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Sample records for melanin pigmentation comparison

  1. Melanin pigmented solar absorbing surfaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallas, J.M.; Eisner, M.

    1980-01-01

    Selectivity enhancement is shown to result for melanin, a black biopolymer pigment, for sufficiently low sample density. The effect is proposed to follow from a consideration of the evanescent waves associated with the total internal reflection phenomenon. A relationship is discussed among powder density, pH and the paramagnetic properties of melanin; this relationship is shown to be consistent with, and offer support to an amino-acid side group proposed earlier as part of the melanin structure. A brief discussion is also presented on the optical properties of melanin and the relative importance of quinhydrone, a change transfer complex believed to exist in the polymeric structure of melanin.

  2. Clinical study on the removal of gingival melanin pigmentation: comparison between Nd:YAG laser ablation and mechanical abrasion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lopes, Luis Mario de Melo

    2002-01-01

    Melanin pigmentation occurs as a result of excessive deposition of melanin, produced by the melanocytes present in the basal layer of the epithelium. This study compares clinical parameters such as inflammation and/or hemorrhage, healing process and re-pigmentation, caused by the Nd:YAG laser ablation and the mechanical abrasion of the melanin, by means of photographic images, taken during the first 30 days after the treatment. The patients comfort was monitored during the first ten days after the treatment using the method of the Visual Analog Scale to measure the pain. Six patients with gingival melanin pigmentation were selected. The left upper gingival quadrant was treated with the Nd:YAG laser using 125 mJ per pulse and 20 Hz, the right upper gingival quadrant received mechanical abrasion and the lower quadrants served for control. Both techniques did not result in inflammation and/or hemorrhage. The healing process was slower with the laser. Using mechanical abrasion, ali patients showed remaining pigmentation or re-pigmentation of varying intensity after a period of 30 days. With the laser 50 % of the patients did not show any re-pigmentation after this period. The pain analysis showed that the pain sensed 24 hours after the treatment with the laser is higher than using mechanical abrasion. (author)

  3. Renal cell carcinoma with melanin pigment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shetty, Jayaprakash; Chandrika; Laxman, Prabhu

    2010-01-01

    The incidence of renal cell carcinoma has been steadily increasing. There are several morphological types of renal cell carcinoma. Recognizing histologic patterns of renal cell carcinoma is important for correct diagnosis and subsequent medical care for the patient. Melanotic tumors in the kidney are very rare. Here, we present an unusual case of renal cell carcinoma with melanin pigment. PMID:20877613

  4. Seperation, identification and analysis of pigment (melanin ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nine strains among 180 Streptomyces isolates produce a diffusible dark brown pigment on both peptone-yeast extract agar and synthetic tyrosine-agar. They also show the positive reaction to Ltyrosine or L-dopa substrates. The pigment has been referred to be as merely as dark brown watersoluble pigment, as melanoid or ...

  5. Melanin photosensitizes ultraviolet light (UVC) DNA damage in pigmented cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huselton, C.A.; Hill, H.Z.

    1990-01-01

    Melanins, pigments of photoprotection and camouflage, are very photoreactive and can both absorb and emit active oxygen species. Nevertheless, black skinned individuals rarely develop skin cancer and melanin is assumed to act as a solar screen. Since DNA is the target for solar carcinogenesis, the effect of melanin on Ultraviolet (UV)-induced thymine lesions was examined in mouse melanoma and carcinoma cells that varied in melanin content. Cells prelabeled with 14C-dThd were irradiated with UVC; DNA was isolated, purified, degraded to bases by acid hydrolysis and analyzed by HPLC. Thymine dimers were detected in all of the extracts of irradiated cells. Melanotic and hypomelanotic but not mammary carcinoma cell DNA from irradiated cells contained hydrophilic thymine derivatives. The quantity of these damaged bases was a function of both the UVC dose and the cellular melanin content. One such derivative was identified by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy as thymine glycol. The other appears to be derived from thymine glycol by further oxidation during acid hydrolysis of the DNA. The finding of oxidative DNA damage in melanin-containing cells suggests that melanin may be implicated in the etiology of caucasian skin cancer, particularly melanoma. Furthermore, the projected decrease in stratospheric ozone could impact in an unanticipated deleterious manner on dark-skinned individuals

  6. Melanin photosensitizes ultraviolet light (UVC) DNA damage in pigmented cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huselton, C.A.; Hill, H.Z. (New Jersey Medical School, Newark (USA))

    1990-01-01

    Melanins, pigments of photoprotection and camouflage, are very photoreactive and can both absorb and emit active oxygen species. Nevertheless, black skinned individuals rarely develop skin cancer and melanin is assumed to act as a solar screen. Since DNA is the target for solar carcinogenesis, the effect of melanin on Ultraviolet (UV)-induced thymine lesions was examined in mouse melanoma and carcinoma cells that varied in melanin content. Cells prelabeled with 14C-dThd were irradiated with UVC; DNA was isolated, purified, degraded to bases by acid hydrolysis and analyzed by HPLC. Thymine dimers were detected in all of the extracts of irradiated cells. Melanotic and hypomelanotic but not mammary carcinoma cell DNA from irradiated cells contained hydrophilic thymine derivatives. The quantity of these damaged bases was a function of both the UVC dose and the cellular melanin content. One such derivative was identified by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy as thymine glycol. The other appears to be derived from thymine glycol by further oxidation during acid hydrolysis of the DNA. The finding of oxidative DNA damage in melanin-containing cells suggests that melanin may be implicated in the etiology of caucasian skin cancer, particularly melanoma. Furthermore, the projected decrease in stratospheric ozone could impact in an unanticipated deleterious manner on dark-skinned individuals.

  7. Ovarian Sex Cord-stromal Tumors With Melanin Pigment: Report of a Previously Undescribed Phenomenon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Jennifer; McCluggage, W Glenn

    2017-11-14

    We report 2 ovarian sex cord-stromal tumors, a luteinized adult granulosa cell tumor and a cellular fibroma, with melanin pigment. These occurred in 44 and 61-yr-old patients, respectively. As far as we are aware, melanin pigment has not been described previously in an ovarian sex cord-stromal tumor, although it has been reported in a testicular Sertoli cell tumor. We review ovarian neoplasms containing melanin pigment.

  8. Molecular preservation of the pigment melanin in fossil melanosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindgren, Johan; Uvdal, Per; Sjövall, Peter; Nilsson, Dan E; Engdahl, Anders; Schultz, Bo Pagh; Thiel, Volker

    2012-05-08

    Fossil feathers, hairs and eyes are regularly preserved as carbonized traces comprised of masses of micrometre-sized bodies that are spherical, oblate or elongate in shape. For a long time, these minute structures were regarded as the remains of biofilms of keratinophilic bacteria, but recently they have been reinterpreted as melanosomes; that is, colour-bearing organelles. Resolving this fundamental difference in interpretation is crucial: if endogenous then the fossil microbodies would represent a significant advancement in the fields of palaeontology and evolutionary biology given, for example, the possibility to reconstruct integumentary colours and plumage colour patterns. It has previously been shown that certain trace elements occur in fossils as organometallic compounds, and hence may be used as biomarkers for melanin pigments. Here we expand this knowledge by demonstrating the presence of molecularly preserved melanin in intimate association with melanosome-like microbodies isolated from an argentinoid fish eye from the early Eocene of Denmark.

  9. Isolation and characterization of melanin pigment from yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiujun; Wu, Biao; Zhou, Liqing; Liu, Zhihong; Dong, Yinghui; Yang, Aiguo

    2017-04-01

    Melanin is one of the essential compounds in the pigments of molluscan shells. However, the effects of melanin on color variations in molluscs are largely unknown. Our previous study suggests that Yesso scallop Patinopecten yessoensis might contain melanin pigment in the dark brown shell. We therefore isolated melanin from the pigmented shells using hydrochloric acid method, and characterized the types of melanin pigments by spectrophotometry. The purified melanin, which was verified by spectrophotometry scanning and HPLC analysis, showed the typical characteristics of melanin absorption spectra and HPLC chromatograms. The contents of pheomelanin and eumelanin in pigmented shells, which were determined by the linear standard curve of melanin at 405 nm and 350 nm absorbance, were 48.23 ± 1.350 and 157.65 ± 5.905 mg, respectively. The present results indicate that the brown-pigmented shells of scallops comprise approximately 76.6% of eumelanin and 23.4% of pheomelanin, which supports the presence of eumelanin-rich pigment in scallop shells. Therefore, the combination of hydrochloric acid extraction and spectrophotometric quantification is a rapid and efficient method to isolate and quantify melanin in shells. This will facilitate the melanin studies related to shell color polymorphism and the selective breeding of bivalves with different shell colors.

  10. Odontogenic Cyst with Verrucous Proliferation Exhibiting Melanin Pigmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soni, Krupa Mehta; Ahmed, Junaid; Bhat, Keshava; Kottieth Pallam, Nandita; Lewis, Amitha Juanita

    2017-01-01

    Verrucous proliferation arising from odontogenic cysts is a rare entity. We report an unusual case of an infected odontogenic cyst with verrucous proliferation and melanin pigmentation in a 13-year-old male patient who presented with an intraoral swelling in relation to impacted teeth 26 and 27. The enucleated lesion was diagnosed as an odontogenic keratocyst and the patient died within two years of presentation due to multiple recurrences. The clinical, radiological, and microscopic features of the lesion are presented with an attempt to discuss the etiopathogenesis. The case hereby reported is uncommon with only eight cases reported in the literature. PMID:28409045

  11. Screening of Auricularia auricula strains for strong production ability of melanin pigments

    OpenAIRE

    ZOU, Yu; MA, Kun

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Melanin pigments have great application value and development potential in food industry to use as nature functional food colorants. In initial study, twenty-two Auricularia auricula strains were screened for stronger production ability of melanin pigments by solid culture. Three A. auricula strains (RF201, QD2 and QD6) with higher pigment production capacity were selected for further study through submerged culture supplementing 1 g/L l-tyrosine. The maximal pigment yields of A. aur...

  12. Clinical study on the removal of gingival melanin pigmentation: comparison between Nd:YAG laser ablation and mechanical abrasion; Estudo clinico comparativo entre as tecnicas de despigmentacao melanica gengival: laser neodimio (1064 nm) e gengivoabrasao

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lopes, Luis Mario de Melo

    2002-07-01

    Melanin pigmentation occurs as a result of excessive deposition of melanin, produced by the melanocytes present in the basal layer of the epithelium. This study compares clinical parameters such as inflammation and/or hemorrhage, healing process and re-pigmentation, caused by the Nd:YAG laser ablation and the mechanical abrasion of the melanin, by means of photographic images, taken during the first 30 days after the treatment. The patients comfort was monitored during the first ten days after the treatment using the method of the Visual Analog Scale to measure the pain. Six patients with gingival melanin pigmentation were selected. The left upper gingival quadrant was treated with the Nd:YAG laser using 125 mJ per pulse and 20 Hz, the right upper gingival quadrant received mechanical abrasion and the lower quadrants served for control. Both techniques did not result in inflammation and/or hemorrhage. The healing process was slower with the laser. Using mechanical abrasion, ali patients showed remaining pigmentation or re-pigmentation of varying intensity after a period of 30 days. With the laser 50 % of the patients did not show any re-pigmentation after this period. The pain analysis showed that the pain sensed 24 hours after the treatment with the laser is higher than using mechanical abrasion. (author)

  13. Screening of Auricularia auricula strains for strong production ability of melanin pigments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu ZOU

    Full Text Available Abstract Melanin pigments have great application value and development potential in food industry to use as nature functional food colorants. In initial study, twenty-two Auricularia auricula strains were screened for stronger production ability of melanin pigments by solid culture. Three A. auricula strains (RF201, QD2 and QD6 with higher pigment production capacity were selected for further study through submerged culture supplementing 1 g/L l-tyrosine. The maximal pigment yields of A. auricula RF201, QD2 and QD6 were 493.9, 367.6 and 318.5 mg/L, respectively. Among three strains, A. auricula RF201 possessed the strongest production ability of melanin pigments. The present study indicated that A. auricula RF201 could be used as potential excellent producer of melanin pigments.

  14. Wavelength-dependent optical properties of melanosomes in retinal pigmented epithelium and their changes with melanin bleaching: a numerical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Weiye; Zhang, Lei; Ness, Steve; Yi, Ji

    2017-09-01

    In this paper, we present the first numerical study on full metrics of wavelength-dependent optical properties of melanosomes in retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells. T-matrix method was used to simulate the spheroidal shapes of mature melanosomes, and the complex refractive index was calculated by a subtractive Kramers-Kronig relation for melanin. The validity of the method was first confirmed by Mie theory, and corroborated by a comparison between visible light and near infrared (NIR) optical coherence tomography (OCT) on human retinal imaging. We also studied the changes of melanosome optical properties due to melanin bleaching by numerically reducing the absorption of melanin. This study implies a unique approach to detect melanin changes specifically in RPE by a spectroscopic contrast of optical coherence tomography.

  15. Purification and physiochemical characterization of melanin pigment from Klebsiella sp. GSK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajjan, Shrishailnath; Kulkarni, Guruprasad; Yaligara, Veeranagouda; Kyoung, Lee; Karegoudar, T B

    2010-11-01

    The bacterium capable of producing melanin pigment in the presence of L-tyrosine was isolated from crop field soil sample and identified as Klebsiella sp. GSK based on morphological, biochemical and 16S rDNA sequencing. The polymerization of this pigment occurs outside the cell wall, which has granular structure as melanin ghosts. The chemical characterization of pigment particles showed acid resistant, alkali soluble, insoluble in most of the organic solvents and water. The pigment gets bleached when subjected to the action of oxidants as well as reductants. This pigment was precipitated with FeCl3, ammoniacal silver nitrate and potassium ferricynide. The pigment showed high absorbance in the UV region and decreased absorbance when shifted towards the visible region. The melanin pigment was further charecterized by FT-IR and EPR spectroscopy. A key enzyme 4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid hydroxylase catalyzes the formation of melanin pigment by hydroxylation of L-tyrosine was detected in this bacterium. Inhibition studies with specific inhibitor kojic acid and KCN proved that melanin is synthesized by DOPA-Melanin pathway.

  16. Macular pigment and melanin in age-related maculopathy in a general population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berendschot, Tos T. J. M.; Willemse-Assink, Jacqueline J. M.; Bastiaanse, Mieke; de Jong, Paulus T. V. M.; van Norren, Dirk

    2002-01-01

    It has been suggested that macular pigment (MP) and melanin may protect against age-related maculopathy (ARM). To check this, MP and melanin optical density were measured in a random population-based sample of subjects 55 years of age or older. Spectral fundus reflectance of the fovea was measured

  17. Blood Supply--Susceptible Formation of Melanin Pigment in Hair Bulb Melanocytes of Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shogo Maeda, MD

    2015-03-01

    Conclusions: Melanin pigment formation in the hair bulb melanocytes appeared to be susceptible to the blood supply, and melanocytosis was promoted in the follicles and in the epidermis of Kitl-Tg C57BL/6 mice.

  18. Oral melanin pigmentation in 467 Thai and Malaysian people with special emphasis on smoker's melanosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedin, C A; Axéll, T

    1991-01-01

    At the faculties of dentistry in Chiang Mai, Thailand (CM), and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KL), 234 and 233 consecutive out-patients were interviewed concerning tobacco and chewing habits and examined for the presence of oral melanin pigmentation. Tobacco was regularly used by 32% and 28% of the studied populations in CM and KL. Cigarette smoking was the predominant habit, but the chewing of betel and tea leaves (miang) and the smoking of banana leaf cigars (khi yo) was also registered. The genetically acquired pigmentation dominated. Although nearly all non-tobacco users in the Malay and Indian populations had oral melanin pigmentation, it was found that tobacco smokers had significantly more oral surfaces pigmented than non-tobacco users. Among Thais, the percentage of pigmented individuals was significantly higher among tobacco smokers. It was concluded that tobacco smoking stimulates oral melanocytes to a higher melanin production also in dark-skinned ethnic groups.

  19. The nanomechanical role of melanin granules in the retinal pigment epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarna, Michal; Olchawa, Magdalena; Zadlo, Andrzej; Wnuk, Dawid; Sarna, Tadeusz

    2017-04-01

    Nanomechanical properties of cells and tissues, in particular their elasticity, play an important role in different physiological and pathological processes. Recently, we have demonstrated that melanin granules dramatically modify nanomechanical properties of melanoma cells making them very stiff and, as a result, less aggressive. Although the mechanical effect of melanin granules was demonstrated in pathological cells, it was never studied in the case of normal cells. In this work, we analyzed the impact of melanin granules on nanomechanical properties of primary retinal pigment epithelium tissue fragments isolated from porcine eyes. The obtained results clearly show that melanin granules are responsible for the exceptional nanomechanical properties of the tissue. Our findings suggest that melanin granules in the retinal pigment epithelium may play an important role in sustaining the stiffness of this single cell layer, which functions as a natural mechanical barrier separating the retina from the choroid. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Melanin-Like Pigment Synthesis by Soil Bacillus weihenstephanensis Isolates from Northeastern Poland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justyna M Drewnowska

    Full Text Available Although melanin is known for protecting living organisms from harmful physical and chemical factors, its synthesis is rarely observed among endospore-forming Bacillus cereus sensu lato. Here, for the first time, we reported that psychrotolerant Bacillus weihenstephanensis from Northeastern Poland can produce melanin-like pigment. We assessed physicochemical properties of the pigment and the mechanism of its synthesis in relation to B. weihenstephanensis genotypic and phenotypic characteristics. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spectroscopy displayed a stable free radical signal of the pigment from environmental isolates which are consistent with the commercial melanin. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR and physicochemical tests indicated the phenolic character of the pigment. Several biochemical tests showed that melanin-like pigment synthesis by B. weihenstephanensis was associated with laccase activity. The presence of the gene encoding laccase was confirmed by the next generation whole genome sequencing of one B. weihenstephanensis strain. Biochemical (API 20E and 50CHB tests and genetic (Multi-locus Sequence Typing, 16S rRNA sequencing, and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis characterization of the isolates revealed their close relation to the psychrotrophic B. weihenstephanensis DSMZ 11821 reference strain. The ability to synthesize melanin-like pigment by soil B. weihenstephanensis isolates and their psychrotrophic character seemed to be a local adaptation to a specific niche. Detailed genetic and biochemical analyses of melanin-positive environmental B. weihenstephanensis strains shed some light on the evolution and ecological adaptation of these bacteria. Moreover, our study raised new biotechnological possibilities for the use of water-soluble melanin-like pigment naturally produced by B. weihenstephanensis as an alternative to commercial non-soluble pigment.

  1. Physiological oral melanin pigmentation in a South African sample: A clinical study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masilana, Aubrey; Khammissa, Razia A G; Lemmer, Johan; Feller, Liviu

    2017-11-01

    Physiological oral melanin pigmentation is genetically determined, more frequently affecting people with darker skin. It can involve any oral mucosal site, but predominantly the gingiva. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence and to characterize the clinical features of physiological oral melanin pigmentation in a South African population sample. A trainee in the discipline of periodontology and oral medicine interviewed all participants and examined the oral soft tissues. The diagnosis of physiological oral melanin pigmentation was based on clinical findings and on the history reported by the patient. A predetermined list of exclusion criteria was applied. The study population comprised 430 participants, of whom 319 (74%) were black, 55 (13%) Indian, 54 (12.5%) white, and two (0.5%) were mixed race. A total of 182 participants were diagnosed with physiological oral melanin pigmentation. The overall prevalence of physiological oral melanin pigmentation in the ethnically-mixed study population was 42%: 54% of blacks were affected, 16% of Indians, and 21% of whites. The female (101): male (81) ratio was 1.2:1; the gingiva was the site most frequently affected (73%). The total number of oral mucosal sites with physiological oral melanin pigmentation in the study population was 263; 68% of participants had one, 22% had two, 7% had three, and 3% had four sites affected. There was no significant association between the number of sites affected and sex or age. In this study of a South African population sample, the prevalence of physiological oral melanin pigmentation was higher in blacks than in Indians or whites, and the gingiva was the oral mucosal site most frequently affected. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  2. Melanin pigmentation gives rise to black spots on the wings of the silkworm Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Katsuhiko; Yoshikawa, Manabu; Fujii, Takeshi; Tabunoki, Hiroko; Yokoyama, Takeshi

    2016-01-01

    Several mutants of the silkworm Bombyx mori show body color variation at the larval and adult stages. The Wild wing spot (Ws) mutant exhibits a phenotype in which the moth has a spot on the apex of the forewing. In this study, we investigated this trait to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the color pattern. Microscopy of the black spot of Ws mutants showed that the pigment emerges in the scales of the wing, and accumulation of the pigment becomes strong just before eclosion. We next examined the relationship between the black spot of the Ws mutant and melanin. The spectrophotometry using alkaline extracts from the black spot in the wing showed the highest absorption intensity at 405nm, which is the absorbance wavelength of melanin. Moreover, inhibition assays for enzymes implicated in melanin synthesis using 3-iodo-l-tyrosine (a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor) and L-α-methyl-DOPA (a dopa decarboxylase inhibitor) revealed that treatment with each inhibitor disrupted the pigmentation of the wing of the Ws mutant. On the basis of these results, we analyzed the expression pattern of five genes involved in melanin formation, and found that the expression levels of yellow and laccase2 were increased just before pigmentation, whereas those of DDC, tan, and TH were increased when the apex of the wing turned black. These results showed that melanin pigmentation gives rise to the black spot on the wing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Applying photoacoustics to quantification of melanin concentration in retinal pigment epithelium (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shu, Xiao; Zhang, Hao F.; Liu, Wenzhong

    2016-03-01

    The melanin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) protects retina and other ocular tissues by photo-screening and acting as antioxidant and free radical scavenger. It helps maintain normal visual functions since human eye is subjected to lifelong high oxygen stress and photon exposure. Loss of the RPE melanin weakens the protection mechanism and jeopardizes ocular health. Local decrease in the RPE melanin concentration is believed to be both a cause and a sign of early-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading blinding disease in developed world. Current technology cannot quantitatively measure the RPE melanin concentration which might be a promising marker in early AMD screening. Photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM), as an emerging optical absorption-based imaging technology, can potentially be applied to measure the RPE melanin concentration if the dependence of the detectable photoacoustic (PA) signal amplitudes on the RPE melanin concentrations is verified. In this study, we tested the feasibility of using PA signal ratio from RPE melanin and the nearby retinal blood vessels as an indicator of the RPE melanin variation. A novel whole eye optical model was designed and Monte Carlo modeling of light (MCML) was employed. We examined the influences on quantification from PAOM axial resolution, the depth and diameter of the retinal blood vessel, and the RPE thickness. The results show that the scheme is robust to individual histological and illumination variations. This study suggests that PAOM is capable of quantitatively measuring the RPE melanin concentration in vivo.

  4. Sexual dimorphism in melanin pigmentation, feather coloration and its heritability in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Saino

    Full Text Available Melanin is the main pigment in animal coloration and considerable variation in the concentrations of the two melanin forms (pheo- and eumlanin in pigmented tissues exists among populations and individuals. Melanin-based coloration is receiving increasing attention particularly in socio-sexual communication contexts because the melanocortin system has been hypothesized to provide a mechanistic basis for covariation between coloration and fitness traits. However, with few notable exceptions, little detailed information is available on inter-individual and inter-population variation in melanin pigmentation and on its environmental, genetic and ontogenetic components. Here, we investigate melanin-based coloration in an Italian population of a passerine bird, the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica rustica, its sex- and age-related variation, and heritability. The concentrations of eu- and pheomelanin in the throat (brown and belly (white-to-brownish feathers differed between sexes but not according to age. The relative concentration of either melanin (Pheo:Eu differed between sexes in throat but not in belly feathers, and the concentrations in males compared to females were larger in belly than in throat feathers. There were weak correlations between the concentrations of melanins within as well as among plumage regions. Coloration of belly feathers was predicted by the concentration of both melanins whereas coloration of throat feathers was only predicted by pheomelanin in females. In addition, Pheo:Eu predicted coloration of throat feathers in females and that of belly feathers in males. Finally, we found high heritability of color of throat feathers. Melanization was found to differ from that recorded in Hirundo rustica rustica from Scotland or from H. r. erythrogaster from North America. Hence, present results show that pigmentation strategies vary in a complex manner according to sex and plumage region, and also among geographical populations

  5. Thallium-201: Autoradiography in pigmented mice and melanin-binding in vitro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tjaelve, H.; Nilsson, M.; Larsson, B. (Uppsala Univ. (Sweden))

    1982-01-01

    Autoradiography with /sup 201/Tl/sup +/ in C57Bl mice showed a strong labelling of the eye melanin and of pigmented hair follicles. An analysis of the affinity of thallium for pigment from cow eyes indicated a binding to three groups of sites and showed a marked sensitivity to the addition of H/sup +/-ions. The results are consistent with the conception that a binding of thallium occurs to the free carboxyl groups of the melanin and that the structure of the polymer has a marked influence on the affinity. Similar results have previously been obtained with other cations. There was no indication that the strong in vivo affinity of thallium to melanin is due to a more firm binding than for other cations which do not localize on melanin in vivo. Instead, the ability of cations to pass the melanocyte membranes and reach the melanin granules is probably decisive for whether a melanin-binding will take place in vivo. Toxic effects on the eye and epilation are symptoms of thallium intoxication which may be related to its melanin-binding. The fate of /sup 201/Tl/sup +/ in some other tissues is also described and discussed.

  6. Melanin pigments in the melanocytic nevus regress spontaneously after inactivation by high hydrostatic pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Michiharu; Morimoto, Naoki; Jinno, Chizuru; Mahara, Atsushi; Ogino, Shuichi; Suzuki, Shigehiko; Kusumoto, Kenji; Yamaoka, Tetsuji

    2017-01-01

    We report a novel treatment for giant congenital melanocytic nevi (GCMN) that involves the reuse of resected nevus tissue after high hydrostatic pressurization (HHP). However, the remaining melanin pigments in the inactivated nevus tissue pose a problem; therefore, we performed a long-term observation of the color change of inactivated nevus tissue after HHP. Pressurized nevus specimens (200 MPa group, n = 9) and non-pressurized nevus tissues (control group, n = 9) were subcutaneously implanted into nude mice (BALB/c-nu) and then harvested 3, 6, and 12 months later. Color changes of the nevus specimens were evaluated. In the 200 MPa group, the specimen color gradually regressed and turned white, and brightness values were significantly higher in the 200 MPa group than in the control group after 6 months. This indicated that melanin pigments in the pressurized nevus tissue had spontaneously degraded and regressed. Therefore, it is not necessary to remove melanin pigments in HHP-treated nevus tissue.

  7. Antioxidative role of ocular melanin pigment in the model of lens induced uveitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilgihan, A; Bilgihan, M K; Akata, R F; Aricioğlu, A; Hasanreisoğlu, B

    1995-12-01

    Ocular melanin pigment has antioxidant effect against excess of dispersed light. To investigate whether it has a similar effect in ocular inflammations, we used albino and pigmented guinea pigs and measured retinal glutathione peroxidase activities and lipid peroxide levels (expressed as thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) in a model of lens induced uveitis. Although the increase in the levels of the retinal lipid peroxides were higher in the albino group (204%, p < 0.05), the decrease in the activities of glutathione peroxidase were higher in pigmented guinea pigs (26%, p < 0.005). The results of the study suggest that pigmentless animals are more sensitive to the ocular inflammations, and ocular melanin pigment may act as an endojen antioxidant in lens induced uveitis.

  8. Pigmented epidermal cyst with dense collection of melanin: A rare entity - Report of a case with review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayalakshmy, P S; Subitha, K; Priya, P V; Johnson, Gerald

    2012-05-01

    Epidermal cyst is a very common benign cystic lesion of the skin. It is usual to find ulceration of the lining epithelium, rupture of the cyst wall with chronic inflammation and foreign body giant cell reaction. But, it is very rare to see an epidermal cyst with marked accumulation of melanin pigment. Only a few cases of pigmented epidermal cyst with dense collection of melanin pigment have been published in the literature. Here, we are reporting a case of ruptured epidermal cyst with keratin granuloma formation and showing dense collection of melanin pigment.

  9. Production of melanin pigment from Pseudomonas stutzeri isolated from red seaweed Hypnea musciformis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganesh Kumar, C; Sahu, N; Narender Reddy, G; Prasad, R B N; Nagesh, N; Kamal, A

    2013-10-01

    Hypnea musciformis red seaweed is popularly known to produce carrageenan was collected from the Gulf of Mannar, India. Strain HMGM-7 [MTCC 11712] was isolated from the surface of this seaweed, which was capable of producing an extracellular black-coloured polymeric pigment. Based on phenotypic characterization and 16S rDNA sequencing, the strain HMGM-7 was identified as Pseudomonas stutzeri. Biophysical characterization by UV-visible, FT-IR, EPR and XRD spectroscopic studies confirmed the pigment as melanin. Further chemical characterization showed that it was acid-resistant, alkali-soluble and alkali-insoluble in most of the organic solvents and distilled water. To our knowledge, this is a first report on a marine Pseudomonas stutzeri strain producing significant amounts of melanin of about 6·7 g l(-1) without L-tyrosine supplementation in the sea-water production medium. This investigation reports a marine Pseudomonas stutzeri strain HMGM-7 [MTCC 11712] that produces significant quantities of melanin (6·7 g l(-1) ) in sea-water medium without the supplementation of L-tyrosine. The confirmation of the produced melanin was carried out by various chemical and physical characterization studies. The isolated melanin may find potential application for use in cosmetic and/or pharmaceutical industries. © 2013 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  10. Duration of reappearance of gingival melanin pigmentation after surgical removal - A clinical study

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    Kaur Harjit

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: In dentistry, esthetics has a special place. Although gingival melanin pigmentation does not present a medical problem, clinicians are often faced with a challenge of achieving gingival esthetics. Materials and Methods: A method of de-epithelialization of the pigmented gingiva using Kirkland′s gingivectomy knife is described. Twenty patients who were conscious about their gingival melanin pigmentation were selected. The gingiva of the whole of the arch was abraded until the entire visible pigmentation was removed. Clinical observations for intensity of pigmentation were recorded at baseline and then after surgery at monthly intervals over a period of 9 months according to Dummett-Gupta Oral Pigmentation Index scoring criteria proposed by Dummett C. O. in 1964. Results: The mean gingival melanin pigmentation score came down to 0.407 after 9 months as compared to preoperative score, which was 2.24. No repigmentation occurred in fair-complexioned persons. In persons with wheatish complexion, repigmentation was seen in 85.71% of the cases, but scores came down to 0.38 postoperatively as compared to 2.27 preoperatively. In dark complexioned persons, repigmentation occurred in all cases, but the mean scores were 0.93 as compared to 2.40 preoperatively. The difference between preoperative and postoperative mean scores for each segment was put to statistical analysis by applying paired t test and was found to be significant. Conclusion: As this method has shown statistically significant results, it can be used in patients who are conscious of pigmented gingiva and want an esthetically satisfactory color.

  11. Inhibition of tyrosinase activity and melanine pigmentation by 2-hydroxytyrosol

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    Ryuji Uchida

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available 2-Hydroxytyrosol (2-HT, originally reported as a synthetic compound, was isolated for the first time as a fungal metabolite. 2-HT was found to inhibit mushroom tyrosinase with an IC50 value of 13.0 µmol/L. Furthermore, 2-HT dose-dependently inhibited tyrosinase activity (IC50, 32.5 µmol/L in the cell-free extract of B16 melanoma cells and α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH-stimulated melanin formation in intact B16 melanoma cells.

  12. Pigment Melanin Scavenges Nitric Oxide In Vitro: Possible Relevance to Keloid Formation

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    Julian M. Menter

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently, nitric oxide (NO has been implicated in the formation of keloids, preferentially formed in dark-skinned persons, and we suspected that pigment melanin itself may play a direct role by adsorbing NO. We tested the ability of cuttlefish sepia melanin to scavenge (adsorb NO, generated in situ by 2-(N.N Diethylamino diazeneolate-2-oxide (DEA/NO, through a dialysis membrane. NO was measured as NO2_ and NO3_ by the Griess method and as N2O3 by trapping experiments with the fluorogenic substrate 4,5-diaminofluorescein (DAF-2. Initial NO2_ and NO3_ concentrations were significantly lower in the test dialyzates than in controls. Scavenging of NO was rapid enough to compete with DAF adduct formation. Both analytical methods gave comparable results. Adsorbed NO and/or its oxidized products may undergo interactions with melanin, adsorbed O2, and/or dermal material that may lead to keloid formation.

  13. Melanin pigments in the melanocytic nevus regress spontaneously after inactivation by high hydrostatic pressure.

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    Michiharu Sakamoto

    Full Text Available We report a novel treatment for giant congenital melanocytic nevi (GCMN that involves the reuse of resected nevus tissue after high hydrostatic pressurization (HHP. However, the remaining melanin pigments in the inactivated nevus tissue pose a problem; therefore, we performed a long-term observation of the color change of inactivated nevus tissue after HHP. Pressurized nevus specimens (200 MPa group, n = 9 and non-pressurized nevus tissues (control group, n = 9 were subcutaneously implanted into nude mice (BALB/c-nu and then harvested 3, 6, and 12 months later. Color changes of the nevus specimens were evaluated. In the 200 MPa group, the specimen color gradually regressed and turned white, and brightness values were significantly higher in the 200 MPa group than in the control group after 6 months. This indicated that melanin pigments in the pressurized nevus tissue had spontaneously degraded and regressed. Therefore, it is not necessary to remove melanin pigments in HHP-treated nevus tissue.

  14. Bleaching of melanin pigments. Role of copper ions and hydrogen peroxide in autooxidation and photooxidation of synthetic dopa-melanin.

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    Korytowski, W; Sarna, T

    1990-07-25

    Bleaching of eumelanin has been studied in model systems consisting of synthetic dopa-melanin and various concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, molecular oxygen, and copper(II) ions at neutral and alkaline pH. The data show that at neutral pH, in the dark, metal-ion-free melanin is very resistant to oxidation by hydrogen peroxide. However, the rate of bleaching of melanin, induced by H2O2 is significantly accelerated by illumination from UVA-visible light. Bound-to-melanin copper(II) also accelerates the bleaching of melanin with the efficiency dependent on concentration of H2O2 and oxygen. It suggests possible involvement of melanin-copper complexes in Fenton-like processes. The formation of hydroxyl radicals during melanin bleaching has been concluded on the basis of the electrochemical detection of hydroxylation products of salicylate used as OH scavenger. Redox conversion of bound-to-melanin copper ions was monitored by EPR spectroscopy and direct measurement of melanin-Cu(II) complexes. It has been shown that melanin-copper(I) complexes were readily oxidized by either oxygen or hydrogen peroxide. The data indicate that bleaching of melanin is a complex process with two distinct stages, reversible oxidation of the hydroquinone moieties of melanin followed by irreversible reactions of the monomers that lead to degradation of the melanin polymer.

  15. Melanin pigmented periradicular lesions of extracted teeth: a report of 3 cases and review of the literature.

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    Omoregie, F O; Odukoya, O; Ojo, M A; Saheeb, B D

    2011-09-01

    This article reports 3 cases of melanin pigmented lesions among 75 histologically diagnosed periradicular lesions of extracted teeth. Case 1 was a 25-year old male who presented with one week history of toothache involving a tender carious left mandibular second molar tooth (37), with periapical radiolucency and diagnosed clinically as acute apical periodontitis. The lesion was diagnosed histologically (using Haematoxylin and Eosin) as periapical granuloma, while histochemical examination (using Masson-Fontana technique) showed the presence of round/oval shaped melanin pigmented macrophages (melanophage) in the lesion. Case 2 was a 54-year old male with one week history of toothache associated with tender carious right maxillary first molar tooth (16) with periapical radiolucency. A clinical diagnosis of acute apical periodontitis was made, but histological and histochemical examination showed a melanin pigmented periapical granuloma with spindle shaped melanophage. Case 3 was a 28-year old female who presented with 4 days history of toothache, involving the tender left mandibular first molar tooth (36). The lesion had periapical radiolucency and a clinical diagnosis of acute apical periodontitis. On examination histologically and histochemically, the lesion was diagnosed as an intraosseous melanocytic naevi with dark-brown nests of round naevus cells. In conclusion, this article shows the rarity of melanin pigmented periradicular lesions in the jaws. The cases reported suggest that the trigger for formation of melanin-pigmented cells in the periradicular lesions may be related to the acute phase of the lesions. Further study is recommended to determine if the remnants of the migratory neural crest cells are the precursors of melanin-pigmented cells in the periradicular region.

  16. /sup 125/I-iodinated benzazepines bind to melanin: implications for the noninvasive localization of pigmented melanomas

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    Agui, T.; Bryant, G.; Kebabian, J.W.; Larson, S.; Saavedra, J.M.; Shigematsu, K.; Yamamoto, T.; Yokoyama, K.

    1987-01-01

    Both the 5-R and the 5-S enantiomers of (/sup 125/I)2,3,4,5-tetrahydro-8-iodo-3-methyl-5-phenyl-1H-3-benzazepin-7-ol bind to melanin. The interaction between the 5-R enantiomer and melanin permits visualization of melanomas in mice with a noninvasive imaging procedure. Two lines of evidence suggest that the interaction between iodinated ligands and melanin is not related to the D-1 dopamine receptor, a known target for the 5-R enantiomer: first, melanin binds both enantiomers of the /sup 125/I-iodinated benzazepine while the D-1 receptor binds only the 5-R enantiomer; second, the melanin binding site displays only a 5-fold difference in affinity towards the R-and S-enantiomers of SCH 23390 while the D-1 receptor displays a 100-fold difference in affinity towards these two molecules. Because both enantiomers of the iodinated benzazepine bind to a human pigmented melanoma, we propose that such compounds may be of use in the diagnosis of pigmented melanoma: in addition, we discuss the possible application of these molecules as a supplement to existing technology for the localization of pigmented melanomas.

  17. Blood supply--susceptible formation of melanin pigment in hair bulb melanocytes of mice.

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    Maeda, Shogo; Ueda, Koichi; Yamana, Hidenori; Tashiro-Yamaji, Junko; Ibata, Minenori; Mikura, Ayako; Okada, Masashi; Yasuda, Emi; Shibayama, Yuro; Yoshino, Miya; Kubota, Takahiro; Yoshida, Ryotaro

    2015-03-01

    Allogeneic skin grafts onto C57BL/6 mice are rejected, and the rejected skin is replaced by surrounding skin with black hair. In contrast, syngeneic skin grafts are tolerated, and gray hair grows on the grafts. To explore the mechanism of gray hair growing on the tolerated skin grafts, we prepared full-thickness skin (2-cm square) autografts, 2 (2 cm + 2 cm) horizontal or vertical parallel incisions, and U-shaped (2 cm × 2 cm × 2 cm) flaps with or without pedicle vessels. The grafts, incisions, and flaps were fixed by suturing with string and protected by a transparent bandage. On day 14 after the operation, the bandages were removed to observe the color of the hair growing on the skin. Skin autografts from wild-type or hepatocyte growth factor-transgenic (Tg) C57BL/6 mice survived with gray hair, whereas those from steel factor (Kitl)-Tg C57BL/6 mice survived with black hair. In addition, U-shaped flaps lacking both of the 2 main feeding vessels of wild-type mice had gray hair at the tip of the flaps. Light microscopy after staining with hematoxylin and eosin or dihydroxyphenylalanine showed that the formation of melanin pigment in the follicles, but not in the interadnexal skin, was susceptible to the blood supply. Melanin pigment formation in the hair bulb melanocytes appeared to be susceptible to the blood supply, and melanocytosis was promoted in the follicles and in the epidermis of Kitl-Tg C57BL/6 mice.

  18. Loss of Melanin by Eye Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cells Is Associated with Its Oxidative Destruction in Melanolipofuscin Granules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dontsov, A E; Sakina, N L; Ostrovsky, M A

    2017-08-01

    The effect of superoxide radicals on melanin destruction and degradation of melanosomes isolated from cells of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) of the human eye was studied. We found that potassium superoxide causes destruction of melanin in melanosomes of human and bovine RPE, as well as destruction of melanin from the ink bag of squid, with the formation of fluorescent decay products having an emission maximum at 520-525 nm. The initial kinetics of the accumulation of the fluorescent decay products is linear. Superoxide radicals lead simultaneously to a decrease in the number of melanosomes and to a decrease in concentration of paramagnetic centers in them. Complete degradation of melanosomes leads to the formation of a transparent solution containing dissolved proteins and melanin degradation products that do not exhibit paramagnetic properties. To completely degrade one melanosome of human RPE, 650 ± 100 fmol of superoxide are sufficient. The concentration of paramagnetic centers in a melanolipofuscin granule of human RPE is on average 32.5 ± 10.4% (p < 0.05, 150 eyes) lower than in a melanosome, which indicates melanin undergoing a destruction process in these granules. RPE cells also contain intermediate granules that have an EPR signal with a lower intensity than that of melanolipofuscin granules, but higher than that of lipofuscin granules. This signal is due to the presence of residual melanin in these granules. Irradiation of a mixture of melanosomes with lipofuscin granules with blue light (450 nm), in contrast to irradiation of only melanosomes, results in the appearance of fluorescent melanin degradation products. We suggest that one of the main mechanisms of age-related decrease in melanin concentration in human RPE cells is its destruction in melanolipofuscin granules under the action of superoxide radicals formed during photoinduced oxygen reduction by lipofuscin fluorophores.

