breakthroughs, the enclosed interior of bacterial cells still restricts interactions with enzymes, pathways and products due to the mass-transfer barrier formed by the cell envelope. To promote accessibility, we propose engineering of biocatalytic reactions and subsequent product deposition directly on the bacterial surface. As a proof-of-concept, we used the AIDA autotransporter vehicle for Escherichia coli surface expression of tyrosinase and fully oxidized externally added tyrosine to the biopolymer melanin. This resulted in a color change and creation of a black cell exterior. The capture of ninety percent of a pharmaceutical wastewater pollutant followed by regeneration of the cell bound melanin matrix through a simple pH change, shows the superior function and facilitated processing provided by the surface methodology. The broad adsorption spectrum of melanin could also allow removal of other micropollutants. PMID:27782179

  18. 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.

  19. Effect of oxygen on free radicals in DOPA-melanin complexes with netilmicin, diamagnetic Zn(II), and paramagnetic Cu(II)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

    Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy was used to examine interactions between molecules of oxygen O2 and free radicals of DOPA-melanin and its complexes with netilmicin, Zn(II) and Cu(II). EPR spectra were measured for evacuated samples and then compared to earlier data for the samples in air. The concentrations of free radicals in the evacuated samples were higher than for samples in air. The strongest effect was observed for DOPA-melanin and melanin samples containing Cu(II). Evacuation of DOPA-melanin and DOPA-melanin-Cu(II) samples causes high EPR line broadening. Faster spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in evacuated melanin samples than in samples in air.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Inhibitory effects of adlay extract on melanin production and cellular oxygen stress in B16F10 melanoma cells.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-19

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. The pbrB gene encodes a laccase required for DHN-melanin synthesis in conidia of Talaromyces (Penicillium) marneffei.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. Non-invasive measurement of melanin-derived radicals in living mouse tail using X-band EPR

    PubMed Central

    Ogawa, Yukihiro; Ueno, Megumi; Sekine-Suzuki, Emiko; Nakanishi, Ikuo; Matsumoto, Ken-ichiro; Fujisaki, Shingo

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this experiment is to measure in vivo generation of melanin-derived radicals non-invasively, as a quantifiable index of radio-biological effect. Melanin-derived radicals in a living intact mouse tail tip were non-invasively measured in very simple way using an X-band electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometer. Colored mouse strains, C57BL/6NCr, BDF1, and C3H/He, have clear EPR signal corresponding to melanin-derived radicals in the tail tip; however, albino mouse strains, BALB/cCr, ddY, ICR, have no EPR signals. An X-ray fraction of 2 Gy/day (1 Gy/min) was repeatedly irradiated to a C3H/He mouse tail skin every Monday to Friday for 4 weeks. In comparison to before starting irradiation, the C3H/He mouse tail skin became darker, like a suntan. The melanin-derived radicals in C3H/He mouse tail skin were increased in association with X-ray fractions. Melanin-derived radicals in mouse tail skin can be readily and chronologically measurable by using X-band EPR spectrometer, and can be a marker for a radiobiological effect in the skin. PMID:27895382

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The allelochemical L-DOPA increases melanin production and reduces reactive oxygen species in soybean roots.

    PubMed

    Soares, Anderson Ricardo; de Lourdes Lucio Ferrarese, Maria; de Cássia Siqueira-Soares, Rita; Marchiosi, Rogério; Finger-Teixeira, Aline; Ferrarese-Filho, Osvaldo

    2011-08-01

    The non-protein amino acid, L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA), is the main allelochemical released from the roots of velvetbean and affects seed germination and root growth of several plant species. In the work presented here, we evaluated, in soybean roots, the effects of L-DOPA on the following: polyphenol oxidase (PPO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and catalase (CAT) activities; superoxide anion (O·-2), hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), and melanin contents; and lipid peroxidation. To this end, 3-day-old seedlings were cultivated in half-strength Hoagland's solution (pH 6.0), with or without 0.1 to 1.0 mM L-DOPA in a growth chamber (at 25°C, with a light/dark photoperiod of 12/12 hr and a photon flux density of 280 μmol m(-2) s(-1)) for 24 hr. The results showed that L-DOPA increased the PPO activity and, further, the melanin content. The activities of SOD and POD increased, but CAT activity decreased after the chemical exposure. The contents of reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as O·-2 and H(2)O(2), and the levels of lipid peroxidation significantly decreased under all concentrations of L-DOPA tested. These results suggest that L-DOPA was absorbed by the soybean roots and metabolized to melanin. It was concluded that the reduction in the O·-2 and H(2)O(2) contents and lipid peroxidation in soybean roots was due to the enhanced SOD and POD activities and thus a possible antioxidant role of L-DOPA.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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 Δamr1 and characterized their phenotypes. The Δamr1 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. PMID:23133370

  12. Monitoring the metabolic state of fungal hyphae and the presence of melanin by nonlinear spectral imaging.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    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.

  13. 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

  14. Duration of reappearance of gingival melanin pigmentation after surgical removal — A clinical study

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Harjit; Jain, Sanjeev; Sharma, Roshan Lal

    2010-01-01

    Background: In dentistry, esthetics has a special place. Although gingival melanin pigmentation does not present a medical problem, clinicians are often faced with a challenge of achieving gingival esthetics. Materials and Methods: A method of de-epithelialization of the pigmented gingiva using Kirkland’s gingivectomy knife is described. Twenty patients who were conscious about their gingival melanin pigmentation were selected. The gingiva of the whole of the arch was abraded until the entire visible pigmentation was removed. Clinical observations for intensity of pigmentation were recorded at baseline and then after surgery at monthly intervals over a period of 9 months according to Dummett-Gupta Oral Pigmentation Index scoring criteria proposed by Dummett C. O. in 1964. Results: The mean gingival melanin pigmentation score came down to 0.407 after 9 months as compared to preoperative score, which was 2.24. No repigmentation occurred in fair-complexioned persons. In persons with wheatish complexion, repigmentation was seen in 85.71% of the cases, but scores came down to 0.38 postoperatively as compared to 2.27 preoperatively. In dark-complexioned persons, repigmentation occurred in all cases, but the mean scores were 0.93 as compared to 2.40 preoperatively. The difference between preoperative and postoperative mean scores for each segment was put to statistical analysis by applying paired t test and was found to be significant. Conclusion: As this method has shown statistically significant results, it can be used in patients who are conscious of pigmented gingiva and want an esthetically satisfactory color. PMID:21691546

  15. Design and optimization of quinazoline derivatives as melanin concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHR1) antagonists.

    PubMed

    Sasmal, Sanjita; Balaji, Gade; Kanna Reddy, Hariprasada R; Balasubrahmanyam, D; Srinivas, Gujjary; Kyasa, Shivakumar; Sasmal, Pradip K; Khanna, Ish; Talwar, Rashmi; Suresh, J; Jadhav, Vikram P; Muzeeb, Syed; Shashikumar, Dhanya; Harinder Reddy, K; Sebastian, V J; Frimurer, Thomas M; Rist, Øystein; Elster, Lisbeth; Högberg, Thomas

    2012-05-01

    Melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) is an important mediator of energy homeostasis and plays a role in metabolic and CNS disorders. The modeling-supported design, synthesis and multi-parameter optimization (biological activity, solubility, metabolic stability, hERG) of novel quinazoline derivatives as MCHR1 antagonists are described. The in vivo proof of principle for weight loss with a lead compound from this series is exemplified. Clusters of refined hMCHR1 homology models derived from the X-ray structure of the β2-adrenergic receptor, including extracellular loops, were developed and used to guide the design.

  16. L-dihidroxyphenylalanine induces melanin production by members of the genus Trichosporon

    PubMed Central

    de Carvalho, Maria Helena Galdino Figueiredo; dos Santos, Fábio Brito; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Zancope-Oliveira, Rosely M.; Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo

    2014-01-01

    Melanization of members of the genus Trichosporon is poorly described. In the present study six strains, including two clinical isolates, from four different species (T. asahii, T. asteroides, T. inkin, and T. mucoides) were grown in culture media with or without L-dihydroxyphenilalanine (L-DOPA). Each strain produced a brownish pigment compatible with melanin when cultured in presence of L-DOPA, suggesting that these species are able to produce eumelanin. L-tyrosine was not able to elicit any type of pigment production on cultures. Since eumelanin is produced by several fungi during parasitism, this pigment may contribute to Trichosporon virulence. PMID:24920288

  17. Melanin synthesis is associated with changes in hyphopodial turgor, permeability, and wall rigidity in gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis.

    PubMed

    Money, N P; Caesar-TonThat, T C; Frederick, B; Henson, J M

    1998-01-01

    Mycelia of Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis form large cells called hyphopodia with deeply lobed, melanized walls. Like appressoria produced by other pathogens, hyphopodia develop on hydrophobic surfaces, but it is not clear that hyphopodia function as platforms for host penetration. In appressoria, melanin synthesis is linked to the generation of enormous turgor pressures that provide the necessary force for plant penetration. In the present study, hyphopodial turgor was measured in a wild-type strain of G. graminis var. graminis, a mutant exhibiting constitutive synthesis of melanin (referred to as the dark mutant), and a melanin-deficient strain (thr). These experiments demonstrate that hyphopodia of the wild-type strain generate higher pressures than the dark mutant and that nonmelanized thr hyphopodia generate minuscule internal pressures. Melanization of the wall is also associated with an increase in its rigidity. These data correlate with differences in wall permeability consistent with a recent model for turgor generation by appressoria.

  18. Melanin and blood concentration in a human skin model studied by multiple regression analysis: assessment by Monte Carlo simulation.

    PubMed

    Shimada, M; Yamada, Y; Itoh, M; Yatagai, T

    2001-09-01

    Measurement of melanin and blood concentration in human skin is needed in the medical and the cosmetic fields because human skin colour is mainly determined by the colours of melanin and blood. It is difficult to measure these concentrations in human skin because skin has a multi-layered structure and scatters light strongly throughout the visible spectrum. The Monte Carlo simulation currently used for the analysis of skin colour requires long calculation times and knowledge of the specific optical properties of each skin layer. A regression analysis based on the modified Beer-Lambert law is presented as a method of measuring melanin and blood concentration in human skin in a shorter period of time and with fewer calculations. The accuracy of this method is assessed using Monte Carlo simulations.

  19. Melanin and blood concentration in a human skin model studied by multiple regression analysis: assessment by Monte Carlo simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimada, M.; Yamada, Y.; Itoh, M.; Yatagai, T.

    2001-09-01

    Measurement of melanin and blood concentration in human skin is needed in the medical and the cosmetic fields because human skin colour is mainly determined by the colours of melanin and blood. It is difficult to measure these concentrations in human skin because skin has a multi-layered structure and scatters light strongly throughout the visible spectrum. The Monte Carlo simulation currently used for the analysis of skin colour requires long calculation times and knowledge of the specific optical properties of each skin layer. A regression analysis based on the modified Beer-Lambert law is presented as a method of measuring melanin and blood concentration in human skin in a shorter period of time and with fewer calculations. The accuracy of this method is assessed using Monte Carlo simulations.

  20. 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 ∼1019-1020 spin/g. Relatively lower and similar (5.1-6.6 × 1019 spin/g) free radical concentrations characterized DOPA-melanin complexes with ciprofloxacin, and lomefloxacin. Higher concentrations (0.8-1.2 × 1020 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.

  1. Using Sepia melanin as a PD model to describe the binding characteristics of neuromelanin - A critical review.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Rhiannon L; Double, Kay L; Gerber, Jacobus P

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson's disease is characterised pathologically by a relatively selective death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra of the brain. The vulnerability of these neurons appears to be linked to the pigment neuromelanin. However, as yet there is limited understanding behind the mechanisms of this disease process. Complications arise due to the difficulty in obtaining appreciable quantities of neuromelanin. Furthermore, an appropriate model for studying neuromelanin has not been identified. To date there has been many studies looking at the binding and chemical characteristics of neuromelanin. However, a range of different synthetic and organic melanins have been used as models and leading to many varied conclusions being drawn. Therefore, the aim of this review is to present Sepia melanin as the most appropriate study model for the binding characteristics of neuromelanin. Considerations included chemical structure, surface characteristics and structural features of both synthetic and organic melanins.

  2. High-Throughput Melanin-Binding Affinity and In Silico Methods to Aid in the Prediction of Drug Exposure in Ocular Tissue.

    PubMed

    Reilly, John; Williams, Sarah L; Forster, Cornelia J; Kansara, Viral; End, Peter; Serrano-Wu, Michael H

    2015-12-01

    Drugs possessing the ability to bind to melanin-rich tissue, such as the eye, are linked with higher ocular exposure, and therefore have the potential to affect the efficacy and safety profiles of therapeutics. A high-throughput melanin chromatographic affinity assay has been developed and validated, which has allowed the rapid melanin affinity assessment for a large number of compounds. Melanin affinity of compounds can be quickly assigned as low, medium, or high melanin binders. A high-throughput chromatographic method has been developed and fully validated to assess melanin affinity of pharmaceuticals and has been useful in predicting ocular tissue distribution in vivo studies. The high-throughput experimental approach has also allowed for a specific training set of 263 molecules for a quantitative structure-affinity relationships (QSAR) method to be developed, which has also been shown to be a predictor of ocular tissue exposure. Previous studies have reported the development of in silico QSAR models based on training sets of relatively small and mostly similar compounds; this model covers a broader range of melanin-binding affinities than what has been previously published and identified several physiochemical descriptors to be considered in the design of compounds where melanin-binding modulation is desired.

  3. Protein adsorption on dopamine-melanin films: role of electrostatic interactions inferred from zeta-potential measurements versus chemisorption.

    PubMed

    Bernsmann, Falk; Frisch, Benoît; Ringwald, Christian; Ball, Vincent

    2010-04-01

    We recently showed the possibility to build dopamine-melanin films of controlled thickness by successive immersions of a substrate in alkaline solutions of dopamine [F. Bernsmann, A. Ponche, C. Ringwald, J. Hemmerlé, J. Raya, B. Bechinger, J.-C. Voegel, P. Schaaf, V. Ball, J. Phys. Chem. C 113 (2009) 8234-8242]. In this work the structure and properties of such films are further explored. The zeta-potential of dopamine-melanin films is measured as a function of the total immersion time to build the film. It appears that the film bears a constant zeta-potential of (-39+/-3) mV after 12 immersion steps. These data are used to calculate the surface density of charged groups of the dopamine-melanin films at pH 8.5 that are mostly catechol or quinone imine chemical groups. Furthermore the zeta-potential is used to explain the adsorption of three model proteins (lysozyme, myoglobin, alpha-lactalbumin), which is monitored by quartz crystal microbalance. We come to the conclusion that protein adsorption on dopamine-melanin is not only determined by possible covalent binding between amino groups of the proteins and catechol groups of dopamine-melanin but that electrostatic interactions contribute to protein binding. Part of the adsorbed proteins can be desorbed by sodium dodecylsulfate solutions at the critical micellar concentration. The fraction of weakly bound proteins decreases with their isoelectric point. Additionally the number of available sites for covalent binding of amino groups on melanin grains is quantified.

  4. Quantitative photoluminescence of broad band absorbing melanins: a procedure to correct for inner filter and re-absorption effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riesz, Jennifer; Gilmore, Joel; Meredith, Paul

    2005-07-01

    We report methods for correcting the photoluminescence emission and excitation spectra of highly absorbing samples for re-absorption and inner filter effects. We derive the general form of the correction, and investigate various methods for determining the parameters. Additionally, the correction methods are tested with highly absorbing fluorescein and melanin (broadband absorption) solutions; the expected linear relationships between absorption and emission are recovered upon application of the correction, indicating that the methods are valid. These procedures allow accurate quantitative analysis of the emission of low quantum yield samples (such as melanin) at concentrations where absorption is significant.

  5. Inhibitory effects of flavonoid glycosides isolated from the peel of Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki 'Fuyu') on melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Ohguchi, Kenji; Nakajima, Chizuru; Oyama, Masayoshi; Iinuma, Munekazu; Itoh, Tomohiro; Akao, Yukihiro; Nozawa, Yoshinori; Ito, Masafumi

    2010-01-01

    We found that the acetone extract of the peel of Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki 'Fuyu') inhibits melanin biosynthesis in mouse B16 melanoma cells. The activity-guided purification of the extract resulted in isolation of two active compounds, which have been identified as flavonoid glycosides, isoquercitrin (quercetin-3-O-glucoside) and hyperin (quercetin-3-O-galactoside) by spectral analysis. Isoquercitrin and hyperin strongly inhibited the production of melanin (IC(50): 21.7 and 18.2 microM, respectively). The inhibitory effects were found to be mediated by suppression of tyrosinase expression.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Coloration principles of nymphaline butterflies - thin films, melanin, ommochromes and wing scale stacking.

    PubMed

    Stavenga, Doekele G; Leertouwer, Hein L; Wilts, Bodo D

    2014-06-15

    The coloration of the common butterflies Aglais urticae (small tortoiseshell), Aglais io (peacock) and Vanessa atalanta (red admiral), belonging to the butterfly subfamily Nymphalinae, is due to the species-specific patterning of differently coloured scales on their wings. We investigated the scales' structural and pigmentary properties by applying scanning electron microscopy, (micro)spectrophotometry and imaging scatterometry. The anatomy of the wing scales appears to be basically identical, with an approximately flat lower lamina connected by trabeculae to a highly structured upper lamina, which consists of an array of longitudinal, parallel ridges and transversal crossribs. Isolated scales observed at the abwing (upper) side are blue, yellow, orange, red, brown or black, depending on their pigmentation. The yellow, orange and red scales contain various amounts of 3-OH-kynurenine and ommochrome pigment, black scales contain a high density of melanin, and blue scales have a minor amount of melanin pigment. Observing the scales from their adwing (lower) side always revealed a structural colour, which is blue in the case of blue, red and black scales, but orange for orange scales. The structural colours are created by the lower lamina, which acts as an optical thin film. Its reflectance spectrum, crucially determined by the lamina thickness, appears to be well tuned to the scales' pigmentary spectrum. The colours observed locally on the wing are also due to the degree of scale stacking. Thin films, tuned pigments and combinations of stacked scales together determine the wing coloration of nymphaline butterflies.

  10. 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.

  11. Spin-label assay for aqueous solutions of transition-metal ions with application to melanin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froncisz, Wojciech; Lai, Ching-san; Hyde, James S.

    The authors and their colleagues have previously developed the spin-label oximetric method in which bimolecular collisions of dissolved O 2 in water with the spin label CTPO [3-carbomoyl-2,2,5,5-tetramethyl-3-pyrroline-1-yloxyl] serve as an assay for [O 2]. This method is, by analogy, here extended to dissolved transition-metal ions with emphasis on Cu(H 2O) 62+, Cu-EDTA, Ni(H 2O) 62+, and Ni-EDTA. Concentrations in the range of 0.05 to 1.0 m M can be determined. Further evidence is supplied that the dominant interaction between CTPO and C 2+ is Heisenberg exchange and that the interaction is of the "strongexchange" type, in agreement with other studies. The method is illustrated by investigation of metal binding to DOPA melanin, which is a model for the biopolymer eumelanin. There is strong discrimination against transition metals that are bound to macromolecules. Melanins are effective ion-exchange resins.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Induction by Klebsiella aerogenes of a melanin-like pigment in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed

    Frases, Susana; Chaskes, Stuart; Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2006-02-01

    While studying the interaction of Cryptococcus neoformans with Dictyostelium discoideum, we noticed that yeast colonies in agar with a feeder lawn of Klebsiella aerogenes were brown. This finding was intriguing because C. neoformans colonies are not pigmented unless they are provided with precursors for melanization. Strains of all C. neoformans serotypes produced brown pigment in response to K. aerogenes at 22, 30, and 37 degrees C. Pigment production required fungal laccase and was suppressed by high concentrations of glucose. Treatment of brown cells with guanidinium isothiocyanate and hot concentrated HCl yielded particulate material that had the physical and chemical characteristics of melanins. No pigment formation was observed when C. neoformans was exposed to live Escherichia coli or heat-killed K. aerogenes. Analysis of K. aerogenes supernatants revealed the presence of dopamine, which can be a substrate for melanin synthesis by C. neoformans. Our findings illustrate a remarkable interaction between a pathogenic fungus and a gram-negative bacterium, in which the bacterium produces a substrate that promotes fungal melanization. This observation provides a precedent that could explain the source of a substrate for C. neoformans melanization in the environment.

  15. Olanzapine-induced changes in glucose metabolism are independent of the melanin-concentrating hormone system.

    PubMed

    Girault, Elodie M; Toonen, Pim W; Eggels, Leslie; Foppen, Ewout; Ackermans, Mariëtte T; la Fleur, Susanne E; Fliers, Eric; Kalsbeek, Andries

    2013-11-01

    Atypical antipsychotic drugs such as Olanzapine (Ola) induce weight gain and metabolic changes associated with the development of type 2 diabetes. The mechanisms underlying these undesired side-effects are currently unknown. Chagnon et al. showed that the common allele rs7973796 of the prepro-melanin-concentrating hormone (PMCH) gene is associated with a greater body mass index in Ola-treated schizophrenic patients. As PMCH encodes for the orexigenic neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), it was hypothesized that MCH is involved in Ola-induced metabolic changes. We have recently reported that the intragastric infusion of Ola results in hyperglycaemia and insulin resistance in male rats. In order to test in vivo the possible involvement of the PMCH gene in the pathogenesis of Ola side-effects, we administered Ola intragastrically in wild-type (WT) and PMCH knock-out (KO) rats. Our results show that glucose and corticosterone levels, as well as endogenous glucose production, are elevated by the infusion of Ola in both WT and KO animals. Thus, the lack of MCH does not seem to affect the acute effects of Ola on glucose metabolism. On the other hand, these effects might be obliterated by compensatory changes in other hypothalamic systems. In addition, possible modulatory effects of the MCH KO on the long term effects of Ola, i.e. increased adiposity, body weight gain, have not been investigated yet.

  16. Topical liposome targeting of dyes, melanins, genes, and proteins selectively to hair follicles.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, R M

    1998-01-01

    For therapeutic and cosmetic modification of hair, we have developed a hair-follicle-selective macromolecule and small molecule targeting system with topical application of phosphatidylcholine-based liposomes. Liposome-entrapped melanins, proteins, genes, and small-molecules have been selectively targeted to the hair follicle and hair shafts of mice. Liposomal delivery of these molecules is time dependent. Negligible amounts of delivered molecules enter the dermis, epidermis, or bloodstream thereby demonstrating selective follicle delivery. Naked molecules are trapped in the stratum corneum and are unable to enter the follicle. The potential of the hair-follicle liposome delivery system for therapeutic use for hair disease as well as for cosmesis has been demonstrated in 3-dimensional histoculture of hair-growing skin and mouse in vivo models. Topical liposome selective delivery to hair follicles has demonstrated the ability to color hair with melanin, the delivery of the active lac-Z gene to hair matrix cells and delivery of proteins as well. Liposome-targeting of molecules to hair follicles has also been achieved in human scalp in histoculture. Liposomes thus have high potential in selective hair follicle targeting of large and small molecules, including genes, opening the field of gene therapy and other molecular therapy of the hair process to restore hair growth, physiologically restore or alter hair pigment, and to prevent or accelerate hair loss.

  17. 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

  18. TRPM1 Forms Ion Channels Associated with Melanin Content in Melanocytes

    PubMed Central

    Oancea, Elena; Vriens, Joris; Brauchi, Sebastian; Jun, Janice; Splawski, Igor; Clapham, David E.

    2014-01-01

    TRPM1(melastatin), which encodes the founding member of the TRPM family of transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels, was first identified by its reduced expression in a highly metastatic mouse melanoma cell line. Clinically, TRPM1 is used as a predictor of melanoma progression in humans because of its reduced abundance in more aggressive forms of melanoma. Although TRPM1 is found primarily in melanin-producing cells and has the molecular architecture of an ion channel, its function is unknown. Here we describe an endogenous current in primary human neonatal epidermal melanocytes and mouse melanoma cells that was abrogated by expression of microRNA directed against TRPM1. Messenger RNA analysis showed that at least five human ion channel–forming isoforms of TRPM1 could be present in melanocytes, melanoma, brain, and retina. Two of these isoforms are encoded by highly conserved splice variants that are generated by previously uncharacterized exons. Expression of these two splice variants in human melanoma cells generated an ionic current similar to endogenous TRPM1 current. In melanoma cells, TRPM1 is prevalent in highly dynamic intracellular vesicular structures. Plasma membrane TRPM1 currents are small, raising the possibility that their primary function is intracellular, or restricted to specific regions of the plasma membrane. In neonatal human epidermal melanocytes, TRPM1 expression correlates with melanin content. We propose that TRPM1 is an ion channel whose function is critical to normal melanocyte pigmentation and is thus a potential target for pigmentation disorders. PMID:19436059

  19. Effect of norfloxacin and moxifloxacin on melanin synthesis and antioxidant enzymes activity in normal human melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Beberok, Artur; Wrześniok, Dorota; Otręba, Michał; Miliński, Maciej; Rok, Jakub; Buszman, Ewa

    2015-03-01

    Fluoroquinolone antibiotics provide broad-spectrum coverage for a number of infectious diseases, including respiratory as well as urinary tract infections. One of the important adverse effects of these drugs is phototoxicity which introduces a serious limitation to their use. To gain insight the molecular mechanisms underlying the fluoroquinolones-induced phototoxic side effects, the impact of two fluoroquinolone derivatives with different phototoxic potential, norfloxacin and moxifloxacin, on melanogenesis and antioxidant enzymes activity in normal human melanocytes HEMa-LP was determined. Both drugs induced concentration-dependent loss in melanocytes viability. The value of EC50 for these drugs was found to be 0.5 mM. Norfloxacin and moxifloxacin suppressed melanin biosynthesis; antibiotics were shown to inhibit cellular tyrosinase activity and to reduce melanin content in melanocytes. When comparing the both analyzed fluoroquinolones, it was observed that norfloxacin possesses greater inhibitory effect on tyrosinase activity in melanocytes than moxifloxacin. The extent of oxidative stress in cells was assessed by measuring the activity of antioxidant enzymes: SOD, CAT, and GPx. It was observed that norfloxacin caused higher depletion of antioxidant status in melanocytes when compared with moxifloxacin. The obtained results give a new insight into the mechanisms of fluoroquinolones toxicity directed to pigmented tissues. Moreover, the presented differences in modulation of biochemical processes in melanocytes may be an explanation for various phototoxic activities of the analyzed fluoroquinolone derivatives in vivo.

