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J Dermatol Sci. 2009 Feb;53(2):140-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2008.08.017. Epub 2008 Nov 17.

Effect of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) on melanogenic protein expression in murine B16 melanoma.

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Department of Applied Biological Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, Shizuoka University, 836 Ohya, Shizuoka, 422-8529, Japan.



Increased production and accumulation of melanin leads to various hyperpigmentation disorders. Melanin synthesis is regulated by melanogenic proteins such as tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-1 and -2, and their transcription factors.


In this study, we assessed the effects of PQQ on melanogenic protein expression of murine B16 melanoma cells.


We assessed melanin production of PQQ-treated B16 melanoma cells. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of PQQ on the activity of melanogenic enzymes and their expression using Western blot and semi-quantitative RT-PCR analyses.


In the present study, PQQ inhibited melanin synthesis in cultured melanoma cells stimulated by either alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) or 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX). To elucidate the mechanism of the effect of PQQ on melanogenesis, we performed Western blotting for melanogenic proteins, such as tyrosinase, TRP-1, and TRP-2. PQQ inhibited tyrosinase expression, however, it did not inhibit TRP-2 expression. Used as the stimulant for melanogenesis, both alpha-MSH and IBMX gave the same results for melanogenic protein expression. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis showed that the depigmentation effect of PQQ might be due to the inhibition of tyrosinase gene transcription but not the inhibition of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (Mitf).


This report indicates that PQQ is a possible anti-melanogenic agent and might be effective against hyperpigmentation disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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