  19. Digital dermoscopy to determine skin melanin index as an objective indicator of skin pigmentation

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    Sara Majewski

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Clinical assessment of skin photosensitivity is subjectively determined by erythema and tanning responses to sunlight recalled by the subject, alternatively known as Fitzpatrick Skin Phototype (SPT. Responses may be unreliable due to recall bias, subjective bias by clinicians and subjects, and lack of cultural sensitivity of the questions. Analysis of red-green-blue (RGB color spacing of digital images may provide an objective determination of SPT. This paper presents the studies to assess the melanin index (MI, as determined by RGB images obtained by both standard digital camera as well as by videodermoscope, and to correlate the MI with SPT based upon subjects’ verbal responses to standardized questions administered by a dermatologist.A sample of subjects representing all SPTs I–VI was selected. Both the digital camera and videodermoscope were calibrated at standard illumination, light source and white balance. Images of constitutive skin of the upper ventral arm were taken of each subject using both instruments.The studies showed that 58 subjects (20 M, 38 F were enrolled in the study (mean age: 47 years; range: 20–89, stratified to skin phototype I–VI. MI obtained by using both digital camera and videodermoscope increased significantly as the SPT increased p = 0.004 and p < 0.0001, respectively and positively correlated with dermatologist-assessed SPT (Spearman correlation, r = 0.48 and r = 0.84, respectively.Digital imaging can quantify melanin content in order to quantitatively approximate skin pigmentation in all skin phototypes including Type VI skin. This methodology holds promise as a simple, non-invasive, rapid and objective approach to reliably determine skin phototype and, with further investigation, may prove to be both practical and useful in the prediction of skin cancer risk.

  20. Determination of the optical properties of melanin-pigmented human skin equivalents using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy

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    Lipscomb, Dawn; Echchgadda, Ibtissam; Peralta, Xomalin G.; Wilmink, Gerald J.

    2013-02-01

    Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) methods have been utilized in previous studies in order to characterize the optical properties of skin and its primary constituents (i.e., water, collagen, and keratin). However, similar experiments have not yet been performed to investigate whether melanocytes and the melanin pigment that they synthesize contribute to skin's optical properties. In this study, we used THz-TDS methods operating in transmission geometry to measure the optical properties of in vitro human skin equivalents with or without normal human melanocytes. Skin equivalents were cultured for three weeks to promote gradual melanogenesis, and THz time domain data were collected at various time intervals. Frequency-domain analysis techniques were performed to determine the index of refraction (n) and absorption coefficient (μa) for each skin sample over the frequency range of 0.1-2.0 THz. We found that for all samples as frequency increased, n decreased exponentially and the μa increased linearly. Additionally, we observed that skin samples with higher levels of melanin exhibited greater n and μa values than the non-pigmented samples. Our results indicate that melanocytes and the degree of melanin pigmentation contribute in an appreciable manner to the skin's optical properties. Future studies will be performed to examine whether these contributions are observed in human skin in vivo.

  1. Comparison of Antioxidant Activities of Melanin Fractions from Chestnut Shell

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    Zeng-Yu Yao

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Chestnut shell melanin can be used as a colorant and antioxidant, and fractionated into three fractions (Fr. 1, Fr. 2, and Fr. 3 with different physicochemical properties. Antioxidant activities of the fractions were comparatively evaluated for the first time. The fractions exhibited different antioxidative potential in different evaluation systems. Fr. 1, which is only soluble in alkaline water, had the strongest peroxidation inhibition and superoxide anion scavenging activity; Fr. 2, which is soluble in alkaline water and hydrophilic organic solvents but insoluble in neutral and acidic water, had the greatest power to chelate ferrous ions; and Fr. 3, which is soluble both in hydrophilic organic solvents and in water at any pH conditions, had the greatest hydroxyl (·OH and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH· radicals scavenging abilities, reducing power, and phenolic content. The pigment fractions were superior to butylated hydroxytolune (BHT in ·OH and DPPH· scavenging and to ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA in the Fe2+–chelation. They were inferior to BHT in peroxidation inhibition and O2·− scavenging and reducing power. However, BHT is a synthetic antioxidant and cannot play the colorant role. The melanin fractions might be used as effective biological antioxidant colorants.

  2. Ultrastructure: effects of melanin pigment on target specificity using a pulsed dye laser (577 nm)

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    Tong, A.K.; Tan, O.T.; Boll, J.; Parrish, J.A.; Murphy, G.F.

    1987-06-01

    It has been shown recently that brief pulses of 577 nm radiation from the tunable dye laser are absorbed selectively by oxyhemoglobin. This absorption is associated with highly specific damage to superficial vascular plexus blood vessels in those with lightly pigmented (type I-II) skin. To determine whether pigmentary differences in the overlying epidermis influence this target specificity, we exposed both type I (fair) and type V (dark) normal human skin to varying radiant exposure doses over 1.5-microsecond pulse durations from the tunable dye laser at a wavelength of 577 nm. Using ultrastructural techniques, we found in type I skin that even clinical subthreshold laser exposures caused reproducible alterations of erythrocytes and adjacent dermal vascular endothelium without comparable damage to the overlying epidermis. In contrast, degenerated epidermal basal cells represented the predominant form of cellular damage after laser exposure of type V skin at comparable doses. We conclude that epidermal melanin and vascular hemoglobin are competing sites for 577 nm laser absorption and damage, and that the target specificity of the 577 nm tunable dye laser is therefore influenced by variations in epidermal pigmentation. This finding is relevant to the clinical application of the tunable dye laser in the ablative treatment of vascular lesions. We also found on ultrastructure that the presence of electron-lucent circular structures of approximately 800 A in diameter were observed only at and above clinical threshold doses in those with type I skin and at the highest dose of 2.75 J/cm2 in type V skin. It has been proposed that these structures might be heat-fixed molds of water vapor. Both this and ultrastructural changes of epidermal basal cells demonstrate mechanisms responsible for alteration of tissue after exposure to 577 nm, which are discussed.

  3. Retroperitoneal sclerosing PEComa with melanin pigmentation and granulomatous inflammation-A rare association within an uncommon tumor

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    Bharat Rekhi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available PEComa, defined as a perivascular epithelioid cell tumor, displays a wide clinicopathological spectrum. Lately, a sclerosing PEComa has been identified as its distinct variant, but with limited documentation, in view of its rarity. Herein, we describe an uncommon case of a 53-year-old lady, who was referred to us with pain abdomen. Radiological imaging disclosed a well-defined, hypodense retroperitoneal mass. The excised tumor was a round, encapsulated soft tissue mass measuring 7 cm with a tan-brown cut surface. Microscopy showed uniform, epithelioid cells with clear cytoplasm, focal melanin pigmentation and mild nuclear atypia, arranged in sheets and nests around capillary-sized vessels in a dense sclerotic stroma. Additionally, co-existing epithelioid granulomas were noted. On immunohistochemistry (IHC, tumor cells were diffusely positive for HMB45; focally for desmin and smooth muscle actin (SMA, while negative for EMA, CD10, S100-P, Melan A, CD34, AMACR and CK MNF116. This case reinforces sclerosing PEComa as an uncommon, but a distinct clinicopathological entity and exemplifies diagnostic challenge associated with it; necessitating application of IHC markers for its correct identification. Presence of melanin pigment and granulomatous inflammation in the present tumor constitute as novel histopathological findings in a sclerosing PEComa.

  4. Unusual extensive physiologic melanin pigmentation of the oral cavity: A clinical presentation

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    K Mallikarjuna

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Pigmented lesions are commonly found in the oral cavity. Oral pigmentations may be physiological or pathological in nature. It may represent as a localized anomaly of limited significance or the presentation of potentially life threatening multisystem disease. Oral pigmentation has a multifactorial etiology. Most of the oral pigmentations are physiologic. Evaluation of a patient with pigmented lesions should include a full medical and dental history, extraoral and intraoral examinations. In this article, we report a case of extensive physiologic pigmentation of the oral cavity in a 12 year old female patient, posing a diagnostic challenge.

  5. A comparison of melanin bleaching and azure blue counterstaining in the immunohistochemical diagnosis of malignant melanoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kligora, C J; Fair, K P; Clem, M S; Patterson, J W

    1999-12-01

    Distinguishing heavily pigmented melanocytes from melanophages on routine hematoxylin and eosin slides can be difficult. Melanin bleaching with potassium permanganate solution is a traditional means of removing melanin from tissues and can be used before immunohistochemical staining to remove any pigment that might be confused with the brown chromogen diaminobenzidine. Azure B stains melanin granules green-blue, easily contrasts with diaminobenzidine, and may be used as a counterstain on unbleached sections after immunohistochemical staining. To our knowledge, studies comparing melanin bleaching with azure B counterstaining in the immunohistochemical evaluation of malignant melanomas have not been performed. Paraffin sections from 33 heavily pigmented malignant melanomas were bleached with a 3.0-g/L potassium permanganate solution, immunohistochemically stained for S-100 and HMB-45, and counterstained with hematoxylin. Unbleached sections were similarly stained for S-100 and HMB-45 and counterstained with azure B. To establish optimal permanganate concentrations, a variable number of sections were bleached with lower permanganate concentrations ranging from 0.125 to 2.5 g/L. S-100 antigenicity was preserved at all permanganate concentrations, whereas HMB-45 antigenicity was abolished at concentrations of 0.5 g/L and greater. At permanganate concentrations from 0.125 to 0.5 g/L, both antigenicities were preserved; however, melanin was incompletely removed. Complications of bleaching included tissue damage and loss of cytologic detail. Positive immunohistochemical staining was observed in azure B counterstained sections. Azure B stained melanin greenblue and was easily distinguished from the brown diaminobenzidine chromogen, regardless of the antibody tested. Neither tissue damage nor loss of cytologic detail was observed. We conclude that the use of azure B counterstaining is superior to permanganate bleaching in the histologic evaluation of heavily pigmented

  6. Extensive physiologic melanin pigmentation on the tongue: An unusual clinical presentation

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    Sunira Chandra

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Pigmented lesions are commonly found in the oral cavity. Pigmentation has a multifactorial etiology. Most of the oral pigmentations are physiologic but sometimes it can be a precursor of severe diseases. Evaluation of a patient presented with a pigmented lesion should include a full medical and dental history, extraoral and intraoral examinations and even in some cases biopsy and laboratory investigations are required. In this article, we report a case of extensive physiologic pigmentation on the tongue in a 32-year-old female patient, posing a diagnostic challenge.

  7. Extensive physiologic melanin pigmentation on the tongue: An unusual clinical presentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandra, Sunira; Keluskar, Vaishali; Bagewadi, Anjana; Sah, Kunal

    2010-01-01

    Pigmented lesions are commonly found in the oral cavity. Pigmentation has a multifactorial etiology. Most of the oral pigmentations are physiologic but sometimes it can be a precursor of severe diseases. Evaluation of a patient presented with a pigmented lesion should include a full medical and dental history, extraoral and intraoral examinations and even in some cases biopsy and laboratory investigations are required. In this article, we report a case of extensive physiologic pigmentation on the tongue in a 32-year-old female patient, posing a diagnostic challenge. PMID:22114419

  8. Complexity and integration in sexual ornamentation: an example with carotenoid and melanin plumage pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badyaev, A V; Young, R L

    2004-11-01

    Sexual ornaments often consist of several components produced by distinct developmental processes. The complexity of sexual ornaments might be favoured by mate choice of individual components in different environments which ultimately results in weak interrelationships (integration) among the developmental processes that produce these components. At the same time, sexual selection for greater exaggeration of individual components favours their stronger co-dependence on organismal resources. This should ultimately produce stronger condition-mediated integration among ornaments' components in individuals with the most exaggerated ornamentation. Here we distinguish between these two sources of integration by examining the relationship between integration and elaboration of sexual ornamentation in three bird species: two with carotenoid-based sexual ornamentation (the house finch, Carpodacus mexicanus and common redpoll, Carduelis flammea) and a species with melanin-based sexual ornamentation (house sparrow, Passer domesticus). We found that integration of components varied with elaboration of carotenoid-based ornamentation but not of melanin ornamentation. In the house finches, integration was the highest in individuals with small ornaments and decreased with ornament elaboration whereas the pattern was the opposite in common redpolls. These results suggest that in these species integration and complexity of carotenoid-based ornamental components are due to shared condition-dependence of distinct developmental pathways, whereas integration and complexity of the melanin ornamentation is due to organismal integration of developmental pathways and is largely condition- and environment-invariant. Thus, functionally, ornamentation of the house sparrows can be considered a single trait, whereas complexity of the house finch and redpoll ornamentation varies with ornament elaboration and individual condition.

  9. Regulation of 20-hydroxyecdysone on the larval pigmentation and the expression of melanin synthesis enzymes and yellow gene of the swallowtail butterfly, Papilio xuthus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Futahashi, Ryo; Fujiwara, Haruhiko

    2007-08-01

    The swallowtail butterfly, Papilio xuthus, changes its larval body pattern dramatically during the fourth ecdysis. Cuticular pigmentation occurs with precise timing just before ecdysis. We previously found that the cuticular pigmentation was regulated by three melanin synthesis genes, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopa decarboxylase (DDC), and ebony. We discovered that yellow is strongly expressed in the presumptive black markings earlier than TH and DDC. Because the ecdysis is triggered by 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), the effects of 20E on the pigmentation and expression of the melanin synthesis genes were examined. Here, we established a method for the topical application of 20E to molting specimens, so that 20E has only a partial effect, resulting in successful ecdysis. When we applied 20E during the mid-phase of the molting period, when the 20E titer is declining, cuticular pigmentation was completely inhibited. The cessation of hormonal treatments caused delayed pigmentation. yellow expression was promoted by a high titer of 20E, whereas the expression of TH, DDC, and ebony was suppressed, suggesting that a decline in the 20E concentration is necessary for the induction of the expression of the latter three genes. These results indicate that cuticular pigmentation is controlled by the exposure to 20E and its removal.

  10. Association of the OCA2 polymorphism His615Arg with melanin content in east Asian populations: further evidence of convergent evolution of skin pigmentation.

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    Melissa Edwards

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The last decade has witnessed important advances in our understanding of the genetics of pigmentation in European populations, but very little is known about the genes involved in skin pigmentation variation in East Asian populations. Here, we present the results of a study evaluating the association of 10 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs located within 5 pigmentation candidate genes (OCA2, DCT, ADAM17, ADAMTS20, and TYRP1 with skin pigmentation measured quantitatively in a sample of individuals of East Asian ancestry living in Canada. We show that the non-synonymous polymorphism rs1800414 (His615Arg located within the OCA2 gene is significantly associated with skin pigmentation in this sample. We replicated this result in an independent sample of Chinese individuals of Han ancestry. This polymorphism is characterized by a derived allele that is present at a high frequency in East Asian populations, but is absent in other population groups. In both samples, individuals with the derived G allele, which codes for the amino acid arginine, show lower melanin levels than those with the ancestral A allele, which codes for the amino acid histidine. An analysis of this non-synonymous polymorphism using several programs to predict potential functional effects provides additional support for the role of this SNP in skin pigmentation variation in East Asian populations. Our results are consistent with previous research indicating that evolution to lightly-pigmented skin occurred, at least in part, independently in Europe and East Asia.

  11. Comparison of pump-probe and hyperspectral imaging in unstained histology sections of pigmented lesions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Jesse W; Robles, Francisco E; Deb, Sanghamitra; Warren, Warren S; Fischer, Martin C

    2017-08-01

    Microscopic variations in melanin composition can be mapped through linear and nonlinear optical responses. Though instrumentation to measure linear attenuation is simple and inexpensive, the nonlinear response provides more degrees of freedom with which to spectroscopically resolve pigments. The objective of this study is to assess differences in imaging melanin contrast by comparing hyperspectral (linear) versus pump-probe (nonlinear) microscopy of unstained histology sections of pigmented lesions. The images and analysis we have presented here show that pump-probe uncovers a greater variation in pigment composition, compared with hyperspectral microscopy, and that the two methods yield complimentary biochemical information.

  12. Differential Antifungal Activity of Human and Cryptococcal Melanins with Structural Discrepancies

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    Néstor Correa

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Melanin is a pigment found in all biological kingdoms, and plays a key role in protection against ultraviolet radiation, oxidizing agents, and ionizing radiation damage. Melanin exerts an antimicrobial activity against bacteria, fungi, and parasites. We demonstrated an antifungal activity of synthetic and human melanin against Candida sp. The members of the Cryptococcus neoformans and C. gattii species complexes are capsulated yeasts, which cause cryptococcosis. For both species melanin is an important virulence factor. To evaluate if cryptococcal and human melanins have antifungal activity against Cryptococcus species they both were assayed for their antifungal properties and physico-chemical characters. Melanin extracts from human hair and different strains of C. neoformans (n = 4 and C. gattii (n = 4 were investigated. The following minimum inhibitory concentrations were found for different melanins against C. neoformans and C. gattii were (average/range: 13.7/(7.8–15.6 and 19.5/(15.6–31.2 μg/mL, respectively, for human melanin; 273.4/(125–>500 and 367.2/(125.5–>500 μg/mL for C. neoformans melanin and 125/(62.5–250 and 156.2/(62–250 μg/mL for C. gattii melanin. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy we observed that human melanin showed a compact conformation and cryptococcal melanins exposed an amorphous conformation. Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR showed some differences in the signals related to C-C bonds of the aromatic ring of the melanin monomers. High Performance Liquid Chromatography established differences in the chromatograms of fungal melanins extracts in comparison with human and synthetic melanin, particularly in the retention time of the main compound of fungal melanin extracts and also in the presence of minor unknown compounds. On the other hand, MALDI-TOF-MS analysis showed slight differences in the spectra, specifically the presence of a minor intensity ion in synthetic and human melanin, as well as in some fungal

  13. The comparison of the melanin content and UV exposure affecting aging process: seven countries in Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Sung Hae; Park, Jung Jun; Song, Eun Jeung; Lee, Jung Ah; Byun, Kyung Soo; Kim, Nam Soo; Moon, Tae Kee

    2016-12-01

    The skin brightness is determined according to the amount and type of melanin. People with darker skin have a greater amount of melanin that makes their skin less susceptible to UV damages. They live in lower latitude and receive a greater amount of the intensity of the UV radiation. We wanted to know how the latitude and skin brightness affect skin aging. Three thousand volunteers from seven countries (Korea, China, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia), aged 20-59 years, participated in this study. We measured skin brightness, Ra (wrinkles parameter), and R2 (elasticity parameter) under controlled environmental conditions. The skin brightness of the face was measured using the Janus ® which is a facial analysis system. Cutometer ® the elasticity was measured by on the cheeks, and PRIMOS lite ® was used to evaluate wrinkles on crow's feet. Latitude and skin brightness showed a positive correlation (0.346). Also, the correlations of Ra and R2 with skin brightness were significantly negative (-0.181) and positive (0.105), respectively. Results of comparison of Ra and R2 with age among the countries showed no significant difference among the 20s, but there was a significant difference among the 50s between countries with high latitude and low latitude. The long-term exposure of UV radiation, the natural environmental factor, seems to have more decisive effect on the skin aging process than the photoprotective effect of melanin of epidermal skin. This study helps to understand differences of the skin properties among countries in Asia. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Black perithecial pigmentation in Fusarium species is due to the accumulation of 5-deoxybostrycoidin-based melanin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frandsen, Rasmus John Normand; Rasmussen, Silas Anselm; Knudsen, Peter Boldsen

    2016-01-01

    that PGL1, pglJ, pglM and pglV were essential for the production of the perithecial pigment. Over-expression of PGL1 resulted in the production of 6-O-demethyl-5-deoxybostrycoidin (1), 5-deoxybostrycoidin (2), and three novel compounds 5-deoxybostrycoidin anthrone (3), 6-O-demethyl-5-deoxybostrycoidin......Biosynthesis of the black perithecial pigment in the filamentous fungus Fusarium graminearum is dependent on the polyketide synthase PGL1 (oPKS3). A seven-membered PGL1 gene cluster was identified by over-expression of the cluster specific transcription factor pglR. Targeted gene replacement showed...

  15. Gingival melanin depigmentation by Er:YAG laser: A literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlic, Verica; Brkic, Zlata; Marin, Sasa; Cicmil, Smiljka; Gojkov-Vukelic, Mirjana; Aoki, Akira

    2017-10-06

    Laser ablation is recently suggested as a most effective and reliable technique for depigmentation of melanin hyperpigmented gingiva. To date, different lasers have been used for gingival depigmentation (CO 2 , diode, Nd:YAG, Er:YAG and Er,Cr:YSGG lasers). The use of Er:YAG laser for depigmentation of melanin hyperpigmented gingiva has gained increasing importance in recent years. The purpose of this study was to report removal of gingival melanin pigmentation using an Er:YAG laser in a literature review. The main outcomes, such as improvement of signs (clinical parameters of bleeding, erythema, swelling and wound healing), symptoms (pain) and melanin recurrence/repigmentation were measured. The literature demonstrated that depigmentation of gingival melanin pigmentation can be performed safely and effectively by Er:YAG laser resulting in healing and an esthetically significant improvement of gingival discoloration. Thus, Er:YAG laser seems to be safe and useful in melanin depigmentation procedure. However, the main issue in giving the final conclusion of the optimal Er:YAG laser use in melanin depigmentation is that, to date, studies are offering completely discrepant Er:YAG laser procedure protocols (complex settings of laser parameters), and different criteria for the assessment of depigmentation and repigmentation (recurrence), thus hampering the comparison of the results. Therefore, further studies are necessary to give an optimal recommendation on the use of Er:YAG laser in gingival melanin hyperpigmentation.

  16. Trace metals, melanin-based pigmentation and their interaction influence immune parameters in feral pigeons (Columba livia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatelain, M; Gasparini, J; Frantz, A

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the effects of trace metals emitted by anthropogenic activities on wildlife is of great concern in urban ecology; yet, information on how they affect individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems remains scarce. In particular, trace metals may impact survival by altering the immune system response to parasites. Plumage melanin is assumed to influence the effects of trace metals on immunity owing to its ability to bind metal ions in feathers and its synthesis being coded by a pleiotropic gene. We thus hypothesized that trace metal exposure would interact with plumage colouration in shaping immune response. We experimentally investigated the interactive effect between exposure to an environmentally relevant range of zinc and/or lead and melanin-based plumage colouration on components of the immune system in feral pigeons (Columba livia). We found that zinc increased anti-keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) IgY primary response maintenance, buffered the negative effect of lead on anti-KLH IgY secondary response maintenance and tended to increase T-cell mediated phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) skin response. Lead decreased the peak of the anti-KLH IgY secondary response. In addition, pheomelanic pigeons exhibited a higher secondary anti-KLH IgY response than did eumelanic ones. Finally, T-cell mediated PHA skin response decreased with increasing plumage eumelanin level of birds exposed to lead. Neither treatments nor plumage colouration correlated with endoparasite intensity. Overall, our study points out the effects of trace metals on some parameters of birds' immunity, independently from other confounding urbanization factors, and underlines the need to investigate their impacts on other life history traits and their consequences in the ecology and evolution of host-parasite interactions.

  17. Influence of variation in melanin content on absorbance spectra of liquid skin phantoms

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smit, Jacoba E

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available This presentation looked at the influence of variation in melanin content on absorbance spectra of liquid skin phantoms. Reasons for studying melanin, plus skin pigments, melanocytes, melanosomes, and melanin in particular, are discussed...

  18. Regulation of miR-21 expression in human melanoma via UV-ray-induced melanin pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Kuan-Yu; Chen, Chien-Min; Lu, Cheng-You; Cheng, Chun-Yuan; Wu, Yu-Hsin

    2017-08-01

    Excessive environmental ultraviolet (UV) radiation produces genetic mutations that can lead to skin cancer. This study was designed to assess the potential inhibitory activity of microRNA-21 (miR-21) on the UV irradiation-stimulated melanogenesis signal pathway in melanoma cells. The molecular mechanism of miR-21-induced inhibitory activity on UV-ray-stimulated melanogenesis-regulating proteins was examined in A375.S2 human melanoma and B16F10 mouse melanoma cells. UV irradiation for 30 min induced melanogenesis signal pathway by increasing melanin production and the number of A375.S2 cells. Similarly, UV radiation increased the expression of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) protein and decreased the melanogenesis-regulating signal, such as EGFR and Akt phosphorylation. Notably, miR-21 overexpression in UV-ray-stimulated A375.S2 cells decreased α-MSH expression and increased EGFR and Akt phosphorylation levels. Furthermore, miR-21 on UV-ray- induced melanogenesis was down-regulated by the Akt inhibitor and the EGFR inhibitor (Gefitinib). Results suggest that the suppressive activity of miR-21 on UV-ray-stimulated melanogenesis may involve the down-regulation of α-MSH and the activation in both of EGFR and Akt. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Morphological and chemical composition characterization of commercial sepia melanin

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mbonyiryivuze, A

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Melanins are difficult to characterize because of their intractable chemical properties and the heterogeneity in their structural features. Melanin pigments, in fact, are composed of many different types of monomeric units that are connected through...

  20. Antitumor Effects of Vitamin D Analogs on Hamster and Mouse Melanoma Cell Lines in Relation to Melanin Pigmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomasz Wasiewicz

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Deregulated melanogenesis is involved in melanomagenesis and melanoma progression and resistance to therapy. Vitamin D analogs have anti-melanoma activity. While the hypercalcaemic effect of the active form of Vitamin D (1,25(OH2D3 limits its therapeutic use, novel Vitamin D analogs with a modified side chain demonstrate low calcaemic activity. We therefore examined the effect of secosteroidal analogs, both classic (1,25(OH2D3 and 25(OHD3, and novel relatively non-calcemic ones (20(OHD3, calcipotriol, 21(OHpD, pD and 20(OHpL, on proliferation, colony formation in monolayer and soft-agar, and mRNA and protein expression by melanoma cells. Murine B16-F10 and hamster Bomirski Ab cell lines were shown to be effective models to study how melanogenesis affects anti-melanoma treatment. Novel Vitamin D analogs with a short side-chain and lumisterol-like 20(OHpL efficiently inhibited rodent melanoma growth. Moderate pigmentation sensitized rodent melanoma cells towards Vitamin D analogs, and altered expression of key genes involved in Vitamin D signaling, which was opposite to the effect on heavily pigmented cells. Interestingly, melanogenesis inhibited ligand-induced Vitamin D receptor translocation and ligand-induced expression of VDR and CYP24A1 genes. These findings indicate that melanogenesis can affect the anti-melanoma activity of Vitamin D analogs in a complex manner.

  1. Old males reduce melanin-pigmented traits and increase reproductive outcome under worse environmental conditions in common kestrels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Idiaquez, David; Vergara, Pablo; Fargallo, Juan Antonio; Martinez-Padilla, Jesús

    2016-02-01

    Secondary sexual traits displayed by males and females may have evolved as a signal of individual quality. However, both individual quality and investment on producing or maintaining enhanced sexual traits change as individuals age. At the same time, the costs associated to produce sexual traits might be attenuated or increased if environmental conditions are benign or worse respectively. Accordingly, environmental conditions are expected to shape the association between the expression of sexual traits and their reproductive outcome as individuals age. Nonetheless, little is known about the environmental influence on the co-variation between sexual traits and reproductive outcome throughout the life of individuals. We studied the age-dependency of the number and size of back spots, a melanin-based and sexual trait in adults of common kestrels (Falco tinnunculus). We analysed the age-dependence of reproductive traits and the environmental influence, defined as vole abundance, using a 10-year individual-based dataset. We broke down age-related changes of reproductive traits into within- and between-individual variation to assess their contribution to population-level patterns. Our results showed a within-individual decrease in the number, but not the size, of back spots in males. The size of back spots was positively correlated with food availability in males. Reproductive performance of males increased as they aged, in agreement with the life-history theory but depending of vole abundance. Remarkably, we found that having fewer back spots was positively associated with clutch size only for old individuals under low-food conditions. We suggest that environmental variation may shape the association between the expression of a sexual signal and reproductive outcome. We speculate that the reliability of sexual traits is higher when environmental conditions are poor only for old individuals. Within an evolutionary context, we suggest that the expression of sexual traits

  2. Melanin production from marine Streptomyces | Vasanthabharathi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Melanin pigments are frequently used in medicine, food and cosmetic preparations. In this study, three strains among 21 Actinomycetes sp isolates produced a diffusible dark pigment on starch casein an agar medium which was water soluble. The pigment production was estimated using L-tyrosine as substrate. Among the ...

  3. Inhibitory effects of salidroside and paeonol on tyrosinase activity and melanin synthesis in mouse B16F10 melanoma cells and ultraviolet B-induced pigmentation in guinea pig skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Li-Hua; Liu, Shuai; Xu, Shen-Yao; Chen, Lei; Shan, Ying-Hui; Wei, Wei; Liang, Wen-Quan; Gao, Jian-Qing

    2013-09-15

    Salidroside, the major active component of Rhodiola rosea, a herb with antioxidant, free radical scavenging and tyrosinase inhibitory effects, has been recently reported in protecting the kerationcytes from the UV radiation, suggesting the potential of this component in depigmentation. Paeonol is isolated from Moutan Cortex Radicis with anti-inflammation/microbial activities, was reported to induce the down-regulation of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor and subsequently tyrosinase. To testify the potential of these compounds as melanin formation inhibitors for hyperpigmentation therapy, the influence of salidroside and paeonol on pigmentation was investigated. With arbutin as a positive control, salidroside and paeonol were evaluated for their inhibitory effect on the cell viability, tyrosinase activity and melanin synthesis in B16F10 melanoma cells, as well as their effects in UVB-induced hyperpigmentation in brown guinea pig skins. It was demonstrated that the significant inhibition of salidroside (33.0%) and paeonol (22.2-30.9%) on the tyrosinase activity is slightly lower than that of arbutin (18.4-44.7%). However, salidroside exhibited the dose-dependent inhibition (30.6-42.0%) in melanin synthesis at a low concentration of 100 μM, paeonol and arbutin expressed inhibition rates of 27.4-37.2% and 25.8-45.6% within 500-1000 μM. The in vivo topical application of these compounds was demonstrated to obviously decrease the hyperpigmentation on UVB stimulated guinea pig skin. This study provided the original evidence for the salidroside and paeonol as therapeutic agents for pigmentation disorder and skin lightening, with further clinical investigation of these compounds in the field of depigmentation was suggested. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. Fungal melanins and their interactions with metals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, R V; Tobin, J M

    1996-09-01

    Fungal melanins are dark brown or black pigments located in cell walls. They also exist as extracellular polymers. Melanized fungi possess increased virulence and resistance to microbial attack as well as enhanced survival while under environmental stress. Melanins contain various functional groups which provide an array of multiple nonequivalent binding sites for metal ions. Pigmented Cladosporium cladosporoides was shown to biosorb 2.5- to four-fold more Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, and Pb than albino Penicillium digitatum and at four- to six-fold higher rates. Metal desorption was significantly lower for extracellular melanin than from pigmented or albino biomass which indicated the strength of the melanin-metal bond. At equilibrium, tributyltin chloride (TBTC) concentrations of 2.5 mM, pigmented and albino Aureobasidium pullulans absorbed approximately 0.9 and 0.7 mumol TBTC mg -1 dry wt, respectively, whereas purified extracellular melanin exhibited uptake levels of approximately 22 mumol TBTC mg-1 dry wt at an equilibrium concentration of only 0.4 mM. Addition of melanin to the growth medium reduced the toxic effect of CuSO4 and TBTC due to melanin metal binding and sequestration.

  5. An objective assessment of melanin in vitiligo skin treated with Balneo PUVA therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hegyi, V; Petrovajová, M; Novotný, M

    2014-02-01

    Visual clinical methods of skin color evaluation for diagnostic purposes are so far mostly subjective and thus inaccurate. We present a modified method of melanin amount measurement based on diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). This method is non-invasive and objective, and allows easy quantification and comparison of melanin levels. Skin pigmentation was measured by DRS method in 0-18 year old patients at the Department of Pediatric Dermatovenerology, School of Medicine Comenius University Bratislava. Patients were treated for their vitiligo by Balneo PUVA treatment twice weekly. Each patient had measured his remittance spectra from the treated vitiliginous skin before the treatment was started, after 10 irradiations of Balneo PUVA and at the end of the treatment after 25 irradiations of Balneo PUVA. In our study as a reference skin for spectroscopic assessment of melanin in vivo was used the averaged remittance spectra (measured on the inner arm) from the sample of 10 albino patients. The remittance spectra obtained from the vitiligo patients were ratioed against the newly described remittance reference albino skin. We exploited the linear behavior of the spectral curve in the 620-720 nm interval (significant for melanin absorption) and used the slope of the regression line to compute the quantification index α. By clinical examination before the Balneo PUVA therapy, after the 10th dose of Balneo PUVA therapy as well as at the end of the complete course of Balneo PUVA therapy (after 25 irradiations) we recorded a marked increase of pigmentation in all treated patients for their vitiligo. In each patient the values of melanin quantification angle α were calculated. Statistically we found a significant difference between the melanin quantification angle α in vitiliginous skin before, during the 10th dose of treatment and after the treatment. Similar significant difference was also observed between treated and non-involved skin. We could confirm a clear

  6. Transcription factor VdCmr1 is required for pigment production, protection from UV irradiation, and regulates expression of melanin biosynthetic genes in Verticillium dahliae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yonglin; Hu, Xiaoping; Fang, Yulin; Anchieta, Amy; Goldman, Polly H; Hernandez, Gustavo; Klosterman, Steven J

    2018-04-01

    Verticillium dahliae is a soilborne fungus that causes vascular wilt diseases on numerous plant species worldwide. The production of darkly melanized microsclerotia is crucial in the disease cycle of V. dahliae, as these structures allow for long-term survival in soil. Previously, transcriptomic and genomic analysis identified a cluster of genes in V. dahliae that encodes some dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin biosynthetic pathway homologues found in related fungi. In this study, we explored the roles of cluster-specific transcription factor VdCmr1, as well as two other genes within the cluster encoding a polyketide synthase (VdPKS1) and a laccase (VdLac1), enzymes at initial and endpoint steps in DHN melanin production. The results revealed that VdCmr1 and VdPKS1 are required for melanin production, but neither is required for microsclerotia production. None of the three genes were required for pathogenesis on tobacco and lettuce. Exposure of ΔVdCmr1 and wild-type strains to UV irradiation, or to high temperature (40 °C), revealed an approx. 50 % reduction of survival in the ΔVdCmr1 strain, relative to the wild-type strain, in response to either condition. Expression profiles revealed that expression of some melanin biosynthetic genes are in part dependent on VdCmr1. Combined data indicate VdCmr1 is a key regulator of melanin biosynthesis, and that via regulation of melanogenesis, VdCmr1 affects survival of V. dahliae in response to abiotic threats. We conclude with a model showing regulation of VdCmr1 by a high osmolarity glycerol response (Hog)-type MAP kinase pathway.

  7. Computational model of heterogeneous heating in melanin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellicker, Jason; DiMarzio, Charles A.; Kowalski, Gregory J.

    2015-03-01

    Melanin particles often present as an aggregate of smaller melanin pigment granules and have a heterogeneous surface morphology. When irradiated with light within the absorption spectrum of melanin, these heterogeneities produce measurable concentrations of the electric field that result in temperature gradients from thermal effects that are not seen with spherical or ellipsoidal modeling of melanin. Modeling melanin without taking into consideration the heterogeneous surface morphology yields results that underestimate the strongest signals or over{estimate their spatial extent. We present a new technique to image phase changes induced by heating using a computational model of melanin that exhibits these surface heterogeneities. From this analysis, we demonstrate the heterogeneous energy absorption and resulting heating that occurs at the surface of the melanin granule that is consistent with three{photon absorption. Using the three{photon dluorescence as a beacon, we propose a method for detecting the extents of the melanin granule using photothermal microscopy to measure the phase changes resulting from the heating of the melanin.

  8. Pharmacokinetics of Ro 03-8799 in mice bearing melanosarcoma: comparison with tumors without melanin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laurent, F.; Canal, P.; Soula, G.

    1989-04-01

    The pharmacokinetics of Ro 03-8799 has been studied in melanic and non-melanic tumor bearing mice after iv administration of 150 mg/kg. The peak concentration in B16 melanosarcoma tumor reached 152 micrograms/g, that is 7.6-fold higher than the plasma concentration at the same time. This concentration is 3-times greater than that obtained in the tumor of mice bearing non-melanic sarcoma (DB16) or Lewis lung carcinoma (3LL). The exposure of B16 tumor (AUC) is respectively 15-times and 11-times higher than the 3LL and the DB16 ones. These experimental data confirm that this 2-nitro-imidazol compound has an important affinity for melanin and suggest that it might be used as a radiosensitizer for the treatment of malignant melanoma.

  9. Seasonal changes in colour: a comparison of structural, melanin- and carotenoid-based plumage colours.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaspar Delhey

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Plumage coloration is important for bird communication, most notably in sexual signalling. Colour is often considered a good quality indicator, and the expression of exaggerated colours may depend on individual condition during moult. After moult, plumage coloration has been deemed fixed due to the fact that feathers are dead structures. Still, many plumage colours change after moult, although whether this affects signalling has not been sufficiently assessed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We studied changes in coloration after moult in four passerine birds (robin, Erithacus rubecula; blackbird, Turdus merula; blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus; and great tit, Parus major displaying various coloration types (melanin-, carotenoid-based and structural. Birds were caught regularly during three years to measure plumage reflectance. We used models of avian colour vision to derive two variables, one describing chromatic and the other achromatic variation over the year that can be compared in magnitude among different colour types. All studied plumage patches but one (yellow breast of the blue tit showed significant chromatic changes over the year, although these were smaller than for a typical dynamic trait (bill colour. Overall, structural colours showed a reduction in relative reflectance at shorter wavelengths, carotenoid-based colours the opposite pattern, while no general pattern was found for melanin-based colours. Achromatic changes were also common, but there were no consistent patterns of change for the different types of colours. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Changes of plumage coloration independent of moult are probably widespread; they should be perceivable by birds and have the potential to affect colour signalling.

  10. Melanin: A scavenger in gingival inflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Nilima

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: One of the major direct or indirect targets of ultraviolet exposure of skin is the melanocyte or the melanin -forming cell. Epidermal melanocytes act as a trap for free radicals. Based on the protective role of melanocytes in medical literature, the role of melanin pigmentation in gingiva needs to be elucidated. Periodontal pathogens and their products demonstrate the ability to induce the generation of reactive oxygen species. Hence purpose of this study was to unravel the protective role of melanin (if any against the gingival inflammation. Materials and Methods: A total of 80 subjects; 20 in each group were selected. The selection of subjects regarding gingival pigmentation was based on Dummett′s scoring criteria 0, 3. A complete medical, dental history and an informed consent were obtained from the patients. After evaluation of clinical parameters the GCF was collected using microcapillary pipettes at the selected sites. IL-1β levels were quantitated using ELISA. Results: In non-pigmented healthy and gingivitis groups, there was a positive correlation between plaque index, gingival index and bleeding index versus IL-1β level: indicating an increase in the biochemical mediator of inflammation corresponding to an increase in the clinical parameters of inflammation. Also a positive correlation was found between the gingival index and bleeding index versus the IL-1β levels in the pigmented healthy group. The pigmented gingivitis groups showed a negative correlation between the plaque index, gingival index and bleeding index. Conclusions: The clinical markers of inflammation such as gingival index, bleeding index was of low numerical value in pigmented group than in the non-pigmented group, supposedly due to the protective action of melanin. The negative correlation of clinical markers of inflammation to the IL-1β levels in the pigmented gingivitis group could possibly be attributed to the protective role of melanins.

  11. Interaction of radicals from water radiolysis with melanin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sarna, T.; Pilas, B.; Land, E.J.; Truscott, T.G.

    1986-08-06

    Melanins are considered to be natural photoprotectors in the melanocytes and keratinocytes of the skin. These pigments have also been suggested to play an important role in protection of melanin-containing cells against ionising radiation. Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain the protective role of melanin which invoke the radical scavenging properties of the polymer. In the present work the reactions of melanins with radicals generated in aqueous media by pulse radiolysis have been studied. Time-resolved changes in absorbance of the melanin or the radical species were recorded at selected wavelengths. Experiments were carried out on synthetic dopa- and 5-S-cysteinyldopa-melanins and a natural melanin in phosphate buffer (pH 7.4). Under the conditions employed, melanin reacted predominantly with either oxidising (OH., N3.) or reducing (eaq-, CO2-) species. We were also able to monitor the interaction of melanin with superoxide radical, which was reducing in this case. Detailed analysis of transient changes in melanin absorbance, detected at different wavelengths, was demonstrated to be a convenient method for studying redox processes of this substance, as shown by model experiments using ferricyanide and dithionite as oxidising and reducing agents, respectively. Among the radicals studied, OH. exhibited the strongest reactivity with melanins. Apparent rate constants for the reactions of radicals with autoxidative dopa-melanin (1.5 X 10(9) M-1 X s-1, 2.6 X 10(8) M-1 X s-1, 1.8 X 10(8) M-1 X s-1, 5 X 10(5) M-1 X s-1, 10(6)-10(7) M-1 X s-1 for OH., eaq-, N.3. O2- and CO2-, respectively) are reported. The reactivity of melanins with radicals from water radiolysis and their effect on pigment properties are discussed in terms of the structure and possible biological role of the pigments.