  20. 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

  1. Action of 2,2',4,4'-tetrahydroxybenzophenone in the biosynthesis pathway of melanin.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Jimenez, Antonio; Teruel-Puche, Jose Antonio; Garcia-Ruiz, Pedro Antonio; Berna, Jose; Rodríguez-López, Jose Neptuno; Tudela, Jose; Garcia-Canovas, Francisco

    2017-05-01

    2,2',4,4'-tetrahydroxybenzophenone (Uvinul D50), a sunscreen used in cosmetics, has two effects in the melanin biosynthesis pathway. On the one hand, it acts a weak inhibitor of tyrosinase and on the other, it accelerates the conversion of dopachrome to melanin. Uvinul D50 was seen to behave as a weak competitive inhibitor: apparent constant inhibition=2.02±0.09mM and IC50=3.82±0.39mM established in this work. These values are higher than those in the bibliography, which tend to be undersetimated. This discrepancy could be explained by the reaction of Uvinul D50 with the dopachrome produced from l-tyrosine or l-dopa, which would interfere in the measurement. Based on studies of its docking to tyrosinase, it seems that Uvinul D50 interacts with the active site of the enzyme (oxytyrosinase) both in its protonated and deprotonated forms (pKa=7). However, it cannot be hydroxylated, meaning that it acts as a weak inhibitor, not as an alternative substrate, despite its resorcinol structure. Uvinul D50 can be used as sunscreen, in low concentrations without significant adverse effects on melanogenesis.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Human eccrine sweat gland cells turn into melanin-uptaking keratinocytes in dermo-epidermal skin substitutes.

    PubMed

    Böttcher-Haberzeth, Sophie; Biedermann, Thomas; Pontiggia, Luca; Braziulis, Erik; Schiestl, Clemens; Hendriks, Bart; Eichhoff, Ossia M; Widmer, Daniel S; Meuli-Simmen, Claudia; Meuli, Martin; Reichmann, Ernst

    2013-02-01

    Recently, Biedermann et al. (2010) have demonstrated that human eccrine sweat gland cells can develop a multilayered epidermis. The question still remains whether these cells can fulfill exclusive and very specific functional properties of epidermal keratinocytes, such as the incorporation of melanin, a feature absent in sweat gland cells. We added human melanocytes to eccrine sweat gland cells to let them develop into an epidermal analog in vivo. The interaction between melanocytes and sweat gland-derived keratinocytes was investigated. The following results were gained: (1) macroscopically, a pigmentation of the substitutes was seen 2-3 weeks after transplantation; (2) we confirmed the development of a multilayered, stratified epidermis with melanocytes distributed evenly throughout the basal layer; (3) melanocytic dendrites projected to suprabasal layers; and (4) melanin was observed to be integrated into former eccrine sweat gland cells. These skin substitutes were similar or equal to skin substitutes cultured from human epidermal keratinocytes. The only differences observed were a delay in pigmentation and less melanin uptake. These data suggest that eccrine sweat gland cells can form a functional epidermal melanin unit, thereby providing striking evidence that they can assume one of the most characteristic keratinocyte properties.

  5. Evaluation of Melanogenesis in A-375 Cells in the Presence of DMSO and Analysis of Pyrolytic Profile of Isolated Melanin

    PubMed Central

    Chodurek, Ewa; Orchel, Arkadiusz; Orchel, Joanna; Kurkiewicz, Sławomir; Gawlik, Natalia; Dzierżewicz, Zofia; Stępień, Krystyna

    2012-01-01

    The increase of a skin malignant melanoma (melanoma malignum) incidence in the world has been observed in recent years. The tumour, especially in advanced stadium with metastases, is highly resistant to conventional treatment. One of the strategies is to modulate melanogenesis using chemical compounds. In this study, the processes of differentiation and melanogenesis induced by dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) in human melanoma cells (A-375) were investigated. Natural melanin isolated from A-375 melanoma cell line treated with 0.3% DMSO was analyzed by pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) method. The products derived from pheomelanin have not been stated in the pyrolytic profile of analyzed melanin. Within all products derived from eumelanins, 1,2-benzenediol has been predominated. It has been shown that in the melanoma cells stimulated with 0.3% and 1% DMSO, the increase of transcriptional activity of the tyrosinase gene took place. It was accompanied by the rise of tyrosinase activity and an accumulation of melanin in the cells. The better knowledge about the structure of melanins can contribute to establish the uniform criteria of malignant melanoma morbidity risk. PMID:22654640

  6. 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.

  7. 2-Ethoxybenzamide stimulates melanin synthesis in B16F1 melanoma cells via the CREB signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Sato, Kazuomi; Ando, Ryosuke; Kobayashi, Honoka; Nishio, Takashi

    2016-12-01

    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are frequently used for the treatment of inflammation, pain, and fever. In this study, we found that 2-ethoxybenzamide (ETZ) significantly enhanced melanin synthesis in B16F1 melanoma cells, and also induced melanosome formation. Therefore, we investigated the mechanism by which ETZ up-regulated melanin synthesis. Western blot analysis demonstrated that ETZ increased melanogenic protein levels, except that for TRP-2. Moreover, semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and real-time RT-PCR analyses showed that ETZ enhanced the mRNA levels of melanogenic genes, including microphthalmia-associated transcription factor and melanocortin 1 receptor. We also observed phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) following ETZ treatment. However, ETZ did not affect intracellular cAMP levels. ERK was also activated by ETZ treatment, and melanin content was enhanced upon treatment with the specific ERK inhibitor PD98059. Together, our results indicate that ETZ induces melanin synthesis via CREB phosphorylation.

  8. The melanin operon of Streptomyces antibioticus: expression and use as a marker in gram-negative bacteria.

    PubMed

    Tseng, H C; Lin, C K; Hsu, B J; Leu, W M; Lee, Y H; Chiou, S J; Hu, N T; Chen, C W

    1990-01-31

    The melC operon of Streptomyces antibioticus contains two genes, melC1 and melC2, necessary for the production of melanin pigment. We transferred the coding sequence of melC1 and melC2 to Escherichia coli plasmid pMTL23 such that its transcription was under the control of the lac promoter and melC1 was translationally fused to the lacZ alpha fragment. E. coli cultures containing this plasmid, pIF413, produced melanin after overnight incubation on 2YT agar supplemented with 0.1 mM CuCl2, 0.36 mM IPTG (or 0.2% lactose), and 2 mM tyrosine. Erwina carotovora could also be transformed by pIF413 to produce melanin. Two shuttle vectors were constructed: pLUS415 for E. coli and Streptomyces, and pLAF413 for E. coli and Xanthomonas campestris. These vectors confer melanin pigmentation in all the hosts that harbor them. The melC sequence provides the vectors with a convenient cloning marker for insertional or replacement inactivation.

  9. Novel properties of melanins include promotion of DNA strand breaks, impairment of repair, and reduced ability to damage DNA after quenching of singlet oxygen.

    PubMed

    Suzukawa, Andréia Akemi; Vieira, Alessandra; Winnischofer, Sheila Maria Brochado; Scalfo, Alexsandra Cristina; Di Mascio, Paolo; Ferreira, Ana Maria da Costa; Ravanat, Jean-Luc; Martins, Daniela de Luna; Rocha, Maria Eliane Merlin; Martinez, Glaucia Regina

    2012-05-01

    Melanins have been associated with the development of melanoma and its resistance to photodynamic therapy (PDT). Singlet molecular oxygen ((1)O(2)), which is produced by ultraviolet A solar radiation and the PDT system, is also involved. Here, we investigated the effects that these factors have on DNA damage and repair. Our results show that both types of melanin (eumelanin and pheomelanin) lead to DNA breakage in the absence of light irradiation and that eumelanin is more harmful than pheomelanin. Interestingly, melanins were found to bind to the minor grooves of DNA, guaranteeing close proximity to DNA and potentially causing the observed high levels of strand breaks. We also show that the interaction of melanins with DNA can impair the access of repair enzymes to lesions, contributing to the perpetuation of DNA damage. Moreover, we found that after melanins interact with (1)O(2), they exhibit a lower ability to induce DNA breakage; we propose that these effects are due to modifications of their structure. Together, our data highlight the different modes of action of the two types of melanin. Our results may have profound implications for cellular redox homeostasis, under conditions of induced melanin synthesis and irradiation with solar light. These results may also be applied to the development of protocols to sensitize melanoma cells to PDT.

  10. 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

    2016-04-04

    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.

  11. The role of melanin in the induction of oxidative DNA base damage by ultraviolet A irradiation of DNA or melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Kvam, E; Tyrrell, R M

    1999-08-01

    Highly pigmented, dark skin is more resistant to the harmful effects of solar ultraviolet radiation than light-colored human skin. The extent to which tanning protects skin from harmful effects including induction of skin cancer is not known, however. We have investigated whether the skin pigment, melanin, sensitizes or protects isolated DNA or nuclear DNA in melanoma cells from the induction of the premutagenic oxidative DNA base damage, 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine, by ultraviolet A irradiation. Synthetic eumelanin sensitized isolated DNA to induction of the oxidative DNA base damage by ultraviolet A, but it also induced the oxidative DNA base damage in the dark. To study the role of natural melanin in mammalian melanoma cells in the induction of oxidative DNA base damage, melanin synthesis was modulated 5-7-fold in the human melanoma cells GLL19 and IGR1 (which contain both pheomelanin and eumelanin) as well as in the mouse melanoma cells B16 (which contain mainly eumelanin). Increased melanin synthesis clearly did not protect against ultraviolet A-induced oxidative DNA base damage in cells. On the contrary, the human melanoma cells with high melanin content accumulated two times more 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine after ultraviolet A irradiation than cells with low melanin content. Furthermore, preirradiation of the human melanoma cells, IGR1, with ultraviolet A 4 h before a second ultraviolet A exposure produced an altered amount of induced 8-hydroxy-deoxyguanosine dependent on the melanin content of the cells. We conclude that stimulation of melanin synthesis, but probably not melanin itself, increases the susceptibility of human melanoma cells to induction of premutagenic oxidative DNA base damage by ultraviolet A irradiation.

  12. Bioproduction, characterization, anticancer and antioxidant activities of extracellular melanin pigment produced by newly isolated microbial cell factories Streptomyces glaucescens NEAE-H

    PubMed Central

    El-Naggar, Noura El-Ahmady; El-Ewasy, Sara M.

    2017-01-01

    In this present study, a newly isolated strain, Streptomyces sp. NEAE-H, capable of producing high amount of black extracellular melanin pigment on peptone-yeast extract iron agar and identified as Streptomyces glaucescens NEAE-H. Plackett–Burman statistical design was conducted for initial screening of 17 independent (assigned) variables for their significances on melanin pigment production by Streptomyces glaucescens NEAE-H. The most significant factors affecting melanin production are incubation period, protease-peptone and ferric ammonium citrate. The levels of these significant variables and their interaction effects were optimized by using face-centered central composite design. The maximum melanin production (31.650 μg/0.1 ml) and tyrosinase activity (6089.10 U/ml) were achieved in the central point runs under the conditions of incubation period (6 days), protease-peptone (5 g/L) and ferric ammonium citrate (0.5 g/L). Melanin pigment was recovered by acid-treatment. Higher absorption of the purified melanin pigment was observed in the UV region at 250 nm. It appeared to have defined small spheres by scanning electron microscopy imaging. The maximum melanin yield was 350 mg dry wt/L of production medium. In vitro anticancer activity of melanin pigment was assayed against skin cancer cell line using MTT assay. The IC50 value was 16.34 ± 1.31 μg/ml for melanin and 8.8 ± 0.5 μg/ml for standard 5-fluorouracil. PMID:28195138

  13. Ionizing Radiation: how fungi cope, adapt, and exploit with the help of melanin

    PubMed Central

    Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2008-01-01

    SUMMARY OF RECENT ADVANCES Life on Earth has always existed in the flux of ionizing radiation. However, fungi seem to interact with the ionizing radiation differently from other Earth’s inhabitants. Recent data show that melanized fungal species like those from Chernobyl’s reactor respond to ionizing radiation with enhanced growth. Fungi colonize space stations and adapt morphologically to extreme conditions. Radiation exposure causes upregulation of many key genes, and an inducible microhomology-mediated recombination pathway could be a potential mechanism of adaptive evolution in eukaryotes. The discovery of melanized organisms in high radiation environments, the space stations, Antarctic mountains, and in the reactor cooling water combined with phenomenon of ‘radiotropism’ raises the tantalizing possibility that melanins have functions analogous to other energy harvesting pigments such as chlorophylls. PMID:18848901

  14. 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.

  15. Organelle-specific injury to melanin-containing cells in human skin by pulsed laser irradiation

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, G.F.; Shepard, R.S.; Paul, B.S.; Menkes, A.; Anderson, R.R.; Parrish, J.A.

    1983-12-01

    Physical models predict that ultraviolet laser radiation of appropriately brief pulses can selectively alter melanin-containing cellular targets in human skin. Skin of normal human volunteers was exposed to brief (20 nanosecond) 351-nm wave length pulses from a XeF excimer laser, predicting that those cells containing the greatest quantities of melanized melanosomes (lower half of the epidermis) would be selectively damaged. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the earliest cellular alteration to be immediate disruption of melanosomes, both within melanocytes and basal keratinocytes. This disruption was dose dependent and culminated in striking degenerative changes in these cells. Superficial keratinocytes and Langerhans cells were not affected. It was concluded that the XeF excimer laser is capable of organelle-specific injury to melanosomes. These findings may have important clinical implications in the treatment of both benign and malignant pigmented lesions by laser radiations of defined wave lengths and pulse durations.

  16. 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.

  17. MALARIAL PIGMENT (SO-CALLED MELANIN): ITS NATURE AND MODE OF PRODUCTION.

    PubMed

    Brown, W H

    1911-02-01

    1. Two important methods for the study of malarial pigment are described. (a) A method for obtaining a solution of malarial pigment from fixed tissues without the removal of a trace of hemoglobin from the red blood corpuscles. (b) A method for obtaining an iron reaction in malarial pigment. 2. By comparing the bleach reactions and solubility of melanins and malarial pigment, the dissimilarity of the two classes of pigments has been demonstrated. 3. The spectroscopic examination of a solution of malarial pigment proves conclusively that the pigment is hematin. 4. It is suggested that the action of a proteolytic enzyme of the malarial parasite upon the hemoglobin of the red blood corpuscle is the most probable mode of elaboration of malarial pigment. 5. The difficulty with which the human organism disposes of malarial pigment indicates that the production of hematin cannot be considered as a normal intermediate process in the formation of bile pigments from hemoglobin.

  18. Chemical constituents derived from Artocarpus xanthocarpus as inhibitors of melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yu-Jing; Lin, Cha-Chi; Lu, Tzy-Ming; Li, Jih-Heng; Chen, Ih-Sheng; Kuo, Yueh-Hsiung; Ko, Horng-Huey

    2015-09-01

    Twenty-four compounds, including the previously unknown artoxanthocarpuone A, artoxanthocarpuone B, hydroxylakoochin A, methoxylakoochin A, epoxylakoochin A, and artoxanthol, were isolated and characterized spectroscopically. Among them, artoxanthol is stilbene oligomer presumably constructed in a 5,11,12-triphenyl hexahydrochrysene scaffold by a Diels-Alder type of reaction, for which a biosynthetic pathway is proposed. Artoxanthol, alboctalol, steppogenin, norartocarpetin, resveratrol, oxyresveratrol, and chlorophorin potently inhibited mushroom tyrosinase activity with IC50 values from 0.9 to 5.7 μM that were all far stronger than the positive controls. Artoxanthocarpuone A, artoxanthocarpuone B, methoxylakoochin A, lakoochin A, cudraflavone C, artonin A, resveratrol, and chlorophorin reduced tyrosinase activity and inhibited α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone-induced melanin production in B16F10 melanoma cells without affecting cell proliferation. Collectively, the results suggest that the constituents of Artocarpus xanthocarpus have potential to be used as depigmentation agents.

  19. Inhibitory effects of macelignan isolated from Myristica fragrans HOUTT. on melanin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Cho, Yumi; Kim, Kyu-Hoi; Shim, Jae-Seok; Hwang, Jae-Kwan

    2008-05-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the in vitro inhibitory effects of macelignan isolated from Myristica fragrans HOUTT. on melanogenesis and its related enzymes such as tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1), and tyrosinase-related protein-2 (TRP-2) in melan-a murine melanocytes. The IC50 values of macelignan for melanogenesis and tyrosinase were 13 microM and 30 microM, respectively, while those of arbutin as a positive control were 990 microM and 660 microM, respectively. In Western blot analysis, macelignan also significantly decreased tyrosinase, TRP-1, and TRP-2 protein expression. These results indicate that macelignan effectively inhibits melanin biosynthesis and thus could be employed as a new skin-whitening agent.

  20. Dipeptides Inhibit Melanin Synthesis in Mel-Ab Cells through Down-Regulation of Tyrosinase

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Hyun-e; Kim, Eun-Hyun; Choi, Hye-Ryung; Sohn, Uy Dong; Yun, Hye-Young; Baek, Kwang Jin; Kwon, Nyoun Soo; Park, Kyoung-Chan

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of proline-serine (PS) and valine-serine (VS) dipeptides on melanogenesis in Mel-Ab cells. Proline-serine and VS significantly inhibited melanin synthesis in a concentration-dependent manner, though neither dipeptide directly inhibited tyrosinase activity in a cell-free system. Both PS and VS down-regulated the expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase. In a follow-up study also described here, the effects of these dipeptides on melanogenesis-related signal transduction were quantified. Specifically, PS and VS induced ERK phosphorylation, though they had no effect on phosphorylation of the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB). These data suggest that PS and VS inhibit melanogenesis through ERK phosphorylation and subsequent down-regulation of MITF and tyrosinase. Properties of these dipeptides are compatible with application as skin-whitening agents. PMID:22915995

  1. 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.

  2. Seasonal Changes in Colour: A Comparison of Structural, Melanin- and Carotenoid-Based Plumage Colours

    PubMed Central

    Delhey, Kaspar; Burger, Claudia; Fiedler, Wolfgang; Peters, Anne

    2010-01-01

    Background Plumage coloration is important for bird communication, most notably in sexual signalling. Colour is often considered a good quality indicator, and the expression of exaggerated colours may depend on individual condition during moult. After moult, plumage coloration has been deemed fixed due to the fact that feathers are dead structures. Still, many plumage colours change after moult, although whether this affects signalling has not been sufficiently assessed. Methodology/Principal Findings We studied changes in coloration after moult in four passerine birds (robin, Erithacus rubecula; blackbird, Turdus merula; blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus; and great tit, Parus major) displaying various coloration types (melanin-, carotenoid-based and structural). Birds were caught regularly during three years to measure plumage reflectance. We used models of avian colour vision to derive two variables, one describing chromatic and the other achromatic variation over the year that can be compared in magnitude among different colour types. All studied plumage patches but one (yellow breast of the blue tit) showed significant chromatic changes over the year, although these were smaller than for a typical dynamic trait (bill colour). Overall, structural colours showed a reduction in relative reflectance at shorter wavelengths, carotenoid-based colours the opposite pattern, while no general pattern was found for melanin-based colours. Achromatic changes were also common, but there were no consistent patterns of change for the different types of colours. Conclusions/Significance Changes of plumage coloration independent of moult are probably widespread; they should be perceivable by birds and have the potential to affect colour signalling. PMID:20644723

  3. Neuroendocrine functions of melanocytes: beyond the skin-deep melanin maker.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Kazuhisa; Takahashi, Na-Ho; Shibahara, Shigeki

    2007-03-01

    The skin is armored with "dead cells", the stratum corneum, and is continuously exposed to external stressful environments, such as atmospheric oxygen, solar radiations, and thermal and chemical insults. Melanocytes of neural crest origin are located in the skin, eye, inner ear, and leptomeninges. Melanin pigment in the skin is produced by melanocytes under the influence of various endogenous factors, derived from neighboring keratinocytes and underlying fibroblasts. The differentiation and functions of melanocytes are regulated at multiple processes, including transcription, RNA editing, melanin synthesis, and the transport of melanosomes to keratinocytes. Impairment at each step causes the pigmentary disorders in humans, with the historical example of oculocutaneous albinism. Moreover, heterozygous mutations in the gene coding for microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, a key regulator for melanocyte development, are associated with Waardenburg syndrome type 2, an auditory-pigmentary disorder. Sun tanning, melasma, aging spots (lentigo senilis), hair graying, and melanoma are well-known melanocyte-related pathologies. Melanocytes therefore have attracted much attention of many ladies, makeup artists and molecular biologists. More recently, we have shown that lipocalin-type prostaglandin D synthase (L-PGDS) is expressed in melanocytes but not in other skin cell types. L-PGDS generates prostaglandin D2 and also functions as an inter-cellular carrier protein for lipophilic ligands, such as bilirubin and thyroid hormones. Thus, melanocytes may exert hitherto unknown functions through L-PGDS and prostaglandin D2. Here we update the neuroendocrine functions of melanocytes and discuss the possible involvement of melanocytes in the control of the central chemosensor that generates respiratory rhythm.

  4. Curcumin does not switch melanin synthesis towards pheomelanin in B16F10 cells.

    PubMed

    Wolnicka-Glubisz, Agnieszka; Nogal, Katarzyna; Żądło, Andrzej; Płonka, Przemysław M

    2015-01-01

    Melanin, the basic skin pigment present also in the majority of melanomas, has a huge impact on the efficiency of photodynamic, radio- or chemotherapies of melanoma. Moreover, the melanoma cells produce more melanin than normal melanocytes in adjacent skin do. Thus, attention has been paid to natural agents that are safe and effective in suppression of melanogenesis. B16F10 cells were studied by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The cells were cultured for 24-72 h in RPMI or DMEM with or without curcumin. The results confirmed that curcumin has no significant effect on B16F10 cells viability at concentrations of 1-10 µM. Curcumin at concentration of 10 µM significantly inhibited their proliferation and stimulated differentiation. We have not stimulated melanogenesis hormonally but we found a strong increase in melanogenesis in DMEM, containing more L-Tyr, as compared to RPMI. The EPR studies revealed that the effect of curcumin on melanogenesis in RPMI-incubated cells was not significant, and only in DMEM was curcumin able to inhibit melanogenesis. The effect of curcumin was only quantitative, as it did not switch eumelanogenesis towards pheomelanogenesis under any conditions. Interestingly, we observed elevation of production of hydrogen peroxide in DMEM-incubated cells, in parallel to the facilitation of melanogenesis. Curcumin significantly but transiently intensified the already pronounced generation of H2O2 in DMEM. We conclude that the quantitative effect of curcumin on melanogenesis in melanoma is intricate. It depends on the basic melanogenetic efficiency of the cells, and can be observed only in strongly pigmented cells. Qualitatively, curcumin does not switch melanogenesis towards pheomelanogenesis, either in strongly, or in weakly melanized melanoma cells.

  5. The contribution of structural-, psittacofulvin- and melanin-based colouration to sexual dichromatism in Australasian parrots.

    PubMed

    Taysom, A J; Stuart-Fox, D; Cardoso, G C

    2011-02-01

    Colour ornamentation in animals is exceptionally diverse, but some colours may provide better signals of individual quality or more efficient visual stimuli and, thus, be more often used as sexual signals. This may depend on physiological costs, which depend on the mechanism of colour production (e.g. exogenously acquired colouration in passerine birds appears to be most sexually dichromatic). We studied sexual dichromatism in a sample of 27 Australasian parrot species with pigment- (melanin and psittacofulvin) and structural-based colouration, to test whether some of these types of colouration are more prominent in sexual ornamentation. Unlike passerines, in which long wavelength colouration (yellow to red) usually involves exogenous and costly carotenoid pigments, yellow to red colouration in parrots is based on endogenously synthesized psittacofulvin pigments. This allows us to assess whether costly exogenous pigments are necessary for these plumage colours to have a prominent role in sexual signalling. Structural blue colouration showed the largest and most consistent sexual dichromatism, both in area and perceptually relevant chromatic differences, indicating that it is often ornamental in parrots. By contrast, we found little evidence for consistent sexual dichromatism in melanin-based colouration. Unlike passerines, yellow to red colouration was not strongly sexually dichromatic: although the area of colouration was generally larger in males, colour differences between the sexes were on average imperceptible to parrots. This is consistent with the idea that the prominent yellow to red sexual dichromatism in passerines is related to the use of carotenoid pigments, rather than resulting from sensory bias for these colours.

