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Arch Dermatol Res. 1982;272(1-2):103-15.

The effect of cysteine on oxidation of tyrosine, dopa, and cysteinyldopas.


The influence of cysteine on the oxidation of tyrosine, dopa, and monocysteinyldopas by mushroom tyrosinase was reexamined. During oxidation of tyrosine in the presence of cysteine the concentration of dopa increased slowly, whereas the concentration of cysteinyldopas increased more rapidly. When the concentration of cysteine decreased the cysteinyldopas were rapidly consumed and dopa concentrations increased sharply. Experiments on the oxidation of dopa by tyrosinase in the presence of cysteine showed that this thiol does not inhibit the oxidation. Dopa concentrations decreased more rapidly in the presence of cysteine because cysteine addition to dopaquinone prevented reformation of dopa from dopaquinone. Both 2-S-cysteinyldopa and 5-S-cysteinyldopa are substrates for tyrosinase. The oxidation of cysteinyldopas was inhibited at high cysteine concentrations. The greater part of 2,5-S,S-dicysteinyldopa formed during the oxidation of monocysteinyldopas in the presence of cysteine is derived from 5-S-cysteinyldopa, which is a better substrate for tyrosinase than 2-S-cysteinyldopa. The fact that cysteine binds more rapidly to 5-S-cysteinyldopaquinone than to 2-S-cysteinyldopaquinone further stresses the importance of 5-S-cysteinyldopa in the formation of 2,5-S,S-dicysteinyldopa. Oxidation of dopa in the presence of cysteine and glutathione or methionine showed that glutathione is added to dopaquinone but less rapidly than cysteine. Methionine showed insignificant addition to dopaquinone. When dopa or 5-OH-dopa is added to an incubate of cysteinyldopa and tyrosinase the oxidation of cysteinyldopa is accelerated owing to oxidation of cysteinyldopa by dopaquinone or 5-OH-dopaquinone.

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