  12. Implications of melanin binding in ocular drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimpelä, Anna-Kaisa; Reinisalo, Mika; Hellinen, Laura; Grazhdankin, Evgeni; Kidron, Heidi; Urtti, Arto; Del Amo, Eva M

    2017-12-13

    Pigmented ocular tissues contain melanin within the intracellular melanosomes. Drugs bind to melanin at varying extent that ranges from no binding to extensive binding. Binding may lead to drug accumulation to the pigmented tissues and prolonged drug retention in the melanin containing cells. Therefore, melanin binding is an important feature that affects ocular drug delivery and biodistribution, but this topic has not been reviewed since 1998. In this review, we present current knowledge on ocular melanin, melanosomes and binding of drugs to pigmented cells and tissues. In vitro, in vivo and in silico methods in the field were critically evaluated, because the literature in this field can be confusing if the reader does not properly understand the methodological aspects. Literature analysis includes a comprehensive table of literature data on melanin binding of drugs. Furthermore, we aimed to give some insights beyond the current literature by making a chemical structure based classification model for melanin binding of drugs and kinetic simulations that revealed significant interplay between melanin binding and drug permeability across the melanosomal and plasma membranes. Overall, more mechanistic and systematic research is needed before the impact of melanin binding on ocular drug delivery can be properly understood and predicted. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Protective role of Aspergillus fumigatus melanin against ultraviolet ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Melanin protects pigmented cells from physical and biological stresses which are associated with virulence in several important human pathogens, but little is known about the immune response to this ubiquitous biologic compound. Melanin content increased in Aspergillus fumigatus mycelium exposed to ultraviolet for 10 ...

  14. Aspergillus fumigatus conidial melanin modulates host cytokine response.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chai, L.; Netea, M.G.; Sugui, J.; Vonk, A.G.; Sande, W.W. van de; Warris, A.; Kwon-Chung, K.J.; Kullberg, B.J.

    2010-01-01

    Melanin biopigments have been linked to fungal virulence. Aspergillus fumigatus conidia are melanised and are weakly immunogenic. We show that melanin pigments on the surface of resting Aspergillus fumigatus conidia may serve to mask pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)-induced cytokine

  15. Aspergillus fumigatus conidial melanin modulates host cytokine response

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L.Y.A. Chai (Louis); M.G. Netea (Mihai); J. Sugui (Janyce); A.G. Vonk (Alieke); W.W.J. van de Sande (Wendy); A. Warris (Adilia); K.J. Kwon-Chung (Kyung); B. Jan Kullberg (Bart)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractMelanin biopigments have been linked to fungal virulence. Aspergillus fumigatus conidia are melanised and are weakly immunogenic. We show that melanin pigments on the surface of resting Aspergillus fumigatus conidia may serve to mask pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs)-induced

  16. Melanin content of hamster tissues, human tissues, and various melanomas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Watts, K.P.; Fairchild, R.G.; Slatkin, D.N.; Greenberg, D.; Packer, S.; Atkins, H.L.; Hannon, S.J.

    1981-02-01

    Melanin content (percentage by weight) was determined in both pigmented and nonpigmented tissues of Syrian golden hamsters bearing Greene melanoma. Melanin content was also measured in various other melanoma models (B-16 in C57 mice, Harding-Passey in BALB/c mice, and KHDD in C3H mice) and in nine human melanomas, as well as in selected normal tissues. The purpose was to evaluate the possible efficacy of chlorpromazine, which is known to bind to melanin, as a vehicle for boron transport in neutron capture therapy. Successful therapy would depend upon selective uptake and absolute concentration of borated compounds in tumors; these parameters will in turn depend upon melanin concentration in melanomas and nonpigmented ''background'' tissues. Hamster whole eyes, hamster melanomas, and other well-pigmented animal melanomas were found to contain 0.3 to 0.8% melanin by weight, whereas human melanomas varied from 0.1 to 0.9% (average, 0.35%). Other tissues, with the exception of skin, were lower in content by a factor of greater than or equal to30. Melanin pigment was extracted from tissues, and the melanin content was determined spectrophotometrically. Measurements were found to be sensitive to the presence of other proteins. Previous procedures for isolating and quantifying melanin often neglected the importance of removing proteins and other interfering nonmelanic substances.

  17. Failed Pneumatic Retinopexy for Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment Repair in Ocular Albinism: Clues to the Role of Melanin in Retinal Pigment Epithelium Pump Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felfeli, Tina; Mandelcorn, Mark S; Yan, Peng; Jeffery, Glen; Mandelcorn, Efrem D

    2017-12-01

    The authors report the first case, to their knowledge, of failed pneumatic retinopexy (PR) for rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RRD) repair in a patient with ocular albinism (OA). The failure of PR to spontaneously resolve the subretinal fluid and reattach the retina in this case is suggestive of a deficiency in subretinal fluid reabsorption by the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). These findings suggest that in cases of RRD in OA, primary PR should be avoided since this procedure relies on an adequately functioning RPE pump to reabsorb subretinal fluid prior to laser retinopexy. The use of primary vitrectomy or scleral buckling with cryopexy may constitute a more effective strategy for RRD in OA. [Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2017;48:1016-1020.]. Copyright 2017, SLACK Incorporated.

  18. Accumulation of melanin in the peritoneum causes black abdomens in broilers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J; Wang, Y; Luo, C; Qu, H; Shu, D

    2014-03-01

    A suspected case of localized visceral hyperpigmentation was described for a breed of broiler in China. Using optical microscopy, the accumulation of pigments in the abdominal skin and visceral peritoneum was observed. Electron microscopy was used to further study the ultrastructure of the pigmented peritoneum, and pigment granules resembling melanosomes at different stages were found, and melanocytes were present in this tissue. Infrared spectroscopy was used to analyze the physical-chemical properties of pigments extracted from these broilers. Using synthetic melanin as a reference and the melanin from the peritoneum of Silkie fowls as a control, the pigments in the peritonea of these broilers were found to be melanin, and it had a chemical structure similar to that of melanin from the Silkie fowl peritoneum. In this way, the black abdomens of these broilers were found to have been caused by accumulation of melanin produced by melanocytes in visceral peritonea.

  19. Quantitative variation of melanins in alpaca (Lama pacos L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Antonini

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The amount of melanin pigments was investigated in 95 Peruvian alpaca, representative of six different fleece colours, by means of spectrophotometric assays: SpEM (Spectrophoto­metric Eumelanin, SpPM (Spectrophotometric Pheomelanin, SpASM (Spectrophotometric Alkali Soluble Melanin, and SpTM (Spectro­photometric Total Melanin. It was found that these melanin pigments were suitable for identifying three homogeneous groups, each consisting of two closely related colours. A low, an intermediate, and a high amount of SpASM, SpTM, and SpPM characterize pinkish grey and light reddish brown, brown and reddish brown, dark reddish brown and black fleeces, respectively. SpEM and SpTM provide a further split within this latter group; higher concentrations of these pigments distinguish black fleece from dark reddish brown.

  20. Photoelectrochemical properties of melanin

    OpenAIRE

    Arturo Solis; Maria E. Lara; Luis E. Rendon

    2007-01-01

    Melanin is to the animal kingdom like chlorophyll to the vegetal kingdom(1). Melanin collects energy from lower-energy radiation sources, kicks electrons into excited states, initiating a process that would end up producing chemical energy, similar to the way in which photosynthesis supplies energy to plants. However, the precise roles of melanin during this process are unknown. Here we show that the increase in the electron-transfer properties of melanin is independent of the energy of the i...

  1. Fluorescent quantification of melanin

    OpenAIRE

    Fernandes, Bruno Pacheco; Matamá, Maria Teresa; Guimarães, Diana Isabel Pereira; Gomes, Andreia; Cavaco-Paulo, Artur

    2016-01-01

    Melanin quantification is reportedly performed by absorption spectroscopy, commonly at 405 nm. Here, we propose the implementation of fluorescence spectroscopy for melanin assessment. In a typical in vitro assay to assess melanin production in response to an external stimulus, absorption spectroscopy clearly overvalues melanin content. This method is also incapable of distinguishing non-melanotic/amelanotic control cells from those that are actually capable of performing melanogenesis. Theref...

  2. Ion transport in pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellono, Nicholas W; Oancea, Elena V

    2014-12-01

    Skin melanocytes and ocular pigment cells contain specialized organelles called melanosomes, which are responsible for the synthesis of melanin, the major pigment in mammals. Defects in the complex mechanisms involved in melanin synthesis and regulation result in vision and pigmentation deficits, impaired development of the visual system, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. Ion transport across cellular membranes is critical for many biological processes, including pigmentation, but the molecular mechanisms by which it regulates melanin synthesis, storage, and transfer are not understood. In this review we first discuss ion channels and transporters that function at the plasma membrane of melanocytes; in the second part we consider ion transport across the membrane of intracellular organelles, with emphasis on melanosomes. We discuss recently characterized lysosomal and endosomal ion channels and transporters associated with pigmentation phenotypes. We then review the evidence for melanosomal channels and transporters critical for pigmentation, discussing potential molecular mechanisms mediating their function. The studies investigating ion transport in pigmentation physiology open new avenues for future research and could reveal novel molecular mechanisms underlying melanogenesis.

  3. Genetic disorders of pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passeron, Thierry; Mantoux, Frédéric; Ortonne, Jean-Paul

    2005-01-01

    More than 127 loci are actually known to affect pigmentation in mouse when they are mutated. From embryogenesis to transfer of melanin to the keratinocytes or melanocytes survival, any defect is able to alter the pigmentation process. Many gene mutations are now described, but the function of their product protein and their implication in melanogenesis are only partially understood. Each genetic pigmentation disorder brings new clues in the understanding of the pigmentation process. According to the main genodermatoses known to induce hypo- or hyperpigmentation, we emphasize in this review the last advances in the understanding of the physiopathology of these diseases and try to connect, when possible, the mutation to the clinical phenotype.

  4. Degradation of melanin by Aspergillus fumigatus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luther, J P; Lipke, H

    1980-07-01

    A strain of Aspergillus fumigatus from composted coffee and garden wastes utilized natural deproteinized insect, banana, hair, octopus, and synthetic tyrosine and dopa melanins as sole sources of carbon. With a sucrose supplement, degradation was essentially complete after 50 days in Czapek medium pH 6.5 at 30 degrees C. The catabolic rate differed for each substrate pigment, as did the molecular weight distribution of products accumulating in the medium. After incubation with L-[U-14C]melanin, over 50% was recovered in a dark fungal pigment, the remainder appearing as cell protein, chitin, lipid, CO2, and polar metabolites. When grown on melanin, the normally pale mycelia darkened with the production of a fungal allomelanin, with infrared spectrum and alkali fusion products differing from those of the substrate pigment. Isotope distribution in amino acids for A. fumigatus grown on labeled melanin supplemented with sucrose suggested separate pools for synthesis of cell proteins and melanoproteins. Deposition of allomelanin increased resistance of conidia, sterigma, and conidiophores to lytic carbohydrases as judged by scanning electron microscopy.

  5. A Pathway Analysis of Melanin Patterning in a Hemimetabolous Insect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jin; Lemonds, Thomas R.; Marden, James H.; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2016-01-01

    Diversity in insect pigmentation, encompassing a wide range of colors and spatial patterns, is among the most noticeable features distinguishing species, individuals, and body regions within individuals. In holometabolous species, a significant portion of such diversity can be attributed to the melanin synthesis genes, but this has not been formally assessed in more basal insect lineages. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of how a set of melanin genes (ebony, black, aaNAT, yellow, and tan) contributes to the pigmentation pattern in a hemipteran, Oncopeltus fasciatus. For all five genes, RNA interference depletion caused alteration of black patterning in a region-specific fashion. Furthermore, the presence of distinct nonblack regions in forewings and hindwings coincides with the expression of ebony and aaNAT in these appendages. These findings suggest that the region-specific phenotypes arise from regional employment of various combinations of the melanin genes. Based on this insight, we suggest that melanin genes are used in two distinct ways: a “painting” mode, using predominantly melanin-promoting factors in areas that generally lack black coloration, and, alternatively, an “erasing” mode, using mainly melanin-suppressing factors in regions where black is the dominant pigment. Different combinations of these strategies may account for the vast diversity of melanin patterns observed in insects. PMID:26984060

  6. Matrix assisted pulsed laser deposition of melanin thin films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloisi, F.; Pezzella, A.; Barra, M.; Chiarella, F.; Cassinese, A.; Vicari, L.

    2011-07-01

    Melanins constitute a very important class of organic pigments, recently emerging as a potential material for a new generation of bioinspired biocompatible electrically active devices. In this paper, we report about the deposition of synthetic melanin films starting from aqueous suspensions by matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE). In particular, we demonstrate that it is possible to deposit melanin films by MAPLE even if melanin (a) is not soluble in water and (b) absorbs light from UV to IR. AFM images reveal that the film surface features are highly depending on the deposition parameters. UV-VIS and FTIR spectra show both the optical properties and the molecular structure typical of melanins are preserved.

  7. Melanin-binding drugs and ultrasonics-induced cytotoxicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McGinness, J.; Corry, P.M.; Armour, E.

    1973-01-01

    In vitro experiments with human melanoma cells indicate that ultrasonic induced killing of melanin-containing cells can be potentiated by the proper choice of temperature and drugs. These agents appear to be interacting through electron-phonon coupling in the melanins within the melanosome itself. As the mechanism of these interactions becomes clearer, it may be possible to relate these phenomena to some human syndromes and perhaps develop controlled methods to kill pigmented tumor cells.

  8. Melanin binding study of clinical drugs with cassette dosing and rapid equilibrium dialysis inserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelkonen, Laura; Tengvall-Unadike, Unni; Ruponen, Marika; Kidron, Heidi; Del Amo, Eva M; Reinisalo, Mika; Urtti, Arto

    2017-11-15

    Melanin pigment is a negatively charged polymer found in pigmented human tissues. In the eye, iris, ciliary body, choroid and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) are heavily pigmented. Several drug molecules are known to bind to melanin, but larger sets of drugs have not been compared often in similar test conditions. In this study, we introduce a powerful tool for screening of melanin binding. The binding of a set of 34 compounds to isolated porcine RPE melanin was determined by cassette (n-in-one) dosing in rapid equilibrium dialysis inserts and the binding was quantitated with LC-MS/MS analytics. The compounds represented large variety in melanin binding (from 8.6%, ganciclovir) to over 95% bound (ampicillin and ciprofloxacin). The data provides information on melanin binding of small molecular weight compounds that are used for ocular (e.g. brinzolamide, ganciclovir) and systemic (e.g. tizanidine, indomethacin) therapy. Interestingly, competition among compounds was seen for melanin binding and the binding did not show any correlation with plasma protein binding. These results increase the understanding of melanin binding of ocular drugs and can be further exploited to predict pharmacokinetics in the eye. Pigment binding provides an interesting option for improved drug distribution to retina and choroid that are difficult target tissues in drug delivery. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Stem Cell Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium: The Role of Pigmentation as Maturation Marker and Gene Expression Profile Comparison with Human Endogenous Retinal Pigment Epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennis, A; Jacobs, J G; Catsburg, L A E; Ten Brink, J B; Koster, C; Schlingemann, R O; van Meurs, J; Gorgels, T G M F; Moerland, P D; Heine, V M; Bergen, A A

    2017-10-01

    In age-related macular degeneration (AMD) the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) deteriorates, leading to photoreceptor decay and severe vision loss. New therapeutic strategies aim at RPE replacement by transplantation of pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived RPE. Several protocols to generate RPE have been developed where appearance of pigmentation is commonly used as indicator of RPE differentiation and maturation. It is, however, unclear how different pigmentation stages reflect developmental stages and functionality of PSC-derived RPE cells. We generated human embryonic stem cell-derived RPE (hESC-RPE) cells and investigated their gene expression profiles at early pigmentation (EP) and late pigmentation (LP) stages. In addition, we compared the hESC-RPE samples with human endogenous RPE. We used a common reference design microarray (44 K). Our analysis showed that maturing hESC-RPE, upon acquiring pigmentation, expresses markers specific for human RPE. Interestingly, our analysis revealed that EP and LP hESC-RPE do not differ much in gene expression. Our data further showed that pigmented hESC-RPE has a significant lower expression than human endogenous RPE in the visual cycle and oxidative stress pathways. In contrast, we observed a significantly higher expression of pathways related to the process adhesion-to-polarity model that is typical of developing epithelial cells. We conclude that, in vitro, the first appearance of pigmentation hallmarks differentiated RPE. However, further increase in pigmentation does not result in much significant gene expression changes and does not add important RPE functionalities. Consequently, our results suggest that the time span for obtaining differentiated hESC-RPE cells, that are suitable for transplantation, may be greatly reduced.

  10. Bioinspired bright noniridescent photonic melanin supraballs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Ming; Hu, Ziying; Wang, Zhao; Li, Yiwen; Tormo, Alejandro Diaz; Le Thomas, Nicolas; Wang, Boxiang; Gianneschi, Nathan C; Shawkey, Matthew D; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2017-09-01

    Structural colors enable the creation of a spectrum of nonfading colors without pigments, potentially replacing toxic metal oxides and conjugated organic pigments. However, significant challenges remain to achieve the contrast needed for a complete gamut of colors and a scalable process for industrial application. We demonstrate a feasible solution for producing structural colors inspired by bird feathers. We have designed core-shell nanoparticles using high-refractive index (RI) (~1.74) melanin cores and low-RI (~1.45) silica shells. The design of these nanoparticles was guided by finite-difference time-domain simulations. These nanoparticles were self-assembled using a one-pot reverse emulsion process, which resulted in bright and noniridescent supraballs. With the combination of only two ingredients, synthetic melanin and silica, we can generate a full spectrum of colors. These supraballs could be directly added to paints, plastics, and coatings and also used as ultraviolet-resistant inks or cosmetics.

  11. Antiradiation properties of melanin

    OpenAIRE

    Bushmanov A.Ju.; Ivanov А.А.; Andrianova I.E.; Stavrakova N.M.; Bulinina T.M.; Dorozhkina O.V.

    2014-01-01

    Aim: to examine the therapeutic efficiency of melanin administered to mice after irradiation at lethal and sublethal doses. Material and methods: Survival and hematological states were studied on CD-1 mice receiving on acute or fractionated whole-body doses on X-rays or gamma-irradiation. Melanin soluble was given with water ad libitum from the first to the 30th-day after irradiation. Results. It was shown that melanin produced a significant therapeutic and protective-therapeutic action again...

  12. Fungal melanin: what do we know about structure?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua D Nosanchuk

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The production of melanin significantly enhances the virulence of many important human pathogenic fungi. Despite fungal melanin’s importance in human disease, as well as melanin’s contribution to the ability of fungi to survive in diverse hostile environments, the structure of melanin remains unsolved. Nevertheless, ongoing research efforts have progressively revealed several notable structural characteristics of this enigmatic pigment, which will be the focus of this review. These compositional and organizational insights could further our ability to develop novel therapeutic approaches to combat fungal disease and enhance our understanding of how melanin is inserted into the cell wall.

  13. Bird Integumentary Melanins: Biosynthesis, Forms, Function and Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismael Galván

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Melanins are the ubiquitous pigments distributed in nature. They are one of the main pigments responsible for colors in living cells. Birds are among the most diverse animals regarding melanin-based coloration, especially in the plumage, although they also pigment bare parts of the integument. This review is devoted to the main characteristics of bird melanins, including updated views of the formation and nature of melanin granules, whose interest has been raised in the last years for inferring the color of extinct birds and non-avian theropod dinosaurs using resistant fossil feathers. The molecular structure of the two main types of melanin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, and the environmental and genetic factors that regulate avian melanogenesis are also presented, establishing the main relationship between them. Finally, the special functions of melanin in bird feathers are also discussed, emphasizing the aspects more closely related to these animals, such as honest signaling, and the factors that may drive the evolution of pheomelanin and pheomelanin-based color traits, an issue for which birds have been pioneer study models.

  14. Dual role of melanins and melanin precursors as photoprotective and phototoxic agents: inhibition of ultraviolet radiation-induced lipid peroxidation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmitz, S.; Jimbow, K. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Dermatology and Cutaneous Sciences; Thomas, P.D.; Poznansky, M.J. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Physiology; Allen, T.M. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Pharmacology

    1995-06-01

    Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is one of the risk factors for skin cancer and the main inducer of melanin pigmentation, the major protective mechanism of mammalian skin against radiation damage. The melanin pigments, eumelanin and pheomelanin, are likely to be important in protection against UVR, but their precursors are generally considered as phototoxic. The available data suggest DNA damage as the mechanism of phototoxicity. However, the effect of melanin precursors on membrane damage through lipid peroxidation, another important and probably more relevant (from the point-of-view of the melanosomal confinement of these molecules) mechanism of phototoxicity, is not known. As a model system for UVR-melanin-membrane interactions, we irradiated liposomes in the presence of eumelanin, pheomelanin and two of their major precursors, 5,6-dihydroxyindole (DHI) and 5-S-cysteinyldopa (SCD). The presence of the two melanin precursors substantially reduced the formation of lipid peroxidation products resulting from UVR exposure. The antioxidant activity of the melanin precursors was diminished under strong prooxidant conditions (presence of Fe{sub 3+}). These results suggest that melanin precursors may have an important role in the protection of skin against the harmful effects of UVR including photocarcinogenesis. (Author).

  15. Effect of Purified Mushroom Tyrosinase on Melanin Content and Melanogenic Protein Expression

    OpenAIRE

    Zaidi, Kamal Uddin; Ali, Sharique A.; Ali, Ayesha S.

    2016-01-01

    In mammalian melanocytes, melanosome is a highly specialized organelle where melanin is synthesized. Melanin synthesis is controlled by tyrosinase, the vital enzyme in melanogenic pathway. The present investigation is based on an effect of purified mushroom tyrosinase of Agaricus bisporus on B16F10 melanocytes for the melanin production via blocking pigment cell machinery. Using B16F10 melanocytes showed that the stimulation of melanogenesis by purified tyrosinase is due to increased tyrosina...

  16. Melanin-binding radiopharmaceuticals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Packer, S; Fairchild, R G; Watts, K P; Greenberg, D; Hannon, S J

    1980-01-01

    The scope of this paper is limited to an analysis of the factors that are important to the relationship of radiopharmaceuticals to melanin. While the authors do not attempt to deal with differences between melanin-binding vs. melanoma-binding, a notable variance is assumed. (PSB)

  17. Melanin-binding radiopharmaceuticals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Packer, S.; Fairchild, R.G.; Watts, K.P.; Greenberg, D.; Hannon, S.J.

    1980-01-01

    The scope of this paper is limited to an analysis of the factors that are important to the relationship of radiopharmaceuticals to melanin. While the authors do not attempt to deal with differences between melanin-binding vs. melanoma-binding, a notable variance is assumed

  18. Decolorization of synthetic melanins by crude laccases of Lentinus polychrous Lév.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khammuang, Saranyu; Sarnthima, Rakrudee

    2013-01-01

    Melanins are complex natural pigments that darken the skin and are difficult to degrade. This study evaluated synthetic melanin decolorization by the crude laccase from fungus Lentinus polychrous in the absence and presence of selected redox mediators. The greatest melanin decolorization activity was 87 % at pH 6.5 within 3 h in the presence of 2,2-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonate) diammonium salt (ABTS), whereas only about 22 % melanin decolorized at pH 5.0 in case of no mediator. The optimum temperatures for melanin decolorization in the absence and presence of ABTS were 55 and 35°C, respectively. Using a natural redox mediator, 1.0 mmol/L vanillin leads to 45 % melanin decolorization. Our results suggest the possibility of applying vanillin for L. polychrous laccase-catalyzed decolorization of melanin.

  19. Condition-dependent expression of melanin-based coloration in the Eurasian kestrel

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Piault, Romain; van den Brink, Valentijn; Roulin, Alexandre

    Melanin is the most common pigment in animal integuments and is responsible for some of the most striking ornaments. A central tenet of sexual selection theory states that melanin-based traits can signal absolute individual quality in any environment only if their expression is condition-dependent.

  20. (Pheo)melanin photosensitizes UVA-induced DNA damage in cultured human melanocytes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wenczl, E.; Schans, G.P. van der; Roza, L.; Kolb, R.M.; Timmerman, A.J.; Smit, N.P.M.; Pavel, S.; Schothorst, A.A.

    1998-01-01

    The question of whether melanins are photoprotecting and/or photosensitizing in human skin cells continues to be debated. To evaluate the role of melanin upon UVA irradiation, DNA single-strand breaks (ssb) were measured in human melanocytes differing only in the amount of pigment produced by

  1. Melanin-targeted nonlinear microscopy for label-free molecular diagnosis and staining (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Warren S.

    2017-02-01

    Visible absorption in tissue is dominated by a very small number of chromophores (hemoglobins and melanins) with broad optical spectra; for melanins in particular, the optical absorption spectrum is typically featureless. In addition, scattering limits penetration depth. As a result, the most common microscopy application by far is with excised tissue, which can be stained. However, nonlinear optical methods have the additional advantages of greater penetration depth and reduced sensitivity to scattering. Traditional nonlinear microscopy relies on mechanisms which produce light of a different color than the irradiating lasers, such as second harmonic generation or two photon induced fluorescence, and this contrast is sparse in biological issue without expressing or injecting different chromophores. Recently, stable laser sources and pulse shaping/pulse train modulation methods have made it possible to detect a much wider range of nonlinear molecular signatures, even at modest laser powers (much less than a laser pointer). Here we show the utility of a variety of such signatures (pump-probe, pulse-shaped stimulated Raman, cross-phase modulation) to quantitatively image the biochemical composition of transparent or pigmented tissue in a variety of applications, ranging from thin, unstained tissue sections to live knockout mice. The rich biochemical information provided by this method can be used as an indicator of melanocyte activity, which in turn (for example) reflects the status of melanocytic lesions. Comparisons with model systems (synthetic melanin nanoparticles, sepia melanin) and analysis of melanin degradation pathways in vivo have led to a quantitative understanding of the molecular basis of these changes.

  2. Antiradiation properties of melanin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bushmanov A.Ju.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Aim: to examine the therapeutic efficiency of melanin administered to mice after irradiation at lethal and sublethal doses. Material and methods: Survival and hematological states were studied on CD-1 mice receiving on acute or fractionated whole-body doses on X-rays or gamma-irradiation. Melanin soluble was given with water ad libitum from the first to the 30th-day after irradiation. Results. It was shown that melanin produced a significant therapeutic and protective-therapeutic action against acute radiation injury in the dose range 6,5-7,5 Gy (LD80-LD under our conditions. Cumulative survival melanin treated mice was increased to 14,4%, in control group — 1,9%. After fractionated injury (1 Gy daily, total dose 10 Gy all mice which consumed melanin remained alive, versus 43,7% in control. Melanin decreased radiation-induced damage and stimulated the hematopoiesis recovery after sublethal exposure (5Gy. Conclusion. The results permit to regard melanin as a therapeutic agent for treatment of radiation injuries.

  3. Melanin, melanin "ghosts," and melanin composition in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, Y; Aisen, P; Casadevall, A

    1996-01-01

    Melanin synthesis is associated with virulence for the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. Exposure of nonmelanized C. neoformans 4067 cells to 4 M guanidinium isothiocyanate followed by 6 M HCl at 100 degrees C resulted in complete solubilization of cellular structures. However, exposure of melanized C. neoformans 24067 to the same conditions produced a suspension of black particles. Analysis of black particles with transmission and scanning electron microscopy revealed cell "ghosts" ...

  4. Gingival pigmentation beneath a metallic crown

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakai, T.; Hirayasu, R.; Sakai, H.; Hashimoto, N.

    1988-01-01

    Light and electron microscopic studies and energy dispersive X-ray analysis disclosed that the essential cause of gingival discoloration following the placement of a metallic crown, was marked deposition of melanin pigment. Deposition of melanin pigment was observed in epithelial cells, on basement membranes, and in fibroblasts, macrophages and among intercellular ground substance of the proprial layer. Brown or dark brown colored granules were observed in the deep portion of the proprial layer. Some metallic elements as silver and sulfur were detected. It was presumed that these materials were dental metals accidentally implanted in gingival tissues during the therapeutic procedure. The deposition of melanin pigment closely corresponded with mucosal tissue where these materials were present in the deep portion of the proprial layer. These findings suggested that these materials influenced the physiological metabolism of melanin and induced its pathological deposition in the proprial tissue. (author)

  5. Melanin in Fonsecaea pedrosoi: a trap for oxidative radicals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Souza Wanderley

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The pathogenic fungus Fonsecaea pedrosoi constitutively produces the pigment melanin, an important virulence factor in fungi. Melanin is incorporated in the cell wall structure and provides chemical and physical protection for the fungus. We evaluated the production of nitric oxide (NO in macrophages, the oxidative burst and the inducible nitric oxide synthase (i-NOS activity in interactions between activated murine macrophages and F. pedrosoi. Experiments were carried out with or without tricyclazole (TC treatment, a selective inhibitor of the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN-melanin biosynthesis pathway in F. pedrosoi. The paramagnetisms of melanin and the TC-melanin were analysed by electron spin resonance. The fungal growth responses to H2O2 and to S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP, a nitric oxide donor, were also evaluated. Results Melanised F. pedrosoi cells were more resistant to both H2O2 and NO. Nitrite was not detected in the supernatant of macrophages incubated with melanised fungal cells. However, i-NOS expression was unaffected by the presence of either untreated control F. pedrosoi or TC-treated F. pedrosoi. In addition, the inhibition of the DHN-melanin pathway by TC improved the oxidative burst capability of the macrophages. Conclusion The NO-trapping ability of F. pedrosoi melanin is an important mechanism to escape the oxidative burst of macrophages.

  6. Diversion of the melanin synthetic pathway by dopamine product

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Differences in the ratio of melanin pigments create wide variations in human skin color, ranging from light to dark skin color. Thus, when the eumelanin to pheomelanin ratio is higher the skin of an individual becomes darker. To lighten skin, dopaminoquinone has to be diverted towards the production of pheomelanin by ...

  7. Photothermal imaging of melanin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerimo, Josef; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2013-02-01

    We present photothermal images of melanin using modulation with two laser beams. Strong melanin absorption followed by efficient nonradiative relaxation caused heating and an increase in temperature. This temperature effect was used as an imaging contrast to detect melanin. Melanin from several samples including Sepia officinalis, black human hair, and live zebra fish, were imaged with a high signal-to-noise ratio. For the imaging, we focused two near infrared laser beams (pump and probe) collinearly with different wavelengths and the pump was modulated in amplitude. The thermally induced variations in the refractive index, at the modulation frequency, were detected by the scattering of the probe beam. The Photothermal method brings several imaging benefits including the lack of background interference and the possibility of imaging for an extended period of time without photodamage to the melanin. The dependence of the photothermal signal on the laser power, modulation frequency, and spatial offset of the probe is discussed. The new photothermal imaging method is promising and provides background-free and label-free imaging of melanin and can be implemented with low-cost CW lasers.

  8. Genetic validation and spectroscopic detailing of DHN-melanin extracted from an environmental fungus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nitya Meenakshi Raman

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Accurate characterization of melanin using analytical methodologies has proved to be difficult due to its heterogeneity, insolubility in wide pH and broad range of solvents. The present study was undertaken to characterize melanin extracted from an environmental Aspergillus fumigatus AFGRD105 by studying its genes, chemical properties and spectral data. A gene based approach to confirm the type of melanin carried out indicated the extracted melanin to be of the dihydroxynaphthalene type. On comparison with synthetic melanin, UV–Vis and IR spectra of the extracted melanin revealed characteristic peaks that can be further used for confirmation of DHN-melanin extracted from any source. Solid state 13C NMR spectroscopy established the presence of the hydroxyl-naphthalene moiety and validated the results obtained by genetic analysis. The correct assignment of the observed spectral frequency characteristic of functional groups can be further adapted in future works that deal with binding capacities and biomolecule systems involving melanin.

  9. Genetic validation and spectroscopic detailing of DHN-melanin extracted from an environmental fungus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raman, Nitya Meenakshi; Ramasamy, Suganthi

    2017-12-01

    Accurate characterization of melanin using analytical methodologies has proved to be difficult due to its heterogeneity, insolubility in wide pH and broad range of solvents. The present study was undertaken to characterize melanin extracted from an environmental Aspergillus fumigatus AFGRD105 by studying its genes, chemical properties and spectral data. A gene based approach to confirm the type of melanin carried out indicated the extracted melanin to be of the dihydroxynaphthalene type. On comparison with synthetic melanin, UV-Vis and IR spectra of the extracted melanin revealed characteristic peaks that can be further used for confirmation of DHN-melanin extracted from any source. Solid state 13 C NMR spectroscopy established the presence of the hydroxyl-naphthalene moiety and validated the results obtained by genetic analysis. The correct assignment of the observed spectral frequency characteristic of functional groups can be further adapted in future works that deal with binding capacities and biomolecule systems involving melanin.

  10. Comparative EPR studies of free radicals in melanin synthesized by Bacillus weihenstephanensis soil strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Drewnowska, Justyna M.; Swiecicka, Izabela

    2017-07-01

    EPR spectroscopy was used to examine the properties of and free radical concentrations in atypical water-soluble melanin-like pigments from Bacillus weihenstephanensis strains. The same EPR spectral shape was observed in bacterial melanins as in eumelanin. The EPR lines were homogeneously broadened. Continuous microwave saturation of the EPR lines indicated slow spin-lattice relaxation processes in the samples. Strong dipolar interactions characterized the tested melanin samples. Higher free radical concentrations were found in bacterial melanin than in synthetic melanin. The free radical concentrations in melanin from B. weihenstephanensis increased in the following order: strain JAS 81/4 < JAS 83/3 < JAS 86/1 < JAS 39/1.

  11. Optimization of culture medium for production of melanin by Auricularia auricula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu ZOU

    Full Text Available Abstract Melanin is a natural high molecular weight pigment with the huge application value and development potential in food industry. In the present study, medium composition for melanin production by fungus Auricularia auricula was investigated. Wheat bran extract, l-tyrosine, and CuSO4 were determined to optimize medium composition by response surface methodology with Box–Behnken design. Results indicated that the optimal medium composition was 26.80% (v/v wheat bran extract, 1.59 g/L l-tyrosine, and 0.11 g/L CuSO4, and the maximum melanin yield was 519.54 mg/L. Melanin production through A. auricula fermentation avoided expensive enzymatic or complicated chemical methods for melanin extraction from tissues of plant or animal, which had the huge application value and development potential for efficient production of melanin.

  12. (melanin) production in Streptomyces

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    GRACE

    Nine strains among 180 Streptomyces isolates produce a diffusible dark brown pigment on both peptone-yeast extract agar and synthetic tyrosine-agar. They also show the positive reaction to L- tyrosine or L-dopa substrates. The pigment has been referred to be as merely as dark brown water- soluble pigment, as melanoid ...

  13. Microneedling dilates the follicular infundibulum and increases transfollicular absorption of liposomal sepia melanin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serrano G

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Gabriel Serrano,1 Patricia Almudéver,2 Juan M Serrano,3 Julio Cortijo,2 Carmen Faus,1 Magda Reyes,1 Inmaculada Expósito,3 Ana Torrens,3 Fernando Millán1 1Clínica Dermatológica Serrano, 2Department of Pharmacology, University of Valencia, 3Research and Development Department, Sesderma Laboratories, Valencia, Spain Abstract: Encapsulation of chemicals in liposomes and microneedling are currently used techniques to enhance the penetration of several substances through skin and hair. In this study, we apply a liposomal melanin–fluorescein compound to an ex vivo model of human skin, using a new electrical microneedling device (Nanopore turbo roller. The product was applied by hand massage (A or with the assistance of the electrical roller for 2 minutes (B. An additional test was performed free of product and with only the E-roller (C. Histological changes and product absorption were evaluated by optical and fluorescent microscopy 60 and 90 minutes after the treatment. Site B showed larger deposits of melanin–fluorescein at superficial and deep levels of hair structures in comparison to site A. Light, epidermal deposits of the melanin–fluorescein complex were also observed. Sites B and C showed a significant widening (47% of the follicular infundibulum which could explain the increased penetration of the formulation. Microneedling also removed the scales and sebum residues in the neighborhood of the infundibulum. Targeting hair follicles with melanin may be useful to dye poorly pigmented hairs, improving laser hair removal. The procedure accelerates the delivery of melanin into hair structures allowing an even absorption, larger pigment deposits, and deeper penetration of the formulation into the hair. Keywords: liposomes, melanin, microneedling, follicular infundibulum, hair removal

  14. [Antifungal activity of melanin in clinical isolates of Candida spp].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Marisol; Hernández, Romané; Gordillo, Diego; Amaro, José; Falconer, Mary A; Alburquenque, Claudio; Tapia, Cecilia V

    2014-02-01

    Melanocytes are cells located in epidermis and mucous membranes that synthesize melanin and cytokines. It is known that melanin has antimicrobial activity and that melanocytes are melanized in presence of microbial molecules. To study the antifungal activity of melanin on Candida spp. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) to melanin was determined in 4 Candida ATCC strains (C. albicans SC5314, C. parapsilosis 22019, C. glabrata 2001, C. krusei 6258) and 56 clinical isolates of Candida spp. (33 C. albicans, 12 C. glabrata, 3 C. famata, 3 C. krusei, 3 C. parapsilosis, 2 C. tropicalis) using a broth microdilution method. In addition, the antifungal activity of melanocytes and mice melanoma cells was tested against C. albicans. Melanin inhibited the tested isolates, including the susceptible dose-dependent and fluconazole-resistant strains; MIC range and MIC50 were 0.09-50 μg/mL and 6.25 μg/mL, respectively. Pigmented cells lysates inhibited C. albicans. Melanin is able to inhibit clinical isolates of Candida spp. Melanization could be an important protective mechanism of melanocytes.

  15. Simultaneous in vivo imaging of melanin and lipofuscin in the retina with multimodal photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiangyang; Zhang, Hao F.; Zhou, Lixiang; Jiao, Shuliang

    2012-02-01

    We combined photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM) with autofluorescence imaging for simultaneous in vivo imaging of dual molecular contrasts in the retina using a single light source. The dual molecular contrasts come from melanin and lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Melanin and lipofuscin are two types of pigments and are believed to play opposite roles (protective vs. exacerbate) in the RPE in the aging process. We successfully imaged the retina of pigmented and albino rats at different ages. The experimental results showed that multimodal PAOM system can be a potentially powerful tool in the study of age-related degenerative retinal diseases.

  16. Photoinduced oxygen consumption in melanin systems. Action spectra and quantum yields for eumelanin and synthetic melanin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sarna, T.; Sealy, R.C. (Medical Coll. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (USA))

    1984-01-01

    Consumption of oxygen during irradiation of melanins with either visible or ultraviolet light (230 to 600 nm) was monitored using a spin-probe nitroxide-electron spin resonance spectroscopic approach. Eumelanins are moderately effective in promoting oxygen consumption; quantum yields are low for irradiation with visible light, but increase sharply with light of shorter wavelengths. The absolute quantum yield for oxygen consumption is about 0.1% for natural melanin at 320 nm. The action spectrum is similar for both natural and synthetic melanins indicating that the major chromophore responsible for oxygen consumption is the same for both kinds of material. This chromophore is not the major melanin chromophore responsible for absorption of visible light. The action spectrum also clearly differs from published action spectra for melanogenesis; however, the weak wavelength dependence for visible light is similar to that found for immediate pigment darkening. Catalase decreases the rate of oxygen consumption by 50% confirming that hydrogen peroxide is the major molecular product of oxygen reduction. The results suggest that a Type I (free radical) mechanism predominates in the oxygen consumption process.

  17. Redox Active Transition Metal ions Make Melanin Susceptible to Chemical Degradation Induced by Organic Peroxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zadlo, Andrzej; Pilat, Anna; Sarna, Michal; Pawlak, Anna; Sarna, Tadeusz

    2017-12-01

    With aging, retinal pigment epithelium melanosomes, by fusion with the age pigment lipofuscin, form complex granules called melanolipofuscin. Lipofuscin granules may contain oxidized proteins and lipid hydroperoxides, which in melanolipofuscin could chemically modify melanin polymer, while transition metal ions present in melanin can accelerate such oxidative modifications. The aim of this research was to examine the effect of selected transition metal ions on melanin susceptibility to chemical modification induced by the water-soluble tert-butyl hydroperoxide used as an oxidizing agent. Synthetic melanin obtained by DOPA autooxidation and melanosomes isolated from bovine retinal pigment epithelium were analyzed. To monitor tert-butyl hydroperoxide-induced oxidative changes of DMa and BMs, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, UV-vis absorption spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopy and electron paramagnetic resonance oximetry were employed. These measurements revealed that both copper and iron ions accelerated chemical degradation induced by tert-butyl hydroperoxide, while zinc ions had no effect. Strong prooxidant action was detected only in the case of melanosomes and melanin degraded in the presence of iron. It can be postulated that similar chemical processes, if they occur in situ in melanolipofuscin granules of the human retinal pigment epithelium, would modify antioxidant properties of melanin and its reactivity.