  6. Effect of the MC1R gene on sexual dimorphism in melanin-based colorations.

    PubMed

    San-Jose, Luis M; Ducrest, Anne-Lyse; Ducret, Valérie; Béziers, Paul; Simon, Céline; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Roulin, Alexandre

    2015-06-01

    Variants of the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene result in abrupt, naturally selected colour morphs. These genetic variants may differentially affect sexual dimorphism if one morph is naturally selected in the two sexes but another morph is naturally or sexually selected only in one of the two sexes (e.g. to confer camouflage in reproductive females or confer mating advantage in males). Therefore, the balance between natural and sexual selections can differ between MC1R variants, as suggest studies showing interspecific correlations between sexual dimorphism and the rate of nonsynonymous vs. synonymous amino acid substitutions at the MC1R. Surprisingly, how MC1R is related to within-species sexual dimorphism, and thereby to sex-specific selection, has not yet been investigated. We tackled this issue in the barn owl (Tyto alba), a species showing pronounced variation in the degree of reddish pheomelanin-based coloration and in the number and size of black feather spots. We found that a valine (V)-to-isoleucine (I) substitution at position 126 explains up to 30% of the variation in the three melanin-based colour traits and in feather melanin content. Interestingly, MC1R genotypes also differed in the degree of sexual colour dimorphism, with individuals homozygous for the II MC1R variant being 2 times redder and 2.5 times less sexually dimorphic than homozygous individuals for the VV MC1R variant. These findings support that MC1R interacts with the expression of sexual dimorphism and suggest that a gene with major phenotypic effects and weakly influenced by variation in body condition can participate in sex-specific selection processes.

  7. Pharmacologic Induction of Epidermal Melanin and Protection Against Sunburn in a Humanized Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Amaro-Ortiz, Alexandra; Vanover, Jillian C.; Scott, Timothy L.; D'Orazio, John A.

    2013-01-01

    Fairness of skin, UV sensitivity and skin cancer risk all correlate with the physiologic function of the melanocortin 1 receptor, a Gs-coupled signaling protein found on the surface of melanocytes. Mc1r stimulates adenylyl cyclase and cAMP production which, in turn, up-regulates melanocytic production of melanin in the skin. In order to study the mechanisms by which Mc1r signaling protects the skin against UV injury, this study relies on a mouse model with "humanized skin" based on epidermal expression of stem cell factor (Scf). K14-Scf transgenic mice retain melanocytes in the epidermis and therefore have the ability to deposit melanin in the epidermis. In this animal model, wild type Mc1r status results in robust deposition of black eumelanin pigment and a UV-protected phenotype. In contrast, K14-Scf animals with defective Mc1r signaling ability exhibit a red/blonde pigmentation, very little eumelanin in the skin and a UV-sensitive phenotype. Reasoning that eumelanin deposition might be enhanced by topical agents that mimic Mc1r signaling, we found that direct application of forskolin extract to the skin of Mc1r-defective fair-skinned mice resulted in robust eumelanin induction and UV protection 1. Here we describe the method for preparing and applying a forskolin-containing natural root extract to K14-Scf fair-skinned mice and report a method for measuring UV sensitivity by determining minimal erythematous dose (MED). Using this animal model, it is possible to study how epidermal cAMP induction and melanization of the skin affect physiologic responses to UV exposure. PMID:24056496

  8. Gain-of-Function Mutation of KIT Ligand on Melanin Synthesis Causes Familial Progressive Hyperpigmentation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhi-Qiang; Si, Lizhen; Tang, Quan; Lin, Debao; Fu, Zhangjie; Zhang, Jing; Cui, Bin; Zhu, Yufei; Kong, Xianghua; Deng, Min; Xia, Yu; Xu, Heng; Le, Weidong; Hu, Landian; Kong, Xiangyin

    2009-01-01

    Familial progressive hyperpigmentation (FPH) is an autosomal-dominantly inherited disorder characterized by hyperpigmented patches in the skin, present in early infancy and increasing in size and number with age. The genetic basis for FPH remains unknown. In this study, a six-generation Chinese family with FPH was subjected to a genome-wide scan for linkage analysis. Two-point linkage analysis mapped the locus for FPH at chromosome 12q21.31-q23.1, with a maximum two-point LOD score of 4.35 (Ø = 0.00) at D12S81. Haplotype analysis confined the locus within an interval of 9.09 cM, flanked by the markers D12S1667 and D12S2081. Mutation profiling of positional candidate genes detected a heterozygous transversion (c. 107A→G) in exon 2 of the KIT ligand (KITLG) gene, predicted to result in the substitution of a serine residue for an asparagine residue at codon 36 (p.N→S). This mutant “G” allele cosegregated perfectly with affected, but not with unaffected, members of the FPH family. Function analysis of the soluble form of sKITLG revealed that mutant sKITLGN36S increased the content of the melanin by 109% compared with the wild-type sKITLG in human A375 melanoma cells. Consistent with this result, the tyrosinase activity was significantly increased by mutant sKITLGN36S compared to wild-type control. To our knowledge, these data provided the first genetic evidence that the FPH disease is caused by the KITLGN36S mutation, which has a gain-of-function effect on the melanin synthesis and opens a new avenue for exploration of the genetic mechanism of FPH. PMID:19375057

  9. Low-melanin containing pullulan production from sugarcane bagasse hydrolysate by Aureobasidium pullulans in fermentations assisted by light-emitting diode.

    PubMed

    Terán Hilares, Ruly; Orsi, Camila Ayres; Ahmed, Muhammad Ajaz; Marcelino, Paulo Franco; Menegatti, Carlos Renato; da Silva, Silvio Silvério; Dos Santos, Júlio César

    2017-04-01

    Pullulan is a polymer produced by Aureobasidium pullulans and the main bottleneck for its industrial production is the presence of melanin pigment. In this study, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) of different wavelengths were used to assist the fermentation process aiming to produce low-melanin containing pullulan by wild strain of A. pullulans LB83 with different carbon sources. Under white light using glucose-based medium, 11.75g.L(-1) of pullulan with high melanin content (45.70UA540nm.g(-1)) was obtained, this production improved in process assisted by blue LED light, that resulted in 15.77g.L(-1) of pullulan with reduced content of melanin (4.46UA540nm.g(-1)). By using sugarcane bagasse (SCB) hydrolysate as carbon source, similar concentration of pullulan (about 20g.L(-1)) was achieved using white and blue LED lights, with lower melanin contents in last. Use of LED light was found as a promising approach to assist biotechnological process for low-melanin containing pullulan production.

  10. Melanins as biomarkers of ovarian follicular atresia in the catfish Heteropneustes fossilis: biochemical and histochemical characterization, seasonal variation and hormone effects.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ravi; Joy, Keerikkattil P

    2015-06-01

    Follicular atresia is a common feature of the vertebrate ovary that occurs at different stages of folliculogenesis and ovarian regression. It has physiological significance to maintain homeostasis and control fecundity, and ensure removal of post-ovulatory follicular remnants for preparing the ovary for the next cycle. Pigments appear late in the atretic process as indigestible waste formed out of the degradation of the oocytes, follicle wall and granulocytes. In the present study, pigment accumulation was demonstrated by Schmorl's and Perls' staining methods in the atretic ovarian follicles of Heteropneustes fossilis during follicular development and regression. Melanins were characterized spectrophotometrically for the first time in fish ovary. The predominant form is eumelanin, followed by pheomelanin and alkali-soluble melanin. Melanins showed significant seasonal variations with levels low in gonad resting phase, increasing to the peak in the post-spawning phase. The concentration of melanins increased time-dependently in post-ovulated ovary after human chorionic gonadotropin treatment. In the spawning phase, in vitro incubation of ovary slices with estradiol-17β or dexamethasone for 8 or 16 h decreased both eumelanin and pheomelanin levels time-dependently. The alkali-soluble melanin showed a significant decrease only in the dexamethasone group at 16 h. The results show that melanin assay can be used as a biomarker of follicular atresia in fish ovary, natural or induced by environmental toxicants.

  11. Near-infrared excited state dynamics of melanins: the effects of iron content, photo-damage, chemical oxidation, and aggregate size.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Mary Jane; Wilson, Jesse W; Robles, Francisco E; Dall, Christopher P; Glass, Keely; Simon, John D; Warren, Warren S

    2014-02-13

    Ultrafast pump-probe measurements can discriminate the two forms of melanin found in biological tissue (eumelanin and pheomelanin), which may be useful for diagnosing and grading melanoma. However, recent work has shown that bound iron content changes eumelanin's pump-probe response, making it more similar to that of pheomelanin. Here we record the pump-probe response of these melanins at a wider range of wavelengths than previous work and show that with shorter pump wavelengths the response crosses over from being dominated by ground-state bleaching to being dominated by excited-state absorption. The crossover wavelength is different for each type of melanin. In our analysis, we found that the mechanism by which iron modifies eumelanin's pump-probe response cannot be attributed to Raman resonances or differences in melanin aggregation and is more likely caused by iron acting to broaden the unit spectra of individual chromophores in the heterogeneous melanin aggregate. We analyze the dependence on optical intensity, finding that iron-loaded eumelanin undergoes irreversible changes to the pump-probe response after intense laser exposure. Simultaneously acquired fluorescence data suggest that the previously reported "activation" of eumelanin fluorescence may be caused in part by the dissociation of metal ions or the selective degradation of iron-containing melanin.

  12. Tomographic reconstruction of melanin structures of optical coherence tomography via the finite-difference time-domain simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Shi-Hao; Wang, Shiang-Jiu; Tseng, Snow H.

    2015-03-01

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides high resolution, cross-sectional image of internal microstructure of biological tissue. We use the Finite-Difference Time-Domain method (FDTD) to analyze the data acquired by OCT, which can help us reconstruct the refractive index of the biological tissue. We calculate the refractive index tomography and try to match the simulation with the data acquired by OCT. Specifically, we try to reconstruct the structure of melanin, which has complex refractive indices and is the key component of human pigment system. The results indicate that better reconstruction can be achieved for homogenous sample, whereas the reconstruction is degraded for samples with fine structure or with complex interface. Simulation reconstruction shows structures of the Melanin that may be useful for biomedical optics applications.

  13. Psychrotrophic yeast Yarrowia lipolytica NCYC 789 mediates the synthesis of antimicrobial silver nanoparticles via cell-associated melanin

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    A psychrotrophic marine strain of the ascomycetous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica (NCYC 789) synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) in a cell-associated manner. These nanostructures were characterized by UV-Visible spectroscopy and scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive spectrometer (SEM-EDS) analysis. The brown pigment (melanin) involved in metal-interactions was obtained from the cells. This extracted pigment also mediated the synthesis of silver nanoparticles that were characterized by a variety of analytical techniques. The melanin-derived nanoparticles displayed antibiofilm activity. This paper thus reports the synthesis of AgNPs by the biotechnologically important yeast Y. lipolytica; proposes a possible mechanism involved in the synthetic process and describes the use of the bio-inspired nanoparticles as antibiofilm agents. PMID:23758863

  14. Validation of Eupatorium triplinerve Vahl leaves, a skin care herb from East Kalimantan, using a melanin biosynthesis assay.

    PubMed

    Arung, Enos Tangke; Kuspradini, Harlinda; Kusuma, Irawan Wijaya; Shimizu, Kuniyoshi; Kondo, Ryuichiro

    2012-04-01

    In searching for a new material made from natural resources that could be used as a whitening agent, we focused on the plants used for skin treatment by the native people of East Kalimantan. The methanol extract of the leaves of Eupatorium triplinerve Vahl showed antimelanogenesis activity in a melanin biosynthesis assay. By activity-guided fractionation, 7-methoxycoumarin (1) was isolated as an active compound. The IC50 of 1 on mushroom tyrosinase was 2360 μM (L-tyrosine was used as the substrate) and above 2840 μM (L-DOPA was used as the substrate), respectively. Regarding melanin formation inhibition in B16 melanoma cells, the IC50 of 1 was 1780 μM with 83% cell viability at IC50. Based on these results, we validated that the leaf extract is in line with the traditional use of the Dayak tribe in East Kalimantan.

  15. Melanin biosynthesis inhibitory and antioxidant activities of quercetin-3'-O-beta-D-glucoside isolated from Allium cepa.

    PubMed

    Arung, Enos Tangke; Furuta, Shoko; Ishikawa, Hiroya; Tanaka, Hiroyuki; Shimizu, Kuniyoshi; Kondo, Ryuichiro

    2011-01-01

    In the course of searching for new whitening agents, we have found that the methanol extract of dried skin of Allium cepa shows potent melanin biosynthesis inhibitory activity in B16 melanoma cells. Bioassay-guided fractionation led to the isolation of quercetin-3'-O-beta-D-glucoside (1) from the methanol extract of dried skin of A. cepa, which inhibited melanin formation in B16 melanoma cells with an IC50 value of 38.8 microM and mushroom tyrosinase with an IC50 value of 6.5 microM using L-tyrosine and 48.5 microM using L-dihydroxyphenylalanine as substrates, respectively. In addition, the antioxidant activity of 1 was evaluated in the oxygen radical absorbance capacity assay; it showed 3.04 micromol Trolox equivalents/mmol. 1 was shown to be a promising ingredient that could be useful for treating hyperpigmentation and for protecting against oxidative stress.

  16. Analogues of N-hydroxy-N'-phenylthiourea and N-hydroxy-N'-phenylurea as inhibitors of tyrosinase and melanin formation.

    PubMed

    Criton, Marc; Le Mellay-Hamon, Véronique

    2008-06-15

    A series of N-hydroxy-N'-phenylthiourea and N-hydroxy-N'-phenylurea analogues were prepared and evaluated as inhibitors of tyrosinase and melanin formation. The most active analogue 1 inhibited mushroom tyrosinase with an IC(50) of around 0.29 microM and also retained a substantial potency in cell culture by reducing pigment synthesis by 78%. Therefore, compound 1 could be considered as a promising candidate for preclinical drug development for skin hyperpigmentation application.

  17. Relationship of the eye uptake of N-isopropyl-p-(/sup 123/I)iodoamphetamine to melanin production

    SciTech Connect

    Holman, B.L.; Wick, M.M.; Kaplan, M.L.; Hill, T.C.; Lee, R.G.L.; Wu, J.; Lin, T.H.

    1984-03-01

    Eye uptake has been a potential concern with N-isopropyl-p-(/sup 123/I)iodoamphetamine (I-123 IMP) because it has been observed in certain animal species. The authors have investigated the cause of the eye uptake and its relationship to melanin synthesis. In a 1-yr-old cynomolgus monkey, high concentration of the tracer was seen in the eyes regardless of the type of anesthesia (pentobarbital or ketamine) or the oral administration of Lugol's solution. The eye uptake at 24 hr after injection of I-123 IMP was equally high in an 8-yr-old rhesus monkey. The ratio of radioactivity in the eye of black compared with white albino mice was 10:1 at 30 min, 18:1 at 2 hr and 36:1 at 24 hr after injection if I-123 IMP. No eye uptake above soft-tissue background was seen in five patients at 2, 24, and 48 hr after injection. I-123 IMP is avidly incorporated into melanocytes actively producing melanin, but substantially less in melanocytes where production of melanin has ceased as in the human eye.

  18. Increase in melanin formation and promotion of cytotoxicity in cultured melanoma cells caused by phosphorylated isomers of L-dopa.

    PubMed

    Pawelek, J M; Murray, M

    1986-02-01

    A new class of compounds, termed "dopa phosphates," is described. The compounds contain phosphate ester linkages at positions 3 and/or 4 of the phenylalanine ring. Dopa phosphates are highly soluble compounds which are stable over a wide range of pH values and are not hydrolyzed by boiling in concentrated acid. Synthetic yields of greater than 90% can be obtained using dopa as starting material. Exposure to alkaline phosphatase results in hydrolysis of the phosphate moieties and production of dopa. Dopa phosphates do not inhibit dopa oxidase (tyrosinase, EC 1.14.18.1) activity. Dopa oxidase does not catalyze the conversion of dopa phosphates into melanin unless the dopa phosphates are first treated with alkaline phosphatase. Dopa phosphates, when compared to L-dopa, are stable in the presence of O2 and are not oxidized by serum proteins. In the presence of cultured melanoma cells, dopa phosphates are readily converted into melanin, indicating that the cells are able to produce dopa from dopa phosphates. At high concentrations, dopa phosphates are cytotoxic toward melanoma cells in culture. The cytotoxicity is enhanced at least 3-fold by pretreatment of cells with melanotropin and is prevented by phenylthiourea, an inhibitor of dopa oxidase activity. These results, combined with studies on the uptake of radioactive forms of dopa phosphates (32P and 14C), indicate that phosphorylated isomers of dopa are efficiently taken up by Cloudman melanoma cells and are readily converted by the cells into a melanin precursor, presumably L-dopa.

  19. Substantial Effect of Melanin Influencing Factors on In vitro Melanogenesis in Muzzle Melanocytes of Differently Colored Hanwoo

    PubMed Central

    Amna, Touseef; Park, Kyoung Mi; Cho, In-Kyung; Choi, Tae Jeong; Lee, Seung Soo; Seo, Kang-Seok; Hwang, Inho

    2012-01-01

    The present study was designed to investigate the effect of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), nitric oxide (NO) and L-cysteine on melanin production and expression of related genes MC1R, Tyr, Tyrp-1 and Tyrp-2 in muzzle melanocytes of differently colored three native Hanwoo cattle. Muzzle samples were taken from black, brindle and brown Hanwoo and purified melanocytes were cultured with α-MSH, nitric oxide and L-cysteine at 100 nM, 50 µM and 0.07 mg/ml of media respectively. The amounts of total melanin, eumelanin and mRNA expression at Tyr, Tyrp-1, Tyrp-2 and MC1R levels were quantified. α-MSH and nitric oxide significantly increased (p<0.05) the amount of total melanin in black and brindle whereas eumelanin production in brown Hanwoo muzzle melanocytes. On the contrary, L-cysteine greatly (p<0.05) depressed the eumelanin production in black color but increased in brown. Simultaneously, up regulation of Tyr by nitric oxide and α-MSH and down regulation of Tyr, Tyrp-2 and MC1R genes by L-cysteine were observed in muzzle melanocytes of all three phenotypes. The results of this study revealed nitric oxide and α-MSH contribute hyper-pigmentation by enhancing eumelanogenesis whereas L-cysteine contributes to pheomelanin production in different colored Hanwoo muzzle melanocytes. PMID:25049660

  20. Sex-linked inheritance, genetic correlations and sexual dimorphism in three melanin-based colour traits in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Roulin, A; Jensen, H

    2015-03-01

    Theory states that genes on the sex chromosomes have stronger effects on sexual dimorphism than genes on the autosomes. Although empirical data are not necessarily consistent with this theory, this situation may prevail because the relative role of sex-linked and autosomally inherited genes on sexual dimorphism has rarely been evaluated. We estimated the quantitative genetics of three sexually dimorphic melanin-based traits in the barn owl (Tyto alba), in which females are on average darker reddish pheomelanic and display more and larger black eumelanic feather spots than males. The plumage traits with higher sex-linked inheritance showed lower heritability and genetic correlations, but contrary to prediction, these traits showed less pronounced sexual dimorphism. Strong offspring sexual dimorphism primarily resulted from daughters not expressing malelike melanin-based traits and from sons expressing femalelike traits to similar degrees as their sisters. We conclude that in the barn owl, polymorphism at autosomal genes rather than at sex-linked genes generate variation in sexual dimorphism in melanin-based traits.

  1. Kinetic study on the tyrosinase and melanin formation inhibitory activities of carthamus yellow isolated from Carthamus tinctorius L.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi-Shyan; Lee, Shu-Mei; Lin, Chih-Chien; Liu, Chia-Yi; Wu, Meng-Chen; Shi, Wun-Ling

    2013-03-01

    Carthamus yellow (CY) is the major component of the yellow pigments of Carthamus tinctorius L. CY has been extensively used as a natural color additive for food and cosmetics. Here, our results demonstrate that carthamus yellow reduced the activity of mushroom tyrosinase in a dose-dependent manner with a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) value of approximately 1.01 ± 0.03 mg/mL. A kinetic study of carthamus yellow on tyrosinase exhibited a mode of competitive inhibition with a Ki of 0.607 mg/mL. Moreover, cell viability analysis indicated that carthamus yellow used at concentrations of 1.0-4.0 mg/mL had no cytotoxicity in B16F10 melanoma cells. Melanin content analysis showed that melanin production in B16F10 melanoma cells treated with 4 mg/mL carthamus yellow can decrease to 82.3 ± 0.4% of the levels of melanin production of untreated cells. Thus, carthamus yellow has the potential to become a useful skin-whitening agent in the future.

  2. Enhancing the Stress Tolerance and Virulence of an Entomopathogen by Metabolic Engineering of Dihydroxynaphthalene Melanin Biosynthesis Genes ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, Min N.; Chung, Pei C.; Tzean, Shean S.

    2011-01-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi have been used for biocontrol of insect pests for many decades. However, the efficacy of such fungi in field trials is often inconsistent, mainly due to environmental stresses, such as UV radiation, temperature extremes, and desiccation. To circumvent these hurdles, metabolic engineering of dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin biosynthetic genes (polyketide synthase, scytalone dehydratase, and 1,3,8-trihydroxynaphthalene reductase genes) cloned from Alternaria alternata were transformed into the amelanotic entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Melanin expression in the transformant of M. anisopliae was verified by spectrophotometric methods, liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS), and confocal microscopy. The transformant, especially under stresses, showed notably enhanced antistress capacity and virulence, in terms of germination and survival rate, infectivity, and reduced median time to death (LT50) in killing diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) larvae compared with the wild type. The possible mechanisms in enhancing the stress tolerance and virulence, and the significance and potential for engineering melanin biosynthesis genes in other biocontrol agents and crops to improve antistress fitness are discussed. PMID:21571888

  3. Determination of the optical properties of melanin-pigmented human skin equivalents using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipscomb, Dawn; Echchgadda, Ibtissam; Peralta, Xomalin G.; Wilmink, Gerald J.

    2013-02-01

    Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) methods have been utilized in previous studies in order to characterize the optical properties of skin and its primary constituents (i.e., water, collagen, and keratin). However, similar experiments have not yet been performed to investigate whether melanocytes and the melanin pigment that they synthesize contribute to skin's optical properties. In this study, we used THz-TDS methods operating in transmission geometry to measure the optical properties of in vitro human skin equivalents with or without normal human melanocytes. Skin equivalents were cultured for three weeks to promote gradual melanogenesis, and THz time domain data were collected at various time intervals. Frequency-domain analysis techniques were performed to determine the index of refraction (n) and absorption coefficient (μa) for each skin sample over the frequency range of 0.1-2.0 THz. We found that for all samples as frequency increased, n decreased exponentially and the μa increased linearly. Additionally, we observed that skin samples with higher levels of melanin exhibited greater n and μa values than the non-pigmented samples. Our results indicate that melanocytes and the degree of melanin pigmentation contribute in an appreciable manner to the skin's optical properties. Future studies will be performed to examine whether these contributions are observed in human skin in vivo.

  4. Targeted Disruption of Melanin Biosynthesis Genes in the Human Pathogenic Fungus Lomentospora prolificans and Its Consequences for Pathogen Survival.

    PubMed

    Al-Laaeiby, Ayat; Kershaw, Michael J; Penn, Tina J; Thornton, Christopher R

    2016-03-24

    The dematiaceous (melanised) fungus Lomentospora (Scedosporium) prolificans is a life-threatening opportunistic pathogen of immunocompromised humans, resistant to anti-fungal drugs. Melanin has been shown to protect human pathogenic fungi against antifungal drugs, oxidative killing and environmental stresses. To determine the protective role of melanin in L. prolificans to oxidative killing (H₂O₂), UV radiation and the polyene anti-fungal drug amphotericin B, targeted gene disruption was used to generate mutants of the pathogen lacking the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthetic enzymes polyketide synthase (PKS1), tetrahydroxynapthalene reductase (4HNR) and scytalone dehydratase (SCD1). Infectious propagules (spores) of the wild-type strain 3.1 were black/brown, whereas spores of the PKS-deficient mutant ΔLppks1::hph were white. Complementation of the albino mutant ΔLppks1::hph restored the black-brown spore pigmentation, while the 4HNR-deficient mutant ΔLp4hnr::hph and SCD-deficient mutant ΔLpscd1::hph both produced orange-yellow spores. The mutants ΔLppks1::hph and ΔLp4hnr::hph showed significant reductions in spore survival following H₂O₂ treatment, while spores of ΔLpscd1::hph and the ΔLppks1::hph complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to strain 3.1. Spores of the mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLpscd1::hph and complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to 3.1 following exposure to UV radiation, but survival of ΔLppks1::hph spores was significantly reduced compared to the wild-type strain. Strain 3.1 and mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLppks1::hph:PKS were resistant to amphotericin B while, paradoxically, the PKS1- and SCD1-deficient mutants showed significant increases in growth in the presence of the antifungal drug. Taken together, these results show that while melanin plays a protective role in the survival of the pathogen to oxidative killing and UV radiation, melanin does not

  5. Targeted Disruption of Melanin Biosynthesis Genes in the Human Pathogenic Fungus Lomentospora prolificans and Its Consequences for Pathogen Survival

    PubMed Central

    Al-Laaeiby, Ayat; Kershaw, Michael J.; Penn, Tina J.; Thornton, Christopher R.

