Marliolide derivative induces melanosome degradation via nrf2/p62-mediated autophagy

Cheong Yong Yun, Nahyun Choi, Jae Un Lee, Eun Jung Lee, Ji Young Kim, Won Jun Choi, Sang Ho Oh, Jong Hyuk Sung

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which is linked to autophagy regulation and melanogenesis regulation, is activated by marliolide. In this study, we investigated the effect of a marliolide derivative on melanosome degradation through the autophagy pathway. The effect of the marliolide derivative on melanosome degradation was investigated in α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-treated melanocytes, melanosome-incorporated keratinocyte, and ultraviolet (UV)B-exposed HRM-2 mice (melanin-possessing hairless mice). The marliolide derivative, 5-methyl3-tetradecylidene-dihydro-furan-2-one (DMF02), decreased melanin pigmentation by melanosome degradation in α-MSH-treated melanocytes and melanosome-incorporated keratinocytes, evidenced by premelanosome protein (PMEL) expression, but did not affect melanogenesis-associated proteins. The UVB-induced hyperpigmentation in HRM-2 mice was also reduced by a topical application of DMF02. DMF02 activated Nrf2 and induced autophagy in vivo, evidenced by decreased PMEL in microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B light chain 3B (LC3)-II-expressed areas. DMF02 also induced melanosome degradation via autophagy in vitro, and DMF02-induced melanosome degradation was recovered by chloroquine (CQ), which is a lysosomal inhibitor. In addition, Nrf2 silencing by siRNA attenuated the DMF02-induced melanosome degradation via the suppression of p62. DMF02 induced melanosome degradation in melanocytes and keratinocytes by regulating autophagy via Nrf2-p62 activation. Therefore, Nrf2 activator could be a promising therapeutic agent for reducing hyperpigmentation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3995
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 2

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This study was supported by the Start-up Commercialization Project (S10348658) from Small and Medium Business Administration of Korea and by a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine (6-2016-0139).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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