  18. Antibodies Against Melanin

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1973-01-06

    Jan 6, 1973 ... as often quoted, to an auto-immune aetiology of vitiligo;. (ii) its significance regarding the current problem of melanin structure, whether it is a homopolymer, formed by the linkage of a single monomer (indole-5, 6-quinone) or a poikilopolymer, formed by the irregular random bonding of several types of ...

  19. UV-B affects the immune system and promotes nuclear abnormalities in pigmented and non-pigmented bullfrog tadpoles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco-Belussi, Lilian; Fanali, Lara Zácari; De Oliveira, Classius

    2018-03-01

    Ultra-Violet (UV) radiation is a stressor of the immune system and causes DNA damage. Leukocytes can change in response to environmental changes in anurans, making them an important biomarker of stressful situations. The initial barrier against UV in ectothermic animals is melanin-containing cells in skin and in their internal organs. Here, we tested the effects of UV exposure on immune cells and DNA integrity in pigmented and non-pigmented tadpoles of Lithobates catesbeianus. We used an inflammation model with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Escherichia coli to test synergic effects of UV and LPS. We tested the following hypotheses: 1) DNA damage caused by UV will be more pronounced in non-pigmented than in pigmented animals; 2) LPS increases leukocytes in both pigmented and non-pigmented animals by systemic inflammation; 3) The combined LPS and UV exposure will decrease the number of leukocytes. We found that the frequency of immune cells differed between pigmented and non-pigmented tadpoles. UV exposure increased mast cells and DNA damage in erythrocytes in both pigmented and non-pigmented tadpoles, while leukocytes decreased after UV exposure. Non-pigmented tadpoles experienced DNA damage and a lower lymphocyte count earlier than pigmented tadpoles. UV altered immune cells likely as a consequence of local and systemic inflammation. These alterations were less severe in pigmented than in non-pigmented animals. UV and LPS increased internal melanin in pigmented tadpoles, which were correlated with DNA damage and leukocytes. Here, we described for the first time the effects of UV and LPS in immune cells of pigmented and non-pigmented tadpoles. In addition, we demonstrated that internal melanin in tadpoles help in these defenses, since leukocyte responses were faster in non-pigmented animals, supporting the hypothesis that melanin is involved in the initial innate immune response. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Melanin fate in the human epidermis: a reassessment of how best to detect and analyse histologically.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joly-Tonetti, Nicolas; Wibawa, Judata I D; Bell, Mike; Tobin, Desmond

    2016-07-01

    Melanin is the predominant pigment responsible for skin colour and is synthesized by the melanocyte in the basal layer of the epidermis and then transferred to surrounding keratinocytes. Despite its optical properties, melanin is barely detectable in unstained sections of human epidermis. However, identification and localization of melanin is of importance for the study of skin pigmentation in health and disease. Current methods for the histologic quantification of melanin are suboptimal and are associated with significant risk of misinterpretation. The aim of this study was to reassess the existing literature and to develop a more effective histological method of melanin quantification in human skin. Moreover, we confirm that Warthin-Starry (WS) stain provides a much more sensitive and more specific melanin detection method than the commonplace Fontana-Masson (FM) stain. For example, WS staining sensitivity allowed the visualization of melanin even in very pale Caucasian skin that was missed by FM or Von Kossa (VK) stains. From our reassessment of the histology-related literature, we conclude that so-called melanin dust is most likely an artifact of discoloration due to non-specific silver deposition in the stratum corneum. Unlike FM and VK, WS was not associated with this non-specific stratum corneum darkening, misinterpreted previously as 'degraded' melanin. Finally, WS melanin particle counts were largely similar to previously reported manual counts by transmission electron microscopy, in contrast to both FM and VK. Together these findings allow us to propose a new histology/Image J-informed method for the accurate and precise quantification of epidermal melanin in skin. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Nanomechanical analysis of pigmented human melanoma cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarna, Michal; Zadlo, Andrzej; Pilat, Anna; Olchawa, Magdalena; Gkogkolou, Paraskevi; Burda, Kvetoslava; Böhm, Markus; Sarna, Tadeusz

    2013-09-01

    Based on hitherto measurements of elasticity of various cells in vitro and ex vivo, cancer cells are generally believed to be much softer than their normal counterparts. In spite of significant research efforts on the elasticity of cancer cells, only few studies were undertaken with melanoma cells. However, there are no reports concerning pigmented melanoma cells. Here, we report for the first time on the elasticity of pigmented human melanoma cells. The obtained data show that melanin significantly increases the stiffness of pigmented melanoma cells and that the effect depends on the amount of melanin inside the cells. The dramatic impact of melanin on the nanomechanical properties of cells puts into question widely accepted paradigm about all cancer cells being softer than their normal counterparts. Our findings reveal significant limitations of the nanodiagnosis approach for melanoma and contribute to better understanding of cell elasticity. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. An intracellular anion channel critical for pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellono, Nicholas W; Escobar, Iliana E; Lefkovith, Ariel J; Marks, Michael S; Oancea, Elena

    2014-12-16

    Intracellular ion channels are essential regulators of organellar and cellular function, yet the molecular identity and physiological role of many of these channels remains elusive. In particular, no ion channel has been characterized in melanosomes, organelles that produce and store the major mammalian pigment melanin. Defects in melanosome function cause albinism, characterized by vision and pigmentation deficits, impaired retinal development, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. The most common form of albinism is caused by mutations in oculocutaneous albinism II (OCA2), a melanosome-specific transmembrane protein with unknown function. Here we used direct patch-clamp of skin and eye melanosomes to identify a novel chloride-selective anion conductance mediated by OCA2 and required for melanin production. Expression of OCA2 increases organelle pH, suggesting that the chloride channel might regulate melanin synthesis by modulating melanosome pH. Thus, a melanosomal anion channel that requires OCA2 is essential for skin and eye pigmentation.

  3. Non-contact assessment of melanin distribution via multispectral temporal illumination coding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amelard, Robert; Scharfenberger, Christian; Wong, Alexander; Clausi, David A.

    2015-03-01

    Melanin is a pigment that is highly absorptive in the UV and visible electromagnetic spectra. It is responsible for perceived skin tone, and protects against harmful UV effects. Abnormal melanin distribution is often an indicator for melanoma. We propose a novel approach for non-contact melanin distribution via multispectral temporal illumination coding to estimate the two-dimensional melanin distribution based on its absorptive characteristics. In the proposed system, a novel multispectral, cross-polarized, temporally-coded illumination sequence is synchronized with a camera to measure reflectance under both multispectral and ambient illumination. This allows us to eliminate the ambient illumination contribution from the acquired reflectance measurements, and also to determine the melanin distribution in an observed region based on the spectral properties of melanin using the Beer-Lambert law. Using this information, melanin distribution maps can be generated for objective, quantitative assessment of skin type of individuals. We show that the melanin distribution map correctly identifies areas with high melanin densities (e.g., nevi).

  4. MMS 1001 inhibits melanin synthesis via ERK activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyun-E; Song, Jiho; Kim, Su Yeon; Park, Kyoung-Chan; Min, Kyung Hoon; Kim, Dong-Seok

    2013-03-01

    Melanin plays major a role in pigmentation of hair, eyes, and skin in mammals. In this study, the inhibitory effects of MMS 1001 on alpha-MSH-stimulated melanogenesis were investigated in B16F10 melanoma cells. MMS 1001 did not show cytotoxic effects up to 10 microM. Melanin content and intracellular tyrosinase activity were inhibited by MMS 1001 treatment in a dose-dependent manner. In Western blot analysis, MITF expression was decreased by MMS 1001. In addition, tyrosinase expressions were also reduced after MMS 1001 treatment. Further results showed that the phosphorylation of ERK was induced by MMS 1001. Moreover, a specific MEK inhibitor, PD98059, abrogated the inhibitory effects of MMS 1001 on melanin production and tyrosinase expression. These results indicate that the hypopigmentary effects of MMS 1001 resulted from the inhibition of MITF and tyrosinase expression via phosphorylation of ERK. Thus, MMS 1001 could be developed as a new effective skin-whitening agent.

  5. Sponge-Associated Bacteria Produce Non-cytotoxic Melanin Which Protects Animal Cells from Photo-Toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayan, Vijitha; Jasmin, Chekidhenkuzhiyil; Anas, Abdulaziz; Parakkaparambil Kuttan, Sreelakshmi; Vinothkumar, Saradavey; Perunninakulath Subrayan, Parameswaran; Nair, Shanta

    2017-09-01

    Melanin is a photo-protective polymer found in many organisms. Our research shows that the bacteria associated with darkly pigmented sponges (Haliclona pigmentifera, Sigmadocia pumila, Fasciospongia cavernosa, Spongia officinalis, and Callyspongia diffusa) secrete non-cytotoxic melanin, with antioxidant activity that protects animal cells from photo-toxicity. Out of 156 bacterial strains screened, 22 produced melanin and these melanin-producing bacteria (MPB) were identified as Vibrio spp., Providencia sp., Bacillus sp., Shewanella sp., Staphylococcus sp., Planococcus sp., Salinococcus sp., and Glutamicibacter sp. Maximum melanin production was exhibited by Vibrio alginolyticus Marine Microbial Reference Facility (MMRF) 534 (50 mg ml -1 ), followed by two isolates of Vibrio harveyi MMRF 535 (40 mg ml -1 ) and MMRF 546 (30 mg ml -1 ). Using pathway inhibition assay and FT-IR spectral analysis, we identified the melanin secreted into the culture medium of MPB as 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene-melanin. The bacterial melanin was non-cytotoxic to mouse fibroblast L929 cells and brine shrimps up to a concentration of 200 and 500 ppm, respectively. Bacterial melanin showed antioxidant activity at very low concentration (IC 50 -9.0 ppm) and at 50 ppm, melanin protected L929 cells from UV-induced intracellular reactive oxygen stress. Our study proposes sponge-associated bacteria as a potential source of non-cytotoxic melanin with antioxidant potentials.

  6. Ionizing radiation changes the electronic properties of melanin and enhances the growth of melanized fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dadachova, Ekaterina; Bryan, Ruth A; Huang, Xianchun; Moadel, Tiffany; Schweitzer, Andrew D; Aisen, Philip; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Casadevall, Arturo

    2007-05-23

    Melanin pigments are ubiquitous in nature. Melanized microorganisms are often the dominating species in certain extreme environments, such as soils contaminated with radionuclides, suggesting that the presence of melanin is beneficial in their life cycle. We hypothesized that ionizing radiation could change the electronic properties of melanin and might enhance the growth of melanized microorganisms. Ionizing irradiation changed the electron spin resonance (ESR) signal of melanin, consistent with changes in electronic structure. Irradiated melanin manifested a 4-fold increase in its capacity to reduce NADH relative to non-irradiated melanin. HPLC analysis of melanin from fungi grown on different substrates revealed chemical complexity, dependence of melanin composition on the growth substrate and possible influence of melanin composition on its interaction with ionizing radiation. XTT/MTT assays showed increased metabolic activity of melanized C. neoformans cells relative to non-melanized cells, and exposure to ionizing radiation enhanced the electron-transfer properties of melanin in melanized cells. Melanized Wangiella dermatitidis and Cryptococcus neoformans cells exposed to ionizing radiation approximately 500 times higher than background grew significantly faster as indicated by higher CFUs, more dry weight biomass and 3-fold greater incorporation of (14)C-acetate than non-irradiated melanized cells or irradiated albino mutants. In addition, radiation enhanced the growth of melanized Cladosporium sphaerospermum cells under limited nutrients conditions. Exposure of melanin to ionizing radiation, and possibly other forms of electromagnetic radiation, changes its electronic properties. Melanized fungal cells manifested increased growth relative to non-melanized cells after exposure to ionizing radiation, raising intriguing questions about a potential role for melanin in energy capture and utilization.

  7. Synthetic melanin bound to subunit vaccine antigens significantly enhances CD8+ T-cell responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoine F Carpentier

    Full Text Available Cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs play a key role in immunity against cancer; however, the induction of CTL responses with currently available vaccines remains difficult. Because several reports have suggested that pigmentation and immunity might be functionally linked, we investigated whether melanin can act as an adjuvant in vaccines. Short synthetic peptides (8-35 amino acids long containing T-cell epitopes were mixed with a solution of L-Dopa, a precursor of melanin. The mixture was then oxidized to generate nanoparticles of melanin-bound peptides. Immunization with melanin-bound peptides efficiently triggered CTL responses in mice, even against self-antigens and at a very low dose of peptides (microgram range. Immunization against a tumor antigen inhibited the growth of established tumors in mice, an effect that was abrogated by the depletion of CD8+ lymphocytes. These results demonstrate the efficacy of melanin as a vaccine adjuvant.

  8. Tyrisonase inhibition and melanin reduction of human melanocytes (HEMn-MP) using Anacardium occidentale L extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdul Gaffar, R; Abdul Majid, F A; Sarmidi, M R

    2008-07-01

    Cashew (Anacardium occindentale L) leaves extract (CLE) has potential as tyrosinase inhibitor that can be used for therapeutic in pigmentation problem. This study investigates the real potential of CLE to inhibit tyrosinase and melanin reduction using human epidermal melanocytes. The extracts were exposed to the human melanocytes for more than 24 hours. The CLE extract exhibited potential as tyrosinase inhibitor, reduced melanin and high in antioxidant activity relative to commercial extract of Emblica sp.

  9. Phytoplankton pigments from the Nimbus-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner - Comparisons with surface measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, H. R.; Clark, D. K.; Hovis, W. A.; Mueller, J. L.

    1980-01-01

    Algorithms are developed for removing aerosol effects in visual data from the Nimbus-7 Coastal Zone Color Scanner (CZCS). The corrected imagery reveals eddy-like ocean circulation patterns. Pigment concentrations from CZCS are compared with surface determinations. CZCS imagery estimates pigment concentration to within 0.5 log C, where C is the sum of the concentrations of chlorophyll a and phaeopigments a

  10. Melanin Transferred to Keratinocytes Resides in Nondegradative Endocytic Compartments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correia, Maria S; Moreiras, Hugo; Pereira, Francisco J C; Neto, Matilde V; Festas, Tiago C; Tarafder, Abul K; Ramalho, José S; Seabra, Miguel C; Barral, Duarte C

    2018-03-01

    Melanin transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes and subsequent accumulation in the supranuclear region is a critical process in skin pigmentation and protection against UVR. We have previously proposed that the main mode of transfer between melanocytes and keratinocytes is through exo/endocytosis of the melanosome core, termed melanocore. In this study, we developed an in vitro uptake assay using melanocores secreted by melanocytes. We show that the uptake of melanocores, but not melanosomes, by keratinocytes is protease-activated receptor-2-dependent. Furthermore, we found that the silencing of the early endocytic regulator Rab5b, but not the late endocytic regulators Rab7a or Rab9a, significantly impairs melanocore uptake by keratinocytes. After uptake, we observed that melanin accumulates in compartments that are positive for both early and late endocytic markers. We found that melanin does not localize to either highly degradative or acidic organelles, as assessed by LysoTracker and DQ-BSA staining, despite the abundance of these types of organelles within keratinocytes. Therefore, we propose that melanocore uptake leads to storage of melanin within keratinocytes in hybrid endocytic compartments that are not highly acidic or degradative. By avoiding lysosomal degradation, these specialized endosomes may allow melanin to persist within keratinocytes for long periods. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. A Non-canonical Melanin Biosynthesis Pathway Protects Aspergillus terreus Conidia from Environmental Stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geib, Elena; Gressler, Markus; Viediernikova, Iuliia; Hillmann, Falk; Jacobsen, Ilse D; Nietzsche, Sandor; Hertweck, Christian; Brock, Matthias

    2016-05-19

    Melanins are ubiquitous pigments found in all kingdoms of life. Most organisms use them for protection from environmental stress, although some fungi employ melanins as virulence determinants. The human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus and related Ascomycetes produce dihydroxynaphthalene- (DHN) melanin in their spores, the conidia, and use it to inhibit phagolysosome acidification. However, biosynthetic origin of melanin in a related fungus, Aspergillus terreus, has remained a mystery because A. terreus lacks genes for synthesis of DHN-melanin. Here we identify genes coding for an unusual NRPS-like enzyme (MelA) and a tyrosinase (TyrP) that A. terreus expressed under conidiation conditions. We demonstrate that MelA produces aspulvinone E, which is activated for polymerization by TyrP. Functional studies reveal that this new pigment, Asp-melanin, confers resistance against UV light and hampers phagocytosis by soil amoeba. Unexpectedly, Asp-melanin does not inhibit acidification of phagolysosomes, thus likely contributing specifically to survival of A. terreus conidia in acidic environments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F; Currano, Ellen D; Jacobs, Louis L; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-13

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns.

  13. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Sylvestersen, Rene Lyng; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-01-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns. PMID:26417094

  14. Chemical, experimental, and morphological evidence for diagenetically altered melanin in exceptionally preserved fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colleary, Caitlin; Dolocan, Andrei; Gardner, James; Singh, Suresh; Wuttke, Michael; Rabenstein, Renate; Habersetzer, Jörg; Schaal, Stephan; Feseha, Mulugeta; Clemens, Matthew; Jacobs, Bonnie F.; Currano, Ellen D.; Jacobs, Louis L.; Lyng Sylvestersen, Rene; Gabbott, Sarah E.; Vinther, Jakob

    2015-10-01

    In living organisms, color patterns, behavior, and ecology are closely linked. Thus, detection of fossil pigments may permit inferences about important aspects of ancient animal ecology and evolution. Melanin-bearing melanosomes were suggested to preserve as organic residues in exceptionally preserved fossils, retaining distinct morphology that is associated with aspects of original color patterns. Nevertheless, these oblong and spherical structures have also been identified as fossilized bacteria. To date, chemical studies have not directly considered the effects of diagenesis on melanin preservation, and how this may influence its identification. Here we use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to identify and chemically characterize melanin in a diverse sample of previously unstudied extant and fossil taxa, including fossils with notably different diagenetic histories and geologic ages. We document signatures consistent with melanin preservation in fossils ranging from feathers, to mammals, to amphibians. Using principal component analyses, we characterize putative mixtures of eumelanin and phaeomelanin in both fossil and extant samples. Surprisingly, both extant and fossil amphibians generally exhibit melanosomes with a mixed eumelanin/phaeomelanin composition rather than pure eumelanin, as assumed previously. We argue that experimental maturation of modern melanin samples replicates diagenetic chemical alteration of melanin observed in fossils. This refutes the hypothesis that such fossil microbodies could be bacteria, and demonstrates that melanin is widely responsible for the organic soft tissue outlines in vertebrates found at exceptional fossil localities, thus allowing for the reconstruction of certain aspects of original pigment patterns.

  15. Snapshot RGB mapping of skin melanin and hemoglobin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spigulis, Janis; Oshina, Ilze

    2015-05-01

    The concept of snapshot red-green-blue (RGB) multispectral imaging was applied for skin chromophore mapping. Three monochromatic spectral images have been extracted from a single RGB image dataset at simultaneous illumination of skin by 473-, 532-, and 659-nm laser lines. The spectral images were further transformed into distribution maps of skin melanin, oxyhemoglobin, and deoxyhemoglobin, related to pigmented and vascular skin malformations. The performance and clinical potential of the proposed technique are discussed.

  16. Flavonoids and Melanins: A Common Strategy across Two Kingdoms

    OpenAIRE

    Carletti, Giorgia; Nervo, Giuseppe; Cattivelli, Luigi

    2014-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiations alter a number of metabolic functions in vivant. They produce damages to lipids, nucleic acids and proteins, generating reactive oxygen species such as singlet oxygen (O2), hydroxyl radical (HO) and superoxide anion (O2 -). Plants and animals, after their water emersion, have developed biochemical mechanisms to protect themselves from that environmental threat through a common strategy. Melanins in animals and flavonoids in plants are antioxidant pigments acting as...

  17. Madecassoside Inhibits Melanin Synthesis by Blocking Ultraviolet-Induced Inflammation

    OpenAIRE

    Eunsun Jung; Jung-A Lee; Seoungwoo Shin; Kyung-Baeg Roh; Jang-Hyun Kim; Deokhoon Park

    2013-01-01

    Madecassoside (MA), a pentacyclic triterpene isolated from Centella asitica (L.), is used as a therapeutic agent in wound healing and also as an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging agent. However, the involvement of MA in skin-pigmentation has not been reported. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of MA on ultraviolet (UV)-induced melanogenesis and mechanisms in a co-culture system of keratinocytes and melanocytes. MA significantly inhibited UVR-induced melanin synthesis and mel...

  18. AP-1/KIF13A Blocking Peptides Impair Melanosome Maturation and Melanin Synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campagne, Cécile; Ripoll, Léa; Gilles-Marsens, Floriane; Raposo, Graça; Delevoye, Cédric

    2018-02-14

    Melanocytes are specialized cells that generate unique organelles called melanosomes in which melanin is synthesized and stored. Melanosome biogenesis and melanocyte pigmentation require the transport and delivery of melanin synthesizing enzymes, such as tyrosinase and related proteins (e.g., TYRP1), from endosomes to maturing melanosomes. Among the proteins controlling endosome-melanosome transport, AP-1 together with KIF13A coordinates the endosomal sorting and trafficking of TYRP1 to melanosomes. We identify here β1-adaptin AP-1 subunit-derived peptides of 5 amino acids that block the interaction of KIF13A with AP-1 in cells. Incubating these peptides with human MNT-1 cells or 3D-reconstructed pigmented epidermis decreases pigmentation by impacting the maturation of melanosomes in fully pigmented organelles. This study highlights that peptides targeting the intracellular trafficking of melanocytes are candidate molecules to tune pigmentation in health and disease.

  19. AP-1/KIF13A Blocking Peptides Impair Melanosome Maturation and Melanin Synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cécile Campagne

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Melanocytes are specialized cells that generate unique organelles called melanosomes in which melanin is synthesized and stored. Melanosome biogenesis and melanocyte pigmentation require the transport and delivery of melanin synthesizing enzymes, such as tyrosinase and related proteins (e.g., TYRP1, from endosomes to maturing melanosomes. Among the proteins controlling endosome-melanosome transport, AP-1 together with KIF13A coordinates the endosomal sorting and trafficking of TYRP1 to melanosomes. We identify here β1-adaptin AP-1 subunit-derived peptides of 5 amino acids that block the interaction of KIF13A with AP-1 in cells. Incubating these peptides with human MNT-1 cells or 3D-reconstructed pigmented epidermis decreases pigmentation by impacting the maturation of melanosomes in fully pigmented organelles. This study highlights that peptides targeting the intracellular trafficking of melanocytes are candidate molecules to tune pigmentation in health and disease.

  20. Comparison of chemical changes during photooxidation of polypropylene film and filament containing phthalocyanine pigment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmadi, Z.; Haghighat Kish, M.; Kotak, R.; Katbab, A. A.

    2008-01-01

    Photooxidation as an important process, which significantly affects the service life of the polypropylene products, has been the subject of much theoretical and experimental study. Pigments used often change the light stabilities of polypropylene. Out-door applications of pigmented polypropylene are now increasingly developed in products such as artificial grass. The aim of this work is to examine the effect of photo-oxidation on the structure of isotactic polypropylene (iPP) in film and filament forms, where phthalocyanine pigment is used. For production of films and filaments, iPP granules with MFI 25 g/10 min were used, with and without phthalocyanine pigment. Samples were exposed to xenon lamp for various time lengths. The extent of the changes in chemical and structural parameters was examined by differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and wide angle x-ray diffraction. The results show that carbonyl and hydroperoxide indices increase during the exposure to the radiation. The changes in melting points of the samples were not significant after irradiation process. The effects of phthalocyanine pigment in the photooxidation of film and filament were different. Crystalline fractions of the non-pigmented filament samples decreased during the irradiation time while increased in film samples. Build up of hydroperoxide and carbonyl group in filament was higher than in film samples; that could be due to the differences in structural parameters. Crystallinity variations during photooxidation are related to the nucleation effect of the pigment, chemical crystallization and phase transformation

  1. Comparison of Chemical Changes During Photooxidation of Polypropylene Film and Filament Containing Phthalocyanine Pigment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Ahmadi

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Photooxidation as an important process, which significantly affects the service life of the polypropylene products, has been the subject of much theoretical and experimental study. Pigments used often change the light stabilities of polypropylene. Out-door applications of pigmented polypr-opylene are now increasingly developed in products such as artificial grass. The aim of this work is to examine the effect of photo-oxidation on the structure of isotactic polypropylene (iPP in film and filament forms, where phthalocyanine pigment is used. For production of films and filaments, iPP granules with MFI 25 g/10min were used, with and without phthalocyanine pigment. Samples were exposed to xenon lamp for various time lengths. The extent of the changes in chemical and structural parameters was examined by differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and wide angle x-ray diffraction. The results show that carbonyl and hydroperoxide indices increase during the exposure to the radiation. The changes in melting points of the samples were not significant after irradiation process. The effects of phthalocyanine pigment in the photooxidation of filmand filament were different. Crystalline fractions of the non-pigmented filament samples decreased during the irradiation time while increased in film samples. Build up of hydroperoxide and carbonyl group in filament was higher than in film samples; that could be due to the differences in structural parameters. Crystallinity variations during photooxidation are related to the nucleation effect of the pigment, chemical crystallization and phase transformation.

  2. Pigment Production Analysis in Human Melanoma Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkin, Amelia Soto; Paterson, Elyse K; Ruiz, Rolando; Ganesan, Anand K

    2016-05-25

    The human epidermal melanocyte is a highly specialized pigmented cell that serves to protect the epidermis from ultraviolet (UV) damage through the production of melanin, or melanogenesis. Misregulation in melanogenesis leading to either hyper- or hypo-pigmentation is found in human diseases such as malasma and vitiligo. Current therapies for these diseases are largely unsuccessful and the need for new therapies is necessary. In order to identify genes and or compounds that can alter melanogenesis, methods are required that can detect changes in pigment production as well as expression of key melanogenesis transcription factors and enzymes. Here we describe methods to detect changes in melanogenesis in a human melanoma cell line, MNT-1, by (1) analyzing pigment production by measuring the absorbance of melanin present by spectrophotometry, (2) analyzing transcript expression of potent regulators of melanogenesis by qunatitative reverse-transcription (RT)PCR and (3) analyzing protein expression of potent regulators of melanogenesis by Western blot (WB).

  3. Melanin, a promising radioprotector: Mechanisms of actions in a mice model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunwar, A., E-mail: amitbio@rediffmail.com [Radiation and Photochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085 (India); Adhikary, B. [Radiation and Photochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085 (India); Jayakumar, S. [Radiation Biology and Health Sciences Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085 (India); Barik, A. [Radiation and Photochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085 (India); Chattopadhyay, S. [Bio-Organic Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085 (India); Raghukumar, S. [Myko Tech Private Limited, Dona Paula, Goa‐403004 (India); Priyadarsini, K.I., E-mail: kindira@barc.gov.in [Radiation and Photochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400085 (India)

    2012-10-15

    The radioprotective effect of extracellular melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, isolated from the fungus Gliocephalotrichum simplex was examined in BALB/C mice, and the probable mechanism of action was established. At an effective dose of 50 mg/kg body weight, melanin exhibited both prophylactic and mitigative activities, increasing the 30-day survival of mice by 100% and 60%, respectively, after exposure to radiation (7 Gy, whole body irradiation (WBI)). The protective activity of melanin was primarily due to inhibition of radiation-induced hematopoietic damages as evidenced by improvement in spleen parameters such as index, total cellularity, endogenous colony forming units, and maintenance of circulatory white blood cells and platelet counts. Melanin also reversed the radiation-induced decrease in ERK phosphorylation in splenic tissue, which may be the key feature in its radioprotective action. Additionally, our results indicated that the sustained activation of AKT, JNK and P38 proteins in splenic tissue of melanin pre-treated group may also play a secondary role. This was also supported by the fact that melanin could prevent apoptosis in splenic tissue by decreasing BAX/Bcl-XL ratio, and increasing the expressions of the proliferation markers (PCNA and Cyclin D1), compared to the radiation control group. Melanin also reduced the oxidative stress in hepatic tissue and abrogated immune imbalance by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL6 and TNFα). In conclusion, our results confirmed that fungal melanin is a very effective radioprotector against WBI and the probable mechanisms of radioprotection are due to modulation in pro-survival (ERK) signaling, prevention of oxidative stress and immunomodulation. -- Highlights: ► Melanin showed promising radioprotection under pre and post irradiation condition. ► Melanin protects the hematopoietic system from radiation induced damage. ► Melanin modulates pro-survival pathways, immune system

  4. The role of pigmentation on the development of chloroquine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... administered and duration of therapy. It is concluded that the effect of chloroquine on pigmentation depends on total amount of drug used, which would predispose to retinal pathology. Keywords: Chloroquine, pigmentation, melanin, retinopathy, retinotoxic. West African Journal of Pharmacology and Drug Research Vol.

  5. Internal pigment cells respond to external UV radiation in frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franco-Belussi, Lilian; Nilsson Sköld, Helen; de Oliveira, Classius

    2016-05-01

    Fish and amphibians have pigment cells that generate colorful skins important for signaling, camouflage, thermoregulation and protection against ultraviolet radiation (UVR). However, many animals also have pigment cells inside their bodies, on their internal organs and membranes. In contrast to external pigmentation, internal pigmentation is remarkably little studied and its function is not well known. Here, we tested genotoxic effects of UVR and its effects on internal pigmentation in a neotropical frog, Physalaemus nattereri We found increases in body darkness and internal melanin pigmentation in testes and heart surfaces and in the mesenterium and lumbar region after just a few hours of UVR exposure. The melanin dispersion in melanomacrophages in the liver and melanocytes in testes increased after UV exposure. In addition, the amount of melanin inside melanomacrophages cells also increased. Although mast cells were quickly activated by UVR, only longer UVR exposure resulted in genotoxic effects inside frogs, by increasing the frequency of micronuclei in red blood cells. This is the first study to describe systemic responses of external UVR on internal melanin pigmentation, melanomacrophages and melanocytes in frogs and thus provides a functional explanation to the presence of internal pigmentation. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Autophagy participates in isoliquiritigenin-induced melanin degradation in human epidermal keratinocytes through PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zhibo; Zeng, Biyun; Pan, Yi; Huang, Pan; Wang, Chang

    2018-01-01

    Melanin is the pigment responsible for the color of human skin and hair. Melanin serves as a double-edge sword which can exert both protective and spot-causing effects on skin. Although melanin has an important role in protecting the skin against UV damage, an excessive or uneven melanin production can lead to the formation of freckles and age spots. Isoliquiritigenin (ISL) has been reported to inhibit melanin synthesis; however, its role in melanin degradation remains unclear. In the present study, we evaluated the detailed function of ISL in melanin degradation in human epidermal keratinocytes. Since autophagy has been reported to be related to melanin degradation, we also examined the activation of autophagy by ISL treatment in keratinocytes by measurement of autophagy-related proteins, ATG7, LC3 and p62. Moreover, si-ATG7-induced ATG7 knockdown and autophagy inhibitor 3-MA decreased LC3 II protein levels and increased PMEL17, p62 and melanin levels in HaCaT cells, which could be partially reversed by ISL treatment, indicating that autophagy participated in melanin degradation. The decreased p-AKT and p-mTOR proteins upon ISL treatment indicated the involvement of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling in ISL-induced melanin degradation. Taken together, we demonstrated that autophagy participates in ISL-induced melanin degradation in human epidermal keratinocytes through PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

  7. Simultaneous in vivo imaging of melanin and lipofuscin in the retina with photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy and autofluorescence imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiangyang; Zhang, Hao F.; Puliafito, Carmen A.; Jiao, Shuliang

    2011-08-01

    We combined photoacoustic ophthalmoscopy (PAOM) with autofluorescence imaging for simultaneous in vivo imaging of dual molecular contrasts in the retina using a single light source. The dual molecular contrasts come from melanin and lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Melanin and lipofuscin are two types of pigments and are believed to play opposite roles (protective versus exacerbate) in the RPE in the aging process. We have successfully imaged the retina of pigmented and albino rats at different ages. The experimental results showed that multimodal PAOM system can be a potentially powerful tool in the study of age-related degenerative retinal diseases.

  8. Melanin: spin behaviour and implications for bioelectronic devices (Presentation Recording)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Paul; Sheliakina, Margarita; Mostert, Bernard

    2015-10-01

    The melanins are a broad class of pigmentary macromolecules found through nature that perform a wide range of functions including photo-protection [1]. The most common melanin - the brown, black pigment eumelanin, has been much studied because of its role in melanoma and also for its functional material properties [2]. Synthetic eumelanin has been shown to be photoconductive in the solid state and also possess a water content dependent dark conductivity [3]. It is now well established that these electrical properties arise from hybrid ionic-electronic behaviour, leading to the proposition that melanins could be model biocompatible systems for ion-to-electron transduction in bioelectronics. In my talk, I will discuss the basic science behind these bioelectronics properties - electrical and optical. In this context I will also describe recent electron paramagnetic spin studies which isolate the role of the various chemical moieties responsible for the hybrid ionic-electronic behaviour. I will also highlight preliminary results on prototype melanin-based bioelectronics devices and discuss possible architectures to realise elements such as solid-state switches and transducers. [1] "The physical and chemical properties of eumelanin", P. Meredith and T. Sarna, Pigment Cell Research, 19(6), pp572-594 (2006). [2] "Electronic and optoelectronic materials and devices inspired by nature", P Meredith, C.J. Bettinger, M. Irimia-Vladu, A.B. Mostert and P.E. Schwenn, Reports on Progress in Physics, 76, 034501 (2013). [3] "Is melanin a semiconductor: humidity induced self doping and the electrical conductivity of a biopolymer", A.B. Mostert, B.J. Powell, F.L. Pratt, G.R. Hanson, T. Sarna, I.R. Gentle and P. Meredith, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 109(23), 8943-8947 (2012).

  9. Melanin deposition ruled out as cause of color changes in the red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Dainan; Gong, Shiping; Yang, Jiangbo; Li, Weiye; Ge, Yan; Wei, Yufeng

    2018-03-01

    Animal coloration primarily depends on the presence of pigments and the mixing ratio of eumelanin and pheomelanin. The color of red-eared slider's carapace varies with age, from an olive green to a yellow green, and then to a yellow brown in juveniles, generally. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether this color change is related to the difference in melanin expression. Melanin deposition levels were examined in the carapace, skin, eye and muscle of the three color-types using hematoxylin and eosin staining. Moreover, the full-length coding sequence (CDS) of red-eared slider turtle melanin biosynthesis regulatory genes TYR, TYRP1, MITF and SLC24A5 were cloned, sequenced and quantitatively analyzed. Both histological view of melanin deposition and quantitative real-time PCR test of melanin-regulated gene expressions showed that there are significant differences among different tissues of red-eared slider, but no significant difference among different color-types, indicating that melanin deposition is not associated with ontogenetic color change in the carapace of red-eared slider. This study initially explore the melanin deposition and the mRNA expression of melanin biosynthesis regulatory genes in red-eared slider, which serve as a foundation for further insight into the pigmentation patterns and the mechanism of body color change in turtles. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Variation of Human Hairiness: A Possible Adaptation to Solar Radiation and Melanin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dhugga Amrita

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Many theories have been advanced to explain human hairlessness, however, there is no consensus. This study of 76 males observed that skin reflectance measuring skin colouration and melanin pigmentation correlated with hair size and follicle density. Individuals with a greater concentration of melanin within the superficial layer of the skin had a lower follicle density and smaller sizes of hairs. In contrast, individuals with a lower melanin concentration and lighter skin colour had a full range of hairiness. This leads to the suggestion that over the course of human evolution, high concentrations of melanin in consistently exposed to ultraviolet radiation areas developed first and that hair loss was a consequence of competition in the skin between melanin production and hair growth. Darker pigmented skin and lower follicle density are significantly correlated (R2=0.283; p<0.05. Individuals with darker skin had a mean of 4.91 follicles per cm2 whereas those with lighter skin reflectance had 11.20 follicles per cm2. This suggests that increased concentrations of melanin in the basal layer of the epidermis may limit hairiness by negatively influencing the skin's ability to produce hair.

  11. Antibodies Against Melanin

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1973-01-06

    Jan 6, 1973 ... Departments of Internal Medicine and Anatomical Pathology, University of Stellenbosch and MRC. Pigment Metabolism Research Unit, ... at the production of antibodies against natural melanoprotein. and a consideration of our negative .... the random polymerization of several monomers, antibody formed ...

  12. Melanin-Based Functional Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Ischia, Marco

    2018-01-12

    Melanin biopolymers are currently the focus of growing interest for a broad range of applications at the cutting edge of biomedical research and technology. This Special Issue presents a collection of papers dealing with melanin-type materials, e.g., polydopamine, for classic and innovative applications, offering a stimulating perspective of current trends in the field. Besides basic scientists, the Special Issue is directed to researchers from industries and companies that are willing to invest in melanin research for innovative and inspiring solutions.

  13. Melanin-Based Functional Materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco d’Ischia

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Melanin biopolymers are currently the focus of growing interest for a broad range of applications at the cutting edge of biomedical research and technology. This Special Issue presents a collection of papers dealing with melanin-type materials, e.g., polydopamine, for classic and innovative applications, offering a stimulating perspective of current trends in the field. Besides basic scientists, the Special Issue is directed to researchers from industries and companies that are willing to invest in melanin research for innovative and inspiring solutions.

  14. Mechanisms of branching reactions in melanin formation - Ab initio quantum engineering approach -

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishida, Ryo; Menez Aspera, Susan; Kasai, Hideaki

    Melanin, a pigment found in animals, consists of two types of oligomeric unit: eumelanin and pheomelanin. The color of the skin, the hair, and the eyes is controlled by the ratio of eumelanin/pheomelanin production. Especially, dopachrome and dopaquinone are the precursor molecules of melanin which directly affect the composition of melanin through their branching reactions. Dopachrome is converted into two possible monomers of eumelanin. Dopaquinone can undergo both eumelanin and pheomelanin synthesis. To understand the mechanisms and controlling factors that govern the conversions, reactions of the two molecules are investigated using density functional theory-based first-principles calculations. Our results deepen mechanistic understanding of the reactions and open possibilities to design properties and functions of melanin. In this talk, we will discuss about the competitions of the branching reactions.

  15. Gamma-resonance study of the reaction of iron ions with synthetic L-dopa melanin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bagirov, R.M.; Stukan, R.A.; Lapina, V.A.; Dontsov, A.E.; Ostrovskii, M.A.

    1986-07-01

    The reaction of Fe/sup 3 +/ and Fe/sup 2 +/ ions with synthetic L-dopa melanin, which is a model compound of natural melanin (the melanoprotein granules in the pigment epithelial cells in vertebrate and human eyes), has been studied by gamma-resonance spectroscopy. The investigations showed that L-dopa melanin is capable of effectively binding iron ions and that it displays oxidative or reducing properties with respect to Fe, depending on the composition of the subsystem of the Fe ions and the ambient pH. Trivalent Fe/sup 3 +/ ions form stronger complexes with L-dopa melanin than do Fe/sup 2 +/ ions. The coordination takes place mainly with the carboxyl groups and the amino and imino groups of the polymer. The conformational state of the polymer apparently changes as the pH is varied.

  16. Melanin quantification by in vitro and in vivo analysis of near-infrared fluorescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalia, Sunil; Zhao, Jianhua; Zeng, Haishan; McLean, David; Kollias, Nikiforos; Lui, Harvey

    2018-01-01

    Objective measurements of melanin can provide important information for differentiating melanoma from benign pigmented lesions and in assessing pigmentary diseases. Herein, we evaluate near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence as a possible tool to quantify melanin. Various concentrations of in vitro Sepia melanin in tissue phantoms were measured with NIR fluorescence and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. Similar optic measurements were conducted in vivo on 161 normal human skin sites. Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy was used to quantify the melanin content via Stamatas-Kollias algorithm. At physiologic concentrations, increasing in vitro melanin concentrations demonstrated higher fluorescence that was linearly correlated (R 2  = 0.99, p < .001). At higher concentrations, the fluorescence signal plateaued. A linear relationship was also observed with melanin content in human skin (R 2  = 0.59, p < .001). Comparing the fluorescence and reflectance signals with in vitro and in vivo samples, the estimated melanin concentration in human skin ranged between 0 and 1.25 mg/ml, consistent with previous quantitative studies involving invasive methods. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Quantifying melanin distribution using pump-probe microscopy and a 2D morphological autocorrelation transformation for melanoma diagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robles, Francisco E.; Wilson, Jesse W.; Warren, Warren S.