    2016-01-01

    The dematiaceous (melanised) fungus Lomentospora (Scedosporium) prolificans is a life-threatening opportunistic pathogen of immunocompromised humans, resistant to anti-fungal drugs. Melanin has been shown to protect human pathogenic fungi against antifungal drugs, oxidative killing and environmental stresses. To determine the protective role of melanin in L. prolificans to oxidative killing (H2O2), UV radiation and the polyene anti-fungal drug amphotericin B, targeted gene disruption was used to generate mutants of the pathogen lacking the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthetic enzymes polyketide synthase (PKS1), tetrahydroxynapthalene reductase (4HNR) and scytalone dehydratase (SCD1). Infectious propagules (spores) of the wild-type strain 3.1 were black/brown, whereas spores of the PKS-deficient mutant ΔLppks1::hph were white. Complementation of the albino mutant ΔLppks1::hph restored the black-brown spore pigmentation, while the 4HNR-deficient mutant ΔLp4hnr::hph and SCD-deficient mutant ΔLpscd1::hph both produced orange-yellow spores. The mutants ΔLppks1::hph and ΔLp4hnr::hph showed significant reductions in spore survival following H2O2 treatment, while spores of ΔLpscd1::hph and the ΔLppks1::hph complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to strain 3.1. Spores of the mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLpscd1::hph and complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to 3.1 following exposure to UV radiation, but survival of ΔLppks1::hph spores was significantly reduced compared to the wild-type strain. Strain 3.1 and mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLppks1::hph:PKS were resistant to amphotericin B while, paradoxically, the PKS1- and SCD1-deficient mutants showed significant increases in growth in the presence of the antifungal drug. Taken together, these results show that while melanin plays a protective role in the survival of the pathogen to oxidative killing and UV radiation, melanin does not contribute to

  6. Histamine inhibits the melanin-concentrating hormone system: implications for sleep and arousal

    PubMed Central

    Parks, Gregory S; Olivas, Nicholas D; Ikrar, Taruna; Sanathara, Nayna M; Wang, Lien; Wang, Zhiwei; Civelli, Olivier; Xu, Xiangmin

    2014-01-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-producing neurons are known to regulate a wide variety of physiological functions such as feeding, metabolism, anxiety and depression, and reward. Recent studies have revealed that MCH neurons receive projections from several wake-promoting brain regions and are integral to the regulation of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Here, we provide evidence in both rats and mice that MCH neurons express histamine-3 receptors (H3R), but not histamine-1 (H1R) or histamine-2 (H2R) receptors. Electrophysiological recordings in brain slices from a novel line of transgenic mice that specifically express the reporter ZsGreen in MCH neurons show that histamine strongly inhibits MCH neurons, an effect which is TTX insensitive, and blocked by the intracellular presence of GDP-β-S. A specific H3R agonist, α-methylhistamine, mimicks the inhibitory effects of histamine, and a specific neutral H3R antagonist, VUF 5681, blocks this effect. Tertiapin Q (TPQ), a G protein-dependent inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channel inhibitor, abolishes histaminergic inhibition of MCH neurons. These results indicate that histamine directly inhibits MCH neurons through H3R by activating GIRK channels and suggest that that inhibition of the MCH system by wake-active histaminergic neurons may be responsible for silencing MCH neurons during wakefulness and thus may be directly involved in the regulation of sleep and arousal. PMID:24639485

  7. Melanin-concentrating hormone: unique peptide neuronal systems in the rat brain and pituitary gland

    SciTech Connect

    Zamir, N.; Skofitsch, G.; Bannon, M.J.; Jacobowitz, D.M.

    1986-03-01

    A unique neuronal system was detected in the rat central nervous system by immunohistochemistry and radioimmunoassay with antibodies to salmon melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH). MCH-like immunoreactive (MCH-LI) cell bodies were confined to the hypothalamus. MCH-LI fibers were found throughout the brain but were most prevalent in hypothalamus, mesencephalon, and pons-medulla regions. High concentrations of MCH-LI were measured in the hypothalamic medial forebrain bundle (MFB), posterior hypothalamic nucleus, and nucleus of the diagonal band. Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography of MFB extracts from rat brain indicate that MCH-like peptide from the rat has a different retention time than that of the salmon MCH. An osmotic stimuls (2% NaCl as drinking water for 120 hr) caused a marked increase in MCH-LI concentrations in the lateral hypothalamus and neurointermediate lobe. The present studies establish the presence of MCH-like peptide in the rat brain. The MCH-LI neuronal system is well situated to coordinate complex functions such as regulation of water intake.

  8. Development of a sensitive solid-phase radioimmunoassay for melanin-concentrating hormone

    SciTech Connect

    Eberle, A.N.; Baumann, J.B.; Girard, J. ); Baker, B.I.; Kishida, M. )

    1989-01-01

    A two-step solid-phase radioimmunoassay for melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) was developed for direct determination of the hormone in plasma samples. To this end, synthetic MCH was coupled to bovine thyreoglobulin and the complex was injected into rabbits. Specific antisera of high titer were obtained which did not crossreact with other hormones. The IgGs were chemically linked to immunobeads, an acrylamide/acrylic acid polymer matrix. In the first step, plasma MCH was immunoextracted by incubation of diluted plasma samples with anti-MCH immunobeads. In the second step, the washed polymer was incubated with radioiodinated MCH tracer for titration of non-occupied sites. This procedure made it possible to determine as little as 4 pg MCH per ml of plasma. Application of the radioimmunoassay to plasma levels of black or white background-adapted trout showed a marked difference in circulating MCH: while trout on a black background contained a mean value of 29 {plus minus} 5.6 pg/ml, animals on a white background had 106 {plus minus} 19 pg/ml.

  9. Control of heterogeneous nucleation and growth kinetics of dopamine-melanin by altering substrate chemistry.

    PubMed

    Klosterman, Luke; Riley, John K; Bettinger, Christopher John

    2015-03-24

    Dopamine-melanin (DM or "polydopamine") can be deposited on virtually any substrate from solution through autoxidation of dopamine. The versatility of this process has allowed surface-mediated assembly of DM for a wide variety of functional coatings. Here we report the impact of well-defined surface chemistries on the nucleation and growth of such films. DM was deposited on silicon dioxide (SiO2) and SiO2 substrates modified with self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) bearing octadecyl (C18), phenethyl, and aminopropyl functional groups. Atomic force microscopy revealed three-dimensional islands whose areal density and surface coverage are lowest on bare SiO2 substrates and highest on the neutral aromatic and aliphatic substrates. Increasing the pH of the solution from 8.2 to 10 dissociates catechol moieties in DM and inhibits adsorption on negatively charged SiO2 substrates. The growth rate of DM films on SAM-modified SiO2 is maximized at pH 9.5 and almost completely abolished at pH 10 because of increased DM solubility. The initial rates of DM adsorption were measured using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation measurements. The initial adsorption rate is proportional to the nucleation density, which increases as the hydrophobicity of the substrate increases. Taken together, these data provide insight into the rates of heterogeneous nucleation and growth of DM on substrates with well-defined chemistries.

  10. Structure Characterization and Lead Detoxification Effect of Carboxymethylated Melanin Derived from Lachnum Sp.

    PubMed

    Zong, Shuai; Li, Lan; Li, Jinglei; Shaikh, Farnaz; Yang, Liu; Ye, Ming

    2017-01-12

    In the present study, an intracellular melanin, named LIM205, was separated from Lachnum YM205 mycelia and was purified on a Sephadex G-15 column. The molecular weight of LIM205 was determined as 522 Da, and its molecular formula was speculated as C28H14N2O7S. The possible chemical structure of LIM205 was determined according to the results of Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR, and pyrolysis/GC-MS analysis. With the aim to increase its water solubility, its carboxymethylated derivative, named CLIM205, was formed by the substitution of hydrogen atoms in LIM205 with one, two, and three carboxymethylate groups. FT-IR, UV, and ESI-MS analysis demonstrated that the carboxymethylate groups were conjugated onto LIM205. The lead detoxification activities of LIM205 and CLIM205 had also been investigated. In vivo test showed that both LIM205 and CLIM205 reduced the tissue lead concentration, enhanced lead excretion, and reversed lead-induced alterations in superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations in mice, with CLIM205 showed better efficacy. The study indicates that LIM205 and CLIM205 have significant lead detoxification effect which will contribute to solve related problems.

  11. Sleep architecture of the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1-knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Adamantidis, Antoine; Salvert, Denise; Goutagny, Romain; Lakaye, Bernard; Gervasoni, Damien; Grisar, Thierry; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé; Fort, Patrice

    2008-04-01

    Growing amounts of data indicate involvement of the posterior hypothalamus in the regulation of sleep, especially paradoxical sleep (PS). Accordingly, we previously showed that the melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH)-producing neurons of the rat hypothalamus are selectively activated during a PS rebound. In addition, intracerebroventricular infusion of MCH increases total sleep duration, suggesting a new role for MCH in sleep regulation. To determine whether activation of the MCH system promotes sleep, we studied spontaneous sleep and its homeostatic regulation in mice with deletion of the MCH-receptor 1 gene (MCH-R1-/- vs. MCH-R1+/+) and their behavioural response to modafinil, a powerful antinarcoleptic drug. Here, we show that the lack of functional MCH-R1 results in a hypersomniac-like phenotype, both in basal conditions and after total sleep deprivation, compared to wild-type mice. Further, we found that modafinil was less potent at inducing wakefulness in MCH-R1-/- than in MCH-R1+/+ mice. We report for the first time that animals with genetically inactivated MCH signaling exhibit altered vigilance state architecture and sleep homeostasis. This study also suggests that the MCH system may modulate central pathways involved in the wake-promoting effect of modafinil.

  12. Novel Neuroprotective Effects of Melanin-Concentrating Hormone in Parkinson's Disease.

    PubMed

    Park, Ji-Yeun; Kim, Seung-Nam; Yoo, Junsang; Jang, Jaehwan; Lee, Ahreum; Oh, Ju-Young; Kim, Hongwon; Oh, Seung Tack; Park, Seong-Uk; Kim, Jongpil; Park, Hi-Joon; Jeon, Songhee

    2016-11-14

    Acupuncture has shown the therapeutic effect on various neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson's disease (PD). While investigating the neuroprotective mechanism of acupuncture, we firstly found the novel function of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) as a potent neuroprotective candidate. Here, we explored whether hypothalamic MCH mediates the neuroprotective action of acupuncture. In addition, we aimed at evaluating the neuroprotective effects of MCH and elucidating underlying mechanism in vitro and in vivo PD models. First, we tested whether hypothalamic MCH mediates the neuroprotective effects of acupuncture by challenging MCH-R1 antagonist (i.p.) in mice PD model. We also investigated whether MCH has a beneficial role in dopaminergic neuronal protection in vitro primary midbrain and human neuronal cultures and in vivo MPTP-induced, Pitx3(-/-), and A53T mutant mice PD models. Transcriptomics followed by quantitative PCR and western blot analyses were performed to reveal the neuroprotective mechanism of MCH. We first found that hypothalamic MCH biosynthesis was directly activated by acupuncture treatment and that administration of an MCH-R1 antagonist reverses the neuroprotective effects of acupuncture. A novel finding is that MCH showed a beneficial role in dopaminergic neuron protection via downstream pathways related to neuronal survival. This is the first study to suggest the novel neuroprotective action of MCH as well as the involvement of hypothalamic MCH in the acupuncture effects in PD, which holds great promise for the application of MCH in the therapy of neurodegenerative diseases.

  13. Deletion of Melanin Concentrating Hormone Receptor-1 disrupts overeating in the presence of food cues.

    PubMed

    Sherwood, Andrew; Holland, Peter C; Adamantidis, Antoine; Johnson, Alexander W

    2015-12-01

    Exposure to environmental cues associated with food can evoke eating behavior in the absence of hunger. This capacity for reward cues to promote feeding behaviors under sated conditions can be examined in the laboratory using cue-potentiated feeding (CPF). The orexigenic neuropeptide Melanin Concentrating Hormone (MCH) is expressed throughout brain circuitry critical for CPF. We examined whether deletion of the MCH receptor, MCH-1R, would in KO mice disrupt overeating in the presence of a Pavlovian CS+ associated with sucrose delivery. While both wild-type controls and KO mice showed comparable food magazine approach responses during the CPF test, MCH-1R deletion significantly impaired the ability of the CS+ to evoke overeating of sucrose under satiety. Through the use of a refined analysis of meal intake, it was revealed that this disruption to overeating behavior in KO mice reflected a reduction in the capacity for the CS+ to initiate and maintain bursts of licking behavior. These findings suggest that overeating during CPF requires intact MCH-1R signaling and may be due to an influence of the CS+ on the palatability of food and on regulatory mechanisms of peripheral control. Thus, disruptions to MCH-1R signaling may be a useful pharmacological tool to inhibit this form of overeating behavior.

  14. Mechanisms Relevant to the Enhanced Virulence of a Dihydroxynaphthalene-Melanin Metabolically Engineered Entomopathogen

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, Min-Nan; Chung, Chia-Ling; Tzean, Shean-Shong

    2014-01-01

    The entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae MA05-169 is a transformant strain that has been metabolically engineered to express dihydroxynaphthalene-melanin biosynthesis genes. In contrast to the wild type strain, the transformant displays a greater resistance to environmental stress and a higher virulence toward target insect host. However, the underlying mechanisms for these characteristics remain unclear; hence experiments were initiated to explore the possible mechanism(s) through physiological and molecular approaches. Although both transformant and wild type strains could infect and share the same insect host range, the former germinated faster and produced more appressoria than the latter, both in vivo and in vitro. The transformant showed a significantly shorter median lethal time (LT50) when infecting the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) and the striped flea beetle (Phyllotreta striolata), than the wild type. Additionally, the transformant was more tolerant to reactive oxygen species (ROS), produced 40-fold more orthosporin and notably overexpressed the transcripts of the pathogenicity-relevant hydrolytic enzymes (chitinase, protease, and phospholipase) genes in vivo. In contrast, appressorium turgor pressure and destruxin A content were slightly decreased compared to the wild type. The transformant's high anti-stress tolerance, its high virulence against five important insect pests (cowpea aphid Aphis craccivora, diamondback moth Pl. xylostella, striped flea beetle Ph. striolata, and silverleaf whitefly Bemisia argentifolii) and its capacity to colonize the root system are key properties for its potential bio-control field application. PMID:24662974

  15. Melanin-concentrating hormone is necessary for olanzapine-inhibited locomotor activity in male mice

    PubMed Central

    Chee, Melissa J. S.; Douris, Nicholas; Forrow, Avery B.; Monnard, Arnaud; Lu, Shuangyu; Flaherty, Stephen E.; Adams, Andrew C.; Maratos-Flier, Eleftheria

    2015-01-01

    Olanzapine (OLZ), an atypical antipsychotic, can be effective in treating patients with restricting type anorexia nervosa who exercise excessively. Clinical improvements include weight gain and reduced pathological hyperactivity. However the neuronal populations and mechanisms underlying OLZ actions are not known. We studied the effects of OLZ on hyperactivity using male mice lacking the hypothalamic neuropeptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCHKO) that are lean and hyperactive. We compared the in vivo effects of systemic or intra-accumbens nucleus (Acb) OLZ administration on locomotor activity in WT and MCHKO littermates. Acute systemic OLZ treatment in WT mice significantly reduced locomotor activity, an effect that is substantially attenuated in MCHKO mice. Furthermore, OLZ infusion directly into the Acb of WT mice reduced locomotor activity, but not in MCHKO mice. To identify contributing neuronal mechanisms, we assessed the effect of OLZ treatment on Acb synaptic transmission ex vivo and in vitro. Intraperitoneal OLZ treatment reduced Acb GABAergic activity in WT but not MCHKO neurons. This effect was also seen in vitro by applying OLZ to acute brain slices. OLZ reduced the frequency and amplitude of GABAergic activity that was more robust in WT than MCHKO Acb. These findings indicate that OLZ reduced Acb GABAergic transmission and that MCH is necessary for the hypolocomotor effects of OLZ. PMID:26092201

  16. Melanin concentrating hormone induces hippocampal acetylcholine release via the medial septum in rats.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhi-Hong; Fukuda, Satoru; Minakawa, Yoichi; Yasuda, Atsushi; Sakamoto, Hidetoshi; Sawamura, Shigehito; Takahashi, Hidenori; Ishii, Noriko

    2013-06-01

    Among various actions of melanin concentrating hormone (MCH), its memory function has been focused in animal studies. Although MCH neurons project to various areas in the brain, one main target site of MCH is hippocampal formation for memory consolidation. Recent immunohistochemical study shows that MCH neurons directly project to the hippocampal formation and may indirectly affect the hippocampus through the medial septum nucleus (MS). It has been reported that sleep is necessary for memory and that hippocampal acetylcholine (ACh) release is indispensable for memory consolidation. However, there is no report how MCH actually influences the hippocampal ACh effluxes in accordance with the sleep-wake cycle changes. Thus, we investigated the modulatory function of intracerebroventricular (icv) injection of MCH on the sleep-wake cycle and ACh release using microdialysis techniques. Icv injection of MCH significantly increased the rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM episode time and the hippocampal, not cortical, ACh effluxes. There was a significant correlation between REM episode time and hippocampal ACh effluxes, but not between REM episode time and cortical ACh effluxes. Microinjection of MCH into the MS increased the hippocampal ACh effluxes with no influence on the REM episode time. It appears that the effect sites of icv MCH for prolongation of REM episode time may be other neuronal areas than the cholinergic neurons in the MS. We conclude that MCH actually increases the hippocampal ACh release at least in part through the MS in rats.

  17. Hypothalamic melanin concentrating hormone neurons communicate the nutrient value of sugar

    PubMed Central

    Domingos, Ana I; Sordillo, Aylesse; Dietrich, Marcelo O; Liu, Zhong-Wu; Tellez, Luis A; Vaynshteyn, Jake; Ferreira, Jozelia G; Ekstrand, Mats I; Horvath, Tamas L; de Araujo, Ivan E; Friedman, Jeffrey M

    2013-01-01

    Sugars that contain glucose, such as sucrose, are generally preferred to artificial sweeteners owing to their post-ingestive rewarding effect, which elevates striatal dopamine (DA) release. While the post-ingestive rewarding effect, which artificial sweeteners do not have, signals the nutrient value of sugar and influences food preference, the neural circuitry that mediates the rewarding effect of glucose is unknown. In this study, we show that optogenetic activation of melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons during intake of the artificial sweetener sucralose increases striatal dopamine levels and inverts the normal preference for sucrose vs sucralose. Conversely, animals with ablation of MCH neurons no longer prefer sucrose to sucralose and show reduced striatal DA release upon sucrose ingestion. We further show that MCH neurons project to reward areas and are required for the post-ingestive rewarding effect of sucrose in sweet-blind Trpm5−/− mice. These studies identify an essential component of the neural pathways linking nutrient sensing and food reward. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01462.001 PMID:24381247

  18. The roles of melanin-concentrating hormone in energy balance and reproductive function: Are they connected?

    PubMed

    Naufahu, Jane; Cunliffe, Adam D; Murray, Joanne F

    2013-01-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is an anabolic neuropeptide with multiple and diverse physiological functions including a key role in energy homoeostasis. Rodent studies have shown that the ablation of functional MCH results in a lean phenotype, increased energy expenditure and resistance to diet-induced obesity. These findings have generated interest among pharmaceutical companies vigilant for potential anti-obesity agents. Nutritional status affects reproductive physiology and behaviours, thereby optimising reproductive success and the ability to meet energetic demands. This complex control system entails the integration of direct or indirect peripheral stimuli with central effector systems and involves numerous mediators. A role for MCH in the reproductive axis has emerged, giving rise to the premise that MCH may serve as an integratory mediator between those discrete systems that regulate energy balance and reproductive function. Hence, this review focuses on published evidence concerning i) the role of MCH in energy homoeostasis and ii) the regulatory role of MCH in the reproductive axis. The question as to whether the MCH system mediates the integration of energy homoeostasis with the neuroendocrine reproductive axis and, if so, by what means has received limited coverage in the literature; evidence to date and current theories are summarised herein.

  19. Importance of melanin-concentrating hormone receptor for the acute effects of ghrelin.

    PubMed

    Bjursell, Mikael; Egecioglu, Emil; Gerdin, Anna-Karin; Svensson, Lennart; Oscarsson, Jan; Morgan, David; Snaith, Michael; Törnell, Jan; Bohlooly-Y, Mohammad

    2005-01-28

    The hypothalamic peptide melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and the gastric hormone ghrelin take part in the regulation of energy homeostasis and stimulate food intake. In the present study, ghrelin was administered centrally to MCH-receptor knockout (MCHr KO) mice. MCHr KO mice and wild type (WT) controls both consumed more food when treated with ghrelin. After ghrelin administration, the serum levels of insulin increased only in WT mice whereas the serum levels of corticosterone increased both in WT and MCHr KO mice. The level of growth hormone (GH) mRNA in the pituitary gland was markedly increased in response to ghrelin injection in the WT mice but was unaffected in the MCHr KO mice. The different ghrelin responses could not be explained by a difference in growth hormone secretagogue receptor expression between MCHr KO and WT mice in the pituitary or hypothalamus. In summary, the MCHr is not required for ghrelin induced feeding. However, the MCHr does play a role for the effect of ghrelin on GH expression in the pituitary and serum insulin levels.

  20. Melanin-based plumage coloration and flight displays in plovers and allies.

    PubMed Central

    Bókony, Veronika; Liker, András; Székely, Tamás; Kis, János

    2003-01-01

    Plovers and their allies exhibit an impressive diversity of melanin-based plumage patterns ranging from non-melanized to completely melanized species. We use phylogenetic comparative methods to test whether melanization has evolved in relation to sexual selection for attracting mates, to selection for signalling territory defence, or to natural selection for camouflage. First, according to sexual-selection theory, melanized plumage has evolved to amplify the courtship displays of males. As predicted by this hypothesis, we found that males with aerial displays had more melanized plumage than males of ground-displaying species. In addition, sexual dimorphism in melanization was greater in species with display flights than in species with ground displays. Second, melanization may have evolved through social interactions to signal competitive ability in territory defence. We did not find evidence for this hypothesis, since breeding density was unrelated to the melanization of either sex. Finally, melanized plumage may camouflage the incubating parent. The latter hypothesis was not supported, since melanization was unrelated either to the darkness of nest substrate or the extent of vegetation cover. Taken together, our results are most consistent with the sexual-selection hypothesis, and suggest that melanized plumage has evolved to enhance the aerial displays of male plovers. PMID:14667341

  1. Internal dosimetry through GATE simulations of preclinical radiotherapy using a melanin-targeting ligand.

    PubMed

    Perrot, Y; Degoul, F; Auzeloux, P; Bonnet, M; Cachin, F; Chezal, J M; Donnarieix, D; Labarre, P; Moins, N; Papon, J; Rbah-Vidal, L; Vidal, A; Miot-Noirault, E; Maigne, L

    2014-05-07

    The GATE Monte Carlo simulation platform based on the Geant4 toolkit is under constant improvement for dosimetric calculations. In this study, we explore its use for the dosimetry of the preclinical targeted radiotherapy of melanoma using a new specific melanin-targeting radiotracer labeled with iodine 131. Calculated absorbed fractions and S values for spheres and murine models (digital and CT-scan-based mouse phantoms) are compared between GATE and EGSnrc Monte Carlo codes considering monoenergetic electrons and the detailed energy spectrum of iodine 131. The behavior of Geant4 standard and low energy models is also tested. Following the different authors' guidelines concerning the parameterization of electron physics models, this study demonstrates an agreement of 1.2% and 1.5% with EGSnrc, respectively, for the calculation of S values for small spheres and mouse phantoms. S values calculated with GATE are then used to compute the dose distribution in organs of interest using the activity distribution in mouse phantoms. This study gives the dosimetric data required for the translation of the new treatment to the clinic.

  2. Internal dosimetry through GATE simulations of preclinical radiotherapy using a melanin-targeting ligand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrot, Y.; Degoul, F.; Auzeloux, P.; Bonnet, M.; Cachin, F.; Chezal, J. M.; Donnarieix, D.; Labarre, P.; Moins, N.; Papon, J.; Rbah-Vidal, L.; Vidal, A.; Miot-Noirault, E.; Maigne, L.

    2014-05-01

    The GATE Monte Carlo simulation platform based on the Geant4 toolkit is under constant improvement for dosimetric calculations. In this study, we explore its use for the dosimetry of the preclinical targeted radiotherapy of melanoma using a new specific melanin-targeting radiotracer labeled with iodine 131. Calculated absorbed fractions and S values for spheres and murine models (digital and CT-scan-based mouse phantoms) are compared between GATE and EGSnrc Monte Carlo codes considering monoenergetic electrons and the detailed energy spectrum of iodine 131. The behavior of Geant4 standard and low energy models is also tested. Following the different authors’ guidelines concerning the parameterization of electron physics models, this study demonstrates an agreement of 1.2% and 1.5% with EGSnrc, respectively, for the calculation of S values for small spheres and mouse phantoms. S values calculated with GATE are then used to compute the dose distribution in organs of interest using the activity distribution in mouse phantoms. This study gives the dosimetric data required for the translation of the new treatment to the clinic.

  3. Modulation effects of sweroside isolated from the Lonicera japonica on melanin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Yong Tae; Jeong, Sang Chul; Hwang, Jae Sung; Kim, Jin Hee

    2015-08-05

    In the course of screening for the melanogenesis inhibitors, sweroside was isolated from Lonicera japonica. Its chemical structure was determined on the basis of spectroscopic analysis, including mass spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. Sweroside inhibited potent melanogenesis in melan-a cells at 300μM without cytotoxicity. Also, sweroside decreased tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1) and TRP-2 protein production in melan a cells. To identify the signaling pathway of sweroside, the ability of sweroside to influence Akt and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) activation was investigated. Sweroside induced Akt and ERK in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the specific inhibition of the Akt and ERK signaling pathways were studied by specific inhibitor LY294002 and U0126, respectively and it was causing the increased melanin synthesis. Furthermore, sweroside presented inhibition of the body pigmentation and tyrosinase activity in zebrafish in vivo model. These results suggest that sweroside isolated from L. japonica may be an effective skin-whitening agent through the regulates the expression of MAP kinase and melanogenic enzymes.

