Tyrosinase-targeting gallacetophenone inhibits melanogenesis in melanocytes and human skin-equivalents

Ji Young Lee, Jooyun Lee, Daejin Min, Juewon Kim, Hyoung June Kim, Kyoung Tai No

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Demands for safe depigmentation compounds are constantly increasing in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry, since the numerous relevant compounds reported to date have shown undesirable side effects or low anti-melanogenic effects. In this study, we reported three novel inhibitors of tyrosinase, which is the key enzyme in melanogenesis, identified using docking-based high throughput virtual screening of an in-house natural compound library followed by mushroom tyrosinase inhibition assay. Of the three compounds, gallacetophenone showed high anti-melanogenic effect in both human epidermal melanocytes and a 3D human skin model, MelanoDerm. The inhibitory effect of gallacetophenone on tyrosinase was elucidated by computational molecular modeling at the atomic level. Binding of gallacetophenone to the active site of tyrosinase was found to be stabilized by hydrophobic interactions with His367, Ile368, and Val377, hydrogen bonding with Ser380 and a water molecule bridging the copper ions. Thus, our results strongly suggested gallacetophenone as an anti-melanogenic ingredient that inhibits tyrosinase.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3144
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.

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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