    2014-03-01

    Pump-probe microscopy is a quantitative molecular imaging technique that yields diagnostically relevant information from endogenous pigments, like melanin, by probing their ultrafast photodynamic properties. Previously, the method was applied to image thin, pigmented, cutaneous samples at different stages of melanoma, and results have shown a correlation between melanin photodynamic behavior and malignancy. Here, we add to the diagnostic power of the method by applying principles of mathematical morphology to parameterize melanins' image structure. Along with bulk melanin chemical information, results show that this method can differentiate invasive melanomas from non-invasive and benign lesions with high sensitivity and specificity (92.3% and 97.5%, respectively, with N = 53). The mathematical method and the statistical analysis are described in detail and results from cutaneous and ocular conjuctival melanocytic lesions are presented.

  18. Melanin pigmentary disorders: treatment update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortonne, Jean-Paul; Passeron, Thierry

    2005-04-01

    Most of the melanin pigmentary disorders are cosmetically important and have a strong impact on the quality of life of affected individuals. This article examines recent advances in the treatment of melanin pigmentary disorder including hypermelanosis and hypomelanosis. The development of laser technologies has completed the use of the increasing number of bleaching agents in treating hyperpigmented lesions. The treatment of hypomelanotic disorders is still often disappointing, but new therapeutic options provide encouraging results.

  19. Melanin-Based Functional Materials

    OpenAIRE

    Marco d’Ischia

    2018-01-01

    Melanin biopolymers are currently the focus of growing interest for a broad range of applications at the cutting edge of biomedical research and technology. This Special Issue presents a collection of papers dealing with melanin-type materials, e.g., polydopamine, for classic and innovative applications, offering a stimulating perspective of current trends in the field. Besides basic scientists, the Special Issue is directed to researchers from industries and companies that are willing to inv...

  20. Mapping of Id locus for dermal shank melanin in a Chinese ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    JIGUO XU

    2017-12-08

    Dec 8, 2017 ... Introduction. The phenotypic diversity of pigmentation in wild animals and domesticated animals is one of the most observed char- acteristics by biologists and breeders. The phenotype of the shank skin colour is a defining trait of the breeds of chick- ens, and it is due to the interaction between the melanins.

  1. Combined effects of Cu and UVR on survival and melanin synthesis in Chironomus riparius larvae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Baat, M.L.; van Gemert, M.; Verweij, R.A.; Loayza Muro, R.A.; Kraak, M.H.S.

    2012-01-01

    The tropical Andes encompass vast areas with altitudes above 4000 m, where the combination of high UV radiation and metal pollution creates environments that challenge the survival and persistence of aquatic life. Since the pigment melanin counteracts the negative effects of UVR, and has the

  2. High refractive index of melanin in shiny occipital feathers of a bird of paradise

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stavenga, Doekele G.; Leertouwer, Heinrich; Osorio, Daniel C.; Wilts, Bodo D.

    Male Lawes's Parotia, a bird of paradise, use the highly directional reflection of the structurally colored, brilliant-silvery occipital feathers in their courtship display. As in other birds, the structural coloration is produced by ordered melanin pigmentation. The barbules of the Parotia's

  3. Melanin in human irides of different color and age of donors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wielgus, Albert R; Sarna, Tadeusz

    2005-12-01

    Melanin is the main chromophore of the human iris. This pigment is considered to be the most important factor that determines the color of the irides. Previous studies based mainly on chemical degradation methods showed that brown irides contain more melanin than blue ones. In our study, we used electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy to detect and characterize melanin free radical centers and associated iron in human irides. Based on this method, we determined the amount of melanin in the irides and the relative content of iron in iridial melanin as a function of their color, shade, and the age of their donors. Chemical degradation of iridial homogenates enabled us to characterize the structure of eumelanin and determine the content of pheomelanin present in human and bovine irides. The ESR amplitude, the normalized intensity obtained by double integration of the ESR signal of melanin, and the content of the pigment in the irides depended on color and shade of the eyes being 40% higher in the brown group of the irides compared with all other groups. On the other hand, the relative iron content normalized to the melanin content in light blue irides showed a small decrease with age of donors. Melanin in human and bovine irides was mostly composed of eumelanin, and pheomelanin content was of the order of a few percent. Although some differences in the structure of eumelanin present in the human and bovine irides are possible, the results obtained in this study suggest that human irides contain eumelanin with very similar chemical properties.

  4. Sexual dichromatism of the damselfly Calopteryx japonica caused by a melanin-chitin multilayer in the male wing veins.

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    Doekele G Stavenga

    Full Text Available Mature male Calopteryx japonica damselflies have dark-blue wings, due to darkly coloured wing membranes and blue reflecting veins. The membranes contain a high melanin concentration and the veins have a multilayer of melanin and chitin. Female and immature C. japonica damselflies have brown wings. We have determined the refractive index of melanin by comparing the differently pigmented wing membranes and applying Jamin-Lebedeff interference microscopy. Together with the previously measured refractive index of chitin the blue, structural colour of the male wing veins could be quantitatively explained by an optical multilayer model. The obtained melanin refractive index data will be useful in optical studies on melanized tissues, especially where melanin is concentrated in layers, thus causing iridescence.

  5. Caterpillar color patterns are determined by a two-phase melanin gene prepatterning process: new evidence from tan and laccase2.

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    Futahashi, Ryo; Banno, Yutaka; Fujiwara, Haruhiko

    2010-01-01

    The larval color patterns in Lepidoptera exhibit splendid diversity, and identifying the genes responsible for pigment distribution is essential to understanding color-pattern evolution. The swallowtail butterfly, Papilio xuthus, is a good candidate for analyzing marking-associated genes because its body markings change dramatically at the final molt. Moreover, the silkworm Bombyx mori is most suitable for identification of lab-generated color mutants because genome information and many color mutants are available. Here, we analyzed the expression pattern of 10 melanin-related genes in P. xuthus, and analyzed whether these genes were responsible for Bombyx larval color mutants. We found that seven genes correlated strongly with the stage-specific larval cuticular markings of P. xuthus, suggesting that, compared with Drosophila, more genes showed marking specificity in lepidopteran larvae. We newly found that the expression of both tan and laccase2 is strongly correlated with the larval black markings in both P. xuthus and B. mori. The results of F2 linkage analysis and mutant analysis strongly suggest that tan is the responsible gene for Bombyx larval color mutant rouge, and that tan is important in emphasizing black markings of lepidopteran larvae. Detailed comparison of temporal and spatial expression patterns showed that larval cuticular markings were regulated at two different phases. Marking-specific expression of oxidizing enzymes preceded the marking-specific expression of melanin synthesis enzymes at mRNA level, which is the reverse of the melanin synthesis step.

  6. Direct chemical evidence for eumelanin pigment from the Jurassic period.

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    Glass, Keely; Ito, Shosuke; Wilby, Philip R; Sota, Takayuki; Nakamura, Atsushi; Bowers, C Russell; Vinther, Jakob; Dutta, Suryendu; Summons, Roger; Briggs, Derek E G; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Simon, John D

    2012-06-26

    Melanin is a ubiquitous biological pigment found in bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals. It has a diverse range of ecological and biochemical functions, including display, evasion, photoprotection, detoxification, and metal scavenging. To date, evidence of melanin in fossil organisms has relied entirely on indirect morphological and chemical analyses. Here, we apply direct chemical techniques to categorically demonstrate the preservation of eumelanin in two > 160 Ma Jurassic cephalopod ink sacs and to confirm its chemical similarity to the ink of the modern cephalopod, Sepia officinalis. Identification and characterization of degradation-resistant melanin may provide insights into its diverse roles in ancient organisms.

  7. The acid-catalyzed interaction of melanin with nitrite ions. An EPR investigation

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    Matuszak Zenon

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The interaction of synthetic dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA melanin (DM with nitrite ions, NO2−, in the pH 3.6–7.0 range, has been investigated using electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR. We found that especially at pH <5.5 (from ca. 5.5 to 3.6 the reaction of DM with nitrite generated large quantities of new melanin radicals, which implies the involvement of nitrous acid, HNO2, in the radical formation process. Measurements carried out at constant pH of 3.6 showed that the melanin signal increased together with nitrite concentration, reaching a plateau level which was more than fourfold larger compared to the initial signal amplitude observed in a nitrite-free buffer of the same pH. The effects of nitrite and DM concentrations on the melanin-free radical content were also investigated. It is proposed that the radicals are generated by one electron oxidation of melanin ortho-hydroquinone groups to ortho-semiquinones by HNO2 or related nitrogen oxides such as NO2• radicals. The possible involvement of nitric oxide (•NO and peroxynitrite (ONOO− in DM oxidation was also examined. In air-free solutions, nitric oxide per se did not generate melanin radicals; however, in the presence of oxygen a marked increase in the melanin EPR signal intensity was observed. This result is interpreted in terms of the generation of radicals via the oxidation of DM by peroxynitrite. Our findings suggest that melanin can function as a natural scavenger of nitrous acid and some nitrous acid-derived species. This property may be relevant to physiological functions of melanin pigments in vivo.

  8. Pigmentation and behavior: potential association through pleiotropic genes in Drosophila.

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    Takahashi, Aya

    2013-01-01

    The molecular basis of pigmentation variation within and among Drosophila species is largely attributed to genes in melanin biosynthesis pathway, which involves dopamine metabolism. Most of the genetic changes underlying pigmentation variations reported to date are changes at the expression levels of the structural genes in the pathway. Within D. melanogaster, changes in cis-regulatory regions of a gene, ebony, are responsible for the naturally occurring variation of the body pigmentation intensity. This gene is also known to be expressed in glia, and many visual and behavioral abnormalities of its mutants have been reported. This implies that the gene has pleiotropic functions in the nervous systems. In this review, current knowledge on pigmentation variation and melanin biosynthesis pathway are summarized, with some focus on pleiotropic features of ebony and other genes in the pathway. A potential association between pigmentation and behavior through such pleiotropic genes is discussed in light of cis-regulatory structure and pleiotropic mutations.

  9. The genetic control of aposematic black pigmentation in hemimetabolous insects: insights from Oncopeltus fasciatus.

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    Liu, Jin; Lemonds, Thomas R; Popadić, Aleksandar

    2014-09-01

    Variations in body pigmentation, encompassing both the range of specific colors as well as the spatial arrangement of those colors, are among the most noticeable and lineage-specific insect features. However, the genetic mechanisms responsible for generating this diversity are still limited to several model species that are primarily holometabolous insects. To address this lack of knowledge, we utilize Oncopeltus fasciatus, an aposematic hemimetabolous insect, as a new model to study insect pigmentation. First, to determine the genetic regulation of black pigment production in Oncopeltus, we perform an RNAi analysis on three core genes involved in the melanin pathway, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopa decarboxylase (DDC), and laccase 2 (lac2). The black pigmentation is affected in all instances, showing that the black pigments in this species are derived from the melanin pathway. The results of the DDC RNAi are particularly informative because they reveal that it is Dopamine melanin, not DOPA melanin, which is the predominant component of black pigments in Oncopeltus. Second, we test whether pigmentation follows a two-step model where the spatial pre-mapping of enzymatic activity is followed by vein-dependent transportation of melanin substances. We confirm the existence of the first step by observing that premature wings develop black pigmentation when exposed to melanin precursors. In addition, we provide evidence for the second step by showing that wing melanin patterning is disrupted when vein transportation is halted. These findings bring novel insights from a hemimetabolous species and establish a framework for subsequent studies on the mechanisms of pigment production and patterning responsible for variations in insect coloration. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Teaching dermatoscopy of pigmented skin tumours to novices: comparison of analytic vs. heuristic approach.

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    Tschandl, P; Kittler, H; Schmid, K; Zalaudek, I; Argenziano, G

    2015-06-01

    There are two strategies to approach the dermatoscopic diagnosis of pigmented skin tumours, namely the verbal-based analytic and the more visual-global heuristic method. It is not known if one or the other is more efficient in teaching dermatoscopy. To compare two teaching methods in short-term training of dermatoscopy to medical students. Fifty-seven medical students in the last year of the curriculum were given a 1-h lecture of either the heuristic- or the analytic-based teaching of dermatoscopy. Before and after this session, they were shown the same 50 lesions and asked to diagnose them and rate for chance of malignancy. Test lesions consisted of melanomas, basal cell carcinomas, nevi, seborrhoeic keratoses, benign vascular tumours and dermatofibromas. Performance measures were diagnostic accuracy regarding malignancy as measured by the area under the curves of receiver operating curves (range: 0-1), as well as per cent correct diagnoses (range: 0-100%). Diagnostic accuracy as well as per cent correct diagnoses increased by +0.21 and +32.9% (heuristic teaching) and +0.19 and +35.7% (analytic teaching) respectively (P for all heuristic or analytic method does not have an influence on this effect in short training using common pigmented skin lesions. © 2014 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

  11. In vivo measurements of cutaneous melanin across spatial scales: using multiphoton microscopy and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy

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    Saager, Rolf B.; Balu, Mihaela; Crosignani, Viera; Sharif, Ata; Durkin, Anthony J.; Kelly, Kristen M.; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2015-06-01

    The combined use of nonlinear optical microscopy and broadband reflectance techniques to assess melanin concentration and distribution thickness in vivo over the full range of Fitzpatrick skin types is presented. Twelve patients were measured using multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and spatial frequency domain spectroscopy (SFDS) on both dorsal forearm and volar arm, which are generally sun-exposed and non-sun-exposed areas, respectively. Both MPM and SFDS measured melanin volume fractions between ˜5% (skin type I non-sun-exposed) and 20% (skin type VI sun exposed). MPM measured epidermal (anatomical) thickness values ˜30-65 μm, while SFDS measured melanin distribution thickness based on diffuse optical path length. There was a strong correlation between melanin concentration and melanin distribution (epidermal) thickness measurements obtained using the two techniques. While SFDS does not have the ability to match the spatial resolution of MPM, this study demonstrates that melanin content as quantified using SFDS is linearly correlated with epidermal melanin as measured using MPM (R2=0.8895). SFDS melanin distribution thickness is correlated to MPM values (R2=0.8131). These techniques can be used individually and/or in combination to advance our understanding and guide therapies for pigmentation-related conditions as well as light-based treatments across a full range of skin types.

  12. E-cadherin mediates ultraviolet radiation- and calcium-induced melanin transfer in human skin cells.

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    Singh, Suman K; Baker, Richard; Sikkink, Stephen K; Nizard, Carine; Schnebert, Sylvianne; Kurfurst, Robin; Tobin, Desmond J

    2017-11-01

    Skin pigmentation is directed by epidermal melanin units, characterized by long-lived and dendritic epidermal melanocytes (MC) that interact with viable keratinocytes (KC) to contribute melanin to the epidermis. Previously, we reported that MC:KC contact is required for melanosome transfer that can be enhanced by filopodi, and by UVR/UVA irradiation, which can upregulate melanosome transfer via Myosin X-mediated control of MC filopodia. Both MC and KC express Ca 2+ -dependent E-cadherins. These homophilic adhesion contacts induce transient increases in intra-KC Ca 2+ , while ultraviolet radiation (UVR) raises intra-MC Ca 2+ via calcium-selective ORAI1 ion channels; both are associated with regulating melanogenesis. However, how Ca 2+ triggers melanin transfer remains unclear. Here we evaluated the role of E-cadherin in UVR-mediated melanin transfer in human skin cells. MC and KC in human epidermis variably express filopodia-associated E-cadherin, Cdc42, VASP and β-catenin, all of which were upregulated by UVR in human MC in vitro. Knockdown of E-cadherin revealed that this cadherin is essential for UVR-induced MC filopodia formation and melanin transfer. Moreover, Ca 2+ induced a dose-dependent increase in filopodia formation and melanin transfer, as well as increased β-catenin, Cdc42, Myosin X and E-cadherin expression in these skin cells. Together, these data suggest that filopodial proteins and E-cadherin, which are upregulated by intracellular (UVR-stimulated) and extracellular Ca 2+ availability, are required for filopodia formation and melanin transfer. This may open new avenues to explore how Ca 2+ signalling influences human pigmentation. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Melanin Bleaching With Warm Hydrogen Peroxide and Integrated Immunohistochemical Analysis: An Automated Platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chia-Hsing; Lin, Chih-Hung; Tsai, Min-Jan; Chen, Yu-Hsuan; Yang, Sheau-Fang; Tsai, Kun-Bow

    2018-02-01

    Diagnosing melanocytic lesions is among the most challenging problems in the practice of pathology. The difficulty of physically masking melanin pigment and the similarity of its color to commonly used chromogens often complicate examination of the cytomorphology and immunohistochemical staining results for tumor cells. Melanin bleach can be very helpful for histopathological diagnosis of heavily pigmented melanocytic lesions. Although various depigmentation methods have been reported, no standardized methods have been developed. This study developed a fully automated platform that incorporates hydrogen peroxide-based melanin depigmentation in an automated immunohistochemical analysis. The utility of the method was tested in 1 cell block of malignant melanoma cells in pleural effusion, 10 ocular melanoma tissue samples, and 10 cutaneous melanoma tissue samples. Our results demonstrated that the proposed method, which can be performed in only 3 hours, effectively preserves cell cytomorphology and immunoreactivity. The method is particularly effective for removing melanin pigment to facilitate histopathological examination of cytomorphology and for obtaining an unmasked tissue section for immunohistochemical analysis.

  14. Differential effects of endoparasitism on the expression of carotenoid- and melanin-based ornamental coloration.

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    McGraw, K J; Hill, G E

    2000-01-01

    The striking diversity of sexual dimorphisms in nature begs the question: Why are there so many signal types? One possibility is that ornamental traits convey different sets of information about the quality of the sender to the receiver. The colourful, pigmented feathers of male birds seem to meet the predictions of this hypothesis. Evidence suggests that carotenoid pigmentation reflects the nutritional condition of males during moult, whereas in many instances melanin pigmentation is a reliable indicator of social status. However, as of yet there have been no experimental tests to determine how these two ornament types respond to the same form of environmental stress. In this study, we tested the effect of endoparasitic infection by intestinal coccidians (Isospora sp.) on the expression of both carotenoid- and melanin-based ornamental coloration in captive male American goldfinches (Carduelis tristis). We found that the carotenoid-based plumage and bill coloration of parasitized males was less saturated than that developed by unparasitized males, but that the brightness and size of melanin-based black caps did not differ between the groups. These findings provide the most robust empirical support to date for the notion that carotenoid and melanin ornaments reveal different information to conspecifics. PMID:11007328

  15. Melanin from the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum: a spectroscopic characterization.

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    Aulie Banerjee

    Full Text Available Melanins, the ubiquitous hetero-polymer pigments found widely dispersed among various life forms, are usually dark brown/black in colour. Although melanins have variety of biological functions, including protection against ultraviolet radiation of sunlight and are used in medicine, cosmetics, extraction of melanin from the animal and plant kingdoms is not an easy task. Using complementary physicochemical techniques (i.e. MALDI-TOF, FTIR absorption and cross-polarization magic angle spinning solid-state (13C NMR, we report here the characterization of melanins extracted from the nitrogen-fixing non-virulent bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum, a safe viable source. Moreover, considering dihydroxyindole moiety as the main constituent, an effort is made to propose the putative molecular structure of the melanin hetero-polymer extracted from the bacterium. Characterization of the melanin obtained from Azotobacter chroococcum would provide an inspiration in extending research activities on these hetero-polymers and their use as protective agent against UV radiation.

  16. 3, 4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine-derived melanin from Yarrowia lipolytica mediates the synthesis of silver and gold nanostructures.

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    Apte, Mugdha; Girme, Gauri; Bankar, Ashok; Ravikumar, Ameeta; Zinjarde, Smita

    2013-01-30

    Nanobiotechnology applies the capabilities of biological systems in generating a variety of nano-sized structures. Plants, algae, fungi and bacteria are some systems mediating such reactions. In fungi, the synthesis of melanin is an important strategy for cell-survival under metal-stressed conditions. Yarrowia lipolytica, the biotechnologically significant yeast also produces melanin that sequesters heavy metal ions. The content of this cell-associated melanin is often low and precursors such as L-tyrosine or 3, 4-dihydroxy-L-phenylalanine (L-DOPA) can enhance its production. The induced melanin has not been exploited for the synthesis of nanostructures. In this investigation, we have employed L-DOPA-melanin for the facile synthesis of silver and gold nanostructures. The former have been used for the development of anti-fungal paints. Yarrowia lipolytica NCIM 3590 cells were incubated with L-DOPA for 18 h and the resultant dark pigment was subjected to physical and chemical analysis. This biopolymer was used as a reducing and stabilizing agent for the synthesis of silver and gold nanostructures. These nanoparticles were characterized by UV-Visible spectra, X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies, and electron microscopy. Silver nanoparticles were evaluated for anti-fungal activity. The pigment isolated from Y. lipolytica was identified as melanin. The induced pigment reduced silver nitrate and chloroauric acid to silver and gold nanostructures, respectively. The silver nanoparticles were smaller in size (7 nm) and displayed excellent anti-fungal properties towards an Aspergillus sp. isolated from a wall surface. An application of these nanoparticles as effective paint-additives has been demonstrated. The yeast mediated enhanced production of the metal-ion-reducing pigment, melanin. A simple and rapid method for the extracellular synthesis of nanoparticles with paint-additive-application was developed.

  17. On the origin of electrical conductivity in the bio-electronic material melanin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardus Mostert, A.; Powell, Ben J.; Gentle, Ian R.; Meredith, Paul

    2012-02-01

    The skin pigment melanin is one of a few bio-macromolecules that display electrical and photo-conductivity in the solid-state. A model for melanin charge transport based on amorphous semiconductivity has been widely accepted for 40 years. In this letter, we show that a central pillar in support of this hypothesis, namely experimental agreement with a hydrated dielectric model, is an artefact related to measurement geometry and non-equilibrium behaviour. Our results cast significant doubt on the validity of the amorphous semiconductor model and are a reminder of the difficulties of electrical measurements on low conductivity, disordered organic materials.

  18. Optical properties of cells with melanin

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    Rohde, Barukh; Coats, Israel; Krueger, James; Gareau, Dan

    2014-02-01

    The optical properties of pigmented lesions have been studied using diffuse reflectance spectroscopy in a noninvasive configuration on optically thick samples such as skin in vivo. However, it is difficult to un-mix the effects of absorption and scattering with diffuse reflectance spectroscopy techniques due to the complex anatomical distributions of absorbing and scattering biomolecules. We present a device and technique that enables absorption and scattering measurements of tissue volumes much smaller than the optical mean-free path. Because these measurements are taken on fresh-frozen sections, they are direct measurements of the optical properties of tissue, albeit in a different hydration state than in vivo tissue. Our results on lesions from 20 patients including melanomas and nevi show the absorption spectrum of melanin in melanocytes and basal keratinocytes. Our samples consisted of fresh frozen sections that were unstained. Fitting the spectrum as an exponential decay between 500 and 1100 nm [mua = A*exp(-B*(lambda-C)) + D], we report on the fit parameters of and their variation due to biological heterogeneity as A = 4.20e4 +/- 1.57e5 [1/cm], B = 4.57e-3 +/- 1.62e-3 [1/nm], C = 210 +/- 510 [nm] , D = 613 +/- 534 [1/cm]. The variability in these results is likely due to highly heterogeneous distributions of eumelanin and pheomelanin.

  19. Melanin-based colour polymorphism responding to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roulin, Alexandre

    2014-11-01

    Climate warming leads to a decrease in biodiversity. Organisms can deal with the new prevailing environmental conditions by one of two main routes, namely evolving new genetic adaptations or through phenotypic plasticity to modify behaviour and physiology. Melanin-based colouration has important functions in animals including a role in camouflage and thermoregulation, protection against UV-radiation and pathogens and, furthermore, genes involved in melanogenesis can pleiotropically regulate behaviour and physiology. In this article, I review the current evidence that differently coloured individuals are differentially sensitive to climate change. Predicting which of dark or pale colour variants (or morphs) will be more penalized by climate change will depend on the adaptive function of melanism in each species as well as how the degree of colouration covaries with behaviour and physiology. For instance, because climate change leads to a rise in temperature and UV-radiation and dark colouration plays a role in UV-protection, dark individuals may be less affected from global warming, if this phenomenon implies more solar radiation particularly in habitats of pale individuals. In contrast, as desertification increases, pale colouration may expand in those regions, whereas dark colourations may expand in regions where humidity is predicted to increase. Dark colouration may be also indirectly selected by climate warming because genes involved in the production of melanin pigments confer resistance to a number of stressful factors including those associated with climate warming. Furthermore, darker melanic individuals are commonly more aggressive than paler conspecifics, and hence they may better cope with competitive interactions due to invading species that expand their range in northern latitudes and at higher altitudes. To conclude, melanin may be a major component involved in adaptation to climate warming, and hence in animal populations melanin-based colouration is

  20. Identification and Molecular Characterization of the Homogentisate Pathway Responsible for Pyomelanin Production, the Major Melanin Constituents in Aeromonas media WS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, He; Qiao, Yunqian; Chai, Baozhong; Qiu, Chenxi; Chen, Xiangdong

    2015-01-01

    The pigmentation of many Aeromonas species has been thought to be due to the production of a L-DOPA (L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) based melanin. However, in this study we found that although L-DOPA synthesis occurs in the high-melanin-yielding Aeromonas media strain WS, it plays a minor, if any, role in pigmentation. Instead, the pigmentation of A. media strain WS is due to the production of pyomelanin through HGA (homogentisate). Gene products of phhA (encodes phenylalanine hydroxylase), tyrB and aspC (both encode aromatic amino acid aminotransferase), and hppD (encodes 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase) constitute a linear pathway of converting phenylalanine to HGA and disruption of any one of these genes impairs or blocks pigmentation of A. media strain WS. This HGA biosynthesis pathway is widely distributed in Aeromonas, but HGA is only detectable in the cultures of pigmented Aeromonas species. Heterologous expression of HppD from both pigmented and non-pigmented Aeromonas species in E. coli leads to the production of pyomelanin and thus pigmentation, suggesting that most Aeromonas species have the critical enzymes to produce pyomelanin through HGA. Taken together, we have identified a widely conserved biosynthesis pathway of HGA based pyomelanin in Aeromonas that may be responsible for pigmentation of many Aeromonas species. PMID:25793756

  1. Identification and molecular characterization of the homogentisate pathway responsible for pyomelanin production, the major melanin constituents in Aeromonas media WS.

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    He Wang

    Full Text Available The pigmentation of many Aeromonas species has been thought to be due to the production of a L-DOPA (L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine based melanin. However, in this study we found that although L-DOPA synthesis occurs in the high-melanin-yielding Aeromonas media strain WS, it plays a minor, if any, role in pigmentation. Instead, the pigmentation of A. media strain WS is due to the production of pyomelanin through HGA (homogentisate. Gene products of phhA (encodes phenylalanine hydroxylase, tyrB and aspC (both encode aromatic amino acid aminotransferase, and hppD (encodes 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase constitute a linear pathway of converting phenylalanine to HGA and disruption of any one of these genes impairs or blocks pigmentation of A. media strain WS. This HGA biosynthesis pathway is widely distributed in Aeromonas, but HGA is only detectable in the cultures of pigmented Aeromonas species. Heterologous expression of HppD from both pigmented and non-pigmented Aeromonas species in E. coli leads to the production of pyomelanin and thus pigmentation, suggesting that most Aeromonas species have the critical enzymes to produce pyomelanin through HGA. Taken together, we have identified a widely conserved biosynthesis pathway of HGA based pyomelanin in Aeromonas that may be responsible for pigmentation of many Aeromonas species.

  2. Mechanical and photo-fragmentation processes for nanonization of melanin to improve its efficacy in protecting cells from reactive oxygen species stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Yi-Cheng [Graduate Institute of Photonics and Optoelectronics, and Department of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China); Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China); Chen, Sih-Min [Graduate Institute of Biophysics, National Central University, Jhongli 32001, Taiwan (China); Liu, Jhong-Han; Hsu, Hsiang-Wei [Department of Physics, National Central University, Jhongli 32001, Taiwan (China); Lin, Hoang-Yan [Graduate Institute of Photonics and Optoelectronics, and Department of Electrical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China); Chen, Szu-yuan, E-mail: sychen@ltl.iams.sinica.edu.tw [Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China); Graduate Institute of Biophysics, National Central University, Jhongli 32001, Taiwan (China); Department of Physics, National Central University, Jhongli 32001, Taiwan (China)

    2015-02-14

    It has been well established ex vivo that melanin has the ability of scavenging free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS), besides other functions. Therefore, we propose to utilize nanonized melanin as medication against acute oxidative stress. For this purpose, we developed and characterized two techniques based on mechanical stir and photo-fragmentation using femtosecond laser pulses, respectively, for disintegration of suspended melanin powder to produce nanometer-sized and water-dispersible melanin. This resolves a major obstacle in the medical and industrial applications of melanin. The viabilities of cultured retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells exposed to exogenous H{sub 2}O{sub 2} stress and treated with various conditions of melanin and irradiation were compared. It was found that melanin could be nanonized very effectively with the techniques, and nanonized melanin exhibited a much stronger effect than unprocessed melanin on raising the viability of cultured RPE cells under acute ROS stress. The effect was even more prominent without simultaneous light irradiation, promising for effective in vivo application to the whole body.

  3. Quantitative photoacoustics to measure single cell melanin production and nanoparticle attachment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, Kiran; Eshein, Adam; Chandrasekhar, Anand; Viator, John A.

    2015-04-01

    Photoacoustics can be used as a label-free spectroscopic method of identifying pigmented proteins and characterizing their intracellular concentration over time in a single living cell. The authors use a microscopic laser irradiation system with a 5 ns, Q-switched laser focused onto single cells in order to collect photoacoustic responses of melanoma cells from the HS936 cell line and gold nanoparticle labeled breast cancer cells from the T47D cell line. The volume averaged intracellular concentration of melanin is found to range from 29-270 mM for single melanoma cells and the number of gold nanoparticles (AuNP) is shown to range from 850-5900 AuNPs/cell. Additionally, the melanin production response to UV-A light stimulus is measured in four melanoma cells to find a mass production rate of 5.7 pg of melanin every 15 min.

  4. Early diagnosis of melanotic melanoma based on laser-induced melanin fluorescence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichhorn, Reinhold; Wessler, Gerd; Scholz, Matthias; Leupold, Dieter; Stankovic, Goran; Buder, Susanne; Stücker, Markus; Hoffmann, Klaus

    2009-05-01

    Because of the increasing incidence of skin cancer, interest in using the autofluorescence of skin tissue as a noninvasive tool for early diagnosis is enforced. Focus is especially on malignant melanotic melanoma. On the basis of a newly developed method to selectively excite melanin fluorescence of skin tissue by stepwise two-photon excitation with nanosecond laser pulses at 810 nm, we have investigated information from this melanin fluorescence with respect to the differentiation of pigmented lesions. A distinct difference in the melanin fluorescence spectrum of malignant melanoma (including melanoma in situ) when compared to that of benign melanocytic lesions (i.e., common nevi) has been found for freshly excised samples as well as for histopathological samples. There is also specific fluorescence from dysplastic nevi. In this way, early detection of malignant melanoma is possible.

  5. An intracellular anion channel critical for pigmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellono, Nicholas W; Escobar, Iliana E; Lefkovith, Ariel J; Marks, Michael S; Oancea, Elena

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular ion channels are essential regulators of organellar and cellular function, yet the molecular identity and physiological role of many of these channels remains elusive. In particular, no ion channel has been characterized in melanosomes, organelles that produce and store the major mammalian pigment melanin. Defects in melanosome function cause albinism, characterized by vision and pigmentation deficits, impaired retinal development, and increased susceptibility to skin and eye cancers. The most common form of albinism is caused by mutations in oculocutaneous albinism II (OCA2), a melanosome-specific transmembrane protein with unknown function. Here we used direct patch-clamp of skin and eye melanosomes to identify a novel chloride-selective anion conductance mediated by OCA2 and required for melanin production. Expression of OCA2 increases organelle pH, suggesting that the chloride channel might regulate melanin synthesis by modulating melanosome pH. Thus, a melanosomal anion channel that requires OCA2 is essential for skin and eye pigmentation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04543.001 PMID:25513726

  6. GAMMA RADIATION INTERACTS WITH MELANIN TO ALTER ITS OXIDATION-REDUCTION POTENTIAL AND RESULTS IN ELECTRIC CURRENT PRODUCTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Turick, C.; Ekechukwu, A.; Milliken, C.

    2011-05-17

    The presence of melanin pigments in organisms is implicated in radioprotection and in some cases, enhanced growth in the presence of high levels of ionizing radiation. An understanding of this phenomenon will be useful in the design of radioprotective materials. However, the protective mechanism of microbial melanin in ionizing radiation fields has not yet been elucidated. Here we demonstrate through the electrochemical techniques of chronoamperometry, chronopotentiometry and cyclic voltammetry that microbial melanin is continuously oxidized in the presence of gamma radiation. Our findings establish that ionizing radiation interacts with melanin to alter its oxidation-reduction potential. Sustained oxidation resulted in electric current production and was most pronounced in the presence of a reductant, which extended the redox cycling capacity of melanin. This work is the first to establish that gamma radiation alters the oxidation-reduction behavior of melanin, resulting in electric current production. The significance of the work is that it provides the first step in understanding the initial interactions between melanin and ionizing radiation taking place and offers some insight for production of biomimetic radioprotective materials.

  7. An alternative method for the analysis of melanin production in Cryptococcus neoformans sensu lato and Cryptococcus gattii sensu lato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brilhante, Raimunda S N; España, Jaime D A; de Alencar, Lucas P; Pereira, Vandbergue S; Castelo-Branco, Débora de S C M; Pereira-Neto, Waldemiro de A; Cordeiro, Rossana de A; Sidrim, José J C; Rocha, Marcos F G

    2017-10-01

    Melanin is an important virulence factor for several microorganisms, including Cryptococcus neoformans sensu lato and Cryptococcus gattii sensu lato, thus, the assessment of melanin production and its quantification may contribute to the understanding of microbial pathogenesis. The objective of this study was to standardise an alternative method for the production and indirect quantification of melanin in C. neoformans sensu lato and C. gattii sensu lato. Eight C. neoformans sensu lato and three C. gattii sensu lato, identified through URA5 methodology, Candida parapsilosis ATCC 22019 (negative control) and one Hortaea werneckii (positive control) were inoculated on minimal medium agar with or without L-DOPA, in duplicate, and incubated at 35°C, for 7 days. Pictures were taken from the third to the seventh day, under standardised conditions in a photographic chamber. Then, photographs were analysed using grayscale images. All Cryptococcus spp. strains produced melanin after growth on minimal medium agar containing L-DOPA. C. parapsilosis ATCC 22019 did not produce melanin on medium containing L-DOPA, while H. werneckii presented the strongest pigmentation. This new method allows the indirect analysis of melanin production through pixel quantification in grayscale images, enabling the study of substances that can modulate melanin production. © 2017 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  8. Fish pigmentation and the melanocortin system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cal, Laura; Suarez-Bregua, Paula; Cerdá-Reverter, José Miguel; Braasch, Ingo; Rotllant, Josep

    2017-09-01

    The melanocortin system is a complex neuroendocrine signaling mechanism involved in numerous physiological processes in vertebrates, including pigmentation, steroidogenesis and metabolic control. This review focuses at one of its most fascinating function in fish, its regulatory role in the control of pigmentation, in which the melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r), its agonist α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-Msh), and the endogenous antagonist agouti signaling protein (Asip1) are the main players. Functional control of Mc1r, which is highly expressed in fish skin and whose activation stimulates melanin production and melanosome dispersion in fish melanophores, is considered a key mechanism for vertebrate pigment phenotypes. The α-Msh peptide, the most documented Mc1r agonist involved in pigmentation, is produced in the pituitary gland, activating melanin synthesis by binding to Mc1r in fish melanophores. Finally, Asip1 is the putative factor for establishing the evolutionarily conserved dorso-ventral pigment pattern found across vertebrates. However, we are just starting to understand how other melanocortin system components are acting in this complex regulatory network. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Structural, electrical, electronic and optical properties of melanin films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, M.; D'Amico, F.; Morresi, L.; Pinto, N.; Ficcadenti, M.; Natali, R.; Ottaviano, L.; Passacantando, M.; Cuccioloni, M.; Angeletti, M.; Gunnella, R.

    2009-03-01

    We present thick, uniform and rather flat melanin films obtained using spray deposition. The morphology of the films was investigated using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Temperature-dependent electrical resistance of melanin thin films evidenced a semiconductor-like character and a hysteretic behavior linked to an irreversible process of water molecule desorption from the melanin film. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) was carried out to analyze the role of the functional groups in the primary and secondary structure of the macromolecule, showing that the contribution of the 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) subunit to the molecule is about 35%. Comparison of the optical absorption of the thick (800nm) and thin (80nm) films showed a spectral change when the thickness increases. From in vacuum photoconductivity (PC) measured at controlled temperatures, we suggest that the melanin films exhibit a possible charge transport mechanism by means of delocalized π states along the stacked planar secondary structure.

  10. Deficiency in nucleotide excision repair family gene activity, especially ERCC3, is associated with non-pigmented hair fiber growth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mei Yu

    Full Text Available We conducted a microarray study to discover gene expression patterns associated with a lack of melanogenesis in non-pigmented hair follicles (HF by microarray. Pigmented and non-pigmented HFs were collected and micro-dissected into the hair bulb (HB and the upper hair sheaths (HS including the bulge region. In comparison to pigmented HS and HBs, nucleotide excision repair (NER family genes ERCC1, ERCC2, ERCC3, ERCC4, ERCC5, ERCC6, XPA, NTPBP, HCNP, DDB2 and POLH exhibited statistically significantly lower expression in non- pigmented HS and HBs. Quantitative PCR verified microarray data and identified ERCC3 as highly differentially expressed. Immunohistochemistry confirmed ERCC3 expression in HF melanocytes. A reduction in ERCC3 by siRNA interference in human melanocytes in vitro reduced their tyrosinase production ability. Our results suggest that loss of NER gene function is associated with a loss of melanin production capacity. This may be due to reduced gene transcription and/or reduced DNA repair in melanocytes which may eventually lead to cell death. These results provide novel information with regard to melanogenesis and its regulation.

  11. Melanin precursors prevent premature age-related and noise-induced hearing loss in albino mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murillo-Cuesta, Silvia; Contreras, Julio; Zurita, Esther; Cediel, Rafael; Cantero, Marta; Varela-Nieto, Isabel; Montoliu, Lluís

    2010-02-01

    Strial melanocytes are required for normal development and correct functioning of the cochlea. Hearing deficits have been reported in albino individuals from different species, although melanin appears to be not essential for normal auditory function. We have analyzed the auditory brainstem responses (ABR) of two transgenic mice: YRT2, carrying the entire mouse tyrosinase (Tyr) gene expression-domain and undistinguishable from wild-type pigmented animals; and TyrTH, non-pigmented but ectopically expressing tyrosine hydroxylase (Th) in melanocytes, which generate the precursor metabolite, L-DOPA, but not melanin. We show that young albino mice present a higher prevalence of profound sensorineural deafness and a poorer recovery of auditory thresholds after noise-exposure than transgenic mice. Hearing loss was associated with absence of cochlear melanin or its precursor metabolites and latencies of the central auditory pathway were unaltered. In summary, albino mice show impaired hearing responses during ageing and after noise damage when compared to YRT2 and TyrTH transgenic mice, which do not show the albino-associated ABR alterations. These results demonstrate that melanin precursors, such as L-DOPA, have a protective role in the mammalian cochlea in age-related and noise-induced hearing loss.

  12. Neural Stem Cells and Its Derivatives as a New Material for Melanin Inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Insik; Hong, Sunghoi

    2017-12-22

    The pigment molecule, melanin, is produced from melanosomes of melanocytes through melanogenesis, which is a complex process involving a combination of chemical and enzymatically catalyzed reactions. The synthesis of melanin is primarily influenced by tyrosinase (TYR), which has attracted interest as a target molecule for the regulation of pigmentation or depigmentation in skin. Thus, direct inhibitors of TYR activity have been sought from various natural and synthetic materials. However, due to issues with these inhibitors, such as weak or permanent ability for depigmentation, allergy, irritant dermatitis and rapid oxidation, in vitro and in vivo, the development of new materials that inhibit melanin production is essential. A conditioned medium (CM) derived from stem cells contains many cell-secreted factors, such as cytokines, chemokines, growth factors and extracellular vesicles including exosomes. In addition, the secreted factors could negatively regulate melanin production through stimulation of a microenvironment of skin tissue in a paracrine manner, which allows the neural stem cell CM to be explored as a new material for skin depigmentation. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge regulating depigmentation, and discuss the potential of neural stem cells and their derivatives, as a new material for skin depigmentation.