  4. A role of melanin-concentrating hormone producing neurons in the central regulation of paradoxical sleep

    PubMed Central

    Verret, Laure; Goutagny, Romain; Fort, Patrice; Cagnon, Laurène; Salvert, Denise; Léger, Lucienne; Boissard, Romuald; Salin, Paul; Peyron, Christelle; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé

    2003-01-01

    Background Peptidergic neurons containing the melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) and the hypocretins (or orexins) are intermingled in the zona incerta, perifornical nucleus and lateral hypothalamic area. Both types of neurons have been implicated in the integrated regulation of energy homeostasis and body weight. Hypocretin neurons have also been involved in sleep-wake regulation and narcolepsy. We therefore sought to determine whether hypocretin and MCH neurons express Fos in association with enhanced paradoxical sleep (PS or REM sleep) during the rebound following PS deprivation. Next, we compared the effect of MCH and NaCl intracerebroventricular (ICV) administrations on sleep stage quantities to further determine whether MCH neurons play an active role in PS regulation. Results Here we show that the MCH but not the hypocretin neurons are strongly active during PS, evidenced through combined hypocretin, MCH, and Fos immunostainings in three groups of rats (PS Control, PS Deprived and PS Recovery rats). Further, we show that ICV administration of MCH induces a dose-dependant increase in PS (up to 200%) and slow wave sleep (up to 70%) quantities. Conclusion These results indicate that MCH is a powerful hypnogenic factor. MCH neurons might play a key role in the state of PS via their widespread projections in the central nervous system. PMID:12964948

  5. Accumulation of 14C-5,6-dihydroxytryptamine-melanin in intrathecal and subependymal phagocytes of the rat CNS and possible routes of their elimination from brain

    SciTech Connect

    Baumgarten, H.G.; Moritz, F.; Schlossberger, H.G.

    1981-01-01

    14C-5,6-DHT-Melanin, a labelled synthetic polymer resembling the naturally occurring melanin formed in brain by autoxidation of dopamine, was injected into the left lateral ventricle of adult rats, and its fate followed by autoradiography and by transmission electron microscopy of structures identified as labelled in preceding light micrographs, and by EM-autoradiography. Shortly after injection, melanin particles (easily identified in the em because of their size, structure and electron opacity) were seen ingested by supraependymal and epiplexus cells, by cells residing in the piaarachnoid, i.e. free subarachnoidal cells and perivascular cells, and by subependymally located microglia-like cells with intraventricular processes. Up to day four, an increase in the number of labelled phagocytes in the CSF was noted which transformed into typical reactive macrophages. Beyond this time, many intraventricular melanin-loaded phagocytes formed rounded clusters; cells of such clusters were subsequently found to invade the brain parenchyma by penetrating the ependymal lining and to accumulate in the perivascular space of brain vessels. 14C-Melanin-storing macrophages were found in the marginal sinus of the deep jugular lymph nodes suggesting emigration of CNS-derived phagocytes via lymphatics or prelymphatics that contact the subarachnoidal space compartment. This does not exclude the possibility that some of the macrophages leave the brain via the systemic circulation by penetrating the vascular endothelium; these may be disposed of in peripheral organs other than the lymph nodes.

  6. Impact of Solvent pH on Direct Immobilization of Lysosome-Related Cell Organelle Extracts on TiO₂ for Melanin Treatment.

    PubMed

    Bang, Seung Hyuck; Kim, Pil; Oh, Suk-Jung; Kim, Yang-Hoon; Min, Jiho

    2015-05-01

    Techniques for immobilizing effective enzymes on nanoparticles for stabilization of the activity of free enzymes have been developing as a pharmaceutical field. In this study, we examined the effect of three different pH conditions of phosphate buffer, as a dissolving solvent for lysosomal enzymes, on the direct immobilization of lysosomal enzymes extracted from Hen's egg white and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Titanium(IV) oxide (TiO2) nanoparticles, which are extensively used in many research fields, were used in this study. The lysosomal enzymes immobilized on TiO2 under each pH condition were evaluated to maintain the specific activity of lysosomal enzymes, so that we can determine the degree of melanin treatment in lysosomal enzymes immobilized on TiO2. We found that the immobilization efficiency and melanin treatment activity in both lysosomal enzymes extracted from Hen's egg white and S. cerevisiae were the highest in an acidic condition of phosphate buffer (pH 4). However, the immobilization efficiency and melanin treatment activity were inversely proportional to the increase in pH under alkaline conditions. In addition, enhanced immobilization efficiency was shown in TiO2 pretreated with a divalent, positively charged ion, Ca(2+), and the melanin treatment activity of immobilized lysosomal enzymes on TiO2 pretreated with Ca(2+) was also increased. Therefore, this result suggests that the immobilization efficiency and melanin treatment activity of lysosomal enzymes can be enhanced according to the pH conditions of the dissolving solvent.

  7. Sleep architecture and homeostasis in mice with partial ablation of melanin-concentrating hormone neurons.

    PubMed

    Varin, Christophe; Arthaud, Sébastien; Salvert, Denise; Gay, Nadine; Libourel, Paul-Antoine; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé; Léger, Lucienne; Fort, Patrice

    2016-02-01

    Recent reports support a key role of tuberal hypothalamic neurons secreting melanin concentrating-hormone (MCH) in the promotion of Paradoxical Sleep (PS). Controversies remain concerning their concomitant involvement in Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS). We studied the effects of their selective loss achieved by an Ataxin 3-mediated ablation strategy to decipher the contribution of MCH neurons to SWS and/or PS. Polysomnographic recordings were performed on male adult transgenic mice expressing Ataxin-3 transgene within MCH neurons (MCH(Atax)) and their wild-type littermates (MCH(WT)) bred on two genetic backgrounds (FVB/N and C57BL/6). Compared to MCH(WT) mice, MCH(Atax) mice were characterized by a significant drop in MCH mRNAs (-70%), a partial loss of MCH-immunoreactive neurons (-30%) and a marked reduction in brain density of MCH-immunoreactive fibers. Under basal condition, such MCH(Atax) mice exhibited higher PS amounts during the light period and a pronounced SWS fragmentation without any modification of SWS quantities. Moreover, SWS and PS rebounds following 4-h total sleep deprivation were quantitatively similar in MCH(Atax)vs. MCH(WT) mice. Additionally, MCH(Atax) mice were unable to consolidate SWS and increase slow-wave activity (SWA) in response to this homeostatic challenge as observed in MCH(WT) littermates. Here, we show that the partial loss of MCH neurons is sufficient to disturb the fine-tuning of sleep. Our data provided new insights into their contribution to subtle process managing SWS quality and its efficiency rather than SWS quantities, as evidenced by the deleterious impact on two powerful markers of sleep depth, i.e., SWS consolidation/fragmentation and SWA intensity under basal condition and under high sleep pressure.

  8. Chronic loss of melanin-concentrating hormone affects motivational aspects of feeding in the rat.

    PubMed

    Mul, Joram D; la Fleur, Susanne E; Toonen, Pim W; Afrasiab-Middelman, Anthonieke; Binnekade, Rob; Schetters, Dustin; Verheij, Michel M M; Sears, Robert M; Homberg, Judith R; Schoffelmeer, Anton N M; Adan, Roger A H; DiLeone, Ralph J; De Vries, Taco J; Cuppen, Edwin

    2011-05-05

    Current epidemic obesity levels apply great medical and financial pressure to the strenuous economy of obesity-prone cultures, and neuropeptides involved in body weight regulation are regarded as attractive targets for a possible treatment of obesity in humans. The lateral hypothalamus and the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) form a hypothalamic-limbic neuropeptide feeding circuit mediated by Melanin-Concentrating Hormone (MCH). MCH promotes feeding behavior via MCH receptor-1 (MCH1R) in the AcbSh, although this relationship has not been fully characterized. Given the AcbSh mediates reinforcing properties of food, we hypothesized that MCH modulates motivational aspects of feeding.Here we show that chronic loss of the rat MCH-precursor Pmch decreased food intake predominantly via a reduction in meal size during rat development and reduced high-fat food-reinforced operant responding in adult rats. Moreover, acute AcbSh administration of Neuropeptide-GE and Neuropeptide-EI (NEI), both additional neuropeptides derived from Pmch, or chronic intracerebroventricular infusion of NEI, did not affect feeding behavior in adult pmch(+/+) or pmch(-/-) rats. However, acute administration of MCH to the AcbSh of adult pmch(-/-) rats elevated feeding behavior towards wild type levels. Finally, adult pmch(-/-) rats showed increased ex vivo electrically evoked dopamine release and increased limbic dopamine transporter levels, indicating that chronic loss of Pmch in the rat affects the limbic dopamine system.Our findings support the MCH-MCH1R system as an amplifier of consummatory behavior, confirming this system as a possible target for the treatment of obesity. We propose that MCH-mediated signaling in the AcbSh positively mediates motivational aspects of feeding behavior. Thereby it provides a crucial signal by which hypothalamic neural circuits control energy balance and guide limbic brain areas to enhance motivational or incentive-related aspects of food consumption.

  9. Cutaneous photoprotection and melanoma susceptibility: reaching beyond melanin content to the frontiers of DNA repair.

    PubMed

    Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A

    2006-09-01

    Melanoma is the most devastating form of skin cancer. The steady increase in the incidence of melanoma, its resistance to chemotherapy, together with its high potential to metastasize, have emphasized the importance of its prevention. It is becoming clear that solar ultraviolet radiation is a main culprit in the etiology of melanoma, the same as in basal and squamous cell carcinomas. It is commonly accepted that skin pigmentation and melanin content are principal determinants of the susceptibility to melanoma and other sun-induced skin cancers. Although this is generally true, however, prediction of melanoma risk based solely on pigmentary phenotype is not always precise and fails to identify high-risk individuals with dark skin color. Other important risk factors need to be considered and better defined, particularly DNA repair capacity. Emerging studies have revealed the role of melanoma susceptibility genes in regulating DNA repair, and indicated that melanoma patients have a lower DNA repair capacity than the general population. As the response of human melanocytes to ultraviolet radiation is modulated by an array of paracrine factors, we have focused our investigation on the role of melanocortins and the melanocortin 1 receptor, as well as endothelin-1, in this response. We have discovered novel roles for melanocortins and endothelin-1 as survival factors that rescue human melanocytes from ultraviolet radiation-induced apoptosis, and importantly enhance repair of DNA photoproducts and reduce the release of hydrogen peroxide that can cause oxidative stress. Our findings, together with epidemiological data showing that loss-of-function mutations in the melanocortin-1 receptor gene increase the risk of melanoma, substantiate the role of DNA repair in melanoma genesis, and suggest that responsiveness to melanocortins and endothelin-1 is important for melanoma prevention.

  10. Melanin-Concentrating Hormone (MCH): Role in REM Sleep and Depression

    PubMed Central

    Torterolo, Pablo; Scorza, Cecilia; Lagos, Patricia; Urbanavicius, Jessika; Benedetto, Luciana; Pascovich, Claudia; López-Hill, Ximena; Chase, Michael H.; Monti, Jaime M.

    2015-01-01

    The melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a peptidergic neuromodulator synthesized by neurons of the lateral sector of the posterior hypothalamus and zona incerta. MCHergic neurons project throughout the central nervous system, including areas such as the dorsal (DR) and median (MR) raphe nuclei, which are involved in the control of sleep and mood. Major Depression (MD) is a prevalent psychiatric disease diagnosed on the basis of symptomatic criteria such as sadness or melancholia, guilt, irritability, and anhedonia. A short REM sleep latency (i.e., the interval between sleep onset and the first REM sleep period), as well as an increase in the duration of REM sleep and the density of rapid-eye movements during this state, are considered important biological markers of depression. The fact that the greatest firing rate of MCHergic neurons occurs during REM sleep and that optogenetic stimulation of these neurons induces sleep, tends to indicate that MCH plays a critical role in the generation and maintenance of sleep, especially REM sleep. In addition, the acute microinjection of MCH into the DR promotes REM sleep, while immunoneutralization of this peptide within the DR decreases the time spent in this state. Moreover, microinjections of MCH into either the DR or MR promote a depressive-like behavior. In the DR, this effect is prevented by the systemic administration of antidepressant drugs (either fluoxetine or nortriptyline) and blocked by the intra-DR microinjection of a specific MCH receptor antagonist. Using electrophysiological and microdialysis techniques we demonstrated also that MCH decreases the activity of serotonergic DR neurons. Therefore, there are substantive experimental data suggesting that the MCHergic system plays a role in the control of REM sleep and, in addition, in the pathophysiology of depression. Consequently, in the present report, we summarize and evaluate the current data and hypotheses related to the role of MCH in REM sleep and MD

  11. Optical biopsy of non-melanin pigmented cutaneous benign and malignant lesions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borisova, E.; Troyanova, P.; Avramov, L.

    2006-03-01

    In recent years, there has been growing interest in the common use of laser-induced autofluorescence (LIAF) and reflectance spectroscopy (RS) to differentiate disease from normal surrounding tissue - so called optical biopsy method. The goals of this work were investigation of cutaneous benign and malignant lesions by the methods of LIAFS and RS. Spectra from healthy skin areas near to the lesion were detected to be used posterion to reveal changes between healthy and lesion skin spectra. Before spectral measurements lesions were classified clinically and dermatoscopically by specialist (P.T.). After procedures all lesions were excised and were investigated by standard histological methods. The set-up consists of a nitrogen laser (337 nm, 14 μJ, 10 Hz), halogen lamp (400-900 nm, 50 W), lenses, filters, optical fibers, and a microspectrometer (PC2000, 'Ocean Optics", USA). A computer controls these systems. The results, obtained were used to develop multispectral diagnostic algorithms based on the most prominent spectral features from the fluorescence and reflectance spectra of the lesions investigated. In comparison between normal skin and different cutaneous lesion types and between lesion types themselves sensitivities and specificities higher than 90 % were achieved in all cases. These results show a perspective possibility to develop an optical biopsy system for diagnosis and differentiation of the benign and malignant non-melanin pigmented cutaneous lesions with wide clinical applications. Non-invasive and high-sensitive in vivo detection by means of appropriate light sources and detectors should be possible, related to real-time determination of existing pathological conditions.

  12. Ultrastructure: effects of melanin pigment on target specificity using a pulsed dye laser (577 nm)

    SciTech Connect

    Tong, A.K.; Tan, O.T.; Boll, J.; Parrish, J.A.; Murphy, G.F.

    1987-06-01

    It has been shown recently that brief pulses of 577 nm radiation from the tunable dye laser are absorbed selectively by oxyhemoglobin. This absorption is associated with highly specific damage to superficial vascular plexus blood vessels in those with lightly pigmented (type I-II) skin. To determine whether pigmentary differences in the overlying epidermis influence this target specificity, we exposed both type I (fair) and type V (dark) normal human skin to varying radiant exposure doses over 1.5-microsecond pulse durations from the tunable dye laser at a wavelength of 577 nm. Using ultrastructural techniques, we found in type I skin that even clinical subthreshold laser exposures caused reproducible alterations of erythrocytes and adjacent dermal vascular endothelium without comparable damage to the overlying epidermis. In contrast, degenerated epidermal basal cells represented the predominant form of cellular damage after laser exposure of type V skin at comparable doses. We conclude that epidermal melanin and vascular hemoglobin are competing sites for 577 nm laser absorption and damage, and that the target specificity of the 577 nm tunable dye laser is therefore influenced by variations in epidermal pigmentation. This finding is relevant to the clinical application of the tunable dye laser in the ablative treatment of vascular lesions. We also found on ultrastructure that the presence of electron-lucent circular structures of approximately 800 A in diameter were observed only at and above clinical threshold doses in those with type I skin and at the highest dose of 2.75 J/cm2 in type V skin. It has been proposed that these structures might be heat-fixed molds of water vapor. Both this and ultrastructural changes of epidermal basal cells demonstrate mechanisms responsible for alteration of tissue after exposure to 577 nm, which are discussed.

  13. Chronic Loss of Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Affects Motivational Aspects of Feeding in the Rat

    PubMed Central

    Mul, Joram D.; la Fleur, Susanne E.; Toonen, Pim W.; Afrasiab-Middelman, Anthonieke; Binnekade, Rob; Schetters, Dustin; Verheij, Michel M. M.; Sears, Robert M.; Homberg, Judith R.; Schoffelmeer, Anton N. M.; Adan, Roger A. H.; DiLeone, Ralph J.; De Vries, Taco J.; Cuppen, Edwin

    2011-01-01

    Current epidemic obesity levels apply great medical and financial pressure to the strenuous economy of obesity-prone cultures, and neuropeptides involved in body weight regulation are regarded as attractive targets for a possible treatment of obesity in humans. The lateral hypothalamus and the nucleus accumbens shell (AcbSh) form a hypothalamic-limbic neuropeptide feeding circuit mediated by Melanin-Concentrating Hormone (MCH). MCH promotes feeding behavior via MCH receptor-1 (MCH1R) in the AcbSh, although this relationship has not been fully characterized. Given the AcbSh mediates reinforcing properties of food, we hypothesized that MCH modulates motivational aspects of feeding. Here we show that chronic loss of the rat MCH-precursor Pmch decreased food intake predominantly via a reduction in meal size during rat development and reduced high-fat food-reinforced operant responding in adult rats. Moreover, acute AcbSh administration of Neuropeptide-GE and Neuropeptide-EI (NEI), both additional neuropeptides derived from Pmch, or chronic intracerebroventricular infusion of NEI, did not affect feeding behavior in adult pmch+/+ or pmch−/− rats. However, acute administration of MCH to the AcbSh of adult pmch−/− rats elevated feeding behavior towards wild type levels. Finally, adult pmch−/− rats showed increased ex vivo electrically evoked dopamine release and increased limbic dopamine transporter levels, indicating that chronic loss of Pmch in the rat affects the limbic dopamine system. Our findings support the MCH-MCH1R system as an amplifier of consummatory behavior, confirming this system as a possible target for the treatment of obesity. We propose that MCH-mediated signaling in the AcbSh positively mediates motivational aspects of feeding behavior. Thereby it provides a crucial signal by which hypothalamic neural circuits control energy balance and guide limbic brain areas to enhance motivational or incentive-related aspects of food consumption. PMID

  14. Disruption of the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCH1R) affects thyroid function.

    PubMed

    Chung, Shinjae; Liao, Xiao-Hui; Di Cosmo, Caterina; Van Sande, Jacqueline; Wang, Zhiwei; Refetoff, Samuel; Civelli, Olivier

    2012-12-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a peptide produced in the hypothalamus and the zona incerta that acts on one receptor, MCH receptor 1 (MCH1R), in rodents. The MCH system has been implicated in the regulation of several centrally directed physiological responses, including the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis. Yet a possible direct effect of the MCH system on thyroid function has not been explored in detail. We now show that MCH1R mRNA is expressed in thyroid follicular cells and that mice lacking MCH1R [MCH1R-knockout (KO)] exhibit reduced circulating iodothyronine (T(4), free T(4), T(3), and rT(3)) levels and high TRH and TSH when compared with wild-type (WT) mice. Because the TSH of MCH1R-KO mice displays a normal bioactivity, we hypothesize that their hypothyroidism may be caused by defective thyroid function. Yet expression levels of the genes important for thyroid hormones synthesis or secretion are not different between the MCH1R-KO and WT mice. However, the average thyroid follicle size of the MCH1R-KO mice is larger than that of WT mice and contained more free and total T(4) and T(3) than the WT glands, suggesting that they are sequestered in the glands. Indeed, when challenged with TSH, the thyroids of MCH1R-KO mice secrete lower amounts of T(4). Similarly, secretion of iodothyronines in the plasma upon (125)I administration is significantly reduced in MCH1R-KO mice. Therefore, the absence of MCH1R affects thyroid function by disrupting thyroid hormone secretion. To our knowledge, this study is the first to link the activity of the MCH system to the thyroid function.

  15. Sex and testosterone effects on growth, immunity and melanin coloration of nestling Eurasian kestrels.

    PubMed

    Fargallo, Juan A; Martínez-Padilla, Jesús; Toledano-Díaz, Adolfo; Santiago-Moreno, Julián; Dávila, José A

    2007-01-01

    1. Sex differences in testosterone levels and sex-biased sensitivity to testosterone are the basis of some ideas postulated to account for sex-linked environmental vulnerability during early life. However, sex variation in circulating testosterone levels has been scarcely explored and never manipulated at post-natal stages of birds in the wild. 2. We measured and experimentally increased circulating testosterone levels in nestling Eurasian kestrels Falco tinnunculus. We investigated, possible sexual differences in testosterone levels and the effect of this hormone on growth (body mass and tarsus length) and cell-mediated immunity in males and females. We also explored testosterone effects on rump coloration, a highly variable melanin-based trait in male nestlings. We analysed data on circulating testosterone levels of nestlings in 15 additional bird species. 3. Increased levels of testosterone tended to negatively affect body condition, reduced cell-mediated immune responses in male and female nestlings and also diminished the expression of grey rump coloration in male nestlings. No sex differences were observed in testosterone levels in either control or increased testosterone group nestlings, and no interactions were found between sex and treatment. However, male nestlings showed a lower cell-mediated immune response than females in both groups. 4. Our results indicate first, that a high level of testosterone in all nestlings in a brood entails costs, at least in terms of immunity, coloration and probably growth. Secondly, sex differences in post-natal cell-mediated immunity, and consequently in the capacity to prevent diseases, cannot be explained by sex differences in circulating testosterone levels. Finally, by comparing published data at an interspecific level, contradictory sex patterns in circulating testosterone levels have been found, supporting the idea that circulating testosterone might not be a proximate factor causing sex-dependent vulnerability in

  16. Dynamic thermal effects of epidermal melanin and plasmonic nanoparticles during photoacoustic breast imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghassemi, Pejhman; Wang, Quanzeng; Pfefer, T. Joshua

    2016-03-01

    Photoacoustic Tomography (PAT) employs high-power near-infrared (near-IR) laser pulses to generate structural and functional information on tissue chromophores up to several centimeters below the surface. Such insights may facilitate detection of breast cancer - the most common cancer in women. PAT mammography has been the subject of extensive research, including techniques based on exogenous agents for PAT contrast enhancement and molecular specificity. However, photothermal safety risks of PAT due to strong chromophores such as epidermal melanin and plasmonic nanoparticles have not been rigorously studied. We have used computational and experimental approaches to elucidate highly dynamic optical-thermal processes during PAT. A Monte Carlo model was used to simulate light propagation at 800 and 1064 nm in a multi-layer breast tissue geometry with different epidermal pigmentation levels and a tumorsimulating inclusion incorporating nanoparticles. Energy deposition results were then used in a bioheat transfer model to simulate temperature transients. Experimental measurements involved multi-layer hydrogel phantoms with inclusions incorporating gold nanoparticles. Phantom optical properties were measured using the inverse adding-doubling technique. Thermal imaging was performed as phantoms were irradiated with 5 ns near-IR pulses. Scenarios using 10 Hz laser irradiation of breast tissue containing various nanoparticle concentrations were implemented experimentally and computationally. Laser exposure levels were based on ANSI/IEC limits. Surface temperature measurements were compared to corresponding simulation data. In general, the effect of highly pigmented skin on temperature rise was significant, whereas unexpectedly small levels of temperature rise during nanoparticle irradiation were attributed to rapid photodegradation. Results provide key initial insights into light-tissue interactions impacting the safety and effectiveness of PAT.

  17. Identification of Neuropeptide Receptors Expressed by Melanin-Concentrating Hormone Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Parks, Gregory S.; Wang, Lien; Wang, Zhiwei; Civelli, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Melanin-concentrating Hormone (MCH) is a 19 amino acid cyclic neuropeptide that acts in rodents via the MCH receptor 1 (MCHR1) to regulate a wide variety of physiological functions. MCH is produced by a distinct population of neurons located in the lateral hypothalamus (LH) and zona incerta (ZI) but MCHR1 mRNA is widely expressed throughout the brain. The physiological responses and behaviors regulated by the MCH system have been investigated, but less is known about how MCH neurons are regulated. The effects of most classical neurotransmitters on MCH neurons have been studied, but those of neuropeptides are poorly understood. In order to gain insight into how neuropeptides regulate the MCH system, we investigated which neuropeptide receptors are expressed by MCH neurons using double in situ hybridization. In all, twenty receptors, selected based upon either a suspected interaction with the MCH system or demonstrated high expression levels in the LH and ZI, were tested to determine whether they are expressed by MCH neurons. Overall, eleven neuropeptide receptors were found to exhibit significant colocalization with MCH neurons: Nociceptin / Orphanin FQ Opioid receptor (NOP), MCHR1, both Orexin receptors (ORX), Somatostatin receptor 1 and 2 (SSTR1, SSTR2), the Kisspeptin receotor (KissR1), Neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1), Neuropeptide S receptor (NPSR), Cholecystokinin receptor A (CCKAR) and the κ-opioid receptor (KOR). Of these receptors, six have never before been linked to the MCH system. Surprisingly, several receptors thought to regulate MCH neurons displayed minimal colocalization with MCH, suggesting that they may not directly regulate the MCH system. PMID:24978951

  18. Estradiol differently affects melanin synthesis of malignant and normal melanocytes: a relationship with clock and clock-controlled genes.

    PubMed

    Poletini, Maristela Oliveira; de Assis, Leonardo Vinicius Monteiro; Moraes, Maria Nathalia; Castrucci, Ana Maria de Lauro

    2016-10-01

    Melanin production within melanocytes is regulated, among others, by estradiol, whose effects on melanogenesis are still not completely elucidated. Here we show that although 10(-7) M 17β-estradiol (E2) increased tyrosinase mRNA levels in B16-F10 malignant melanocytes, there was a transient decrease and abolishment of the temporal variation of melanin content. Both parameters were much higher in the malignant than in normal Melan-a cells. Considering that silencing clock machinery in human melanocytes increases melanogenesis, we investigated clock gene expression in those cell lines. Except for Melan-a Bmal1 and B16-F10 Per2 expression of control cells, Per1, Per2, and Bmal1 expression increased independently of cell type or E2 treatment after 24 h. However, melanoma cells showed a marked increase in Per1 and Bma11 expression in response to E2 at the same time points, what may rule out E2 as a synchronizer agent since the expression of those genes were not in antiphase. Next, we investigated the expression of Xpa, a clock-controlled gene, which in Melan-a cells, peaked at 18 h, and E2 treatment shifted this peak to 24 h, whereas B16-F10 Xpa expression peaked at 24 h in both control and E2 group, and it was higher compared to Melan-a cells in both groups. Therefore, malignant and normal melanocytes display profound differences on core elements of the local clock, and how they respond to E2, what is most probably determinant of the differences seen on melanin synthesis and Tyrosinase and Xpa expression. Understanding these processes at the molecular level could bring new strategies to treat melanoma.

