Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Endocrinol. 2005 Nov;187(2):293-302.

A novel mechanism in control of human pigmentation by {beta}-melanocyte-stimulating hormone and 7-tetrahydrobiopterin.

Author information

  • 1Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Bradford, Bradford BD7 1DP, UK.


The human skin holds the full machinery for pro-opiomelanocortin processing. The alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH)/melanocortin-1-receptor cascade has been implicated as a major player via the cAMP signal in the control of melanogenesis. Only very recently the beta-endorphin/mu-opiate receptor signal has been added to the list of regulators of melanocyte dendricity and melanin formation. In this context it was reported that (6R)-l-erythro-5,6,7,8-tetrahydrobiopterin (6BH(4)) can act as an allosteric inhibitor of tyrosinase, the key enzyme in melanogenesis, and this inhibition is reversible by both alpha- and beta-MSH. It was also shown earlier that 7BH(4), the isomer of 6BH(4), is twice as active in this inhibition reaction. However, as yet it is not known whether 7BH(4) is indeed present in loco in the melanosome. We here provide evidence that this isomer is present in this organelle in a concentration range up to 50 x 10(-6) M. Determination of beta-MSH in melanosomal extracts yielded 10 pg/mg protein. Moreover, we demonstrate reactivation of the 7BH(4)/tyrosinase inhibitor complex by beta-MSH, whereas alpha-MSH failed to do so. Furthermore, we show intra-melanosomal l-dopa formation from dopachrome by 7BH(4) in a concentration range up to 134 x 10(-6) M. Based on these results, we propose a new receptor-independent mechanism in the control of tyrosinase/melanogenesis by beta-MSH and the pterin 7BH(4).

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center