  13. Nanomechanical Phenotype of Melanoma Cells Depends Solely on the Amount of Endogenous Pigment in the Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Sarna

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Cancer cells have unique nanomechanical properties, i.e., they behave as if they were elastic. This property of cancer cells is believed to be one of the main reasons for their facilitated ability to spread and metastasize. Thus, the so-called nanomechanical phenotype of cancer cells is viewed as an important indicator of the cells’ metastatic behavior. One of the most highly metastatic cancer cells are melanoma cells, which have a very unusual property: they can synthesize the pigment melanin in large amounts, becoming heavily pigmented. So far, the role of melanin in melanoma remains unclear, particularly the impact of the pigment on metastatic behavior of melanoma cells. Importantly, until recently the potential mechanical role of melanin in melanoma metastasis was completely ignored. In this work, we examined melanoma cells isolated from hamster tumors containing endogenous melanin pigment. Applying an array of advanced microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, we determined that melanin is the dominating factor responsible for the mechanical properties of melanoma cells. Our results indicate that the nanomechanical phenotype of melanoma cells may be a reliable marker of the cells’ metastatic behavior and point to the important mechanical role of melanin in the process of metastasis of melanoma.

  14. Nanomechanical Phenotype of Melanoma Cells Depends Solely on the Amount of Endogenous Pigment in the Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarna, Michal; Zadlo, Andrzej; Czuba-Pelech, Barbara; Urbanska, Krystyna

    2018-02-18

    Cancer cells have unique nanomechanical properties, i.e., they behave as if they were elastic. This property of cancer cells is believed to be one of the main reasons for their facilitated ability to spread and metastasize. Thus, the so-called nanomechanical phenotype of cancer cells is viewed as an important indicator of the cells' metastatic behavior. One of the most highly metastatic cancer cells are melanoma cells, which have a very unusual property: they can synthesize the pigment melanin in large amounts, becoming heavily pigmented. So far, the role of melanin in melanoma remains unclear, particularly the impact of the pigment on metastatic behavior of melanoma cells. Importantly, until recently the potential mechanical role of melanin in melanoma metastasis was completely ignored. In this work, we examined melanoma cells isolated from hamster tumors containing endogenous melanin pigment. Applying an array of advanced microscopy and spectroscopy techniques, we determined that melanin is the dominating factor responsible for the mechanical properties of melanoma cells. Our results indicate that the nanomechanical phenotype of melanoma cells may be a reliable marker of the cells' metastatic behavior and point to the important mechanical role of melanin in the process of metastasis of melanoma.

  15. Singlet molecular oxygen generation by light-activated DHN-melanin of the fungal pathogen Mycosphaerella fijiensis in black Sigatoka disease of bananas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel J Beltrán-García

    Full Text Available In pathogenic fungi, melanin contributes to virulence, allowing tissue invasion and inactivation of the plant defence system, but has never been implicated as a factor for host cell death, or as a light-activated phytotoxin. Our research shows that melanin synthesized by the fungal banana pathogen Mycosphaerella fijiensis acts as a virulence factor through the photogeneration of singlet molecular oxygen O2 (1Δg. Using analytical tools, including elemental analysis, ultraviolet/infrared absorption spectrophometry and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis, we characterized both pigment content in mycelia and secreted to the culture media as 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN-melanin type compound. This is sole melanin-type in M. fijiensis. Isolated melanins irradiated with a Nd:YAG laser at 532 nm produced monomol light emission at 1270 nm, confirming generation of O2 (1Δg, a highly reactive oxygen specie (ROS that causes cellular death by reacting with all cellular macromolecules. Intermediary polyketides accumulated in culture media by using tricyclazole and pyroquilon (two inhibitors of DHN-melanin synthesis were identified by ESI-HPLC-MS/MS. Additionally, irradiation at 532 nm of that mixture of compounds and whole melanized mycelium also generated O2 (1Δg. A pigmented-strain generated more O2 (1Δg than a strain with low melanin content. Banana leaves of cultivar Cavendish, naturally infected with different stages of black Sigatoka disease, were collected from field. Direct staining of the naturally infected leaf tissues showed the presence of melanin that was positively correlated to the disease stage. We also found hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 but we cannot distinguish the source. Our results suggest that O2 (1Δg photogenerated by DHN-melanin may be involved in the destructive effects of Mycosphaerella fijiensis on banana leaf tissues. Further studies are needed to fully evaluate contributions of melanin-mediated ROS to microbial pathogenesis.

  16. Singlet molecular oxygen generation by light-activated DHN-melanin of the fungal pathogen Mycosphaerella fijiensis in black Sigatoka disease of bananas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beltrán-García, Miguel J; Prado, Fernanda M; Oliveira, Marilene S; Ortiz-Mendoza, David; Scalfo, Alexsandra C; Pessoa, Adalberto; Medeiros, Marisa H G; White, James F; Di Mascio, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    In pathogenic fungi, melanin contributes to virulence, allowing tissue invasion and inactivation of the plant defence system, but has never been implicated as a factor for host cell death, or as a light-activated phytotoxin. Our research shows that melanin synthesized by the fungal banana pathogen Mycosphaerella fijiensis acts as a virulence factor through the photogeneration of singlet molecular oxygen O2 (1Δg). Using analytical tools, including elemental analysis, ultraviolet/infrared absorption spectrophometry and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis, we characterized both pigment content in mycelia and secreted to the culture media as 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin type compound. This is sole melanin-type in M. fijiensis. Isolated melanins irradiated with a Nd:YAG laser at 532 nm produced monomol light emission at 1270 nm, confirming generation of O2 (1Δg), a highly reactive oxygen specie (ROS) that causes cellular death by reacting with all cellular macromolecules. Intermediary polyketides accumulated in culture media by using tricyclazole and pyroquilon (two inhibitors of DHN-melanin synthesis) were identified by ESI-HPLC-MS/MS. Additionally, irradiation at 532 nm of that mixture of compounds and whole melanized mycelium also generated O2 (1Δg). A pigmented-strain generated more O2 (1Δg) than a strain with low melanin content. Banana leaves of cultivar Cavendish, naturally infected with different stages of black Sigatoka disease, were collected from field. Direct staining of the naturally infected leaf tissues showed the presence of melanin that was positively correlated to the disease stage. We also found hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) but we cannot distinguish the source. Our results suggest that O2 (1Δg) photogenerated by DHN-melanin may be involved in the destructive effects of Mycosphaerella fijiensis on banana leaf tissues. Further studies are needed to fully evaluate contributions of melanin-mediated ROS to microbial pathogenesis.

  17. Melanin-Covered Nanoparticles for Protection of Bone Marrow During Radiation Therapy of Cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schweitzer, Andrew D.; Revskaya, Ekaterina; Chu, Peter; Pazo, Valeria; Friedman, Matthew; Nosanchuk, Joshua D.; Cahill, Sean; Frases, Susana; Casadevall, Arturo; Dadachova, Ekaterina

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: Protection of bone marrow against radiotoxicity during radioimmunotherapy and in some cases external beam radiation therapy such as hemi-body irradiation would permit administration of significantly higher doses to tumors, resulting in increased efficacy and safety of treatment. Melanin, a naturally occurring pigment, possesses radioprotective properties. We hypothesized that melanin, which is insoluble, could be delivered to the bone marrow by intravenously administrated melanin-covered nanoparticles (MNs) because of the human body's 'self-sieving' ability, protecting it against ionizing radiation. Methods and Materials: The synthesis of MNs was performed via enzymatic polymerization of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and/or 5-S-cysteinyl-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine on the surface of 20-nm plain silica nanoparticles. The biodistribution of radiolabeled MNs in mice was done at 3 and 24 h. Healthy CD-1 mice (Charles River Laboratories International, Inc., Wilmington, MA) or melanoma tumor-bearing nude mice were given MNs intravenously, 50 mg/kg of body weight, 3 h before either whole-body exposure to 125 cGy or treatment with 1 mCi of 188 Re-labeled 6D2 melanin-binding antibody. Results: Polymerization of melanin precursors on the surface of silica nanoparticles resulted in formation of a 15-nm-thick melanin layer as confirmed by light scattering, transmission electron microscopy, and immunofluorescence. The biodistribution after intravenous administration showed than MN uptake in bone marrow was 0.3% and 0.2% of injected dose per gram at 3 and 24 h, respectively, whereas pre-injection with pluronic acid increased the uptake to 6% and 3% of injected dose per gram, respectively. Systemic MN administration reduced hematologic toxicity in mice treated with external radiation or radioimmunotherapy, whereas no tumor protection by MNs was observed. Conclusions: MNs or similar structures provide a novel approach to protection of bone marrow from ionizing radiation based

  18. Condition-dependent expression of melanin-based coloration in the Eurasian kestrel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piault, Romain; van den Brink, Valentijn; Roulin, Alexandre

    2012-05-01

    Melanin is the most common pigment in animal integuments and is responsible for some of the most striking ornaments. A central tenet of sexual selection theory states that melanin-based traits can signal absolute individual quality in any environment only if their expression is condition-dependent. Significant costs imposed by an ornament would ensure that only the highest quality individuals display the most exaggerated forms of the signal. Firm evidence that melanin-based traits can be condition-dependent is still rare in birds. In an experimental test of this central assumption, we report condition-dependent expression of a melanin-based trait in the Eurasian kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus). We manipulated nestling body condition by reducing or increasing the number of nestlings soon after hatching. A few days before fledging, we measured the width of sub-terminal black bands on the tail feathers. Compared to nestlings from enlarged broods, individuals raised in reduced broods were in better condition and thereby developed larger sub-terminal bands. Furthermore, in 2 years, first-born nestlings also developed larger sub-terminal bands than their younger siblings that are in poorer condition. This demonstrates that expression of melanin-based traits can be condition-dependent.

  19. Nitisinone improves eye and skin pigmentation defects in a mouse model of oculocutaneous albinism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onojafe, Ighovie F; Adams, David R; Simeonov, Dimitre R; Zhang, Jun; Chan, Chi-Chao; Bernardini, Isa M; Sergeev, Yuri V; Dolinska, Monika B; Alur, Ramakrishna P; Brilliant, Murray H; Gahl, William A; Brooks, Brian P

    2011-10-01

    Mutation of the tyrosinase gene (TYR) causes oculocutaneous albinism, type 1 (OCA1), a condition characterized by reduced skin and eye melanin pigmentation and by vision loss. The retinal pigment epithelium influences postnatal visual development. Therefore, increasing ocular pigmentation in patients with OCA1 might enhance visual function. There are 2 forms of OCA1, OCA-1A and OCA-1B. Individuals with the former lack functional tyrosinase and therefore lack melanin, while individuals with the latter produce some melanin. We hypothesized that increasing plasma tyrosine concentrations using nitisinone, an FDA-approved inhibitor of tyrosine degradation, could stabilize tyrosinase and improve pigmentation in individuals with OCA1. Here, we tested this hypothesis in mice homozygous for either the Tyrc-2J null allele or the Tyrc-h allele, which model OCA-1A and OCA-1B, respectively. Only nitisinone-treated Tyrc-h/c-h mice manifested increased pigmentation in their fur and irides and had more pigmented melanosomes. High levels of tyrosine improved the stability and enzymatic function of the Tyrc-h protein and also increased overall melanin levels in melanocytes from a human with OCA-1B. These results suggest that the use of nitisinone in OCA-1B patients could improve their pigmentation and potentially ameliorate vision loss.

  20. Pigment production on L-tryptophan medium by Cryptococcus gattii and Cryptococcus neoformans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaskes, Stuart; Cammer, Michael; Nieves, Edward; Casadevall, Arturo

    2014-01-01

    In recent years strains previously grouped within Cryptococcus neoformans have been divided into two species C. neoformans and C. gattii, with Cryptococcus neoformans comprising serotypes A, D, and AD and C. gattii comprising serotypes B and C. Cryptococcus neoformans have also been subdivided into two varieties C. neoformans var. grubii, serotype A, and C. neoformans var. neoformans, serotype D. We analyzed the growth and pigment production characteristics of 139 strains of Cryptococcus spp. in L-tryptophan containing media. Nearly all strains of Cryptococcus, including each variety and serotype tested produced a pink water-soluble pigment (molecular weight of 535.2 Da) from L-tryptophan. Consequently, the partial separation of the species was based on whether the pink pigment was secreted into the medium (extracellular) or retained as an intracellular pigment. On L-tryptophan medium C. neoformans var. grubii and serotype AD produced a pink extracellular pigment. In contrast, for C. gattii, the pink pigment was localized intracellularly and masked by heavy production of brown pigments. Pigment production by C. neoformans var. neoformans was variable with some strains producing the pink extracellular pigment and others retained the pink pigment intracellularly. The pink intracellular pigment produced by strains of C. neoformans var. neoformans was masked by production of brown pigments. Cryptococcus laccase mutants failed to produce pigments from L-tryptophan. This is the first report that the enzyme laccase is involved in tryptophan metabolism. Prior to this report Cryptococcus laccase produced melanin or melanin like-pigments from heterocyclic compounds that contained ortho or para diphenols, diaminobenzenes and aminophenol compounds. The pigments produced from L-tryptophan were not melanin.

  1. Pigment Production on L-Tryptophan Medium by Cryptococcus gattii and Cryptococcus neoformans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaskes, Stuart; Cammer, Michael; Nieves, Edward; Casadevall, Arturo

    2014-01-01

    In recent years strains previously grouped within Cryptococcus neoformans have been divided into two species C. neoformans and C. gattii, with Cryptococcus neoformans comprising serotypes A, D, and AD and C. gattii comprising serotypes B and C. Cryptococcus neoformans have also been subdivided into two varieties C. neoformans var. grubii, serotype A, and C. neoformans var. neoformans, serotype D. We analyzed the growth and pigment production characteristics of 139 strains of Cryptococcus spp. in L-tryptophan containing media. Nearly all strains of Cryptococcus, including each variety and serotype tested produced a pink water-soluble pigment (molecular weight of 535.2 Da) from L-tryptophan. Consequently, the partial separation of the species was based on whether the pink pigment was secreted into the medium (extracellular) or retained as an intracellular pigment. On L-tryptophan medium C. neoformans var. grubii and serotype AD produced a pink extracellular pigment. In contrast, for C. gattii, the pink pigment was localized intracellularly and masked by heavy production of brown pigments. Pigment production by C. neoformans var. neoformans was variable with some strains producing the pink extracellular pigment and others retained the pink pigment intracellularly. The pink intracellular pigment produced by strains of C. neoformans var. neoformans was masked by production of brown pigments. Cryptococcus laccase mutants failed to produce pigments from L-tryptophan. This is the first report that the enzyme laccase is involved in tryptophan metabolism. Prior to this report Cryptococcus laccase produced melanin or melanin like-pigments from heterocyclic compounds that contained ortho or para diphenols, diaminobenzenes and aminophenol compounds. The pigments produced from L-tryptophan were not melanin. PMID:24736553

  2. Autoradiography of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP): Uptake in the monoaminergic pathways and in melanin containing tissues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lyden, A.; Lindquist, N.G.; Bondesson, U.; Larsson, B.S.; Olsson, L.-I.

    1985-01-01

    A recently discovered neurotoxic compound, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, has been found to cause a parkinsonian-like syndrome in man and monkey, but not in laboratory animals such as rat, mouse and guinea pig. MPTP seems to selectively destroy the melanin containing dopaminergic cells in pars compacta of substantia nigra. Lower mammalian species do not have melanin in these cells, which indicates that the presence of neuromelanin may be of importance for the development of MPTP-induced lesions. By means of whole-body autoradiography of TH-MPTP in mice, accumulation and retention was observed in the dopaminergic pathways, in locus ceruleus and in structures in the medulla oblongata and spinal cord. A high uptake was also seen in melanin-containing tissues such as in the eyes of pigmented mice. MPTP has earlier been found to have high affinity in vitro for dopamine melanin, which is similar to the pigment in substantia nigra. The typical features of the MPTP-induced neurotoxicity with destruction of pigmented nerve cells and development of parkinsonism may be due to accumulation adn retention of MPTP and its metabolites in these cells. In species with pigmented nerve cells, such as man and monkey, the accumulation may be much more pronounced because of the melanin affinity of MPTP and its metabolites. (author).

  3. Melanins in Fossil Animals: Is It Possible to Infer Life History Traits from the Coloration of Extinct Species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negro, Juan J; Finlayson, Clive; Galván, Ismael

    2018-01-23

    Paleo-colour scientists have recently made the transition from describing melanin-based colouration in fossil specimens to inferring life-history traits of the species involved. Two such cases correspond to counter-shaded dinosaurs: dark-coloured due to melanins dorsally, and light-coloured ventrally. We believe that colour reconstruction of fossils based on the shape of preserved microstructures-the majority of paleo-colour studies involve melanin granules-is not without risks. In addition, animals with contrasting dorso-ventral colouration may be under different selection pressures beyond the need for camouflage, including, for instance, visual communication or ultraviolet (UV) protection. Melanin production is costly, and animals may invest less in areas of the integument where pigments are less needed. In addition, melanocytes exposed to UV radiation produce more melanin than unexposed melanocytes. Pigment economization may thus explain the colour pattern of some counter-shaded animals, including extinct species. Even in well-studied extant species, their diversity of hues and patterns is far from being understood; inferring colours and their functions in species only known from one or few specimens from the fossil record should be exerted with special prudence.

  4. Melanins in Fossil Animals: Is It Possible to Infer Life History Traits from the Coloration of Extinct Species?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan J. Negro

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Paleo-colour scientists have recently made the transition from describing melanin-based colouration in fossil specimens to inferring life-history traits of the species involved. Two such cases correspond to counter-shaded dinosaurs: dark-coloured due to melanins dorsally, and light-coloured ventrally. We believe that colour reconstruction of fossils based on the shape of preserved microstructures—the majority of paleo-colour studies involve melanin granules—is not without risks. In addition, animals with contrasting dorso-ventral colouration may be under different selection pressures beyond the need for camouflage, including, for instance, visual communication or ultraviolet (UV protection. Melanin production is costly, and animals may invest less in areas of the integument where pigments are less needed. In addition, melanocytes exposed to UV radiation produce more melanin than unexposed melanocytes. Pigment economization may thus explain the colour pattern of some counter-shaded animals, including extinct species. Even in well-studied extant species, their diversity of hues and patterns is far from being understood; inferring colours and their functions in species only known from one or few specimens from the fossil record should be exerted with special prudence.

  5. Inhibitory effect of 5-iodotubercidin on pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyung-Il; Jeong, Hae Bong; Ro, Hyunju; Lee, Jeung-Hoon; Kim, Chang Deok; Yoon, Tae-Jin

    2017-09-02

    Melanin pigments are the primary contributors for the skin color. They are produced in melanocytes and then transferred to keratinocytes, eventually giving various colors on skin surface. Although many depigmenting and/or skin-lightening agents have been developed, there is still a growing demand on materials for reducing pigmentation. We attempted to find materials for depigmentation and/or skin-lightening using the small molecule compounds commercially available, and found that 5-iodotubercidin had inhibitory potential on pigmentation. When HM3KO melanoma cells were treated with 5-iodotubercidin, pigmentation was dramatically reduced. The 5-iodotubercidin decreased the protein level for pigmentation-related molecules such as MITF, tyrosinase, and TRP1. In addition, 5-iodotubercidin decreased the phosphorylation of CREB, while increased the phosphorylation of AKT and ERK. These data suggest that 5-iodotubercidin inhibits melanogenesis via the regulation of intracellular signaling related with pigmentation. Finally, 5-iodotubercidin markedly inhibited the melanogenesis of zebrafish embryos, an in vivo evaluation model for pigmentation. Together, these data suggest that 5-iodotubercidin can be developed as a depigmenting and/or skin-lightening agent. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Pigment patterns in adult fish result from superimposition of two largely independent pigmentation mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceinos, Rosa M; Guillot, Raúl; Kelsh, Robert N; Cerdá-Reverter, José M; Rotllant, Josep

    2015-03-01

    Dorso-ventral pigment pattern differences are the most widespread pigmentary adaptations in vertebrates. In mammals, this pattern is controlled by regulating melanin chemistry in melanocytes using a protein, agouti-signalling peptide (ASIP). In fish, studies of pigment patterning have focused on stripe formation, identifying a core striping mechanism dependent upon interactions between different pigment cell types. In contrast, mechanisms driving the dorso-ventral countershading pattern have been overlooked. Here, we demonstrate that, in fact, zebrafish utilize two distinct adult pigment patterning mechanisms - an ancient dorso-ventral patterning mechanism, and a more recent striping mechanism based on cell-cell interactions; remarkably, the dorso-ventral patterning mechanism also utilizes ASIP. These two mechanisms function largely independently, with resultant patterns superimposed to give the full pattern. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for sepia melanin

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mbonyiryivuze, A

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available range of electromagnetic radiation, antibiotic, thermoregulation. Melanins are found all over the body from the skin and blood to the nervous system but the role of melanin in all these system is unclear. FTIR spectroscopy technique is usually one...

  8. Synthesis and characterization of melanin in DMSO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronze-Uhle, Erika S.; Batagin-Neto, Augusto; Xavier, Pedro H. P.; Fernandes, Nicole I.; de Azevedo, Eduardo R.; Graeff, Carlos F. O.

    2013-09-01

    Recently soluble melanin derivatives have been obtained by a synthetic procedure carried out in DMSO (D-melanin). In this work a comparative study of the structural characteristics of synthetic melanin derivatives obtained by oxidation of L-DOPA in H2O and DMSO are presented. To this end, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy as well as proton and carbon nuclear magnetic resonance techniques has been employed. In addition, aging effects have been investigated for D-melanin. The results suggest that sulfonate groups (-SO2CH3) from the oxidation of DMSO, are incorporated into melanin, which confers protection to the phenolic hydroxyl group present in its structure. The solubility of D-melanin in DMSO is attributed to the presence of these groups. When D-melanin is left in air for long time periods, the sulfonate groups leave the structure, and an insoluble compound is obtained. NaOH and water have been used, in order to accelerate the release of the sulfonate groups attached to D-melanin, thereby corroborating the proposed structure and the synthesis mechanism.

  9. Compton scattering by internal shields based on melanin-containing mushrooms provides protection of gastrointestinal tract from ionizing radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revskaya, Ekaterina; Chu, Peter; Howell, Robertha C; Schweitzer, Andrew D; Bryan, Ruth A; Harris, Matthew; Gerfen, Gary; Jiang, Zewei; Jandl, Thomas; Kim, Kami; Ting, Li-Min; Sellers, Rani S; Dadachova, Ekaterina; Casadevall, Arturo

    2012-11-01

    There is a need for radioprotectors that protect normal tissues from ionizing radiation in patients receiving high doses of radiation and during nuclear emergencies. We investigated the possibility of creating an efficient oral radioprotector based on the natural pigment melanin that would act as an internal shield and protect the tissues via Compton scattering followed by free radical scavenging. CD-1 mice were fed melanin-containing black edible mushrooms Auricularia auricila-judae before 9 Gy total body irradiation. The location of the mushrooms in the body before irradiation was determined by in vivo fluorescent imaging. Black mushrooms protected 80% of mice from the lethal dose, while control mice or those given melanin-devoid mushrooms died from gastrointestinal syndrome. The crypts of mice given black mushrooms showed less apoptosis and more cell division than those in control mice, and their white blood cell and platelet counts were restored at 45 days to preradiation levels. The role of melanin in radioprotection was proven by the fact that mice given white mushrooms supplemented with melanin survived at the same rate as mice given black mushrooms. The ability of melanin-containing mushrooms to provide remarkable protection against radiation suggests that they could be developed into oral radioprotectors.

  10. Fungal melanin stimulates surfactant protein D-mediated opsonization of and host immune response to Aspergillus fumigatus spores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sze Wah Wong, Sarah; Rani, Manjusha; Dodagatta-Marri, Eswari; Ibrahim-Granet, Oumaima; Kishore, Uday; Bayry, Jagadeesh; Latgé, Jean-Paul; Sahu, Arvind; Madan, Taruna; Aimanianda, Vishukumar

    2018-02-05

    Surfactant protein D (SP-D), a C-type lectin and pattern-recognition soluble factor, plays an important role in immune surveillance to detect and eliminate human pulmonary pathogens. SPD has been shown to protect against infections with the most ubiquitous airborne fungal pathogen, Aspergillus fumigatus, but the fungal surface component(s) interacting with SP-D is unknown. Here, we show that SP-D binds to melanin pigment on the surface of A. fumigatus dormant spores (conidia). SP-D also exhibited an affinity to two cell-wall polysaccharides of A. fumigatus, galactomannan (GM) and galactosaminogalactan (GAG). The immunolabeling pattern of SP-D was punctate on the conidial surface and was uniform on germinating conidia, in accordance with the localization of melanin, GM, and GAG. We also found that the collagen-like domain of SP-D is involved in its interaction with melanin, whereas its carbohydrate-recognition domain recognized GM and GAG. Unlike unopsonized conidia, SPD-opsonized conidia were phagocytosed more efficiently and stimulated the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines by human monocytederived macrophages. Further, SP-D -/- mice challenged intranasally with wild-type conidia or melanin ghosts (i.e. hollow melanin spheres) displayed significantly reduced proinflammatory cytokines in the lung compared with wild-type mice. In summary, SP-D binds to melanin present on the dormant A. fumigatus conidial surface, facilitates conidial phagocytosis, and stimulates the host immune response. Copyright © 2018, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  11. Statistical analysis on activation and photo-bleaching of step-wise multi-photon activation fluorescence of melanin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Zetong; Lai, Zhenhua; Zhang, Xi; Yin, Jihao; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2015-03-01

    Melanin is regarded as the most enigmatic pigments/biopolymers found in most organisms. We have shown previously that melanin goes through a step-wise multi-photon absorption process after the fluorescence has been activated with high laser intensity. No melanin step-wise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) can be obtained without the activation process. The step-wise multi-photon activation fluorescence has been observed to require less laser power than what would be expected from a non-linear optical process. In this paper, we examined the power dependence of the activation process of melanin SMPAF at 830nm and 920nm wavelengths. We have conducted research using varying the laser power to activate the melanin in a point-scanning mode for multi-photon microscopy. We recorded the fluorescence signals and position. A sequence of experiments indicates the relationship of activation to power, energy and time so that we can optimize the power level. Also we explored regional analysis of melanin to study the spatial relationship in SMPAF and define three types of regions which exhibit differences in the activation process.

  12. Activation of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors elicits pigment granule dispersion in retinal pigment epithelium isolated from bluegill

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crittenden Elizabeth L

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In fish, melanin pigment granules in the retinal pigment epithelium disperse into apical projections as part of the suite of responses the eye makes to bright light conditions. This pigment granule dispersion serves to reduce photobleaching and occurs in response to neurochemicals secreted by the retina. Previous work has shown that acetylcholine may be involved in inducing light-adaptive pigment dispersion. Acetylcholine receptors are of two main types, nicotinic and muscarinic. Muscarinic receptors are in the G-protein coupled receptor superfamily, and five different muscarinic receptors have been molecularly cloned in human. These receptors are coupled to adenylyl cyclase, calcium mobilization and ion channel activation. To determine the receptor pathway involved in eliciting pigment granule migration, we isolated retinal pigment epithelium from bluegill and subjected it to a battery of cholinergic agents. Results The general cholinergic agonist carbachol induces pigment granule dispersion in isolated retinal pigment epithelium. Carbachol-induced pigment granule dispersion is blocked by the muscarinic antagonist atropine, by the M1 antagonist pirenzepine, and by the M3 antagonist 4-DAMP. Pigment granule dispersion was also induced by the M1 agonist 4-[N-(4-chlorophenyl carbamoyloxy]-4-pent-2-ammonium iodide. In contrast the M2 antagonist AF-DX 116 and the M4 antagonist tropicamide failed to block carbachol-induced dispersion, and the M2 agonist arecaidine but-2-ynyl ester tosylate failed to elicit dispersion. Conclusions Our results suggest that carbachol-mediated pigment granule dispersion occurs through the activation of Modd muscarinic receptors, which in other systems couple to phosphoinositide hydrolysis and elevation of intracellular calcium. This conclusion must be corroborated by molecular studies, but suggests Ca2+-dependent pathways may be involved in light-adaptive pigment dispersion.

  13. Madecassoside inhibits melanin synthesis by blocking ultraviolet-induced inflammation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Eunsun; Lee, Jung-A; Shin, Seoungwoo; Roh, Kyung-Baeg; Kim, Jang-Hyun; Park, Deokhoon

    2013-12-16

    Madecassoside (MA), a pentacyclic triterpene isolated from Centella asitica (L.), is used as a therapeutic agent in wound healing and also as an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging agent. However, the involvement of MA in skin-pigmentation has not been reported. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of MA on ultraviolet (UV)-induced melanogenesis and mechanisms in a co-culture system of keratinocytes and melanocytes. MA significantly inhibited UVR-induced melanin synthesis and melanosome transfer in the co-culture system. These effects were further demonstrated by the MA-induced inhibition of protease-activated receptor-2 expression and its signaling pathway, cyclooxygenase-2, prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin F2 alpha in keratinocytes. The clinical efficacy of MA was confirmed on artificially tanned human skin. MA significantly reduced UV-induced melanin index at 8 weeks after topical application. Overall, the study demonstrated significant benefits of MA use in the inhibition of hyperpigmentation caused by UV irradiation.

  14. Madecassoside Inhibits Melanin Synthesis by Blocking Ultraviolet-Induced Inflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eunsun Jung

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Madecassoside (MA, a pentacyclic triterpene isolated from Centella asitica (L., is used as a therapeutic agent in wound healing and also as an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging agent. However, the involvement of MA in skin-pigmentation has not been reported. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of MA on ultraviolet (UV-induced melanogenesis and mechanisms in a co-culture system of keratinocytes and melanocytes. MA significantly inhibited UVR-induced melanin synthesis and melanosome transfer in the co-culture system. These effects were further demonstrated by the MA-induced inhibition of protease-activated receptor-2 expression and its signaling pathway, cyclooxygenase-2, prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin F2 alpha in keratinocytes. The clinical efficacy of MA was confirmed on artificially tanned human skin. MA significantly reduced UV-induced melanin index at 8 weeks after topical application. Overall, the study demonstrated significant benefits of MA use in the inhibition of hyperpigmentation caused by UV irradiation.

  15. Reconstructing in-vivo reflectance spectrum of pigmented skin lesion by Monte Carlo simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuang; He, Qingli; Zhao, Jianhua; Lui, Harvey; Zeng, Haishan

    2012-03-01

    In dermatology applications, diffuse reflectance spectroscopy has been extensively investigated as a promising tool for the noninvasive method to distinguish melanoma from benign pigmented skin lesion (nevus), which is concentrated with the skin chromophores like melanin and hemoglobin. We carried out a theoretical study to examine melanin distribution in human skin tissue and establish a practical optical model for further pigmented skin investigation. The theoretical simulation was using junctional nevus as an example. A multiple layer skin optical model was developed on established anatomy structures of skin, the published optical parameters of different skin layers, blood and melanin. Monte Carlo simulation was used to model the interaction between excitation light and skin tissue and rebuild the diffuse reflectance process from skin tissue. A testified methodology was adopted to determine melanin contents in human skin based on in vivo diffuse reflectance spectra. The rebuild diffuse reflectance spectra were investigated by adding melanin into different layers of the theoretical model. One of in vivo reflectance spectra from Junctional nevi and their surrounding normal skin was studied by compare the ratio between nevus and normal skin tissue in both the experimental and simulated diffuse reflectance spectra. The simulation result showed a good agreement with our clinical measurements, which indicated that our research method, including the spectral ratio method, skin optical model and modifying the melanin content in the model, could be applied in further theoretical simulation of pigmented skin lesions.

  16. Wavelength-dependent optical properties of melanosomes in retinal pigmented epithelium (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Ji; Zhang, Lei

    2017-02-01

    Melanosome is an organelle for synthesis, storage and transport the melanin, a major intrinsic pigment. In retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), it is generally accepted that melanosome plays a critical photoprotective role, and it has been shown that that loss of melanin from RPE could be an early event towards age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Meanwhile, melanosome is also the major contributor to the optical properties of RPE, due to its high refractive index and the strong optical absorption of melanin. Therefore, a characterization and understanding the optical properties of melanin is of great interest to relate the physical and chemical changes of melanosomes, and their fundamental roles in RPE-related retinal diseases such as AMD. Here, we present a theoretical study to characterize the full optical properties of melanosomes. We modeled melanosomes as uniformly melanin filled spheroids, based on their morphology under transmission electron microscopy. T-matrix method was used to simulate the wavelength dependent total scattering, backscattering, absorption cross sections, and anisotropy factor. We verified our simulation on backscattering cross section of melanosome by comparing optical coherence tomography taken in visible and NIR ranges. In addition, we studied the changes of the optical properties of melanosomes on melanin bleaching. The results suggested a spectroscopic mechanism for optical detection of melanin loss by inverse spectroscopic optical coherence tomography.

  17. Comparison of marine algae (Spirulina platensis) and synthetic pigment in enhancing egg yolk colour of laying hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahroojian, N; Moravej, H; Shivazad, M

    2011-10-01

    The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of dietary marine algae (Spirulina platensis) on egg yolk colour, and compare the effectiveness of Spirulina and synthetic pigment in enhancing egg yolk colour of laying hens fed on a wheat-based diet. In total, 160 Hy-line W36 laying hens of 63 weeks of age were studied by dividing them into 5 groups, 32 birds in each. Except for the control group (based on wheat and soyabean meal), the feed for three other groups contained 1·5, 2·0 and 2·5% of Spirulina; while one group contained synthetic pigments (BASF Lucantin® yellow: 30 mg/kg, and BASF Lucantin® red: 35 mg/kg). Egg production, feed intake, feed conversion ratio (FCR), egg weight and egg yolk colour were determined. A significant increase in egg yolk colour was observed in the treatments that received the Spirulina and synthetic pigment, compared with the control diet. There were no significant differences between the treatments with 2·5% Spirulina and synthetic pigment in enhancing egg yolk colour. Finally, the results indicated that the diet containing 2·5% Spirulina could be as effective as the diet with synthetic pigment in producing an agreeable egg yolk colour.

  18. Melanin concentration gradients in modern and fossil feathers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J Field

    Full Text Available In birds and feathered non-avian dinosaurs, within-feather pigmentation patterns range from discrete spots and stripes to more subtle patterns, but the latter remain largely unstudied. A ∼55 million year old fossil contour feather with a dark distal tip grading into a lighter base was recovered from the Fur Formation in Denmark. SEM and synchrotron-based trace metal mapping confirmed that this gradient was caused by differential concentration of melanin. To assess the potential ecological and phylogenetic prevalence of this pattern, we evaluated 321 modern samples from 18 orders within Aves. We observed that the pattern was found most frequently in distantly related groups that share aquatic ecologies (e.g. waterfowl Anseriformes, penguins Sphenisciformes, suggesting a potential adaptive function with ancient origins.

  19. Management of pigmented gingiva in child patient: a new era to the pediatric dentistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Namdeoraoji Bahadure, Rakesh; Singh, Parul; Jain, Eesha; Khurana, Heena; Badole, Gautam

    2013-09-01

    Gingival health in the form of size, shape, consistency and appearance are essential components responsible for an attractive smile as well as may cause unpleasant appearance. Melanin pigmentation often occurs in the gingiva as a result of an abnormal deposition of melanin which can compromise the confidence level from the age of childhood. The present article describes and discusses the two cases of gingival melanin pigmentation in 12 and 13 years of female patient and their early surgical intervention with successful follow-up of 9 and 6 months. Patients were instructed to prevent sun exposure, intake of hot foods or beverages like cold drinks, tea, coffee and brushing immediately after surgery. How to cite this article: Bahadure RN, Singh P, Jain E, Khurana H, Badole G. Management of Pigmented Gingiva in Child Patient: A New Era to the Pediatric Dentistry. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2013;6(3):197-200.

  20. Melanocytes and melanin represent a first line of innate immunity against Candida albicans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tapia, Cecilia V; Falconer, Maryanne; Tempio, Fabián; Falcón, Felipe; López, Mercedes; Fuentes, Marisol; Alburquenque, Claudio; Amaro, José; Bucarey, Sergio A; Di Nardo, Anna

    2014-07-01

    Melanocytes are dendritic cells located in the skin and mucosae that synthesize melanin. Some infections induce hypo- or hyperpigmentation, which is associated with the activation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), especially TLR4. Candida albicans is an opportunist pathogen that can switch between blastoconidia and hyphae forms; the latter is associated with invasion. Our objectives in this study were to ascertain whether C. albicans induces pigmentation in melanocytes and whether this process is dependent on TLR activation, as well as relating this with the antifungal activity of melanin as a first line of innate immunity against fungal infections. Normal human melanocytes were stimulated with C. albicans supernatants or with crude extracts of the blastoconidia or hyphae forms, and pigmentation and TLR2/TLR4 expression were measured. Expression of the melanosomal antigens Melan-A and gp100 was examined for any correlation with increased melanin levels or antifungal activity in melanocyte lysates. Melanosomal antigens were induced earlier than cell pigmentation, and hyphae induced stronger melanization than blastoconidia. Notably, when melanocytes were stimulated with crude extracts of C. albicans, the cell surface expression of TLR2/TLR4 began at 48 h post-stimulation and peaked at 72 h. At this time, blastoconidia induced both TLR2 and TLR4 expression, whereas hyphae only induced TLR4 expression. Taken together, these results suggest that melanocytes play a key role in innate immune responses against C. albicans infections by recognizing pathogenic forms of C. albicans via TLR4, resulting in increased melanin content and inhibition of infection. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. A novel S-sulfhydrated human serum albumin preparation suppresses melanin synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayumi Ikeda

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Products of ultraviolet (UV irradiation such as reactive oxygen species (ROS and nitric oxide (NO stimulate melanin synthesis. Reactive sulfur species (RSS have been shown to have strong ROS and NO scavenging effects. However, the instability and low retention of RSS limit their use as inhibitors of melanin synthesis. The free thiol at Cys34 on human serum albumin (HSA is highly stable, has a long retention and possess a high reactivity for RSS. We report herein on the development of an HSA based RSS delivery system. Sulfane sulfur derivatives released from sodium polysulfides (Na2Sn react readily with HSA. An assay for estimating the elimination of sulfide from polysulfide showed that almost all of the sulfur released from Na2Sn bound to HSA. The Na2Sn-treated HSA was found to efficiently scavenge ROS and NO produced from chemical reagents. The Na2Sn-treated HSA was also found to inhibit melanin synthesis in B16 melanoma cells and this inhibition was independent of the number of added sulfur atoms. In B16 melanoma cells, the Na2Sn-treated HSA also inhibited the levels of ROS and NO induced by UV radiation. Finally, the Na2Sn-treated HSA inhibited melanin synthesis from L-DOPA and mushroom tyrosinase and suppressed the extent of aggregation of melanin pigments. These data suggest that Na2Sn-treated HSA inhibits tyrosinase activity for melanin synthesis via two pathways; by directly inhibiting ROS signaling and by scavenging NO. These findings indicate that Na2Sn-treated HSA has potential to be an attractive and effective candidate for use as a skin whitening agent. Keywords: Ultraviolet irradiation, Human serum albumin, Reactive sulfur species, Whitening agent, Oxidative stress

  2. A novel S-sulfhydrated human serum albumin preparation suppresses melanin synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Mayumi; Ishima, Yu; Kinoshita, Ryo; Chuang, Victor T G; Tasaka, Nanami; Matsuo, Nana; Watanabe, Hiroshi; Shimizu, Taro; Ishida, Tatsuhiro; Otagiri, Masaki; Maruyama, Toru

    2018-04-01

    Products of ultraviolet (UV) irradiation such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO) stimulate melanin synthesis. Reactive sulfur species (RSS) have been shown to have strong ROS and NO scavenging effects. However, the instability and low retention of RSS limit their use as inhibitors of melanin synthesis. The free thiol at Cys34 on human serum albumin (HSA) is highly stable, has a long retention and possess a high reactivity for RSS. We report herein on the development of an HSA based RSS delivery system. Sulfane sulfur derivatives released from sodium polysulfides (Na 2 S n ) react readily with HSA. An assay for estimating the elimination of sulfide from polysulfide showed that almost all of the sulfur released from Na 2 S n bound to HSA. The Na 2 S n -treated HSA was found to efficiently scavenge ROS and NO produced from chemical reagents. The Na 2 S n -treated HSA was also found to inhibit melanin synthesis in B16 melanoma cells and this inhibition was independent of the number of added sulfur atoms. In B16 melanoma cells, the Na 2 S n -treated HSA also inhibited the levels of ROS and NO induced by UV radiation. Finally, the Na 2 S n -treated HSA inhibited melanin synthesis from L-DOPA and mushroom tyrosinase and suppressed the extent of aggregation of melanin pigments. These data suggest that Na 2 S n -treated HSA inhibits tyrosinase activity for melanin synthesis via two pathways; by directly inhibiting ROS signaling and by scavenging NO. These findings indicate that Na 2 S n -treated HSA has potential to be an attractive and effective candidate for use as a skin whitening agent. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Clinical studies of pigmented lesions in human skin by using a multiphoton tomograph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balu, Mihaela; Kelly, Kristen M.; Zachary, Christopher B.; Harris, Ronald M.; Krasieva, Tatiana B.; König, Karsten; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2013-02-01

    In vivo imaging of pigmented lesions in human skin was performed with a clinical multiphoton microscopy (MPM)-based tomograph (MPTflex, JenLab, Germany). Two-photon excited fluorescence was used for visualizing endogenous fluorophores such as NADH/FAD, keratin, melanin in the epidermal cells and elastin fibers in the dermis. Collagen fibers were imaged by second harmonic generation. Our study involved in vivo imaging of benign melanocytic nevi, atypical nevi and melanoma. The goal of this preliminary study was to identify in vivo the characteristic features and their frequency in pigmented lesions at different stages (benign, atypical and malignant) and to evaluate the ability of in vivo MPM to distinguish atypical nevi from melanoma. Comparison with histopathology was performed for the biopsied lesions. Benign melanocytic nevi were characterized by the presence of nevus cell nests at the epidermal-dermal junction. In atypical nevi, features such as lentiginous hyperplasia, acanthosis and architectural disorder were imaged. Cytological atypia was present in all the melanoma lesions imaged, showing the strongest correlation with malignancy. The MPM images demonstrated very good correlation with corresponding histological images, suggesting that MPM could be a promising tool for in vivo non-invasive pigmented lesion diagnosis, particularly distinguishing atypical nevi from melanoma.