  19. A melanin-independent interaction between Mc1r and Met signalling pathways is required for HGF-dependent melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Wolnicka-Glubisz, Agnieszka; Strickland, Faith M.; Wielgus, Albert; Anver, Miriam; Merlino, Glenn; De Fabo, Edward C.; Noonan, Frances P.

    2014-01-01

    Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) signaling stimulates black eumelanin production through a cAMP dependent pathway. MC1R polymorphisms can impair this process, resulting in a predominance of red phaeomelanin. The red hair, fair skin and UV sensitive phenotype is a well-described melanoma risk factor. MC1R polymorphisms also confer melanoma risk independent of pigment. We investigated the effect of Mc1r deficiency in a mouse model of UV-induced melanoma. C57BL/6-Mc1r+/+-HGF transgenic mice have a characteristic hyperpigmented black phenotype with extra-follicular dermal melanocytes located at the dermal/epidermal junction. UVB induces melanoma, independent of melanin pigmentation, but UVA-induced and spontaneous melanomas are dependent on black eumelanin. We crossed these mice with yellow C57BL/6-Mc1re/e animals which have a non-functional Mc1r and produce predominantly yellow phaeomelanin. Yellow C57BL/6-Mc1re/e-HGF mice produced no melanoma in response to UVR or spontaneously even though the HGF transgene and its receptor Met were expressed. Total melanin was less than in C57BL/6-Mc1r+/+-HGF mice, hyperpigmentation was not observed and there were few extra-follicular melanocytes. Thus, functional Mc1r was required for expression of the transgenic HGF phenotype. Heterozygous C57BL/6-Mc1re/+-HGF mice were black and hyperpigmented and, although extra-follicular melanocytes and skin melanin content were similar to C57BL/6-Mc1r+/+-HGF animals, they developed UV-induced and spontaneous melanomas with significantly less efficiency by all criteria. Thus, heterozygosity for Mc1r was sufficient to restore the transgenic HGF phenotype but insufficient to fully restore melanoma. We conclude that a previously unsuspected melanin-independent interaction between Mc1r and Met signaling pathways is required for HGF-dependent melanoma and postulate that this pathway is involved in human melanoma. PMID:24975581

  20. A melanin-independent interaction between Mc1r and Met signaling pathways is required for HGF-dependent melanoma.

    PubMed

    Wolnicka-Glubisz, Agnieszka; Strickland, Faith M; Wielgus, Albert; Anver, Miriam; Merlino, Glenn; De Fabo, Edward C; Noonan, Frances P

    2015-02-15

    Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) signaling stimulates black eumelanin production through a cAMP-dependent pathway. MC1R polymorphisms can impair this process, resulting in a predominance of red phaeomelanin. The red hair, fair skin and UV sensitive phenotype is a well-described melanoma risk factor. MC1R polymorphisms also confer melanoma risk independent of pigment. We investigated the effect of Mc1r deficiency in a mouse model of UV-induced melanoma. C57BL/6-Mc1r+/+-HGF transgenic mice have a characteristic hyperpigmented black phenotype with extra-follicular dermal melanocytes located at the dermal/epidermal junction. UVB induces melanoma, independent of melanin pigmentation, but UVA-induced and spontaneous melanomas are dependent on black eumelanin. We crossed these mice with yellow C57BL/6-Mc1re/e animals which have a non-functional Mc1r and produce predominantly yellow phaeomelanin. Yellow C57BL/6-Mc1re/e-HGF mice produced no melanoma in response to UVR or spontaneously even though the HGF transgene and its receptor Met were expressed. Total melanin was less than in C57BL/6-Mc1r+/+-HGF mice, hyperpigmentation was not observed and there were few extra-follicular melanocytes. Thus, functional Mc1r was required for expression of the transgenic HGF phenotype. Heterozygous C57BL/6-Mc1re/+-HGF mice were black and hyperpigmented and, although extra-follicular melanocytes and skin melanin content were similar to C57BL/6-Mc1r+/+-HGF animals, they developed UV-induced and spontaneous melanomas with significantly less efficiency by all criteria. Thus, heterozygosity for Mc1r was sufficient to restore the transgenic HGF phenotype but insufficient to fully restore melanoma. We conclude that a previously unsuspected melanin-independent interaction between Mc1r and Met signaling pathways is required for HGF-dependent melanoma and postulate that this pathway is involved in human melanoma.

  1. On the action and mechanism of withaferin-A from Withania somnifera, a novel and potent melanin dispersing agent in frog melanophores.

    PubMed

    Ali, Sharique A; Meitei, Keisham V

    2011-10-01

    The present work was carried out to determine the effects of lyophilized root extracts of Withania somnifera along with pure withaferin-A, on the isolated skin melanophores of frog, Rana tigerina which are disguised type of smooth muscle cells and offer excellent in vitro opportunities for studying the effects of pharmacological and pharmaceutical agents. The lyophilized extract of W. somnifera and its active ingredient withaferin-A induced powerful dose-dependent physiologically significant melanin dispersal effects in the isolated skin melanophores of R. tigerina, which were completely blocked by atropine as well as hyoscine. The per se melanin dispersal effects of lyophilized extracts of W. somnifera and its active ingredient withaferin-A got highly potentiated by neostigmine. It appears that the melanin dispersal effects of the extracts of W. somnifera and withaferin-A is mediated by cholino-muscarinic like receptors having similar properties.

  2. Alisol B, a triterpene from Alismatis rhizoma (dried rhizome of Alisma orientale), inhibits melanin production in murine B16 melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Ichiro; Ito, Chihiro; Matsuda, Shinya; Tsuji, Akihiko; Yanaka, Noriyuki; Yuasa, Keizo

    2017-03-01

    To develop new whitening agents from natural products, we screened 80 compounds derived from crude drugs in Kampo medicine in a melanin synthesis inhibition assay using murine B16 melanoma cells. The screen revealed that treatment with alisol B, a triterpene from Alismatis rhizoma, significantly decreased both melanin content and cellular tyrosinase activity in B16 cells. However, alisol B did not directly inhibit mushroom tyrosinase activity in vitro. Therefore, we investigated the mechanism underlying the inhibitory effect of alisol B on melanogenesis. Alisol B suppressed mRNA induction of tyrosinase and its transcription factor, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF). Furthermore, alisol B reduced the phosphorylation of CREB and maintained the activation of ERK1/2. These results suggest that the reduction in melanin production by alisol B is due to the downregulation of MITF through the suppression of CREB and activation of ERK and that alisol B may be useful as a new whitening agent.

  3. Effects of ultraviolet-visible irradiation in the presence of melanin isolated from human black or red hair upon Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells

    SciTech Connect

    Menon, I.A.; Persad, S.; Ranadive, N.S.; Haberman, H.F.

    1983-07-01

    The present study is an attempt to investigate the possibility that ultraviolet irradiation in the presence of pheomelanin may be more harmful to cells than the irradiation in the presence of eumelanin. The effects of UV-visible irradiation upon Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells in the presence of the melanin isolated from human black hair (eumelanin) or from red hair (pheomelanin) were investigated. Irradiation of these cells was found to produce cell lysis, as observed by leakage of 51Cr from labeled cells and intracellular lactic dehydrogenase from the cells and decrease in cell viability demonstrated by the trypan blue exclusion test. The three parameters were quantitatively parallel to one another under various experimental conditions, namely different periods of irradiation and irradiation in the presence of different concentrations of melanin. The above effects were more pronounced when the irradiation was carried out in the presence of melanin from red hair than in the presence of black-hair melanin. In the absence of either melanin, the irradiation did not produce any significant effect in cell viability or cell lysis. Irradiation of the cells in the presence of red-hair melanin also decreased the transplantability of these cells. These observations clearly show that irradiation of cells in the presence of pheomelanin could produce cytotoxic effects. The present experimental design may have application in the development of in vitro models for the study of UV radiation-induced cutaneous carcinogenesis. The reactions of pheomelanin may be related to the susceptibility of ''Celtic'' skin to UV radiation-induced skin damage and carcinogenesis.

  4. Estimate of the melanin content in human hairs by the inverse Monte-Carlo method using a system for digital image analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Bashkatov, A N; Genina, Elina A; Kochubei, V I; Tuchin, Valerii V

    2006-12-31

    Based on the digital image analysis and inverse Monte-Carlo method, the proximate analysis method is deve-loped and the optical properties of hairs of different types are estimated in three spectral ranges corresponding to three colour components. The scattering and absorption properties of hairs are separated for the first time by using the inverse Monte-Carlo method. The content of different types of melanin in hairs is estimated from the absorption coefficient. It is shown that the dominating type of melanin in dark hairs is eumelanin, whereas in light hairs pheomelanin dominates. (special issue devoted to multiple radiation scattering in random media)

  5. Alterations of orexinergic and melanin-concentrating hormone neurons in experimental sleeping sickness.

    PubMed

    Palomba, M; Seke-Etet, P F; Laperchia, C; Tiberio, L; Xu, Y-Z; Colavito, V; Grassi-Zucconi, G; Bentivoglio, M

    2015-04-02

    Human African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness is a severe, neglected tropical disease caused by the extracellular parasite Trypanosoma brucei. The disease, which leads to chronic neuroinflammation, is characterized by sleep and wake disturbances, documented also in rodent models. In rats and mice infected with Trypanosoma brucei brucei, we here tested the hypothesis that the disease could target neurons of the lateral hypothalamus (LH) containing orexin (OX)-A or melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), implicated in sleep/wake regulation. In the cerebrospinal fluid of infected rats, the OX-A level was significantly decreased early after parasite neuroinvasion, and returned to the control level at an advanced disease stage. The number of immunohistochemically characterized OX-A and MCH neurons decreased significantly in infected rats during disease progression and in infected mice at an advanced disease stage. A marked reduction of the complexity of dendritic arborizations of OX-A neurons was documented in infected mice. The evaluation of NeuN-immunoreactive neurons did not reveal significant neuronal loss in the LH of infected mice, thus suggesting a potential selective vulnerability of OX-A and MCH neurons. Immunophenotyping and quantitative analysis showed in infected mice marked activation of microglial cells surrounding OX-A neurons. Day/night oscillation of c-Fos baseline expression was used as marker of OX-A neuron activity in mice. In control animals Fos was expressed in a higher proportion of OX-A neurons in the night (activity) phase than in the day (rest) phase. Interestingly, in infected mice the diurnal spontaneous Fos oscillation was reversed, with a proportion of OX-A/Fos neurons significantly higher at daytime than at nighttime. Altogether the findings reveal a progressive decrease of OX-A and MCH neurons and dysregulation of OX-A neuron diurnal activity in rodent models of sleeping sickness. The data point to the involvement of these peptidergic

  6. The melanin-concentrating hormone receptors: neuronal and non-neuronal functions

    PubMed Central

    Presse, F; Conductier, G; Rovere, C; Nahon, J-L

    2014-01-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a cyclic peptide highly conserved in vertebrates and was originally identified as a skin-paling factor in Teleosts. In fishes, MCH also participates in the regulation of the stress-response and feeding behaviour. Mammalian MCH is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that displays multiple functions, mostly controlling feeding behaviour and energy homeostasis. Transgenic mouse models and pharmacological studies have shown the importance of the MCH system as a potential target in the treatment of appetite disorders and obesity as well as anxiety and psychiatric diseases. Two G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) binding MCH have been characterized so far. The first, named MCH-R1 and also called SLC1, was identified through reverse pharmacology strategies by several groups as a cognate receptor of MCH. This receptor is expressed at high levels in many brain areas of rodents and primates and is also expressed in peripheral organs, albeit at a lower rate. A second receptor, designated MCH-R2, exhibited 38% identity to MCH-R1 and was identified by sequence analysis of the human genome. Interestingly, although MCH-R2 orthologues were also found in fishes, dogs, ferrets and non-human primates, this MCH receptor gene appeared either lacking or non-functional in rodents and lagomorphs. Both receptors are class I GPCRs, whose main roles are to mediate the actions of peptides and neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. However, examples of action of MCH on neuronal and non-neuronal cells are emerging that illustrate novel MCH functions. In particular, the functionality of endogenously expressed MCH-R1 has been explored in human neuroblastoma cells, SK-N-SH and SH-SY5Y cells, and in non-neuronal cell types such as the ependymocytes. Indeed, we have identified mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-dependent or calcium-dependent signalling cascades that ultimately contributed to neurite outgrowth in neuroblastoma cells or to modulation of

  7. Supercritical fluid extract of Lycium chinense Miller root inhibition of melanin production and its potential mechanisms of action

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The mode of action of Lycium chinense Miller root extract in skin care has never been explored. In the present study, Lycium chinense Miller root was extracted by the supercritical fluid CO2 extraction method. Methods In the present study, the components of the root extract were analyzed by HPLC. The effects of the extract on tyrosinase activity and melanin content were determined spectrophotometrically; the expression of melanogenesis-related proteins was determined by Western blotting; the possible signaling pathways involved in the root extract-mediated depigmentation were also investigated using specific inhibitors. Results The results revealed that the SFE of Lycium chinense Miller root (2.37-7.11 mg/mL) effectively suppressed intracellular tyrosinase activity and decreased the melanin content in B16F10 cells. The root extract also effectively decreased intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. Furthermore, the root extract decreased the expression of melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein-1 (TRP-1) and then inhibited melanogenesis in B16F10 cells. The root extract also showed antioxidant capacities and depleted cellular ROS. Conclusions Our results indicate that the SFE of Lycium chinense Miller root inhibited melanogenesis in B16F10 cells by down-regulation of both mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and protein kinase A (PKA) signaling pathways or through its antioxidant properties. PMID:24972978

  8. Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and FTIR characterization of the sepia melanin pigment used in works of art

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Centeno, Silvia A.; Shamir, Jacob

    2008-02-01

    Surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and FTIR were used for the vibrational characterization of the sepia melanin pigment extracted from the cuttlefish or Sepia officinalis, a material used in works of art from at least the late 18th century. The heterogeneous polymeric nature of the pigment, together with its fluorescent background, makes its identification by normal Raman spectroscopy difficult. In the present study, SERS and FTIR spectra of sepia were obtained. SERS proved to be suitable to characterize this complex material in micro-samples because of its sensitivity, ability to quench fluorescence, and minimal preparation required. For the SERS measurements, different substrates were tested in contact with the sepia pigment. It was found that a sodium borohydride reduced silver colloid gave the best performance, particularly when applied as a drop on top of a solid sepia sample, and subsequently dried. A larger enhancement was observed in the SERS spectrum of the sepia sample extracted in the laboratory, when compared to the more pure commercial sample, consistently with the higher metal binding capacity of less pure sepia melanin reported by other authors. The FTIR and SERS frequencies observed were found to be consistent with those reported in the literature for closely related compounds, such as indole, pyrrole and substituted pyrroles, and were assigned by comparison with them and with other published data for functional groups in organic chemistry.

  9. Melanin-based coloration covaries with ovary size in an age-specific manner in the barn owl

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2009-10-01

    While the adaptive function of black eumelanin-based coloration is relatively well known, the function of reddish-brown pheomelanin-based coloration is still unclear. Only a few studies have shown or suggested that the degree of reddish-brownness is associated with predator-prey relationships, reproductive parameters, growth rate and immunity. To gain insight into the physiological correlates of melanin-based coloration, I collected barn owl ( Tyto alba) cadavers and examined the covariation between this colour trait and ovary size, an organ that increases in size before reproduction. A relationship is expected because melanin-based coloration often covaries with sexual activity. The results showed that reddish-brown juveniles had larger ovaries than whiter juveniles particularly in individuals in poor condition and outside the breeding season, while in birds older than 2 years lightly coloured females had larger ovaries than reddish-brown conspecifics. As barn owls become less reddish-brown between the first and second year of age, the present study suggests that reddish-brown pheomelanic and whitish colorations are associated with juvenile- and adult-specific adaptations, respectively.

  10. 4-(Phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-One Suppresses Melanin Synthesis and Melanosome Maturation In Vitro and In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Shing-Yi Sean; Wang, Hui-Min David; Wen, Yi-Shan; Liu, Wangta; Li, Pin-Hui; Chiu, Chien-Chih; Chen, Pei-Chin; Huang, Chiung-Yao; Sheu, Jyh-Horng; Wen, Zhi-Hong

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we screened compounds with skin whitening properties and favorable safety profiles from a series of marine related natural products, which were isolated from Formosan soft coral Cladiella australis. Our results indicated that 4-(phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-one could successfully inhibit pigment generation processes in mushroom tyrosinase platform assay, probably through the suppression of tyrosinase activity to be a non-competitive inhibitor of tyrosinase. In cell-based viability examinations, it demonstrated low cytotoxicity on melanoma cells and other normal human cells. It exhibited stronger inhibitions of melanin production and tyrosinase activity than arbutin or 1-phenyl-2-thiourea (PTU). Also, we discovered that 4-(phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-one reduces the protein expressions of melanin synthesis-related proteins, including the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase-related protein-1 (Trp-1), dopachrome tautomerase (DCT, Trp-2), and glycoprotein 100 (GP100). In an in vivo zebrafish model, it presented a remarkable suppression in melanogenesis after 48 h. In summary, our in vitro and in vivo biological assays showed that 4-(phenylsulfanyl)butan-2-one possesses anti-melanogenic properties that are significant in medical cosmetology. PMID:26343635

  11. Parental investment and its sensitivity to corticosterone is linked to melanin-based coloration in barn owls.

    PubMed

    Almasi, Bettina; Roulin, Alexandre; Jenni-Eiermann, Susanne; Jenni, Lukas

    2008-06-01

    Behavioral and physiological responses to unpredictable changes in environmental conditions are, in part, mediated by glucocorticoids (corticosterone in birds). In polymorphic species, individuals of the same sex and age display different heritable melanin-based color morphs, associated with physiological and reproductive parameters and possibly alternative strategies to cope with variation in environmental conditions. We examined whether the role of corticosterone in resolving the trade-off between self-maintenance and reproductive activities covaries with the size of melanin-based spots displayed on the ventral body side of male barn owls. Administration of corticosterone to simulate physiological stress in males revealed pronounced changes in their food-provisioning rates to nestlings compared to control males. Corticosterone-treated males with small eumelanic spots reduced nestling provisioning rates as compared to controls, and also to a greater degree than did corticosterone-treated males with large spots. Large-spotted males generally exhibited lower parental provisioning and appear insensitive to exogenous corticosterone suggesting that the size of the black spots on the breast feathers predicts the ability to cope with stressful situations. The reduced provisioning rate of corticosterone-treated males caused a temporary reduction in nestling growth rates but, did not affect fledgling success. This suggests that moderately elevated corticosterone levels are not inhibitory to current reproduction but rather trigger behavioral responses to maximize lifetime reproductive success.

  12. Melanin-based coloration covaries with ovary size in an age-specific manner in the barn owl.

    PubMed

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2009-10-01

    While the adaptive function of black eumelanin-based coloration is relatively well known, the function of reddish-brown pheomelanin-based coloration is still unclear. Only a few studies have shown or suggested that the degree of reddish-brownness is associated with predator-prey relationships, reproductive parameters, growth rate and immunity. To gain insight into the physiological correlates of melanin-based coloration, I collected barn owl (Tyto alba) cadavers and examined the covariation between this colour trait and ovary size, an organ that increases in size before reproduction. A relationship is expected because melanin-based coloration often co-varies with sexual activity. The results showed that reddish-brown juveniles had larger ovaries than whiter juveniles particularly in individuals in poor condition and outside the breeding season, while in birds older than 2 years lightly coloured females had larger ovaries than reddish-brown conspecifics. As barn owls become less reddish-brown between the first and second year of age, the present study suggests that reddish-brown pheomelanic and whitish colorations are associated with juvenile- and adult-specific adaptations, respectively.

  13. Identification and Molecular Characterization of the Homogentisate Pathway Responsible for Pyomelanin Production, the Major Melanin Constituents in Aeromonas media WS

    PubMed Central

    Wang, He; Qiao, Yunqian; Chai, Baozhong; Qiu, Chenxi; Chen, Xiangdong

    2015-01-01

    The pigmentation of many Aeromonas species has been thought to be due to the production of a L-DOPA (L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) based melanin. However, in this study we found that although L-DOPA synthesis occurs in the high-melanin-yielding Aeromonas media strain WS, it plays a minor, if any, role in pigmentation. Instead, the pigmentation of A. media strain WS is due to the production of pyomelanin through HGA (homogentisate). Gene products of phhA (encodes phenylalanine hydroxylase), tyrB and aspC (both encode aromatic amino acid aminotransferase), and hppD (encodes 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase) constitute a linear pathway of converting phenylalanine to HGA and disruption of any one of these genes impairs or blocks pigmentation of A. media strain WS. This HGA biosynthesis pathway is widely distributed in Aeromonas, but HGA is only detectable in the cultures of pigmented Aeromonas species. Heterologous expression of HppD from both pigmented and non-pigmented Aeromonas species in E. coli leads to the production of pyomelanin and thus pigmentation, suggesting that most Aeromonas species have the critical enzymes to produce pyomelanin through HGA. Taken together, we have identified a widely conserved biosynthesis pathway of HGA based pyomelanin in Aeromonas that may be responsible for pigmentation of many Aeromonas species. PMID:25793756

  14. Effects of Danshensu and Salvianolic Acid B from Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge (Lamiaceae) on cell proliferation and collagen and melanin production.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yi-Shyan; Lee, Shu-Mei; Lin, Ying-Ju; Chiang, Shu-Hua; Lin, Chih-Chien

    2014-02-13

    Danshensu (DSU) and salvianolic acid B (SAB) are the primary water-soluble compounds of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge (Lamiaceae). In this study, we analyzed the effects of DSU, SAB and a S. miltiorrhiza extract (SME) on cell proliferation. Additionally, the effects of DSU and SAB on collagen synthesis in Detroit 551 human normal fibroblast cells and on melanin production in B16 melanoma cells were verified. The results demonstrated that SME can enhance the proliferation of Detroit 551 cells and that this boost may be caused by DSU and SAB. This research showed that SME, DSU and SAB all have the ability to increase the production of collagen in Detroit 551 cells. The results also confirmed that DSU and SAB can attenuate the α-MSH-stimulated melanin production of B16 cells by inhibiting tyrosinase activity. Therefore, SME, DSU and SAB each have the potential to be utilized as active ingredients in wound healing or cosmetic treatments. In the future, DSU and SAB could also be used as functional components for treating hyperpigmentation.

  15. Inhibitory and Acceleratory Effects of Inonotus obliquus on Tyrosinase Activity and Melanin Formation in B16 Melanoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Zheng-Fei; Yang, Yang; Mao, Xin-Xin

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study is to preliminarily investigate the antimelanogenesis effect of Inonotus obliquus extracts by cell-free mushroom tyrosinase assay. It was found that petroleum ether and n-butanol extracts might contain unknown potential tyrosinase inhibitors, while its ethyl acetate extract might contain some unknown accelerators. Six compounds were isolated and their structures were identified by interpretation of NMR data and nicotinic acid was first discovered in Inonotus obliquus. In cells testing, betulin and trametenolic acid decreased tyrosinase activity and melanin content, while inotodiol and lanosterol significantly increased tyrosinase activity and melanin content, showing an AC⁡50 of 9.74 and 8.43 μM, respectively. Nicotinie acid, 3β,22,25-trihydroxy-lanosta-8-ene, had a little or no effect on tyrosinase. Betulin exhibited a mode of noncompetitive inhibition with a KI = KIS of 0.4 μM on tyrosinase activity showing an IC50 of 5.13 μM and being more effective than kojic acid (6.43 μM), and trametenolic acid exhibited a mode of mixed inhibition with a KI of 0.9 μM, KIS of 0.5 μM, and an IC50 of 7.25 μM. We proposed betulin and trametenolic acid as a new candidate of potent tyrosinase inhibitors and inotodiol and lanosterol as accelerators that could be used as therapeutic agent. PMID:25197307

  16. Effect of herbal melanin on IL-8: a possible role of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4).

    PubMed

    El-Obeid, Adila; Hassib, Adil; Pontén, Fredrik; Westermark, Bengt

    2006-06-16

    The production of IL-8 can be induced by LPS via TLR4 signaling pathway. In this study, we tested the effect of a herbal melanin (HM) extract, from black cumin seeds (Nigella sativa L.), on IL-8 production. We used HM and LPS in parallel to induce IL-8 production by THP-I, PBMCs, and TLR4-transfected HEK293 cells. Both HM and LPS induced IL-8 mRNA expression and protein production in THP-1 and PBMCs. On applying similar treatment to HEK293 cells that express TLR4, MD2, and CD14, both HM and LPS significantly induced IL-8 protein production. We have also demonstrated that HM and LPS had identical effects in terms of IL-8 stimulation by HEK293 transfected with either TLR4 or MD2-CD14. Melanin extracted from N. sativa L. mimics the action of LPS in the induction of IL-8 by PBMC and the other used cell lines. Our results suggest that HM may share a signaling pathway with LPS that involves TLR4.

  17. Sesamol decreases melanin biosynthesis in melanocyte cells and zebrafish: Possible involvement of MITF via the intracellular cAMP and p38/JNK signalling pathways.

