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Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2013 Feb;34(2):289-94. doi: 10.1038/aps.2012.134. Epub 2012 Nov 5.

[6]-Shogaol inhibits melanogenesis in B16 mouse melanoma cells through activation of the ERK pathway.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.



To investigate the effect of [6]-shogaol, an active ingredient in ginger, on melanogenesis and the underlying mechanisms.


B16F10 mouse melanoma cells were tested. Cell viability was determined with the MTT assay. Melanin content and tyrosinase activity were analyzed with a spectrophotometer. The protein expression of tyrosinase and microphthalmia associated transcription factor (MITF), as well as phosphorylated or total ERK1/2 and Akt were measured using Western blot.


Treatment of the cells with [6]-shogaol (1, 5, 10 μmol/L) reduced the melanin content in a concentration-dependent manner. [6]-Shogaol (5 and 10 μmol/L) significantly decreased the intracellular tyrosinase activity, and markedly suppressed the expression levels of tyrosinase and MITF proteins in the cells. Furthermore, [6]-shogaol (10 μmol/L) activated ERK, which was known to negatively regulate melanin synthesis in these cells. Pretreatment with the specific ERK pathway inhibitor PD98059 (20 μmol/L) greatly attenuated the inhibition of melanin synthesis by [6]-shogaol (10 μmol/L).


The results demonstrate that [6]-shogaol inhibits melanogenesis in B16F10 mouse melanoma cells via activating the ERK pathway.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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