  4. Microbial Production of Food Grade Pigments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Dufossé

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The controversial topic of synthetic dyes in food has been discussed for many years. The scrutiny and negative assessment of synthetic food dyes by the modern consumer have raised a strong interest in natural colouring alternatives. Nature is rich in colours (minerals, plants, microalgae, etc., and pigment-producing microorganisms (fungi, yeasts, bacteria are quite common. Among the molecules produced by microorganisms are carotenoids, melanins, flavins, quinones, and more specifically monascins, violacein or indigo. The success of any pigment produced by fermentation depends upon its acceptability on the market, regulatory approval, and the size of the capital investment required to bring the product to market. A few years ago, some expressed doubts about the successful commercialization of fermentation-derived food grade pigments because of the high capital investment requirements for fermentation facilities and the extensive and lengthy toxicity studies required by regulatory agencies. Public perception of biotechnology-derived products also had to be taken into account. Nowadays some fermentative food grade pigments are on the market: Monascus pigments, astaxanthin from Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous, Arpink Red from Penicillium oxalicum, riboflavin from Ashbya gossypii, b-carotene from Blakeslea trispora. The successful marketing of pigments derived from algae or extracted from plants, both as a food colour and a nutritional supplement, reflects the presence and importance of niche markets in which consumers are willing to pay a premium for »all natural ingredients«.

  5. Evaluation of melanin production by Sporothrix luriei

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    Ingrid Ludmilla Rodrigues Cruz

    Full Text Available There is a paucity of studies on the cell biology of Sporothrix luriei, the less common of the pathogenic Sporothrix species worldwide. The production of DHN-melanin, eumelanin, and pyomelanin were evaluated on the mycelial and yeast forms of the S. luriei ATCC 18616 strain. The mycelial form of this species produced only pyomelanin, which protected the fungus against environmental stressors such as ultraviolet light, heat, and cold. The yeast form was unable to produce any of the tested melanin types. The lack of melanin in the parasitic form of S. luriei may be an explanation for its low frequency in human infections.

  6. Evaluation of melanin production by Sporothrix luriei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Ingrid Ludmilla Rodrigues; Figueiredo-Carvalho, Maria Helena Galdino; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria; Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo

    2018-01-01

    There is a paucity of studies on the cell biology of Sporothrix luriei, the less common of the pathogenic Sporothrix species worldwide. The production of DHN-melanin, eumelanin, and pyomelanin were evaluated on the mycelial and yeast forms of the S. luriei ATCC 18616 strain. The mycelial form of this species produced only pyomelanin, which protected the fungus against environmental stressors such as ultraviolet light, heat, and cold. The yeast form was unable to produce any of the tested melanin types. The lack of melanin in the parasitic form of S. luriei may be an explanation for its low frequency in human infections.

  7. Light pigmentation phenotype is correlated with increased substantia nigra echogenicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumpf, Jost-Julian; Schirmer, Maria; Fricke, Christopher; Weise, David; Wagner, Justinus Aspasios; Simon, Jan; Classen, Joseph

    2015-11-01

    This study was undertaken to address the question of whether pigmentation may be mechanistically linked with Parkinson's disease. In a cross-sectional, observational study, 116 healthy subjects received transcranial sonography of the substantia nigra. Pigmentation phenotype was assessed using the Fitzpatrick skin phototype classification, and five additional phenotypic pigmentation traits as well as a photographic method (Melanin index) in a subgroup of 46 subjects. Lighter skin phototype was associated with larger echogenic substantia nigra area and increased prevalence of abnormally enlarged echogenic substantia nigra area. The strongest association of substantia nigra echogenicity and phenotypic pigmentation traits was found for hair color and facial tanning. Findings suggest an increasing prevalence of structural abnormality of substantia nigra with decreasing darkness of skin and thus may provide additional evidence in favor of a pathogenic link of pigmentation and Parkinson's disease. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  8. Regulation of eumelanin/pheomelanin synthesis and visible pigmentation in melanocytes by ligands of the melanocortin 1 receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Pape, Elodie; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Wolber, Rainer; Hearing, Vincent J

    2008-08-01

    The production of melanin in the hair and skin is tightly regulated by the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) whose activation is controlled by two secreted ligands, alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (alphaMSH) and agouti signal protein (ASP). As melanin is extremely stable, lasting years in biological tissues, the mechanism underlying the relatively rapid decrease in visible pigmentation elicited by ASP is of obvious interest. In this study, the effects of ASP and alphaMSH on the regulation of melanin synthesis and on visible pigmentation were assessed in normal murine melanocytes and were compared with the quick depigmenting effect of the tyrosinase inhibitor, phenylthiourea (PTU). alphaMSH increased pheomelanin levels prior to increasing eumelanin content over 4 days of treatment. Conversely, ASP switched off the pigment synthesis pathway, reducing eu- and pheo-melanin synthesis within 1 day of treatment that was proportional to the decrease in tyrosinase protein level and activity. These results demonstrate that the visible depigmentation of melanocytes induced by ASP does not require the degradation of existing melanin but rather is due to the dilution of existing melanin by melanocyte turnover, which emphasizes the importance of pigment distribution to visible color.

  9. Comparison of Mouse and Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium Gene Expression Profiles: Potential Implications for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bennis, A.; Gorgels, T.G.M.F.; ten Brink, J.B.; van der Spek, P.J.; Bossers, K.; Heine, V.M.; Bergen, A.A.

    2015-01-01

    Background The human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of age related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. There is currently no effective treatment available. Preclinical studies in AMD mouse models are essential to

  10. Comparison of Mouse and Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium Gene Expression Profiles : Potential Implications for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bennis, Anna; Gorgels, Theo G M F; Ten Brink, Jacoline B; van der Spek, Peter J; Bossers, Koen; Heine, Vivi M; Bergen, Arthur A

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of age related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. There is currently no effective treatment available. Preclinical studies in AMD mouse models are essential to

  11. Comparison of Mouse and Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium Gene Expression Profiles: Potential Implications for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bennis, Anna; Gorgels, Theo G. M. F.; ten Brink, Jacoline B.; van der Spek, Peter J.; Bossers, Koen; Heine, Vivi M.; Bergen, Arthur A.

    2015-01-01

    The human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of age related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. There is currently no effective treatment available. Preclinical studies in AMD mouse models are essential to develop new

  12. Biosynthesis and functions of a melanoid pigment produced by species of the sporothrix complex in the presence of L-tyrosine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; Frases, Susana; Araújo, Glauber de Sousa; de Oliveira, Manoel Marques Evangelista; Gerfen, Gary J; Nosanchuk, Joshua D; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2012-12-01

    Sporothrix schenckii is the etiological agent of sporotrichosis, the main subcutaneous mycosis in Latin America. Melanin is an important virulence factor of S. schenckii, which produces dihydroxynaphthalene melanin (DHN-melanin) in conidia and yeast cells. Additionally, l-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA) can be used to enhance melanin production on these structures as well as on hyphae. Some fungi are able to synthesize another type of melanoid pigment, called pyomelanin, as a result of tyrosine catabolism. Since there is no information about tyrosine catabolism in Sporothrix spp., we cultured 73 strains, including representatives of newly described Sporothrix species of medical interest, such as S. brasiliensis, S. schenckii, and S. globosa, in minimal medium with tyrosine. All strains but one were able to produce a melanoid pigment with a negative charge in this culture medium after 9 days of incubation. An S. schenckii DHN-melanin mutant strain also produced pigment in the presence of tyrosine. Further analysis showed that pigment production occurs in both the filamentous and yeast phases, and pigment accumulates in supernatants during stationary-phase growth. Notably, sulcotrione inhibits pigment production. Melanin ghosts of wild-type and DHN mutant strains obtained when the fungus was cultured with tyrosine were similar to melanin ghosts yielded in the absence of the precursor, indicating that this melanin does not polymerize on the fungal cell wall. However, pyomelanin-producing fungal cells were more resistant to nitrogen-derived oxidants and to UV light. In conclusion, at least three species of the Sporothrix complex are able to produce pyomelanin in the presence of tyrosine, and this pigment might be involved in virulence.

  13. A pigmented calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor associated with compound odontoma: a case report and review of literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borkosky Silvia S

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pigmented intraosseous odontogenic lesions are rare with only 47 reported cases in the English literature. Among them, pigmented calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor, formerly known as calcifying odontogenic cyst, is the most common lesion with 20 reported cases. Methods A case of pigmented calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor associated with odontoma occurring at the mandibular canine-premolar region of a young Japanese boy is presented with radiographic, and histological findings. Special staining, electron microscopic study and immunohistochemical staining were also done to characterize the pigmentation. Results The pigments in the lesion were confirmed to be melanin by Masson-Fontana staining and by transmission electron microscopy. The presence of dendritic melanocytes within the lesion was also demonstrated by S-100 immunostaining. Conclusion The present case report of pigmented calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor associated with odontoma features a comprehensive study on melanin and melanocytes, including histochemical, immunohistochemical and transmission electron microscopic findings.

  14. A pigmented calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor associated with compound odontoma: a case report and review of literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Phuu P; Nagatsuka, Hitoshi; Siar, Chong H; Tsujigiwa, Hidetsugu; Gunduz, Mehmet; Tamamura, Ryo; Borkosky, Silvia S; Katase, Naoki; Nagai, Noriyuki

    2007-01-01

    Background Pigmented intraosseous odontogenic lesions are rare with only 47 reported cases in the English literature. Among them, pigmented calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor, formerly known as calcifying odontogenic cyst, is the most common lesion with 20 reported cases. Methods A case of pigmented calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor associated with odontoma occurring at the mandibular canine-premolar region of a young Japanese boy is presented with radiographic, and histological findings. Special staining, electron microscopic study and immunohistochemical staining were also done to characterize the pigmentation. Results The pigments in the lesion were confirmed to be melanin by Masson-Fontana staining and by transmission electron microscopy. The presence of dendritic melanocytes within the lesion was also demonstrated by S-100 immunostaining. Conclusion The present case report of pigmented calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor associated with odontoma features a comprehensive study on melanin and melanocytes, including histochemical, immunohistochemical and transmission electron microscopic findings. PMID:17892598

  15. ceramic pigment

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Co costs and environmental impact, most of the current research activities concerning Co-based blue pigments have been focused upon the minimization of the employed amount of Co in their formulation (thus reducing both the economic costs and the toxicity). Accordingly, several studies have been previously reported on ...

  16. Dual-wavelength pump-probe microscopy analysis of melanin composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Andrew; Robles, Francisco E.; Wilson, Jesse W.; Deb, Sanghamitra; Calderbank, Robert; Warren, Warren S.

    2016-01-01

    Pump-probe microscopy is an emerging technique that provides detailed chemical information of absorbers with sub-micrometer spatial resolution. Recent work has shown that the pump-probe signals from melanin in human skin cancers correlate well with clinical concern, but it has been difficult to infer the molecular origins of these differences. Here we develop a mathematical framework to describe the pump-probe dynamics of melanin in human pigmented tissue samples, which treats the ensemble of individual chromophores that make up melanin as Gaussian absorbers with bandwidth related via Frenkel excitons. Thus, observed signals result from an interplay between the spectral bandwidths of the individual underlying chromophores and spectral proximity of the pump and probe wavelengths. The model is tested using a dual-wavelength pump-probe approach and a novel signal processing method based on gnomonic projections. Results show signals can be described by a single linear transition path with different rates of progress for different individual pump-probe wavelength pairs. Moreover, the combined dual-wavelength data shows a nonlinear transition that supports our mathematical framework and the excitonic model to describe the optical properties of melanin. The novel gnomonic projection analysis can also be an attractive generic tool for analyzing mixing paths in biomolecular and analytical chemistry. PMID:27833147

  17. Comment on: “Melanisation of Aspergillus terreus—Is Butyrolactone I Involved in the Regulation of Both DOPA and DHN Types of Pigments in Submerged Culture? Microorganisms 2017, 5, 22”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geib, Elena; Brock, Matthias

    2017-01-01

    A recent article by Palonen et al. describes the effect of butyrolactone I on the expression of a secondary metabolite biosynthesis gene cluster from Aspergillus terreus that shows similarities to fusarubin biosynthesis gene clusters from Fusarium species. The authors claim that two different types of pigments are formed in Aspergillus terreus conidia, whereby one pigment is termed a DOPA-type melanin and the second a DHN-type melanin. Unfortunately, the terminology of the classification of melanin-types requires revision as Asp-melanin present in A. terreus conidia is clearly distinct from DOPA-melanins. In addition, some hypotheses in this manuscript are based on questionable data published previously, resulting in incorrect conclusions. Finally, as biochemical data are lacking and metabolite production is only deduced from bioinformatics and transcriptomic data, the production of a second pigment type in A. terreus conidia appears highly speculative. PMID:28635676

  18. Treatment of gingival pigmentation : A case series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prasad Deepak

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available A smile expresses a feeling of joy, success, sensuality, affection and courtesy, and reveals self confidence and kindness. The harmony of the smile is determined not only by the shape, the position and the color of the teeth but also by the gingival tissues. Gingival health and appearance are essential components of an attractive smile. Gingival pigmentation results from melanin granules, which are produced by melanoblasts. The degree of pigmentation depends on melanoblastic activity. Although melanin pigmentation of the gingiva is completely benign and does not present a medical problem, complaints of ′black gums′ are common particularly in patients having a very high smile line (gummy smile. For depigmentation of gingiva different treatment modalities have been reported like- Bur abrasion, scraping, partial thickness flap, cryotherapy, electrosurgery and laser. In the present case series bur abrasion, scraping, partial thickness flap (epithelial excision cryotherapy and electrosurgery have been tried for depigmentation, which are simple, effective and yield good results, along with good patient satisfaction. The problems encountered with some of these techniques have also been discussed.

  19. Pupal development and pigmentation process of a polka-dotted fruit fly, Drosophila guttifera (Insecta, Diptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukutomi, Yuichi; Matsumoto, Keiji; Agata, Kiyokazu; Funayama, Noriko; Koshikawa, Shigeyuki

    2017-06-01

    Various organisms have color patterns on their body surfaces, and these color patterns are thought to contribute to physiological regulation, communication with conspecifics, and signaling with the environment. An adult fly of Drosophila guttifera (Insecta: Diptera: Drosophilidae) has melanin pigmentation patterns on its body and wings. Though D. guttifera has been used for research into color pattern formation, how its pupal development proceeds and when the pigmentation starts have not been well studied. In this study, we defined the pupal stages of D. guttifera and measured the pigment content of wing spots from the pupal period to the period after eclosion. Using a transgenic line which carries eGFP connected with an enhancer of yellow, a gene necessary for melanin synthesis, we analyzed the timing at which the yellow enhancer starts to drive eGFP. We also analyzed the distribution of Yellow-producing cells, as indicated by the expression of eGFP during pupal and young adult periods. The results suggested that Yellow-producing cells were removed from wings within 3 h after eclosion, and wing pigmentation continued without epithelial cells. Furthermore, the results of vein cutting experiments showed that the transport of melanin precursors through veins was necessary for wing pigmentation. These results showed the importance of melanin precursors transported through veins and of extracellular factors which were secreted from epithelial cells and left in the cuticle.

  20. Effects of disrupting the polyketide synthase gene WdPKS1 in Wangiella [Exophiala] dermatitidis on melanin production and resistance to killing by antifungal compounds, enzymatic degradation, and extremes in temperature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mandal Piyali

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Wangiella dermatitidis is a human pathogenic fungus that is an etiologic agent of phaeohyphomycosis. W. dermatitidis produces a black pigment that has been identified as a dihydroxynaphthalene melanin and the production of this pigment is associated with its virulence. Cell wall pigmentation in W. dermatitidis depends on the WdPKS1 gene, which encodes a polyketide synthase required for generating the key precursor for dihydroxynaphthalene melanin biosynthesis. Results We analyzed the effects of disrupting WdPKS1 on dihydroxynaphthalene melanin production and resistance to antifungal compounds. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that wdpks1Δ-1 yeast had thinner cell walls that lacked an electron-opaque layer compared to wild-type cells. However, digestion of the wdpks1Δ-1 yeast revealed small black particles that were consistent with a melanin-like compound, because they were acid-resistant, reacted with melanin-binding antibody, and demonstrated a free radical signature by electron spin resonance analysis. Despite lacking the WdPKS1 gene, the mutant yeast were capable of catalyzing the formation of melanin from L-3,4-dihyroxyphenylalanine. The wdpks1Δ-1 cells were significantly more susceptible to killing by voriconazole, amphotericin B, NP-1 [a microbicidal peptide], heat and cold, and lysing enzymes than the heavily melanized parental or complemented strains. Conclusion In summary, W. dermatitidis makes WdPKS-dependent and -independent melanins, and the WdPKS1-dependent deposition of melanin in the cell wall confers protection against antifungal agents and environmental stresses. The biological role of the WdPKS-independent melanin remains unclear.

  1. Spatial variability of phytoplankton pigment distributions in the Subtropical South Pacific Ocean: comparison between in situ and predicted data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Ras

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available In the frame of the BIOSOPE cruise in 2004, the spatial distribution and structure of phytoplankton pigments was investigated along a transect crossing the ultra-oligotrophic South Pacific Subtropical Gyre (SPSG between the Marquesas Archipelago (141° W–8° S and the Chilean upwelling (73° W–34° S. A High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC method was improved in order to be able to accurately quantify pigments over such a large range of trophic levels, and especially from strongly oligotrophic conditions. Seven diagnostic pigments were associated to three phytoplankton size classes (pico-, nano and microphytoplankton. The total chlorophyll-α concentrations [TChlα] in surface waters were the lowest measured in the centre of the gyre, reaching 0.017 mg m−3. Pigment concentrations at the Deep Chlorophyll Maximum (DCM were generally 10 fold the surface values. Results were compared to predictions from a global parameterisation based on remotely sensed surface [TChlα]. The agreement between the in situ and predicted data for such contrasting phytoplankton assemblages was generally good: throughout the oligotrophic gyre system, picophytoplankton (prochlorophytes and cyanophytes and nanophytoplankton were the dominant classes. Relative bacteriochlorophyll-α concentrations varied around 2%. The transition zone between the Marquesas and the SPSG was also well predicted by the model. However, some regional characteristics have been observed where measured and modelled data differ. Amongst these features is the extreme depth of the DCM (180 m towards the centre of the gyre, the presence of a deep nanoflagellate population beneath the DCM or the presence of a prochlorophyte-enriched population in the formation area of the high salinity South Pacific Tropical Water. A coastal site sampled in the eutrophic upwelling zone, characterised by recently upwelled water, was significantly and unusually enriched in picoeucaryotes, in

  2. ceramic pigment

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    sintering process). The other samples show practically the same morphology, and the mean particle size of the obtained powders is in agreement with that for inorganic pigments used in most applications (i.e., between 0.1 and 10 μm [13]). 3.3 Optical spectroscopy (powders). Since Co2SiO4 mineral owes its violet colour to ...

  3. Population-related genetic aspects of the low doses radiological risk and melanin influence on genetic radiosensitivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mosse, I.B.; Plotnikova, S.I.; Kostrova, L.N.; Subbot, S.T.; Maksymenia, I.P.; Dubovic, B.V.

    1997-01-01

    From the genetic point of view, radiation sensitivity is a quantitative character, and the distribution of individuals in the population with different radiation sensitivities is characterized by a binomial curve. Thus rise in irradiation dose first results in a very slow increase in the number of sensitive genotypes, and then in a sharp rise. Since quantitative characters are dependent on several polymeric genes, and their manifestation is strongly affected by external conditions, radiation sensitivity of the organism depends on many hereditary and environmental factors. One of them is the presence of melanin pigment in cells. In particular, we have shown that the introduction of exogenous melanin into the organisms of mice reduces (2-4 times) the frequency of mutations, induced not only by acute, but also by chronic irradiation. It was also established, that mutational load, accumulated in drosophila populations, irradiated within 125 generations, has been decreased under melanin influence almost to the control level. Antimutagenic action of melanin is also manifested on cultured human cells. So, it was shown by the example of melanin, that it is possible to increase the radiation resistance of individuals, and in the first place of the population highly sensitive fraction. (author)

  4. Effects of melanin on high- and low- linear energy transfer (LET) radiation response of human epithelial cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grossi, G.F.; Durante, M.; Gialanella, G. [Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, Univ. di Napoli and Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Napoli (Italy); Pugliese, M. [Servizio di Radioprotezione, Univ. di Napoli (Italy); Mosse, I. [Institute of Genetics and Cytology of Belarus Academy of Sciences, Minsk (Belarus)

    1998-04-01

    The search for effective radioprotectors is of major concern in the medical, military, environmental, and space sciences. Conventional radioprotectors are generally effective only during a single irradiation and display their radioprotective properties only at high, toxic concentrations. In addition, they reduce somatic radiation effects but are poorly efficient in protecting from hereditary stochastic radiation effects. In this respect, the pigment melanin merits attention. Experiments referring to potential melanin effects on the ionising radiation response have been carried out with different biological systems, both in vivo and in vitro. In this paper, we present results on the response to high- and low-linear energy transfer (LET) radiation of a human mammary epithelial cell line, H184B5 F5-1 M/10, supplemented by melanin. The incorporation of auto-oxidative (l-dopa) melanin was linear for concentrations from 3 to 10 {mu}g/ml in the growth medium. Concentrations of up to 250 {mu}g/ml did not significantly impair the cells proliferative ability. No significant protective effect of melanin on the survival of cultured cells after exposure to alpha-particles (130 keV/{mu}m) or x-rays was observed. (orig.) With 2 figs., 3 tabs., 35 refs.

  5. Polymeric peptide pigments with sequence-encoded properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lampel, Ayala; McPhee, Scott A.; Park, Hang-Ah; Scott, Gary G.; Humagain, Sunita; Hekstra, Doeke R.; Yoo, Barney; Frederix, Pim W. J. M.; Li, Tai-De; Abzalimov, Rinat R.; Greenbaum, Steven G.; Tuttle, Tell; Hu, Chunhua; Bettinger, Christopher J.; Ulijn, Rein V.

    2017-06-08

    Melanins are a family of heterogeneous polymeric pigments that provide ultraviolet (UV) light protection, structural support, coloration, and free radical scavenging. Formed by oxidative oligomerization of catecholic small molecules, the physical properties of melanins are influenced by covalent and noncovalent disorder. We report the use of tyrosine-containing tripeptides as tunable precursors for polymeric pigments. In these structures, phenols are presented in a (supra-)molecular context dictated by the positions of the amino acids in the peptide sequence. Oxidative polymerization can be tuned in a sequence-dependent manner, resulting in peptide sequence–encoded properties such as UV absorbance, morphology, coloration, and electrochemical properties over a considerable range. Short peptides have low barriers to application and can be easily scaled, suggesting near-term applications in cosmetics and biomedicine.

  6. Two-photon excited fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging of melanin in vitro and in vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krasieva, Tatiana B.; Liu, Feng; Sun, Chung-Ho; Kong, Yu; Balu, Mihaela; Meyskens, Frank L.; Tromberg, Bruce J.

    2012-03-01

    The ability to detect early melanoma non-invasively would improve clinical outcome and reduce mortality. Recent advances in two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) in vivo microscopy offer a powerful tool in early malignant melanoma diagnostics. The goal of this work was to develop a TPEF optical index for measuring relative concentrations of eumelanin and pheomelanin since ex vivo studies show that changes in this ratio have been associated with malignant transformation. We acquired TPEF emission spectra (λex=1000 nm) of melanin from several specimens, including human hair, malignant melanoma cell lines, and normal melanocytes and keratinocytes in different skin layers (epidermis, papillary dermis) in five healthy volunteers in vivo. We found that the pheomelanin emission peaks at around 620 nm and is blue-shifted from the eumelanin with broad maximum at 640-680nm. We defined "optical melanin index" (OMI) as a ratio of fluorescence signal intensities measured at 645 nm and 615nm. The measured OMI for a melanoma cell line MNT-1 was 1.6+/-0.2. The MNT-46 and MNT-62 lines (Mc1R gene knockdown) showed an anticipated change in melanins production ratio and had OMI of 0.55+/-0.05 and 0.17+/-0.02, respectively, which strongly correlated with HPLC data obtained for these lines. Average OMI measured for basal cells layers (melanocytes and keratinocytes) in normal human skin type I, II-III (not tanned and tanned) in vivo was 0.5, 1.05 and 1.16 respectively. We could not dependably detect the presence of pheomelanin in highly pigmented skin type V-VI. These data suggest that a non-invasive TPEF index could potentially be used for rapid melanin ratio characterization both in vitro and in vivo, including pigmented lesions.

  7. N-acetylglucosamine affects Cryptococcus neoformans cell-wall composition and melanin architecture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, Emma; Chrissian, Christine; Cordero, Radames J B; Liporagi-Lopes, Livia; Stark, Ruth E; Casadevall, Arturo

    2017-11-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is an environmental fungus that belongs to the phylum Basidiomycetes and is a major pathogen in immunocompromised patients. The ability of C. neoformans to produce melanin pigments represents its second most important virulence factor, after the presence of a polysaccharide capsule. Both the capsule and melanin are closely associated with the fungal cell wall, a complex structure that is essential for maintaining cell morphology and viability under conditions of stress. The amino sugar N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) is a key constituent of the cell-wall chitin and is used for both N-linked glycosylation and GPI anchor synthesis. Recent studies have suggested additional roles for GlcNAc as an activator and mediator of cellular signalling in fungal and plant cells. Furthermore, chitin and chitosan polysaccharides interact with melanin pigments in the cell wall and have been found to be essential for melanization. Despite the importance of melanin, its molecular structure remains unresolved; however, we previously obtained critical insights using advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and imaging techniques. In this study, we investigated the effect of GlcNAc supplementation on cryptococcal cell-wall composition and melanization. C. neoformans was able to metabolize GlcNAc as a sole source of carbon and nitrogen, indicating a capacity to use a component of a highly abundant polymer in the biospherenutritionally. C. neoformans cells grown with GlcNAc manifested changes in the chitosan cell-wall content, cell-wall thickness and capsule size. Supplementing cultures with isotopically 15 N-labelled GlcNAc demonstrated that the exogenous monomer serves as a building block for chitin/chitosan and is incorporated into the cell wall. The altered chitin-to-chitosan ratio had no negative effects on the mother-daughter cell separation; growth with GlcNAc affected the fungal cell-wall scaffold, resulting in increased melanin deposition and assembly. In

  8. Preparation, characterization and application of some anti- corrosive molybdate pigments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abd El-Ghaffar, M.A.; El-Sawy, S.M.; Ahmed, N.M.

    2005-01-01

    Some molybdate pigments of single and mixed metal ions, namely, zinc, calcium and zinc-calcium molybdates were prepared, characterized and evaluated according to international standard methods. The evaluated pigments were incorporated in some paint formulations. The physicomechanical, chemical and corrosion protective properties of the paint films were measured; this was done in comparison with a commercial imported molybdate pigment. It was found that, the prepared pigments under investigation are fine white crystalline powders of suitable pigment properties. They can be successfully used as environmentally acceptable anti corrosive pigments. They can replace satisfactorily the similar commercial imported pigment and possess adequate or superior properties against corrosion

  9. Photoprotective role of epidermal melanin granules against ultraviolet damage and DNA repair in guinea pig skin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ishikawa, T.; Kodama, K.; Matsumoto, J.; Takayama, S.

    1984-11-01

    We previously developed a quantitative autoradiographic technique with special forceps for measuring unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) in mouse skin after treatment with ultraviolet light in vivo. By this method, we investigated the relationship between the protective role of melanin and UV-induced DNA repair in black-and-white guinea pigs. Flat areas containing a sharp border between pigmented and unpigmented skin were selected. The skin of the selected areas was shaved and irradiated with short-wave UV (254 nm) or UV-AB (270 to 440 nm, emission peak at 312 nm) at various doses. Immediately after irradiation, the skin was clamped off with forceps, and an isotonic aqueous solution of (methyl-/sup 3/H)thymidine was injected s.c. into the clamped off portion. UDS was clearly demonstrated as silver grains in this portion of the skin after irradiation with 254 nm UV or UV-AB. Errors due to individual differences were avoided by comparing the intensities of UDS in basal cells from pigmented skin and unpigmented skin of the same animals. Unexpectedly, in groups of animals treated with 254 nm UV or UV-AB, no difference in UDS in pigmented and unpigmented skin was seen at any UV dose. These results suggested that epidermal melanin granules do not significantly protect DNA of basal cells against 254 nm UV or UV-AB irradiation. Results of a study on the effect of the wavelength of irradiation on the UDS response of albino guinea pigs are also reported.

  10. Uptake of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene and benzo(a)pyrene in melanin-containing tissues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roberto, A.; Larsson, B.S. [Uppsala Univ., Dept. of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Div. of Toxicology, Uppsala (Sweden); Tjaelve, H. [The Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Dept. of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Uppsala (Sweden)

    1996-08-01

    It is widely accepted that UV exposure is the main etiological factor for malignant melanoma. Epidemiologic studies, however, have indicated that also chemical carcinogens may be a risk factor for the disease. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene and benzo(a)pyrene represent an important class of carcinogenic chemicals. It is known that 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene can induce melanotic tumours in various animal species, and human melanocytes in culture have been found to be capable of metabolizing benzo(a)pyrene to its proximate carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene-7,8-diol. In the present study the disposition of {sup 14}C- and {sup 3}H-7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene and {sup 14}C-benzo(a)pyrene was studied in pigmented and albino mice and Syrian golden hamsters by whole-body autoradiography. The results showed pronounced retention of label in the melanin-containing structures of the eyes and the hair follicles in the pigmented animals. The labelling of the corresponding structures in the albino animals was low. Additional experiments showed that 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene and benzo(a)pyrene as well as some of their metabolites are bound to melanin in vitro. The specific localization of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in pigmented tissues due to melanin affinity, combined with bioactivating capacity of melanocytes, suggest that these substances may play a role in the induction of malignant melanoma. (au).

  11. Fungal pigments inhibit the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis of darkly pigmented fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buskirk, Amanda D; Hettick, Justin M; Chipinda, Itai; Law, Brandon F; Siegel, Paul D; Slaven, James E; Green, Brett J; Beezhold, Donald H

    2011-04-01

    Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has been used to discriminate moniliaceous fungal species; however, darkly pigmented fungi yield poor fingerprint mass spectra that contain few peaks of low relative abundance. In this study, the effect of dark fungal pigments on the observed MALDI mass spectra was investigated. Peptide and protein samples containing varying concentrations of synthetic melanin or fungal pigments extracted from Aspergillus niger were analyzed by MALDI-TOF and MALDI-qTOF (quadrupole TOF) MS. Signal suppression was observed in samples containing greater than 250ng/μl pigment. Microscopic examination of the MALDI sample deposit was usually heterogeneous, with regions of high pigment concentration appearing as black. Acquisition of MALDI mass spectra from these darkly pigmented regions of the sample deposit yielded poor or no [M+H](+) ion signal. In contrast, nonpigmented regions within the sample deposit and hyphal negative control extracts of A. niger were not inhibited. This study demonstrated that dark fungal pigments inhibited the desorption/ionization process during MALDI-MS; however, these fungi may be successfully analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS when culture methods that suppress pigment expression are used. The addition of tricyclazole to the fungal growth media blocks fungal melanin synthesis and results in less melanized fungi that may be analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. Transferring biomarker into molecular probe: melanin nanoparticle as a naturally active platform for multimodality imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Quli; Cheng, Kai; Hu, Xiang; Ma, Xiaowei; Zhang, Ruiping; Yang, Min; Lu, Xiaomei; Xing, Lei; Huang, Wei; Gambhir, Sanjiv Sam; Cheng, Zhen

    2014-10-29

    Developing multifunctional and easily prepared nanoplatforms with integrated different modalities is highly challenging for molecular imaging. Here, we report the successful transfer of an important molecular target, melanin, into a novel multimodality imaging nanoplatform. Melanin is abundantly expressed in melanotic melanomas and thus has been actively studied as a target for melanoma imaging. In our work, the multifunctional biopolymer nanoplatform based on ultrasmall (passive nanoplatforms require complicated and time-consuming processes for prebuilding reporting moieties or chemical modifications using active groups to integrate different contrast properties into one entity. In comparison, utilizing functional biomarker melanin can greatly simplify the building process. We further conjugated αvβ3 integrins, cyclic c(RGDfC) peptide, to MNPs to allow for U87MG tumor accumulation due to its targeting property combined with the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. The multimodal properties of MNPs demonstrate the high potential of endogenous materials with multifunctions as nanoplatforms for molecular theranostics and clinical translation.

  13. A melanin-mediated cancer immunotherapy patch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Yanqi; Wang, Chao; Zhang, Xudong; Hu, Quanyin; Zhang, Yuqi; Liu, Qi; Wen, Di; Milligan, Joshua; Bellotti, Adriano; Huang, Leaf; Dotti, Gianpietro; Gu, Zhen

    2017-11-10

    Melanin is capable of transforming 99.9% of the absorbed sunlight energy into heat, reducing the risk of skin cancer. We here develop a melanin-mediated cancer immunotherapy strategy through a transdermal microneedle patch. B16F10 whole tumor lysate containing melanin is loaded into polymeric microneedles that allow sustained release of the lysate upon insertion into the skin. In combination with the near-infrared light irradiation, melanin in the patch mediates the generation of heat, which further promotes tumor-antigen uptake by dendritic cells, and leads to enhanced antitumor vaccination. We found that the spatiotemporal photoresponsive immunotherapy increases infiltration of polarized T cells and local cytokine release. These immunological effects increase the survival of mice after tumor challenge and elicited antitumor effects toward established primary tumor and distant tumor. Collectively, melanin generates local heat, boosts T cell activities by transdermal vaccines, and promotes antitumor immune responses. Copyright © 2017 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  14. PMEL Amyloid Fibril Formation: The Bright Steps of Pigmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christin Bissig

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In pigment cells, melanin synthesis takes place in specialized organelles, called melanosomes. The biogenesis and maturation of melanosomes is initiated by an unpigmented step that takes place prior to the initiation of melanin synthesis and leads to the formation of luminal fibrils deriving from the pigment cell-specific pre-melanosomal protein (PMEL. In the lumen of melanosomes, PMEL fibrils optimize sequestration and condensation of the pigment melanin. Interestingly, PMEL fibrils have been described to adopt a typical amyloid-like structure. In contrast to pathological amyloids often associated with neurodegenerative diseases, PMEL fibrils represent an emergent category of physiological amyloids due to their beneficial cellular functions. The formation of PMEL fibrils within melanosomes is tightly regulated by diverse mechanisms, such as PMEL traffic, cleavage and sorting. These mechanisms revealed increasing analogies between the formation of physiological PMEL fibrils and pathological amyloid fibrils. In this review we summarize the known mechanisms of PMEL fibrillation and discuss how the recent understanding of physiological PMEL amyloid formation may help to shed light on processes involved in pathological amyloid formation.

  15. Seeking carotenoid pigments in amber-preserved fossil feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Daniel B.; Nascimbene, Paul C.; Dove, Carla J.; Grimaldi, David A.; James, Helen F.

    2014-06-01

    Plumage colours bestowed by carotenoid pigments can be important for visual communication and likely have a long evolutionary history within Aves. Discovering plumage carotenoids in fossil feathers could provide insight into the ecology of ancient birds and non-avian dinosaurs. With reference to a modern feather, we sought chemical evidence of carotenoids in six feathers preserved in amber (Miocene to mid-Cretaceous) and in a feather preserved as a compression fossil (Eocene). Evidence of melanin pigmentation and microstructure preservation was evaluated with scanning electron and light microscopies. We observed fine microstructural details including evidence for melanin pigmentation in the amber and compression fossils, but Raman spectral bands did not confirm the presence of carotenoids in them. Carotenoids may have been originally absent from these feathers or the pigments may have degraded during burial; the preservation of microstructure may suggest the former. Significantly, we show that carotenoid plumage pigments can be detected without sample destruction through an amber matrix using confocal Raman spectroscopy.

  16. Seeking carotenoid pigments in amber-preserved fossil feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Daniel B; Nascimbene, Paul C; Dove, Carla J; Grimaldi, David A; James, Helen F

    2014-06-09

    Plumage colours bestowed by carotenoid pigments can be important for visual communication and likely have a long evolutionary history within Aves. Discovering plumage carotenoids in fossil feathers could provide insight into the ecology of ancient birds and non-avian dinosaurs. With reference to a modern feather, we sought chemical evidence of carotenoids in six feathers preserved in amber (Miocene to mid-Cretaceous) and in a feather preserved as a compression fossil (Eocene). Evidence of melanin pigmentation and microstructure preservation was evaluated with scanning electron and light microscopies. We observed fine microstructural details including evidence for melanin pigmentation in the amber and compression fossils, but Raman spectral bands did not confirm the presence of carotenoids in them. Carotenoids may have been originally absent from these feathers or the pigments may have degraded during burial; the preservation of microstructure may suggest the former. Significantly, we show that carotenoid plumage pigments can be detected without sample destruction through an amber matrix using confocal Raman spectroscopy.

  17. Differences in visible light-induced pigmentation according to wavelengths: a clinical and histological study in comparison with UVB exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duteil, Luc; Cardot-Leccia, Nathalie; Queille-Roussel, Catherine; Maubert, Yves; Harmelin, Yona; Boukari, Fériel; Ambrosetti, Damien; Lacour, Jean-Philippe; Passeron, Thierry

    2014-09-01

    The visible light spectrum is wide, and it can be hypothesized that all the wavelengths between 400-700 nm do not induce the same photobiological effects on pigmentation. We assessed the potential pro-pigmenting effects of two single wavelengths located at both extremities of the visible spectrum: the blue/violet line (λ = 415 nm) and the red line (λ = 630 nm). We made colorimetric, clinical, and histological assessments with increasing doses of those lights on healthy volunteers. Then, we compared these irradiations to non-exposed and UVB-exposed skin. Colorimetric and clinical assessments showed a clear dose effect with the 415-nm irradiation, in both skin type III and IV subjects, whereas the 630 nm did not induce hyperpigmentation. When compared to UVB irradiation, the blue-violet light induced a significantly more pronounced hyperpigmentation that lasted up to 3 months. Histological examination showed a significant increase of keratinocyte necrosis and p53 with UVB, as compared to 415- and 630-nm exposures. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Optical and photoelectronic properties of melanin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Capozzi, V. [Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita di Foggia, Viale Pinto, I-71100 Foggia (Italy)]|[Istituto Nazionale di Fisica della Materia, Sezione di Bari, Via Amendola 173, I-70126 Bari (Italy); Perna, G. [Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita di Foggia, Viale Pinto, I-71100 Foggia (Italy)]|[Istituto Nazionale di Fisica della Materia, Sezione di Bari, Via Amendola 173, I-70126 Bari (Italy); Carmone, P. [Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita di Foggia, Viale Pinto, I-71100 Foggia (Italy); Gallone, A. [Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita di Foggia, Viale Pinto, I-71100 Foggia (Italy); Lastella, M. [Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita di Foggia, Viale Pinto, I-71100 Foggia (Italy); Mezzenga, E. [Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita di Foggia, Viale Pinto, I-71100 Foggia (Italy); Quartucci, G. [Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita di Foggia, Viale Pinto, I-71100 Foggia (Italy); Ambrico, M. [Istituto di Metodologie Inorganiche e dei Plasmi del C.N.R., Via Orabona 4, I-70126 Bari (Italy); Augelli, V.; Biagi, P.F.; Ligonzo, T.; Minafra, A.; Schiavulli, L. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica della Materia, Sezione di Bari, Via Amendola 173, I-70126 Bari (Italy)]|[Dipartimento Interateneo di Fisica, Universita di Bari, Via Amendola 173, I-70126 Bari (Italy); Pallara, M. [Dipartimento Geomineralogico, Universita di Bari, via Amendola 173, Bari (Italy); Cicero, R. [Dipartimento di Biochimica Medica e Biologia Medica, Sezione di Biologia Medica, Facolta di Medicina e Chirurgia, Universita di Bari, Policlinico, I-70124 Bari (Italy)

    2006-07-26

    A study of the structural, optical and electrical properties of synthetic and natural melanin by means of X-ray diffraction, absorption and photocurrent techniques is reported. The model of the natural melanin film as a network of nano-aggregates of polymeric units based on the indolic structure is proposed to explain the X-ray diffraction results. The shape of the absorption spectra is similar to that of amorphous and disordered semiconductors, with a very strong, broad band UV and visible absorption and an optical gap value of about 0.5 eV. Photosensitivity to sun spectra has been demonstrated by photoconductivity measurements of synthetic melanin pellets under AM1 light source illumination.