    PubMed

    Baek, Seung-hwa; Lee, Sang-Han

    2015-10-01

    The development of antimelanogenic agents is important for the prevention of serious aesthetic problems such as melasma, freckles, age spots and chloasma. The aim of this study was to investigate the antimelanogenic effect of sesamol, an active lignan isolated from Sesamum indicum, in melan-a cells. Sesamol strongly inhibited melanin biosynthesis and the activity of intracellular tyrosinase by decreasing cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) accumulation. Sesamol significantly decreased the expression of melanogenesis-related genes, such as tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein-1,2 (TRP-1,2), microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R). In addition, sesamol also induces phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Moreover, sesamol dose-dependently decreased zebrafish pigment formation, tyrosinase activity and expression of melanogenesis-related genes. These findings indicate that sesamol inhibited melanin biosynthesis by down-regulating tyrosinase activity and melanin production via regulation of gene expression of melanogenesis-related proteins through modulation of MITF activity, which promoted phosphorylation of p38 and JNK in melan-a cells. Together, these results suggest that sesamol strongly inhibits melanin biosynthesis, and therefore, sesamol represents a new skin-whitening agent for use in cosmetics.

  18. New Biosynthetic Step in the Melanin Pathway of Wangiella (Exophiala) dermatitidis: Evidence for 2-Acetyl-1,3,6,8-Tetrahydroxynaphthalene as a Novel Precursor

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The predominant cell wall melanin of Wangiella dermatitidis, a black fungal pathogen of humans, is synthesized from 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (D2HN). An early precursor, 1,3,6,8-tetrahydroxynaphthalene (T4HN), in the pathway leading to D2HN is reportedly produced as a pentaketide directly by an iter...

  19. Manassantin A inhibits cAMP-induced melanin production by down-regulating the gene expressions of MITF and tyrosinase in melanocytes.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hwa Dong; Lee, Won-Hee; Roh, Eunmiri; Seo, Chang-Seob; Son, Jong-Keun; Lee, Seung Ho; Hwang, Bang Yeon; Jung, Sang-Hun; Han, Sang-Bae; Kim, Youngsoo

    2011-09-01

    Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) is inducible in response to cAMP through the cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB) and plays a pivotal role in the melanocyte-specific expression of tyrosinase or tyrosinase-related proteins (TRPs) for melanin biosynthesis. Manassantin A from Saururus chinensis inhibits cAMP-induced melanin production in B16 melanoma cells. Here, we focused on molecular basis of the antimelanogenic activity. Manassantin A consistently inhibited the cAMP elevator 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX)- or dibutyryl cAMP-induced melanin production in B16 cells or in melan-a melanocytes by down-regulating the expression of tyrosinase or TRP1 gene. Moreover, manassantin A suppressed MITF induction through IBMX-activated CREB pathway, directly inhibiting the Ser-133 phosphorylation of CREB. However, manassantin A did not affect IBMX-increased cAMP levels in these cells but also other cAMP-dependent melanogenic pathways through post-translational modifications of MITF. This putative molecular mechanism of manassantin A in the inhibition of melanin production suggests its pharmacological potential in skin hyperpigmentation.

  20. Determination of Melanin and Haemoglobin in the Skin of Idiopathic Cutaneous Hyperchromia of the Orbital region (ICHOR): A Study of Indian Patients

    PubMed Central

    Verschoore, Michèle; Gupta, Somesh; Sharma, Vinod K; Ortonne, Jean-Paul

    2012-01-01

    Background: Idiopathic cutaneous hyperchromia at the orbital region (ICHOR) is a cutaneous hyperchromia characterised by bilateral darkening of the eyelid and orbital skin that contrasts with the adjoining facial skin. ICHOR is frequent in dark skin. It interferes with the face appearance which often causes difficulties in societal acceptance and may impact quality of life. Objective: The aim of this investigation was to study the epidemiology, clinical features and risk factors associated with ICHOR in Indian patients and also to study the distribution of melanin and haemoglobin in ICHOR patients. This study also assessed the relevance of SIAscopy technique (spectrophotometric intracutaneous analysis (SIA)), a new objective non-invasive method to measure melanin and haemoglobin concentration in vivo. Materials and Methods: Thirty-three patients diagnosed with ICHOR at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Dehli, India, were included in the study. Epidemiological data were collected through a self-administrated questionnaire. Standard photographs were taken from each patient and SIAscopy measurements were done on dark circles and normal skin. Results: Surprisingly our study showed no significant correlation between ICHOR prevalence and family history, atopic and contact dermatitis, contemporaneous melasma and hormonal factors. The study confirms that sun exposure is a risk factor of dark circles aggravation. Indeed patients tend to reduce sun exposure after the onset of dark circles. SIAscopy analysis reveals significant differences in the concentration of total melanin, of dermal melanin and of haemoglobin between ICHOR skin and normal skin of the same patient. Conclusion: This study confirms that melanin deposits and blood stasis in dark circles may play a role in ICHOR pathogenesis and cause the darkening of skin under eyes. SIAscopy provides objective diagnostic information about ICHOR. PMID:23112512

  1. Living in an Extremely Polluted Environment: Clues from the Genome of Melanin-Producing Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica 34melT

    PubMed Central

    Pavan, María Elisa; Pavan, Esteban E.; López, Nancy I.; Levin, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica 34melT can be considered an extremophile due to the characteristics of the heavily polluted river from which it was isolated. While four subspecies of A. salmonicida are known fish pathogens, 34melT belongs to the only subspecies isolated solely from the environment. Genome analysis revealed a high metabolic versatility, the capability to cope with diverse stress agents, and the lack of several virulence factors found in pathogenic Aeromonas. The most relevant phenotypic characteristics of 34melT are pectin degradation, a distinctive trait of A. salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica, and melanin production. Genes coding for three pectate lyases were detected in a cluster, unique to this microorganism, that contains all genes needed for pectin degradation. Melanin synthesis in 34melT is hypothesized to occur through the homogentisate pathway, as no tyrosinases or laccases were detected and the homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase gene is inactivated by a transposon insertion, leading to the accumulation of the melanin precursor homogentisate. Comparative genome analysis of other melanogenic Aeromonas strains revealed that this gene was inactivated by transposon insertions or point mutations, indicating that melanin biosynthesis in Aeromonas occurs through the homogentisate pathway. Horizontal gene transfer could have contributed to the adaptation of 34melT to a highly polluted environment, as 13 genomic islands were identified in its genome, some of them containing genes coding for fitness-related traits. Heavy metal resistance genes were also found, along with others associated with oxidative and nitrosative stresses. These characteristics, together with melanin production and the ability to use different substrates, may explain the ability of this microorganism to live in an extremely polluted environment. PMID:26025898

  2. Towards the development of a novel bioinspired functional material: synthesis and characterization of hybrid TiO2/DHICA-melanin nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Pezzella, Alessandro; Capelli, Luigia; Costantini, Aniello; Luciani, Giuseppina; Tescione, Fabiana; Silvestri, Brigida; Vitiello, Giuseppe; Branda, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    A large number of recent literature data focus on modification/modulation of surface chemistry of inorganic materials in order to improve their functional properties. Melanins, a wide class of natural pigments, are recently emerging as a powerful organic component for developing bioinspired active material for a large number of applications from organoelectronics to bioactive compounds. Here we report the use of the approach referred as "chimie douce", involving in situ formation of the hybrids through reactions of precursors under mild conditions, to prepare novel hybrid functional architectures based on eumelanin like 5,6 dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) polymer and TiO2. Two synthesis procedures were carried out to get DHICA-melanin coated TiO2 nanoparticles as well as mixed DHICA/TiO2 hybrid nanostructures. Such systems were characterized through EPR, FT-IR and fluorescence spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and TEM microscopy in order to assess the effect of synthesis path as well as of DHICA content on structural, morphological and optical properties of TiO2 nanostructures. In particular, EPR, FT-IR spectra and TGA analysis confirmed the presence of DHICA-melanin in these samples. TEM measurements indicated the formation of the nanoparticles having relatively narrow size distribution with average particle size of about 10nm. DHICA-melanin does act as a morphological agent affecting morphology of hybrid nanostructures. XRD analysis proved that TiO2 hybrid nanoparticles kept anatase structures for DHICA-melanin contents within the range of investigated compositions, i.e. up to 50% wt/wt.

  3. Preparation and characterization of a novel Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA conjugate for melanin-targeted imaging of malignant melanoma.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chih-Chao; Chang, Chih-Hsien; Lo, Yi-Hsuan; Lin, Ming-Hsien; Shen, Chih-Chieh; Liu, Ren-Shyan; Wang, Hsin-Ell; Chen, Chuan-Lin

    2016-08-15

    Melanin is an attractive target for the diagnosis and treatment of malignant melanoma. Previous studies have demonstrated the specific binding ability of benzamide moiety to melanin. In this study, we developed a novel (18)F-labeled NOTA-benzamide conjugate, Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA, which can be synthesized in 30min with a radiochemical yield of 20-35% and a radiochemical purity of >95%. Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA is highly hydrophilic (logP=-1.96) and shows good in vitro stability. Intravenous administration of Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA in two melanoma-bearing mouse models revealed highly specific uptake in B16F0 melanotic melanoma (6.67±0.91 and 1.50±0.26%ID/g at 15 and 120min p.i., respectively), but not in A375 amelanotic melanoma (0.87±0.21 and 0.24±0.09%ID/g at 15 and 120min p.i., respectively). The clearance from most normal tissues was fast. A microPET scan of Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA-injected mice also displayed high-contrast tumor images as compared with normal organs. Owing to the favorable in vivo distribution of Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA after intravenous administration, the estimated absorption dose was low in all normal organs and tissues. The melanin-specific binding ability, sustained tumor retention, fast normal tissues clearance and thelow projected human dosimetry supported that Al(18)F-NOTA-BZA is a very promising melanin-specific PET probe for melanin-positive melanoma.

  4. Fractal structure and the dynamics of aggregation of synthetic melanin in low pH aqueous solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, J.S.; Sung, J.; Eisner, M.; Moss, S.C.; Gallas, J.

    1989-01-01

    We have used static and dynamic light scattering to study the dynamics of aggregation of synthetic melanin, an amorphous biopolymeric substance, in low pH aqueous solution. We have found that, depending on the final pH value of the solutions, there existed two regimes of the aggregation kinetics, one corresponding to diffusion limited aggregation (DLA), and the other corresponding to reaction limited aggregation (RLA). The precipitates formed in these two regimes can be characterized by fractal structures. We have found fractal dimensions of d/sub f/ = 1.8 for the DLA clusters and d/sub f/ = 2.2 for the RLA clusters. These results agree well with the proposed limits of the fractal dimensions of the gold aggregates formed in aqueous solutions by Weitz et al.

  5. The fractal structure and the dynamics of aggregation of synthetic melanin in low pH aqueous solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, J. S.; Sung, J.; Eisner, M.; Moss, S. C.; Gallas, J.

    1989-01-01

    We have used static and dynamic light scattering to study the dynamics of aggregation of synthetic melanin, an amorphous biopolymeric substance, in low pH aqueous solution. We have found that, depending on the final pH value of the solutions, there existed two regimes of the aggregation kinetics, one corresponding to diffusion limited aggregation (DLA), and the other corresponding to reaction limited aggregation (RLA). The precipitates formed in these two regimes can be characterized by fractal structures. We have found fractal dimensions of df =1.8 for the DLA clusters and df =2.2 for the RLA clusters. These results agree well with the proposed limits of the fractal dimensions of the gold aggregates formed in aqueous solutions by Weitz et al.

  6. A simple one-step synthesis of melanin-originated red shift emissive carbonaceous dots for bioimaging.

    PubMed

    Hu, Chuan; Liu, Yongmei; Chen, Jiantao; He, Qin; Gao, Huile

    2016-10-15

    Carbonaceous dots (CDs) are superior nanomaterials owing to their promising luminescence properties and good biocompatibility. However, most CDs have relatively short excitation/emission, which restrict their application in bioimaging. In this study, a simple one-step procedure was developed for synthesis of melanin-originated CDs (MNPs). The MNPs showed two long red shift emissions at 570nm and 645nm with broad absorptions from 200nm to 400nm and 500nm to 700nm, suggesting the great potential of MNPs in bioimaging. Besides, several experiments indicated that MNPs possessed good serum stability and well blood compatibility. In vitro, MNPs could be taken up by C6 cell in a concentration- and time-dependent manner with endosomes involved. In conclusion, MNPs were prepared using a simple one-step method with unique optical and good biological properties and could be used for bioimaging.

  7. Whey peptides prevent chronic ultraviolet B radiation-induced skin aging in melanin-possessing male hairless mice.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Yoshiyuki; Sumiyoshi, Maho; Kobayashi, Toshiya

    2014-01-01

    Whey proteins or peptides exhibit various actions, including an antioxidant action, an anticancer action, and a protective action against childhood asthma and atopic syndrome. The effects of orally administered whey peptides (WPs) on chronic ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation-induced cutaneous changes, including changes in cutaneous thickness, elasticity, wrinkle formation, etc., have not been examined. In this study, we studied the preventive effects of WPs on cutaneous aging induced by chronic UVB irradiation in melanin-possessing male hairless mice (HRM). UVB (36-180 mJ/cm(2)) was irradiated to the dorsal area for 17 wk in HRM, and the measurements of cutaneous thickness and elasticity in UVB irradiated mice were performed every week. WPs (200 and 400 mg/kg, twice daily) were administered orally for 17 wk. WPs inhibited the increase in cutaneous thickness, wrinkle formation, and melanin granules and the reduction in cutaneous elasticity associated with photoaging. Furthermore, it has been reported that UVB irradiation-induced skin aging is closely associated with the increase in expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), Ki-67-, and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG)-positive cells. WPs also prevented increases in the expression of MMP-2 and pro-MMP-9, VEGF, and Ki-67- and 8-OHdG-positive cells induced by chronic UVB irradiation. It was found that WPs prevent type IV collagen degradation, angiogenesis, proliferation, and DNA damage caused by UVB irradiation. Overall, these results demonstrate the considerable benefit of WPs for protection against solar UV-irradiated skin aging as a supplemental nutrient.

  8. Trace metals, melanin-based pigmentation and their interaction influence immune parameters in feral pigeons (Columba livia).

    PubMed

    Chatelain, M; Gasparini, J; Frantz, A

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the effects of trace metals emitted by anthropogenic activities on wildlife is of great concern in urban ecology; yet, information on how they affect individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems remains scarce. In particular, trace metals may impact survival by altering the immune system response to parasites. Plumage melanin is assumed to influence the effects of trace metals on immunity owing to its ability to bind metal ions in feathers and its synthesis being coded by a pleiotropic gene. We thus hypothesized that trace metal exposure would interact with plumage colouration in shaping immune response. We experimentally investigated the interactive effect between exposure to an environmentally relevant range of zinc and/or lead and melanin-based plumage colouration on components of the immune system in feral pigeons (Columba livia). We found that zinc increased anti-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) IgY primary response maintenance, buffered the negative effect of lead on anti-KLH IgY secondary response maintenance and tended to increase T-cell mediated phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) skin response. Lead decreased the peak of the anti-KLH IgY secondary response. In addition, pheomelanic pigeons exhibited a higher secondary anti-KLH IgY response than did eumelanic ones. Finally, T-cell mediated PHA skin response decreased with increasing plumage eumelanin level of birds exposed to lead. Neither treatments nor plumage colouration correlated with endoparasite intensity. Overall, our study points out the effects of trace metals on some parameters of birds' immunity, independently from other confounding urbanization factors, and underlines the need to investigate their impacts on other life history traits and their consequences in the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions.

  9. Synthetic Consolidants Attacked by Melanin-Producing Fungi: Case Study of the Biodeterioration of Milan (Italy) Cathedral Marble Treated with Acrylics▿

    PubMed Central

    Cappitelli, Francesca; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Casadevall, Arturo; Toniolo, Lucia; Brusetti, Lorenzo; Florio, Sofia; Principi, Pamela; Borin, Sara; Sorlini, Claudia

    2007-01-01

    Monuments and artistic stone surfaces are often consolidated and protected with synthetic polymers, in particular, acrylics. Although it is generally thought that acrylic polymers are resistant to biodeterioration, we report for the first time the systematic occurrence of dematiaceous meristematic fungi on many marble samples of the cathedral in Milan (Italy) previously treated with this material. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy applied to the Milan cathedral stone samples revealed characteristic features of biodeteriorated synthetic resins that differentiated them from the aged but nonbiodeteriorated samples. Samples showing biological colonization were analyzed for the presence of fungi. Cultivation and morphological characterization and methods independent from cultivation, such as denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis coupled with partial 18S rRNA gene sequencing and immunofluorescence staining with melanin-binding antibodies, showed that melanin-producing species are heavily present on stone surfaces protected with acrylic resins. This observation raises the question of the effectiveness of acrylics in protecting stone artworks. PMID:17071788

  10. Novel Application of the Masson-Fontana Stain for Demonstrating Malassezia Species Melanin-Like Pigment Production In Vitro and in Clinical Specimens

    PubMed Central

    Gaitanis, George; Chasapi, Vassiliki; Velegraki, Aristea

    2005-01-01

    Melanin-like pigment produced in vitro and in vivo by Malassezia yeasts has not been described before. Masson-Fontana staining confirmed accumulation of black pigment on the cell walls of l-dihydroxyphenylalaline (l-DOPA)-cultured Malassezia species. Black pigment was also observed in cells and hyphae from hyperpigmented patient lesions with culture-confirmed pityriasis versicolor and seborrheic dermatitis. PMID:16081962

  11. Melanin production by a yeast strain XJ5-1 of Aureobasidium melanogenum isolated from the Taklimakan desert and its role in the yeast survival in stress environments.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Hong; Liu, Nan-Nan; Liu, Guang-Lei; Chi, Zhe; Wang, Jian-Ming; Zhang, Ly-Ly; Chi, Zhen-Ming

    2016-07-01

    The yeast strain XJ5-1 isolated from the Taklimakan desert soil was identified to be a strain of Aureobasdium melanogenum and could produce a large amount of melanin when it was grown in the PDA medium, but its melanin biosynthesis and expression of the PKS gene responsible for the melanin biosynthesis was significantly repressed in the presence of (NH4)2SO4. However, A. melanogenum P5 strain isolated from a mangrove ecosystem grown in both the presence and the absence of (NH4)2SO4 did not produce any melanin. The cell size of A. melanogenum XJ5-1 strain was much higher than that of A. melanogenum P5 strain. The melanized cells of the yeast strain XJ5-1 had higher tolerance to UV radiation, oxidation (200.0 mM H2O2), heat treatment (40 °C), salt shock (200.0 g/L NaCl), desiccation and strong acid hydrolysis (6.0 M HCl) at high temperature (80 °C) than the non-melanized cells of the same yeast strain XJ5-1. At the same time, the melanized cells of the yeast strain XJ5-1 also had higher tolerance to UV radiation, oxidation (200.0 mM H2O2), desiccation and strong acid hydrolysis (6.0 M HCl) at high temperature (80 °C) than A. melanogenum P5 strain, but had similar resistance to heat treatment (40 °C) and salt shock (200.0 g/L NaCl) compared to those of A. melanogenum P5 strain. All the results revealed that many characteristics of A. melanogenum XJ5-1 isolated from the Taklimakan desert soil was different from those of A. melanogenum P5 strain isolated from the mangrove ecosystem.

  12. Differences in the melanosome distribution within the epidermal melanin units and its association with the impairing background of leukoderma in vitiligo and halo nevi: a retrospective study.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Xi-Xi; Ding, Gao-Zhong; Zhao, Wen-E; Li, Xue; Ling, Yu-Ting; Sun, Li; Gong, Qing-Li; Lu, Yan

    2017-03-17

    Skin color is determined by the number of melanin granules produced by melanocytes that are transferred to keratinocytes. Melanin synthesis and the distribution of melanosomes to keratinocytes within the epidermal melanin unit (EMU) within the skin of vitiligo patients have been poorly studied. The ultrastructure and distribution of melanosomes in melanocytes and surrounding keratinocytes in perilesional vitiligo and normal skin were investigated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Furthermore, we performed a quantitative analysis of melanosome distribution within the EMUs with scatter plot. Melanosome count within keratinocytes increased significantly compared with melanocytes in perilesional stable vitiligo (P < 0.001), perilesional halo nevi (P < 0.01) and the controls (P < 0.01), but not in perilesional active vitiligo. Furthermore, melanosome counts within melanocytes and their surrounding keratinocytes in perilesional active vitiligo skin decreased significantly compared with the other groups. In addition, taking the means-standard error of melanosome count within melanocytes and keratinocytes in healthy controls as a normal lower limit, EMUs were graded into 3 stages (I-III). Perilesional active vitiligo presented a significantly different constitution in stages compared to other groups (P < 0.001). The distribution and constitution of melanosomes were normal in halo nevi. Impaired melanin synthesis and melanosome transfer are involved in the pathogenesis of vitiligo. Active vitiligo varies in stages and in stage II, EMUs are slightly impaired, but can be resuscitated, providing a golden opportunity with the potential to achieve desired repigmentation with an appropriate therapeutic choice. Adverse milieu may also contribute to the low melanosome count in keratinocytes.

  13. A potential benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish: downregulation of the oca2 gene increases tyrosine and catecholamine levels as an alternative to melanin synthesis.

    PubMed

    Bilandžija, Helena; Ma, Li; Parkhurst, Amy; Jeffery, William R

    2013-01-01

    Albinism, the loss of melanin pigmentation, has evolved in a diverse variety of cave animals but the responsible evolutionary mechanisms are unknown. In Astyanax mexicanus, which has a pigmented surface dwelling form (surface fish) and several albino cave-dwelling forms (cavefish), albinism is caused by loss of function mutations in the oca2 gene, which operates during the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway. In addition to albinism, cavefish have evolved differences in behavior, including feeding and sleep, which are under the control of the catecholamine system. The catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways diverge after beginning with the same substrate, L-tyrosine. Here we describe a novel relationship between the catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways in Astyanax. Our results show significant increases in L-tyrosine, dopamine, and norepinephrine in pre-feeding larvae and adult brains of Pachón cavefish relative to surface fish. In addition, norepinephrine is elevated in cavefish adult kidneys, which contain the teleost homologs of catecholamine synthesizing adrenal cells. We further show that the oca2 gene is expressed during surface fish development but is downregulated in cavefish embryos. A key finding is that knockdown of oca2 expression in surface fish embryos delays the development of pigmented melanophores and simultaneously increases L-tyrosine and dopamine. We conclude that a potential evolutionary benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish may be to provide surplus L-tyrosine as a precursor for the elevated catecholamine synthesis pathway, which could be important for adaptation to the challenging cave environment.

  14. Demonstration of tyrosinase in the vitiligo skin of human beings by a sensitive fluorometric method as well as by 14C(U)-L-tyrosine incorporation into melanin

    SciTech Connect

    Husain, I.; Vijayan, E.; Ramaiah, A.; Pasricha, J.S.; Madan, N.C.

    1982-03-01

    Tyrosinase activity (Monophenol, dihydroxyphenylalanine: oxygen oxidoreductase EC 1.14.18.1) in vitiligo and normal epidermal homogenates of skin from human beings was measured by estimating beta 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (dopa) by a highly sensitive fluorometric method described in this paper. The tyrosine activity in the vitiligo skin was about 4 to 37% of corresponding normal skin. The activity of tyrosinase in normal human skin from different individuals and from different regions of the body was in the range of 4 to 140 picomoles of beta 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine formed per min/mg protein of epidermal homogenate. The enzyme from vitiligo and normal skin was severely inhibited by substance(s) of low molecular weight. The enzyme exhibits a lag of about 4 hr in the absence of added beta 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and 1 hr in presence of 5 microM dopa. Tyrosinase from the normal and vitiligo skin was inhibited by excess concentration of tyrosine. The homogenates from vitiligo skin could synthesize melanin from C14(U)-L-Tyrosine. The rate of tyrosine incorporation into melanin by the epidermal homogenates is increased by 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (dopa) disproportionate to its effect on tyrosinase activity. Based on the data presented in this paper it is concluded that melanocytes are present in the vitiligo skin. A tentative hypothesis is put forward to explain the lack of melanin synthesis by the vitiligo skin under in vivo conditions, although melanocytes are present.

  15. Strength and cost of an induced immune response are associated with a heritable melanin-based colour trait in female tawny owls.

    PubMed

    Gasparini, Julien; Bize, Pierre; Piault, Romain; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Blount, Jonathan D; Ducrest, Anne-Lyse; Roulin, Alexandre

    2009-05-01

    1. Melanin pigments provide the most widespread source of coloration in vertebrates, but the adaptive function of such traits remains poorly known. 2. In a wild population of tawny owls (Strix aluco), we investigated the relationships between plumage coloration, which varies continuously from dark to pale reddish, and the strength and cost of an induced immune response. 3. The degree of reddishness in tawny owl feather colour was positively correlated with the concentration of phaeomelanin and eumelanin pigments, and plumage coloration was highly heritable (h(2) = 0.93). No carotenoids were detected in the feathers. 4. In mothers, the degree of melanin-based coloration was associated with antibody production against a vaccine, with dark reddish females maintaining a stronger level of antibody for a longer period of time compared to pale reddish females, but at a cost in terms of greater loss of body mass. 5. A cross-fostering experiment showed that, independent of maternal coloration, foster chicks reared by vaccinated mothers were lighter than those reared by nonvaccinated mothers. Hence, even though dark reddish mothers suffered a stronger immune cost than pale reddish mothers, this asymmetric cost was not translated to offspring growth. 6. Our study suggests that different heritable melanin-based colorations are associated with alternative strategies to resist parasite attacks, with dark reddish individuals investing more resources towards the humoral immune response than lightly reddish conspecifics.

  16. DHN melanin biosynthesis in the plant pathogenic fungus Botrytis cinerea is based on two developmentally regulated key enzyme (PKS)-encoding genes.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Julia

    2016-02-01

    Botrytis cinerea is the causal agent of gray mold disease in various plant species and produces grayish macroconidia and/or black sclerotia at the end of the infection cycle. It has been suggested that the pigmentation is due to the accumulation of 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin. To unravel its basis and regulation, the putative melanogenic and regulatory genes were identified and functionally characterized. Unlike other DHN melanin-producing fungi, B. cinerea and other Leotiomycetes contain two key enzyme (PKS)-encoding enzymes. Bcpks12 and bcpks13 are developmentally regulated and are required for melanogenesis in sclerotia and conidia respectively. BcYGH1 converts the BcPKS13 product and contributes thereby to conidial melanogenesis. In contrast, enzymes acting downstream in conversion of the PKS products (BcBRN2, BcSCD1 and BcBRN1) are required for both, sclerotial and conidial melanogenesis, suggesting that DHN melanogenesis in B. cinerea follows a non-linear pathway that is rather unusual for secondary metabolic pathways. Regulation of the melanogenic genes involves three pathway-specific transcription factors (TFs) that are clustered with bcpks12 or bcpks13 and other developmental regulators such as light-responsive TFs. Melanogenic genes are dispensable in vegetative mycelia for proper growth and virulence. However, DHN melanin is considered to contribute to the longevity of the reproduction structures.

  17. Roles of reactive oxygen species in UVA-induced oxidation of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid-melanin as studied by differential spectrophotometric method.

    PubMed

    Ito, Shosuke; Kikuta, Marina; Koike, Shota; Szewczyk, Grzegorz; Sarna, Michal; Zadlo, Andrzej; Sarna, Tadeusz; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2016-05-01

    Eumelanin photoprotects pigmented tissues from ultraviolet (UV) damage. However, UVA-induced tanning seems to result from the photooxidation of preexisting melanin and does not contribute to photoprotection. We investigated the mechanism of UVA-induced degradation of 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA)-melanin taking advantage of its solubility in a neutral buffer and using a differential spectrophotometric method to detect subtle changes in its structure. Our methodology is suitable for examining the effects of various agents that interact with reactive oxygen species (ROS) to determine how ROS is involved in the UVA-induced oxidative modifications. The results show that UVA radiation induces the oxidation of DHICA to indole-5,6-quinone-2-carboxylic acid in eumelanin, which is then cleaved to form a photodegraded, pyrrolic moiety and finally to form free pyrrole-2,3,5-tricarboxylic acid. The possible involvement of superoxide radical and singlet oxygen in the oxidation was suggested. The generation and quenching of singlet oxygen by DHICA-melanin was confirmed by direct measurements of singlet oxygen phosphorescence.

  18. Both a PKS and a PPTase are involved in melanin biosynthesis and regulation of Aureobasidium melanogenum XJ5-1 isolated from the Taklimakan desert.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Hong; Liu, Guang-Lei; Chi, Zhe; Wang, Jian-Ming; Zhang, Ly-Ly; Chi, Zhen-Ming

    2017-02-20

    A PKS1 gene responsible for the melanin biosynthesis and a NPG1 gene in Aureobasidium melanogenum XJ5-1 were cloned and characterized. An ORF of the PKS1 gene encoding a protein with 2165 amino acids contained 6495bp while an ORF of the NPG1 gene encoding a protein with 340 amino acids had 1076bp. After analysis of their promoters, it was found that expression of both the PKS1 gene and the NPG1 gene was repressed by nitrogen sources and glucose, respectively. The PKS deduced from the cloned gene consisted of one ketosynthase, one acyl transferase, two acyl carrier proteins, one thioesterase and one cyclase while the PPTase belonged to the family Sfp-type. After disruption of the PKS1 gene and the NPG1 gene, expression of the PKS1 gene and the NPG1 gene and the melanin biosynthesis in the disruptants K5 and DP107 disappeared and expression of the PKS1 gene in the disruptant DP107 was also negatively influenced. However, after the NPG1 gene was complemented in the disruptant DP107, the melanin biosynthesis in the complementary strain BP17 was restored and expression of the PKS1 gene and the NPG1 gene was greatly enhanced, suggesting that the PKS was indeed activated and regulated by the PPTase and expression of the PKS1 gene and the NPG1 gene had a coordinate regulation.

  19. Bioinspired near-infrared-excited sensing platform for in vitro antioxidant capacity assay based on upconversion nanoparticles and a dopamine-melanin hybrid system.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dong; Chen, Chuan; Ke, Xuebin; Kang, Ning; Shen, Yuqing; Liu, Yongliang; Zhou, Xi; Wang, Hongjun; Chen, Changqing; Ren, Lei

    2015-02-11

    A novel core-shell structure based on upconversion fluorescent nanoparticles (UCNPs) and dopamine-melanin has been developed for evaluation of the antioxidant capacity of biological fluids. In this approach, dopamine-melanin nanoshells facilely formed on the surface of UCNPs act as ultraefficient quenchers for upconversion fluorescence, contributing to a photoinduced electron-transfer mechanism. This spontaneous oxidative polymerization of the dopamine-induced quenching effect could be effectively prevented by the presence of various antioxidants (typically biothiols, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), and Trolox). The chemical response of the UCNPs@dopamine-melanin hybrid system exhibited great selectivity and sensitivity toward antioxidants relative to other compounds at 100-fold higher concentration. A satisfactory correlation was established between the ratio of the "anti-quenching" fluorescence intensity and the concentration of antioxidants. Besides the response of the upconversion fluorescence signal, a specific evaluation process for antioxidants could be visualized by the color change from colorless to dark gray accompanied by the spontaneous oxidation of dopamine. The near-infrared (NIR)-excited UCNP-based antioxidant capacity assay platform was further used to evaluate the antioxidant capacity of cell extracts and human plasma, and satisfactory sensitivity, repeatability, and recovery rate were obtained. This approach features easy preparation, fluorescence/visual dual mode detection, high specificity to antioxidants, and enhanced sensitivity with NIR excitation, showing great potential for screening and quantitative evaluation of antioxidants in biological systems.

  20. Analysis on unevenness of skin color using the melanin and hemoglobin components separated by independent component analysis of skin color image

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojima, Nobutoshi; Fujiwara, Izumi; Inoue, Yayoi; Tsumura, Norimichi; Nakaguchi, Toshiya; Iwata, Kayoko

    2011-03-01

    Uneven distribution of skin color is one of the biggest concerns about facial skin appearance. Recently several techniques to analyze skin color have been introduced by separating skin color information into chromophore components, such as melanin and hemoglobin. However, there are not many reports on quantitative analysis of unevenness of skin color by considering type of chromophore, clusters of different sizes and concentration of the each chromophore. We propose a new image analysis and simulation method based on chromophore analysis and spatial frequency analysis. This method is mainly composed of three techniques: independent component analysis (ICA) to extract hemoglobin and melanin chromophores from a single skin color image, an image pyramid technique which decomposes each chromophore into multi-resolution images, which can be used for identifying different sizes of clusters or spatial frequencies, and analysis of the histogram obtained from each multi-resolution image to extract unevenness parameters. As the application of the method, we also introduce an image processing technique to change unevenness of melanin component. As the result, the method showed high capabilities to analyze unevenness of each skin chromophore: 1) Vague unevenness on skin could be discriminated from noticeable pigmentation such as freckles or acne. 2) By analyzing the unevenness parameters obtained from each multi-resolution image for Japanese ladies, agerelated changes were observed in the parameters of middle spatial frequency. 3) An image processing system modulating the parameters was proposed to change unevenness of skin images along the axis of the obtained age-related change in real time.

  1. Melanin production through novel processing of proopiomelanocortin in the extracellular compartment of the auricular skin of C57BL/6 mice after UV-irradiation

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto, Hiroyuki; Yamane, Tomohiro; Iguchi, Kazuaki; Tanaka, Kiyotaka; Iddamalgoda, Arunasiri; Unno, Keiko; Hoshino, Minoru; Takeda, Atsushi

    2015-01-01

    The production of melanin is regulated by α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), which is produced from proopiomelanocortin (POMC). Keratinocytes release POMC along with lower levels of α-MSH and ACTH. To clarify the mechanism of melanogenesis after ultraviolet (UV)-irradiation, this study focused on the expression of POMC and POMC-derived peptides after UV-irradiation. Western blot analysis and immunoassays indicated that both POMC and α-MSH-like immunoreactivity (α-MSH-LI) increased after UV-irradiation. However, other POMC-derived products were very low. In hypophysectomized mice, α-MSH-LI increased to the same level as in control mice after UV-irradiation. Structural analysis revealed that the major α-MSH-LI product was ACTH(1–8). Furthermore, ACTH(1–8) competed with [125I]-α-MSH for receptor binding and increased melanin production via a melanocortin-1 receptor. These results suggested that melanin was produced through ACTH(1–8) after UV-irradiation. Trypsin-like enzymatic activity, which is responsible for POMC activation, increased after UV-irradiation and was identified as tryptase. In mast cell-deficient mice, which do not produce tryptase, α-MSH-LI levels were unchanged after UV-irradiation. The present study demonstrates the production of ACTH(1–8) from POMC by tryptase, which is a novel peptide-processing mechanism in the extracellular compartment of the skin. PMID:26417724

  2. Pigment pattern formation in the quail mutant of the silkworm, Bombyx mori: parallel increase of pteridine biosynthesis and pigmentation of melanin and ommochromes.

    PubMed

    Kato, Tomomi; Sawada, Hiroshi; Yamamoto, Takayuki; Mase, Keisuke; Nakagoshi, Motoko

    2006-08-01

    The larval pigment pattern in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, is formed by melanin, ommochromes and pteridines. During development all these pigments are synthesized autonomously, and possibly also with mutual interaction between them, to yield unique pigment patterns. In order to find the key trigger for such pigment pattern formation, developmental changes in pteridine biosynthesis were studied using the quail mutant (q/q), which has darker larval marks formed by melanin and an abundance of ommochromes in the integument. In the current study, emphasis has been placed on the analysis of GTP-cyclohydrolase I (GTP-CH I), which is a key enzyme for the biosynthesis of pteridines, during the development of the silkworm. Results of Northern blotting showed that in the quail mutant strong signals of GTP-CH I mRNA appeared around each period of ecdysis, while no such signals appeared in the background strain (+q/q) used. Also, both GTP-CH I activities and pteridine content were higher in the quail mutant compared with the background strain. These results strongly suggest that pteridine biosynthesis is closely linked to the formation of melanin and ommochromes. It is also suggested here that in the silkworm a recessive gene (q) may be involved in the regulation of its pigment pattern formation.

  3. Identification of mRNAs coding for mammalian-type melanin-concentrating hormone and its receptors in the scalloped hammerhead shark Sphyrna lewini.

    PubMed

    Mizusawa, Kanta; Amiya, Noriko; Yamaguchi, Yoko; Takabe, Souichirou; Amano, Masafumi; Breves, Jason P; Fox, Bradley K; Grau, E Gordon; Hyodo, Susumu; Takahashi, Akiyoshi

    2012-10-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuromodulator, synthesized in the hypothalamus, that regulates both appetite and energy homeostasis in mammals. MCH was initially identified in teleost fishes as a pituitary gland hormone that induced melanin aggregation in chromatophores in the skin; however, this function of MCH has not been observed in other vertebrates. Recent studies suggest that MCH is involved in teleost feeding behavior, spurring the hypothesis that the original function of MCH in early vertebrates was appetite regulation. The present study reports the results of cDNAs cloning encoding preproMCH and two MCH receptors from an elasmobranch fish, Sphyrna lewini, a member of Chondrichthyes, the earliest diverged class in gnathostomes. The putative MCH peptide is composed of 19 amino acids, similar in length to the mammalian MCH. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction revealed that MCH is expressed in the hypothalamus in S. lewini MCH cell bodies and fibers were identified by immunochemistry in the hypothalamus, but not in the pituitary gland, suggesting that MCH is not released via the pituitary gland into general circulation. MCH receptor genes mch-r1 and mch-r2 were expressed in the S. lewini hypothalamus, but were not found in the skin. These results indicate that MCH does not have a peripheral function, such as a melanin-concentrating effect, in the skin of S. lewini hypothalamic MCH mRNA levels were not affected by fasting, suggesting that feeding conditions might not affect the expression of MCH in the hypothalamus.

  4. Keratinocytes and fibroblasts in a human skin equivalent model enhance melanocyte survival and melanin synthesis after ultraviolet irradiation.

    PubMed

    Archambault, M; Yaar, M; Gilchrest, B A

    1995-05-01

    To investigate paracrine effects of fibroblasts and keratinocytes on melanocyte behavior after ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, we compared an in vitro skin equivalent model with melanocyte cultures. Human melanocytes were maintained alone in monolayer cultures or on dermal equivalents with or without keratinocytes and were irradiated daily with solar-simulated light. After seven daily UV irradiations, monolayer melanocytes displayed dose-dependent increases in cellular damage. In contrast, melanocytes on dermal equivalents survived strikingly better. Moreover, UV-irradiated skin equivalent melanocytes became highly dendritic as compared with sham-irradiated cells, closely mimicking their morphology in UV-irradiated skin. In addition, in skin equivalents melanocytes migrated from the center to the periphery of the keratinocyte layer after UV irradiation. Melanin production per culture, as measured by 14C-dihydroxyphenylalanine incorporation, was consistently higher in skin equivalent melanocytes than in monolayer melanocytes from the same donor, and it was highest in melanocytes from skin equivalents containing both keratinocytes and fibroblasts. Our data strongly suggest that fibroblasts and keratinocytes modulate melanocyte function in skin. The skin equivalent is a valuable model for investigating paracrine effects on melanocytes after UV irradiation.

  5. Influence of N-glycan processing disruption on tyrosinase and melanin synthesis in HM3KO melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Choi, Hyunjung; Ahn, Soomi; Chang, Huikyoung; Cho, Nam Suk; Joo, Kyungmi; Lee, Byeong Gon; Chang, Ihseop; Hwang, Jae Sung

    2007-02-01

    Tyrosinase, a type I membrane glycoprotein, is synthesized and glycosylated in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi. The enzyme is subsequently transported to melanosomes where it participates in melanogenesis. Previous studies showed that the disruption of early ER N-glycan processing by deoxynojirimycin (DNJ), an inhibitor of alpha-glucosidase, suppresses tyrosinase enzymatic activity and melanogenesis. However, the disruption of late glycan processing, mainly performed by ER and Golgi alpha-1,2-mannosidases, on tyrosinase enzymatic activity and melanogenesis remains to be investigated. Following treatment of HM3KO human melanoma cells with deoxymannojirimycin (DMJ), an inhibitor of alpha-1,2-mannosidase, transport of tyrosinase to the melanosome, enzymatic activity, and melanogenesis were reduced in a dose-dependent manner. However, DMJ did not directly inhibit tyrosinase enzymatic activity and expression. Interestingly, an extract of Streptomyces subrutilus culture medium (ESSCM) containing DMJ and DNJ as the main components inhibited glycosylation and transport of tyrosinase to the melanosome as well as melanin synthesis, but with no negative effects on cell viability. These inhibitory effects of ESSCM were stronger than those of DMJ or DNJ alone. Tyrosinase glycosylation and melanogenesis in HM3KO melanoma cells were more effectively inhibited by DMJ and DNJ combined than DMJ or DNJ alone. Accordingly, we propose that ESSCM is a potential candidate for treating undesirable hyperpigmentation conditions, such as melasma, postinflammatory melanoderma, and solar lentigo.

  6. Imaging melanin cancer growth in-vivo using raster-scan optoacoustic mesoscopy (RSOM) at 50 MHz and 100 MHz

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omar, Murad; Schwarz, Mathias; Soliman, Dominik; Symvoulidis, Panagiotis; Ntziachristos, Vasilis

    2016-03-01

    We used raster-scan optoacoustic mesoscopy (RSOM) at 50 MHz, and at 100 MHz, to monitor tumor growth, and tumor angiogenesis, which is a central hallmark of cancer, in-vivo. In this study we compared the performance, and the effect of the 50 MHz, and the 100 MHz frequencies on the quality of the final image. The system is based on a reflection-mode implementation of RSOM. The detectors used are custom made, ultrawideband, and spherically focused. The use of such detectors enables light coupling from the same side as the detector, thus reflection-mode. Light is in turn coupled using a fiber bundle, and the detector is raster scanned in the xy-plane. Subsequently, to retrieve small features, the raw data are reconstructed using a multi-bandwidth, beamforming reconstruction algorithm. Comparison of the system performance at the different frequencies shows as expected a higher resolution in case of the 100 MHz detector compared to the 50 MHz. On the other hand the 50 MHz has a better SNR, can detect features from deeper layers, and has higher angular acceptance. Based on these characteristics the 50 MHz detector was mostly used. After comparing the performance we monitored the growth of B16F10 cells, melanin tumor, over the course of 9 days. We see correspondence between the optoacoustic measurements and the cryoslice validations. Additionally, in areas close to the tumor we see sprouting of new vessels, starting at day 4-5, which corresponds to tumor angiogenesis.

  7. Role of melanin-concentrating hormone in the nucleus accumbens shell in rats behaviourally sensitized to methamphetamine.

    PubMed

    Sun, Li-Li; Zhang, Yan; Liu, Jian-feng; Wang, Jun; Zhu, Wei-li; Zhao, Li-yan; Xue, Yan-xue; Lu, Lin; Shi, Jie

    2013-09-01

    Melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) is a neuropeptide and its receptor is extensively expressed throughout the brain. MCH has been suggested to regulate the rewarding and reinforcing effects of psychostimulants by potentiating the dopaminergic system within the midbrain. Moreover, MCH and its receptor can regulate ERK activity. The present study investigated the role of MCH in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) in rats behaviourally sensitized to methamphetamine (Meth). We found that the development of Meth-induced locomotor sensitization was attenuated by MCH infused into the NAc shell but not core. Moreover, the elevation of ERK phosphorylation in the NAc shell induced by Meth was inhibited by locally infused MCH. Infusion of the MCH receptor 1 (MCHR1) antagonist SNAP 94847 into the NAc shell but not core augmented the initiation of locomotor sensitization and amplitude of elevated phosphorylated ERK levels induced by Meth. The expression of Meth-induced locomotor sensitization and ERK alterations after 1 wk withdrawal were not affected by either MCH or SNAP 94847 infused into the NAc shell or core. These results indicate that MCH in the NAc shell plays a critical role in the development but not expression of Meth-induced locomotor sensitization in rats, which might be mediated by the ERK signalling pathway. Our study suggests that MCH might be a potential target for the treatment of Meth addiction.

  8. Melanin-originated carbonaceous dots for triple negative breast cancer diagnosis by fluorescence and photoacoustic dual-mode imaging.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Wei; Li, Yuan; Hu, Chuan; Huang, Yuan; He, Qin; Gao, Huile

    2017-07-01

    Carbonaceous dots exhibit increasing applications in diagnosis and drug delivery due to excellent photostability and biocompatibility properties. However, relative short excitation and emission of melanin carbonaceous dots (MCDs) limit the applicability in fluorescence bioimaging. Furthermore, the generally poor spatial resolution of fluorescence imaging limits potential in vivo applications. Due to a variety of beneficial properties, in this study, MCDs were prepared exhibiting great potential in fluorescence and photoacoustic dual-mode bioimaging. The MCDs exhibited a long excitation peak at 615nm and emission peak at 650nm, further highlighting the applicability in fluorescence imaging, while the absorbance peak at 633nm renders MCDs suitable for photoacoustic imaging. In vivo, the photoacoustic signal of MCDs was linearly correlated with the concentration of MCDs. Moreover, the MCDs were shown to be taken up into triple negative breast cancer cell line 4T1 in both a time- and concentration-dependent manner. In vivo fluorescence and photoacoustic imaging of subcutaneous 4T1 tumor demonstrated that MCDs could passively target triple negative breast cancer tissue by enhanced permeability and retention effects and may therefore be used for tumor dual-mode imaging. Furthermore, fluorescence distribution in tissue slices suggested that MCDs may distribute in 4T1 tumor with high efficacy. In conclusion, the MCDs studied offer potential application in fluorescence and photoacoustic dual-mode imaging.

  9. Biochemical effects of the flavanol-rich lychee fruit extract on the melanin biosynthesis and reactive oxygen species.

    PubMed

    Hagiwara, Kazuya; Okura, Masae; Sumikawa, Yasuyuki; Hida, Tokimasa; Kuno, Atsushi; Horio, Yoshiyuki; Yamashita, Toshiharu

    2016-10-01

    An ingredient of fruit polyphenol, resveratrol, is known to have an inhibitory effect on melanogenesis. In order to examine the functional differences between resveratrol and other fruit polyphenols, we compared biochemical effects of a resveratrol-free polyphenol, flavanol-rich lychee fruit extract (FRLFE), with other phenolic compounds including resveratrol. FRLFE as well as hydroquinone and resveratrol suppressed growth of B16F1 melanoma cells more significantly than rhododendrol or arbutin. Resveratrol suppressed mushroom tyrosinase at the lowest concentration (23.0 μmol/L) among the compounds tested. FRLFE and hydroquinone suppressed tyrosinase at almost the same concentration (half maximal inhibitory concentration [IC50 ], 83.5 and 94.6 μmol/L, respectively), which was higher than rhododendrol, ascorbic acid and arbutin (IC50 , 245, 345 and 421 μmol/L, respectively). Western blot analysis revealed that although resveratrol decreased expressions of tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein 1, FRLFE did not affect their expressions. Both FRLFE and resveratrol suppressed antimycin A-mediated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in melanocytic cells. Resveratrol-mediated ROS suppression was inhibited by nicotinamide, a SIRT1 inhibitor. However, FRLFE-mediated suppression was not affected by nicotinamide. Moreover, FRLFE directly decreased superoxide in vitro, as detected by superoxide dismutase-like scavenging activity assay. These results suggest that FRLFE can protect melanocytes from cytotoxicity caused by an excess amount of melanin and ROS in a different manner from resveratrol.

  10. Cinnamomum cassia essential oil inhibits α-MSH-induced melanin production and oxidative stress in murine B16 melanoma cells.

    PubMed

    Chou, Su-Tze; Chang, Wen-Lun; Chang, Chen-Tien; Hsu, Shih-Lan; Lin, Yu-Che; Shih, Ying

    2013-09-18

    Essential oils extracted from aromatic plants exhibit important biological activities and have become increasingly important for the development of aromatherapy for complementary and alternative medicine. The essential oil extracted from Cinnamomum cassia Presl (CC-EO) has various functional properties; however, little information is available regarding its anti-tyrosinase and anti-melanogenic activities. In this study, 16 compounds in the CC-EO have been identified; the major components of this oil are cis-2-methoxycinnamic acid (43.06%) and cinnamaldehyde (42.37%). CC-EO and cinnamaldehyde exhibited anti-tyrosinase activities; however, cis-2-methoxycinnamic acid did not demonstrate tyrosinase inhibitory activity. In murine B16 melanoma cells stimulated with α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH), CC-EO and cinnamaldehyde not only reduced the melanin content and tyrosinase activity of the cells but also down-regulated tyrosinase expression without exhibiting cytotoxicity. Moreover, CC-EO and cinnamaldehyde decreased thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) levels and restored glutathione (GSH) and catalase activity in the α-MSH-stimulated B16 cells. These results demonstrate that CC-EO and its major component, cinnamaldehyde, possess potent anti-tyrosinase and anti-melanogenic activities that are coupled with antioxidant properties. Therefore, CC-EO may be a good source of skin-whitening agents and may have potential as an antioxidant in the future development of complementary and alternative medicine-based aromatherapy.

  11. Screening for cardiovascular safety: a structure-activity approach for guiding lead selection of melanin concentrating hormone receptor 1 antagonists.

    PubMed

    Kym, Philip R; Souers, Andrew J; Campbell, Thomas J; Lynch, John K; Judd, Andrew S; Iyengar, Rajesh; Vasudevan, Anil; Gao, Ju; Freeman, Jennifer C; Wodka, Dariusz; Mulhern, Mathew; Zhao, Gang; Wagaw, Seble H; Napier, James J; Brodjian, Sevan; Dayton, Brian D; Reilly, Regina M; Segreti, Jason A; Fryer, Ryan M; Preusser, Lee C; Reinhart, Glenn A; Hernandez, Lisa; Marsh, Kennan C; Sham, Hing L; Collins, Christine A; Polakowski, James S

    2006-04-06

    An inactin-anesthetized rat cardiovascular (CV) assay was employed in a screening mode to triage multiple classes of melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 (MCHr1) antagonists. Lead identification was based on a compound profile producing high drug concentration in both plasma (>40 microM) and brain (>20 microg/g) with <15% change in cardiovascular endpoints. As a result of these stringent requirements, lead optimization activities on multiple classes of MCHr1 antagonists were terminated. After providing evidence that the cardiovascular liabilities were not a function of MCHr1 antagonism, continued screening identified the chromone-substituted aminopiperidine amides as a class of MCHr1 antagonists that demonstrated a safe cardiovascular profile at high drug concentrations in both plasma and brain. The high incidence of adverse cardiovascular effects associated with an array of MCHr1 antagonists of significant chemical diversity, combined with the stringent safety requirements for antiobesity drugs, highlight the importance of incorporating cardiovascular safety assessment early in the lead selection process.

  12. Cloning of a novel G protein-coupled receptor, SLT, a subtype of the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor.

    PubMed

    Mori, M; Harada, M; Terao, Y; Sugo, T; Watanabe, T; Shimomura, Y; Abe, M; Shintani, Y; Onda, H; Nishimura, O; Fujino, M

    2001-05-25

    A DNA fragment encoding an amino acid sequence possessing common features to the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily was found in the human genomic sequence, and from this information, the full-length cDNA of a novel GPCR, designated SLT, was cloned from the human hippocampus cDNA library. SLT showed the highest homology to the melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) receptor, SLC-1 (31.5% identity), and to a lesser extent, to the somatostatin (SST) receptor subtypes. MCH exhibited agonistic behavior when applied to the SLT-expressing CHO cells at subnanomolar doses whereas more than 200 known peptides, including SST and cortistatin, did not. These results indicated that MCH is the cognate ligand of the SLT receptor and that this newly cloned GPCR is the second subtype of the MCH receptor. Quantitative polymerase