  19. Bacterial melanin promotes recovery after sciatic nerve injury in rats

    OpenAIRE

    Olga V Gevorkyan; Irina B Meliksetyan; Tigran R Petrosyan; Anichka S Hovsepyan

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial melanin, obtained from the mutant strain of Bacillus Thuringiensis, has been shown to promote recovery after central nervous system injury. It is hypothesized, in this study, that bacterial melanin can promote structural and functional recovery after peripheral nerve injury. Rats subjected to sciatic nerve transection were intramuscularly administered bacterial melanin. The sciatic nerve transected rats that did not receive intramuscular administration of bacterial melanin served as...

  20. Low-melanin containing pullulan production from sugarcane bagasse hydrolysate by Aureobasidium pullulans in fermentations assisted by light-emitting diode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terán Hilares, Ruly; Orsi, Camila Ayres; Ahmed, Muhammad Ajaz; Marcelino, Paulo Franco; Menegatti, Carlos Renato; da Silva, Silvio Silvério; Dos Santos, Júlio César

    2017-04-01

    Pullulan is a polymer produced by Aureobasidium pullulans and the main bottleneck for its industrial production is the presence of melanin pigment. In this study, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) of different wavelengths were used to assist the fermentation process aiming to produce low-melanin containing pullulan by wild strain of A. pullulans LB83 with different carbon sources. Under white light using glucose-based medium, 11.75g.L -1 of pullulan with high melanin content (45.70UA 540nm .g -1 ) was obtained, this production improved in process assisted by blue LED light, that resulted in 15.77g.L -1 of pullulan with reduced content of melanin (4.46UA 540nm .g -1 ). By using sugarcane bagasse (SCB) hydrolysate as carbon source, similar concentration of pullulan (about 20g.L -1 ) was achieved using white and blue LED lights, with lower melanin contents in last. Use of LED light was found as a promising approach to assist biotechnological process for low-melanin containing pullulan production. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Substantial Effect of Melanin Influencing Factors on Melanogenesis in Muzzle Melanocytes of Differently Colored Hanwoo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Touseef Amna

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The present study was designed to investigate the effect of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH, nitric oxide (NO and L-cysteine on melanin production and expression of related genes MC1R, Tyr, Tyrp-1 and Tyrp-2 in muzzle melanocytes of differently colored three native Hanwoo cattle. Muzzle samples were taken from black, brindle and brown Hanwoo and purified melanocytes were cultured with α-MSH, nitric oxide and L-cysteine at 100 nM, 50 µM and 0.07 mg/ml of media respectively. The amounts of total melanin, eumelanin and mRNA expression at Tyr, Tyrp-1, Tyrp-2 and MC1R levels were quantified. α-MSH and nitric oxide significantly increased (p<0.05 the amount of total melanin in black and brindle whereas eumelanin production in brown Hanwoo muzzle melanocytes. On the contrary, L-cysteine greatly (p<0.05 depressed the eumelanin production in black color but increased in brown. Simultaneously, up regulation of Tyr by nitric oxide and α-MSH and down regulation of Tyr, Tyrp-2 and MC1R genes by L-cysteine were observed in muzzle melanocytes of all three phenotypes. The results of this study revealed nitric oxide and α-MSH contribute hyper-pigmentation by enhancing eumelanogenesis whereas L-cysteine contributes to pheomelanin production in different colored Hanwoo muzzle melanocytes.

  2. Sesquiterpenes from fruits of Torilis japonica with inhibitory activity on melanin synthesis in B16 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Da Hye; Jo, Yang Hee; Ahn, Jong Hoon; Kim, Seon Beom; Yun, Cheong-Yong; Kim, Youngsoo; Hwang, Bang Yeon; Lee, Mi Kyeong

    2018-01-01

    Melanin, a dark macromolecular pigment, protects skin from harmful damage. However, abnormal accumulation is responsible for hyperpigmentation disorders. Melanogenesis inhibitors have therefore become important constituents in cosmetic products for depigmentation. Torilis japonica Decandolle (Umbelliferae) is a biennial plant which is distributed in East Asia. Fruits of this plant have been used for the treatment of skin disease and inflammation. In our previous study, torilin, a major sesquiterpene of T. japonica, showed an inhibitory effect on melanin production in α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-activated B16 melanoma cells. Further extensive chromatographic separation resulted in thirteen compounds. On the basis of spectroscopic analysis, the structures of the compounds isolated were determined to be three new sesquiterpenes, viz. a guaiane-type, epoxytorilinol (1), a eudesmane-type, elematorilone (2) and a cadinane-type, cardinatoriloside (3), together with ten known sesquiterpenes (4-13). Of the compounds isolated, compounds 4-6 and 11-13 inhibited α-MSH-activated melanin production in B16 melanoma cells with IC 50 values from 72.9 to 191.0 μM.

  3. Antibodies Against Melanin | Wassermann | South African Medical ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study reports on unsuccessful attempts to produce antibodies against melanoprotein in rabbits. Available evidence suggests antibodies against melanocytes in the aetiology of vitiligo, but there is no convincing evidence for antibodies against melanin per se. It is suggested that the demonstration of antibodif's against ...

  4. Melanin as an active layer in biosensors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piacenti da Silva, Marina, E-mail: marinaness@yahoo.com; Congiu, Mirko, E-mail: congiumat@gmail.com; Oliveira Graeff, Carlos Frederico de, E-mail: graeff@fc.unesp.br [Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences - UNESP, Bauru, SP (Brazil); Fernandes, Jéssica Colnaghi, E-mail: jeziga-cf@yahoo.com.br; Biziak de Figueiredo, Natália, E-mail: natbiziak@yahoo.com.br; Mulato, Marcelo, E-mail: mmulato@ffclrp.usp.br [Department of Physics, Faculty of Philosophy, Science and Letters at Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP (Brazil)

    2014-03-15

    The development of pH sensors is of great interest due to its extensive application in several areas such as industrial processes, biochemistry and particularly medical diagnostics. In this study, the pH sensing properties of an extended gate field effect transistor (EGFET) based on melanin thin films as active layer are investigated and the physical mechanisms related to the device operation are discussed. Thin films were produced from different melanin precursors on indium tin oxide (ITO) and gold substrates and were investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. Experiments were performed in the pH range from 2 to 12. EGFETs with melanin deposited on ITO and on gold substrates showed sensitivities ranging from 31.3 mV/pH to 48.9 mV/pH, depending on the melanin precursor and the substrate used. The pH detection is associated with specific binding sites in its structure, hydroxyl groups and quinone imine.

  5. Melanin as an active layer in biosensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piacenti da Silva, Marina; Fernandes, Jéssica Colnaghi; de Figueiredo, Natália Biziak; Congiu, Mirko; Mulato, Marcelo; de Oliveira Graeff, Carlos Frederico

    2014-03-01

    The development of pH sensors is of great interest due to its extensive application in several areas such as industrial processes, biochemistry and particularly medical diagnostics. In this study, the pH sensing properties of an extended gate field effect transistor (EGFET) based on melanin thin films as active layer are investigated and the physical mechanisms related to the device operation are discussed. Thin films were produced from different melanin precursors on indium tin oxide (ITO) and gold substrates and were investigated by Atomic Force Microscopy and Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy. Experiments were performed in the pH range from 2 to 12. EGFETs with melanin deposited on ITO and on gold substrates showed sensitivities ranging from 31.3 mV/pH to 48.9 mV/pH, depending on the melanin precursor and the substrate used. The pH detection is associated with specific binding sites in its structure, hydroxyl groups and quinone imine.

  6. Ecological-friendly pigments from fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durán, Nelson; Teixeira, Maria F S; De Conti, Roseli; Esposito, Elisa

    2002-01-01

    The dyestuff industry is suffering from the increases in costs of feedstock and energy for dye synthesis, and they are under increasing pressure to minimize the damage to the environment. The industries are continuously looking for cheaper, more environmentally friendly routes to existing dyes. The aim of this minireview is to discuss the most important advances in the fungal pigment area and its interest in biotechnological applications. Characteristic pigments are produced by a wide variety of fungi and the chemical composition of natural dyes are described. These pigments exhibit several biological activities besides cytotoxicity. The synthetic pigments authorized by the EC and in USA and the natural pigments available in the world market are discussed. The obstacle to the exploitation of new natural pigments sources is the food legislation, requesting costly toxicological research, manufacturing costs, and acceptance by consumers. The dislike for novel ingredients is likely to be the biggest impediment for expansion of the pigment list in the near future. If the necessary toxicological testing and the comparison with accepted pigments are made, the fungal pigments, could be acceptable by the current consumer. The potentiality of pigment production in Brazil is possible due to tremendous Amazonian region biodiversity.

  7. The TSC1/2 complex controls Drosophila pigmentation through TORC1-dependent regulation of catecholamine biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zitserman, Diana; Gupta, Sapna; Kruger, Warren D; Karbowniczek, Magdalena; Roegiers, Fabrice

    2012-01-01

    In Drosophila, the pattern of adult pigmentation is initiated during late pupal stages by the production of catecholamines DOPA and dopamine, which are converted to melanin. The pattern and degree of melanin deposition is controlled by the expression of genes such as ebony and yellow as well as by the enzymes involved in catecholamine biosynthesis. In this study, we show that the conserved TSC/TORC1 cell growth pathway controls catecholamine biosynthesis in Drosophila during pigmentation. We find that high levels of Rheb, an activator of the TORC1 complex, promote premature pigmentation in the mechanosensory bristles during pupal stages, and alter pigmentation in the cuticle of the adult fly. Disrupting either melanin synthesis by RNAi knockdown of melanogenic enzymes such as tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), or downregulating TORC1 activity by Raptor knockdown, suppresses the Rheb-dependent pigmentation phenotype in vivo. Increased Rheb activity drives pigmentation by increasing levels of TH in epidermal cells. Our findings indicate that control of pigmentation is linked to the cellular nutrient-sensing pathway by regulating levels of a critical enzyme in melanogenesis, providing further evidence that inappropriate activation of TORC1, a hallmark of the human tuberous sclerosis complex tumor syndrome disorder, can alter metabolic and differentiation pathways in unexpected ways.

  8. Coloration principles of nymphaline butterflies - thin films, melanin, ommochromes and wing scale stacking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavenga, Doekele G; Leertouwer, Hein L; Wilts, Bodo D

    2014-06-15

    The coloration of the common butterflies Aglais urticae (small tortoiseshell), Aglais io (peacock) and Vanessa atalanta (red admiral), belonging to the butterfly subfamily Nymphalinae, is due to the species-specific patterning of differently coloured scales on their wings. We investigated the scales' structural and pigmentary properties by applying scanning electron microscopy, (micro)spectrophotometry and imaging scatterometry. The anatomy of the wing scales appears to be basically identical, with an approximately flat lower lamina connected by trabeculae to a highly structured upper lamina, which consists of an array of longitudinal, parallel ridges and transversal crossribs. Isolated scales observed at the abwing (upper) side are blue, yellow, orange, red, brown or black, depending on their pigmentation. The yellow, orange and red scales contain various amounts of 3-OH-kynurenine and ommochrome pigment, black scales contain a high density of melanin, and blue scales have a minor amount of melanin pigment. Observing the scales from their adwing (lower) side always revealed a structural colour, which is blue in the case of blue, red and black scales, but orange for orange scales. The structural colours are created by the lower lamina, which acts as an optical thin film. Its reflectance spectrum, crucially determined by the lamina thickness, appears to be well tuned to the scales' pigmentary spectrum. The colours observed locally on the wing are also due to the degree of scale stacking. Thin films, tuned pigments and combinations of stacked scales together determine the wing coloration of nymphaline butterflies. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  9. Brassica rapa hairy root extracts promote skin depigmentation by modulating melanin production and distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sena, Luigi Michele; Zappelli, Claudia; Apone, Fabio; Barbulova, Ani; Tito, Annalisa; Leone, Antonella; Oliviero, Teresa; Ferracane, Rosalia; Fogliano, Vincenzo; Colucci, Gabriella

    2017-07-03

    Skin whitening products, used for ages by Asian people for cultural and esthetic purposes, are very popular nowadays in Western countries as well, where the need to inhibit skin spots after sun exposure has become not only a cosmetic but also a health-related issue. Thus, the development of effective and safe depigmenting agents derived from natural products gets continuous attention by cosmetic brands and consumers. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of two preparations, obtained from the hairy root cultures of the species Brassica rapa, on melanogenesis and the expression of the extracellular matrix proteins involved in a correct pigment distribution. The two preparations, obtained by water-ethanol extraction and by digestion of cell-wall glycoproteins of the root cells, were chemically characterized and tested on skin cell cultures and on human skin explants to investigate on their dermatological activities. Both the extracts were able to decrease melanin synthesis pathway in melanocytes and modulate the expression of genes involved in melanin distribution. One of the extracts was also effective in inducing the expression of laminin-5 and collagen IV, involved into the maintenance of tissue integrity. The two extracts, when tested together on human skin explants, demonstrated a good synergic hypopigmenting activity. Taken together, the results indicate that the extracts from B. rapa root cultures can be employed as cosmetic active ingredients in skin whitening products and as potential therapeutic agents for treating pigmentation disorders. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Production of melanin by soil microbial isolate on fruit waste extract: two step optimization of key parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korumilli Tarangini

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, optimization of production parameters influencing melanin production in an economical fruit waste extract was attempted using a garden soil isolate (Bacillus safensis. Taguchi approach was adopted for screening of critical parameters and further optimization was done using a central composite design of response surface methodology (RSM. At optimum conditions (pH 6.84 and Temp 30.7 °C, a significant yield of ∼6.96 mg/mL was observed. Statistical analysis revealed that the experimental results fitted well to the statistical model with model R2 value 0.982. The optimization of process parameters using RSM reported a 15% increase in the pigment yield than average yield obtained from the studied model. The melanin produced was confirmed by UV–visible spectroscopy, FTIR and XRD analysis. Moreover melanin obtained has significant photoprotective, radical scavenging and metal chelating activity. Thus, B. safensis has the potential to be a new source for the production of melanin, which is of industrial interest.

  11. Raman spectroscopy as a non-invasive technique for the quantification of melanins in feathers and hairs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galván, Ismael; Jorge, Alberto; Ito, Kazuma; Tabuchi, Keisuke; Solano, Francisco; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa

    2013-11-01

    The quantification of melanins is a complex task due to the chemical heterogeneity of the pigments and the difficulty of their isolation. The best accepted procedure currently consists in the chemical cleavage of melanins and the subsequent detection of degradation products by HPLC, which implies the destruction of samples. Here, we show that Raman spectroscopy is a non-invasive technique that can be used to quantify melanins. We made parallel analyses of the characteristics of pheomelanin and eumelanin Raman spectra as measured by confocal Raman microscopy and of degradation products of pheomelanin (4-amino-3-hydroxyphenylalanine, 4-AHP) and eumelanin (pyrrole-2,3,5-tricarboxylic acid, PTCA) as measured by HPLC in feathers of red-legged partridges and hairs of wild boars and humans. We found strong correlations between the spectral Raman characteristics and 4-AHP and PTCA levels, which indicates that the Raman spectra of melanins can be used to determine their content. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Quantifying melanin spatial distribution using pump-probe microscopy and a 2-D morphological autocorrelation transformation for melanoma diagnosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robles, Francisco E.; Wilson, Jesse W.; Warren, Warren S.

    2013-12-01

    Pump-probe microscopy is an emerging molecular imaging technique that probes the excited state dynamics properties of pigmented samples. This method has been particularly intriguing for melanoma because, unlike other methods available, it can provide nondestructive, quantitative chemical information regarding different types of melanins, with high spatial resolution. In this Letter, we present a method based on mathematical morphology to quantify melanin structure (eumelanin, pheomelanin, and total melanin content, uniquely available with pump-probe microscopy) to aid in melanoma diagnosis. The approach applies a two-dimensional autocorrelation function and utilizes statistical parameters of the corresponding autocorrelation images, specifically, the second moments and entropy, to parameterize image structure. Along with bulk melanin chemical information, we show that this method can differentiate invasive melanomas from noninvasive and benign lesions with high sensitivity and specificity (92.3% and 97.5%, respectively, with N=53). The mathematical method and the statistical analysis are described in detail and results from cutaneous and ocular conjunctival melanocytic lesions are presented.

  13. Comparison of macular pigment and serum lutein concentration changes between free lutein and lutein esters supplements in Japanese subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshizako, Hiroko; Hara, Katunori; Takai, Yasuyuki; Kaidzu, Sachiko; Obana, Akira; Ohira, Akihiro

    2016-09-01

    To compare changes in macular pigment optical density (MPOD) and serum lutein concentration between free lutein and lutein esters supplements in healthy Japanese individuals. Twenty healthy subjects (age range, 22-47 years) were recruited into this prospective, randomized, doubled-blind comparative study. Individuals were evenly divided into two groups: free lutein group, supplementation with 10 mg of free lutein; or lutein esters group, supplementation with 20 mg of lutein esters equivalent to 10 mg of free lutein. Each participant took either type of oral lutein daily for 3 months. The serum lutein concentrations and MPOD levels were measured at baseline and 3 and 6 months after the start of supplementation. There were no significant differences in the serum lutein concentrations and MPOD levels at baseline between the groups. The increased serum lutein concentration and MPOD levels at 3 months were respectively, 89% and 38% in the free lutein group and 97% and 17% in the lutein esters group. The serum lutein concentrations in both groups and MPOD levels in the free lutein group increased significantly (p lutein concentrations and MPOD levels were seen between the groups. Three months after supplementation ended, the serum lutein concentration decreased; the MPOD remained elevated in both groups. The serum lutein concentrations and MPOD levels increased significantly with either free lutein or lutein esters, and no significant differences were found between the two. Both were considered useful as lutein supplements. © 2016 Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Spectrophotometric intracutaneous analysis for differential diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Е. V. Filonenko

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The non-invasive diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions by spectrophotometric intracutaneous analysis (SIA-scopy using device for dermatoscopy (SIAscope V by Astron Clinica, Ltd was approved in P.A.Herzen Moscow Cancer Research Institute. The method is based on analysis of light interaction with wavelength of 440–960 nm anf human skin, which is recorded by change of image on scan. The comparative analysis of SIA-scopy and histological data in 327 pigmented skin lesions in 147 patients showed, that SIA had high diagnostic efficiency for cutaneous melanoma: the sensitivity was 96%, specifity – 94%, diagnostic accuracy – 94%. For study of malignant potential of pigmented lesions by SIA-scopy the most informative capacity was obtained for assessment of melanin in papillary dermis, status of blood vessels and collagen fibres (SIA-scans 3, 4, 5.

  15. Photoaging of retinal pigment epithelial melanosomes: The effect of photobleaching on morphology and reactivity of the pigment granules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zadlo, Andrzej; Szewczyk, Grzegorz; Sarna, Michal; Kozinska, Anna; Pilat, Anna; Kaczara, Patrycja; Sarna, Tadeusz

    2016-08-01

    To elucidate the mechanism of age-related changes in antioxidant and photoprotective properties of human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) melanosomes, the effect of in vitro photoaging of bovine RPE melanosomes was examined employing an array of complementary spectroscopic and analytical methods. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, saturation recovery EPR, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) were used to determine melanin content of control and photobleached melanosomes, and to monitor changes in their morphology. Methylene blue (MB), TEMPO choline, dysprosium(III) ions and singlet oxygen were employed as molecular probes to characterize the efficiency of control and photobleached melanosomes to interact with different reagents. EPR oximetry, UV-vis absorption spectroscopy, iodometric assay of lipid hydroperoxides and time-resolved singlet oxygen phosphorescence were used to analyze the efficiency of photobleached and untreated melanosomes to inhibit MB-photosensitized oxidation of liposomal lipids. The obtained results revealed that, compared to untreated melanosomes, moderately photobleached melanosomes protected unsaturated lipids less efficiently against photosensitized peroxidiation, while weakly photobleached melanosomes were actually better antioxidant and photoprotective agents. The observed changes could be attributed to two effects - modification of the melanosome morphology and oxidative degradation of the melanin functional groups induced by different degree of photobleaching. While the former increases the accessibility of melanin nanoaggregates to reagents, the latter reduces the efficiency of melanin to interact with chemical and physical agents. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. A UV-Independent Topical Small-Molecule Approach for Melanin Production in Human Skin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nisma Mujahid

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The presence of dark melanin (eumelanin within human epidermis represents one of the strongest predictors of low skin cancer risk. Topical rescue of eumelanin synthesis, previously achieved in “redhaired” Mc1r-deficient mice, demonstrated significant protection against UV damage. However, application of a topical strategy for human skin pigmentation has not been achieved, largely due to the greater barrier function of human epidermis. Salt-inducible kinase (SIK has been demonstrated to regulate MITF, the master regulator of pigment gene expression, through its effects on CRTC and CREB activity. Here, we describe the development of small-molecule SIK inhibitors that were optimized for human skin penetration, resulting in MITF upregulation and induction of melanogenesis. When topically applied, pigment production was induced in Mc1r-deficient mice and normal human skin. These findings demonstrate a realistic pathway toward UV-independent topical modulation of human skin pigmentation, potentially impacting UV protection and skin cancer risk.

  17. The effect of particles size distribution on aesthetic and thermal performances of polydisperse TiO2 pigmented coatings: Comparison between numerical and experimental results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baneshi, Mehdi; Gonome, Hiroki; Komiya, Atsuki; Maruyama, Shigenao

    2012-01-01

    A new approach in designing pigmented coatings considering both visual and thermal concerns was introduced by authors in previous works. The objective was to design a pigmented coating with dark appearance which can stay cool while exposed to sunlight. This behavior can be achieved by coating a typical black substrate with a pigmented coating with controlled size and concentration of particles and coating thickness. In present work, the spectral behaviour of polydisperse TiO 2 pigmented coatings was studied. The radiative properties of polydisperse TiO 2 powders were evaluated and the radiative transfer in the pigmented coating was modelled using the radiation element method by ray emission model (REM 2 ). The effects of particles size distribution on spectral reflectivity, optimization parameter, and color coordinates were discussed. The results of numerical calculation were validated by experimental reflectivity measurements of several TiO 2 pigmented coating samples made from two different TiO 2 powders with different size distributions of particles. The results show that our model can reasonably predict the spectral reflectivity of TiO 2 pigmented coating samples. Moreover, the results of optimized monodisperse TiO 2 pigmented coatings were again validated.

  18. Tomographic reconstruction of melanin structures of optical coherence tomography via the finite-difference time-domain simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Shi-Hao; Wang, Shiang-Jiu; Tseng, Snow H.

    2015-03-01

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides high resolution, cross-sectional image of internal microstructure of biological tissue. We use the Finite-Difference Time-Domain method (FDTD) to analyze the data acquired by OCT, which can help us reconstruct the refractive index of the biological tissue. We calculate the refractive index tomography and try to match the simulation with the data acquired by OCT. Specifically, we try to reconstruct the structure of melanin, which has complex refractive indices and is the key component of human pigment system. The results indicate that better reconstruction can be achieved for homogenous sample, whereas the reconstruction is degraded for samples with fine structure or with complex interface. Simulation reconstruction shows structures of the Melanin that may be useful for biomedical optics applications.

  19. A cryptic pigment biosynthetic pathway uncovered by heterologous expression is essential for conidial development in Pestalotiopsis fici.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Peng; Wang, Xiuna; Fan, Aili; Zheng, Yanjing; Liu, Xingzhong; Wang, Shihua; Zou, Huixi; Oakley, Berl R; Keller, Nancy P; Yin, Wen-Bing

    2017-08-01

    Spore pigmentation is very common in the fungal kingdom. The best studied pigment in fungi is melanin which coats the surface of single cell spores. What and how pigments function in a fungal species with multiple cell conidia is poorly understood. Here, we identified and deleted a polyketide synthase (PKS) gene PfmaE and showed that it is essential for multicellular conidial pigmentation and development in a plant endophytic fungus, Pestalotiopsis fici. To further characterize the melanin pathway, we utilized an advanced Aspergillus nidulans heterologous system for the expression of the PKS PfmaE and the Pfma gene cluster. By structural elucidation of the pathway metabolite scytalone in A. nidulans, we provided chemical evidence that the Pfma cluster synthesizes DHN melanin. Combining genetic deletion and combinatorial gene expression of Pfma cluster genes, we determined that the putative reductase PfmaG and the PKS are sufficient for the synthesis of scytalone. Feeding scytalone back to the P. fici ΔPfmaE mutant restored pigmentation and multicellular adherence of the conidia. These results cement a growing understanding that pigments are essential not simply for protection of spores from biotic and abiotic stresses but also for spore structural development. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Mapping of Id locus for dermal shank melanin in a Chinese indigenous chicken breed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jiguo; Lin, Shudai; Gao, Xinfeng; Nie, Qinghua; Luo, Qingbin; Zhang, Xiquan

    2017-12-01

    The dermal shank pigmentation, one of the defining traits of chicken breeds, is caused by an abnormal deposition of melanin in the dermis of the shank. The abnormal deposition is controlled by the sex-linked inhibitor of dermal melanin (Id). In this study, we aim to locate the gene responsible for the dermal shank pigmentation in chickens by an association analysis and a differential expression analysis. Based on our results, 72 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in Z chromosome (chrZ): 71-73 Mb (galGal3) were selected to further explore their relationships with the dermal shank pigmentation in pure lines of 96 Gushi hens and 96 Gushi hens with a yellow shank skin colour. The results of the association analysis showed that the SNPs located in chrZ: 72.58-72.99 Mb (galGal3) (chrZ: 79.02-79.44 Mb (galGal4)) are significantly associated with the dermal shank pigmentation. Based on the results of our previous studies and the present association analysis, the zinc-finger protein 608 (ZNF608), GRAM domain containing 3 (GRAMD3), aldehyde dehydrogenase 7 family member A1 (ALDH7A1), fem-1 homologue C (FEM1C), beta-1,4-galactosyltransferase 1 (B4GALT1) and versican (VCAN) genes were selected for the differential expression analysis. The gene expression profiles showed that the expression of GRAMD3 gene in the dermis tissues of the shank was significantly (P = 0.010738 < 0.05) higher in 350-day-old Gushi chickens characterized by the dermal shank pigmentation than in one-day-old Gushi chickens. The dermal shank pigmentation was not present in the one-day-old Gushi chickens. Additionally, the results of the association analysis and the expression analysis showed that GRAMD3 could be the most likely candidate gene for the Id locus. However, we did not detect a mutation, i.e. significantly associated with this trait within GRAMD3. Therefore, we concluded that the variations located in the flanking region of GRAMD3 led to the abnormal expression of GRAMD3, which

  1. Lactoferrin-melanin interaction and its possible implications in melanin polymerization: crystal structure of the complex formed between mare lactoferrin and melanin monomers at 2.7-A resolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, A K; Kumar, S; Sharma, V; Nagpal, A; Singh, N; Tamboli, I; Mani, I; Raman, G; Singh, T P

    2001-11-15

    The concentration of melanin determines the intensity of colors of the skin and hair of animals. Melanin pigments are tyrosine-based polymers formed in melanocytes within specialized organelles called melanosomes. In order to understand the mechanism of melanin polymerization, lactoferrin, a basic protein with a pI value of 9.0, has been used to produce melanin. Lactoferrin is a monomeric iron-binding protein with a molecular weight of 80 kDa. The crystals of lactoferrin were soaked in a solution containing dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) and tyrosinase enzyme. These crystals were used for X-ray intensity data collection. The intensity data were collected to 2.7-A resolution to an overall completeness of 91% with an R(sym) of 0.071. The crystals belong to orthorhombic space group P2(1)2(1)2(1) with cell dimensions: a = 85.0 A, b = 99.8 A, c = 103.4 A. The structure was determined by molecular replacement method, using the model of diferric mare lactoferrin, and refined to an R-factor 0.215 (R(free) = 0.287) for all the data to 2.7-A resolution. The final model comprises 5,281 protein atoms from 689 amino acids, 2Fe(3+), 2CO(2-)(3) ions, 2 indole-5,6-quinone molecules (IQ), and 73 water molecules. Two IQ molecules, one in each lobe, bind to lactoferrin. In the C-lobe, the IQ binds in the iron-binding cleft, whereas in the N-lobe, it is located in the side pocket between two alpha-helices, filled with solvent molecules in the native iron-saturated mare lactoferrin. The IQ molecules interact with protein molecule mainly through glutamic acid in both lobes, without significant perturbation to the protein structure. The orientation of N- and C-lobes in the present structure is similar to that observed in the native iron-saturated protein. However, as a result of the binding of IQ molecules, the orientations of the domains N1, N2 and C1, C2 in the two cases differ slightly. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Selective Coloration of Melanin Nanospheres through Resonant Mie Scattering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Soojeong; Shim, Tae Soup; Kim, Ju Hyeon; Kim, Dong-Hyun; Kim, Shin-Hyun

    2017-06-01

    Black melanin inks are prepared to selectively exhibit colors under strong light, inspired by human hair. High absorbance of melanin suppresses multiple scattering, causing resonant Mie scattering predominant. Various colors can be developed as the resonant wavelength dictated by nanosphere diameter. Therefore, the melanin inks can be used to encrypt and selectively disclose multicolor patterns for anticounterfeiting applications. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Characterization and Photoprotector Activity of Endophytic Fungal Pigments from Coatal Plant Sarang Semut (Hydnophytum formicarum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mada Triandala Sabero

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Isolate endophytic fungal RS3 from smooth ant plants (Hydnophytum formicarum produced black pigment. The aims of this research were to obtain the pigment, to characterize and to determine the photoprotector activity. This research was consisted into several steps, there were determined the best precipitating agent, characterization using instrument and solubility analysis, and analysis of Sun Protection Factor (SPF. Results showed the pigment was precipitated using acid solvent with pH ≤ 2,5. Functional groups of pigment pellet were hydroxy, aromatic ring, phenol and amine. According to characteristic, black pigment produced by fungal RS3 proposed as melanin. The photoprotector analysis showed SPF the value was 11.33.

  4. Thioamides as false melanin precursors. Studies in murine melanomas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olander, K.; Larsson, B.; Dencker, L. (Department of Toxicology, University of Uppsala, Sweden)

    1983-01-01

    Melanotic melanomas show a high rate of melanin synthesis. Foreign substances that are accepted as precursors in the formation of melanin may therefore be useful in the diagnosis and therapy of malignant melanotic melanomas, if labelled with suitable radionuclides. We have earlier reported that 2-thiouracil is incorporated in melanotic melanomas, apparently as a false melanin precursor. In the present study it is shown that methimazole and 5-iodo-2-thiouracil are as well accepted as melanin precursors. 5-Iodo-2-thiouracil is of special interest, since iodine has many clinically useful radioisotopes. The chemical properties that characterize substances which are incorporated as false precursors into melanin are discussed. A free sulfur ligand of the thioamides (2-thiouracil, 5-iodo-2-thiouracil, methimazole and thiourea are all incorporated into melanin) seems to be essential and the link between these substances and the melanin. Uracil (which lacks sulfur) and 2-benzylthiouracil (where the sulfur is blocked with a benzyl group) do not attach to melanin. Our conclusion therefore is that the thioureylene structure is the smallest common molecular fragment of the false melanin precursors.

  5. Effect of UV irradiation on free radicals in synthetic melanin and melanin biopolymer from Sepia officinalis – EPR examination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zdybel Magdalena

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Free radicals in synthetic melanin and melanin from Sepia officinalis were studied by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spectroscopy. The effect of time of ultraviolet (UV irradiation on free radicals in these melanins was tested. The samples were exposed to UV during 15, 30, and 60 minutes. EPR spectra were measured with microwaves from an X-band (9.3 GHz in the range of microwave power of 2.2–70 mW. The performed EPR examinations indicate that high concentrations (~1021–1022 spin/g of o-semiquinone free radicals with g factors of 2.0039–2.0045 exist in all the tested samples. For nonirradiated samples, free radical concentration was higher in natural melanin than in synthetic melanin. UV irradiation caused the increase of free radical concentrations in synthetic melanin samples and this effect depends on the time of irradiation. The largest free radical formation in the both melanins was obtained for 60 min of UV irradiation. Free radical concentrations after the UV irradiation of melanins during 30 min were lower than during irradiation by 15 min, and probably this effect was the result of recombination of the radiatively formed free radicals. EPR lines of the tested samples broadened with increasing microwave power, so these lines were homogeneously broadened. The two types of melanins differed in the time of spin-lattice relaxation processes. Slower spin-lattice relaxation processes exist in melanin from Sepia officinalis than in synthetic melanin. UV irradiation did not change the time of spin-lattice relaxation processes in the tested melanins. The performed studies confirmed the usefulness of EPR spectroscopy in cosmetology and medicine.

  6. Overview of plant pigments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chlorophylls, carotenoids, flavonoids and betalains are four major classes of biological pigments produced in plants. Chlorophylls are the primary pigments responsible for plant green and photosynthesis. The other three are accessary pigments and secondary metabolites that yield non-green colors and...

  7. Shining Light on Skin Pigmentation: The Darker and the Brighter Side of Effects of UV Radiation†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddodi, Nityanand; Jayanthy, Ashika; Setaluri, Vijayasaradhi

    2012-01-01

    The term barrier function as applied to human skin often connotes the physical properties of this organ that provide protection from its surrounding environment. This term does not generally include skin pigmentation. However, skin pigmentation, which is the result of melanin produced in melanocytes residing the basal layer of the skin and exported to the keratinocytes in the upper layers, serves equally important protective function. Indeed, changes in skin pigmentation are often the most readily recognized indicators of exposure of skin to damaging agents, especially to natural and artificial radiation in the environment. Several recent studies have shed new light on a) the mechanisms of involved in selective effects of subcomponents of UV radiation on human skin pigmentation and b) the interactive influences between keratinocytes and melanocytes, acting as ‘epidermal melanin unit’, that manifest as changes in skin pigmentation in response to exposure to various forms of radiation. This article provides a concise review of our current understanding of the effects of the non-ionizing solar radiation, at cellular and molecular levels, on human skin pigmentation. PMID:22404235

  8. In vivo stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence imaging of melanin in human skin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Gu, Zetong; Abbas, Saleh; Lowe, Jared; Sierra, Heidy; Rajadhyaksha, Milind; DiMarzio, Charles

    2014-03-01

    The stepwise multi-photon activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin is a low cost and reliable method of detecting melanin because the activation and excitation can be a continuous-wave (CW) mode near infrared (NIR) laser. Our previous work has demonstrated the melanin SMPAF images in sepia melanin, mouse hair, and mouse skin. In this study, we show the feasibility of using SMPAF to detect melanin in vivo. in vivo melanin SMPAF images of normal skin and benign nevus are demonstrated. SMPAF images add specificity for melanin detection than MPFM images and CRM images. Melanin SMPAF is a promising technology to enable early detection of melanoma for dermatologists.

  9. A Comparison of the SeaWiFS Chlorophyll and CZCS Pigment Algorithms Using Optical Data From the 1992 JGOFS Equatorial Pacific Time Series

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rhea, W. J; Davis, Curtiss O

    1997-01-01

    .... This data set represents the range of conditions expected in this region, and was used to compare the SeaWiFS chlorophyll alpha algorithm with the CZCS pigment algorithm, as well as test the validity...

  10. Effect of x-ray irradiation upon the epithelial melanin unit of the hair bulb in hooded rat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kostanecki, W.; Radwan, I.; Mroczkowski, T.

    1976-10-27

    A marked increase in the quantity of pigment in the upper bulb, penetration of melanosomes into the papillae and vacuolisation of the bulk keratinocytes occurred as early as 4 to 6 h after irradiation with a dose 600 to 1200 R. Afterwards considerable hyperpigmentations appeared in the proximal segments of dystrophic and catagen hairs and melanin was found in the catagen columns and beyond them. In most animals within 4 to 6 h after irradiation occurred a distinct vacuolisation of the Malpighian layer and the granular layer became more prominent.

  11. Adaptive melanin response of the soil fungus Aspergillus niger to UV radiation stress at "Evolution Canyon", Mount Carmel, Israel.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natarajan Singaravelan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Adaptation is an evolutionary process in which traits in a population are tailored by natural selection to better meet the challenges presented by the local environment. The major discussion relating to natural selection concerns the portraying of the cause and effect relationship between a presumably adaptive trait and selection agents generating it. Therefore, it is necessary to identify trait(s that evolve in direct response to selection, enhancing the organism's fitness. "Evolution Canyon" (EC in Israel mirrors a microcosmic evolutionary system across life and is ideal to study natural selection and local adaptation under sharply, microclimatically divergent environments. The south-facing, tropical, sunny and xeric "African" slope (AS receives 200%-800% higher solar radiation than the north-facing, temperate, shady and mesic "European" slope (ES, 200 meters apart. Thus, solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR is a major selection agent in EC influencing the organism-environment interaction. Melanin is a trait postulated to have evolved for UV-screening in microorganisms. Here we investigate the cause and effect relationship between differential UVR on the opposing slopes of EC and the conidial melanin concentration of the filamentous soil fungus Aspergillus niger. We test the working hypothesis that the AS strains exhibit higher melanin content than strains from the ES resulting in higher UV resistance. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured conidial melanin concentration of 80 strains from the EC using a spectrophotometer. The results indicated that mean conidial melanin concentration of AS strains were threefold higher than ES strains and the former resisted UVA irradiation better than the latter. Comparisons of melanin in the conidia of A. niger strains from sunny and shady microniches on the predominantly sunny AS and predominantly shady ES indicated that shady conditions on the AS have no influence on the selection on melanin

  12. Expression of melanin and insecticidal protein from Rhodotorula ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Both the salmon/red melanin and the insecticidal producing genes of Rhodotorula glutinis was successfully expressed in Escherichia coli using plasmid pZErO-1. This work suggests that in Rhodotorula species melanin and insecticidal toxin are co-expressed and therefore possibly co-evolved. Keywords: Rhodotorula ...

  13. Effect of melanin on radiation response of CHO cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hopwood, L.E. (Medical Coll. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (USA). Dept. of Radiation Oncology); Swartz, H.M. (Illinois Univ., Urbana (USA). Coll. of Medicine); Pajak, S. (Uniwersytet Jagiellonski, Krakow (Poland))

    1985-05-01

    The effect of the presence of melanin on the response of mammalian cells to ionizing radiation was investigated in a model system utilizing the ability of Chinese hamster ovary cells to incorporate melanin by endocytosis. Cells were incubated in monolayer cultures from 2 to 20 hours with melanin prepared from 'beef eye' or synthesized by air oxidation of 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine. For asynchronous cultures, the survival curve parameters for cells incubated with both types of melanin were indistinguishable from those of the same cells without added melanin. The radiation response to fractionated doses of 6 Gy separated by various periods did not indicate any effect of melanin on the extent or kinetics of repair of sublethal damage. Likewise, the repair of potentially lethal damage in plateau phase cultures was unaffected by the presence of melanin. Thus the explanation for the clinical radiation resistance of melanomas in the absence of a direct radiation effect might more likely be found in consideration of other factors such as the role of melanin in oxygen consumption or in differentiation.

  14. Temperature-enhanced synthesis of DMSO-Melanin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piacenti-Silva, M.; Bronze-Uhle, E. S.; Paulin, J. V.; Graeff, C. F. O.

    2014-01-01

    Melanins are a class of pigmentary conjugated macromolecules found in many biological systems. Functionalization of synthetic melanin provides interesting new properties like the greater solubility of melanin synthesized in dimethyl sulfoxide, D-Melanin. In this work we have studied the influence of temperature on D-Melanin synthesis and its properties. To this end, UV-Vis, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) techniques have been employed to analyze D-Melanin synthesized within the range of 25-100 °C. Our results reveal that by increasing the synthesis temperature up to 100 °C, the synthesis time can be decreased by a factor of 7 when compared to room temperature. From FTIR and 13C CP/MAS NMR analyses the increase in temperature causes a decrease in the number of carbonyl groups from carboxylic acid and from ionized carboxylic acid. The decarboxylation of D-Melanin monomers at higher temperatures shows that the use of higher synthesis temperatures influences the elimination of carbonyls present in the precursor molecules, thus facilitating the polymerization of D-Melanin.

  15. Antibacterial Activity of Melanin from Cuttlefish and Squid Ink

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuspihana Fitrial

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Marine environment comprises of many organism which are known to posses bioactive compound as a common means of self-defense or for the protection of eggs and embryos. Class Cephalopods (such as squidand cuttlefish are notable for their defences, such as jetting escape movements, changes in colouration, toxic venom and inking.This study aims to compare the antibacterial activity of melanin from cuttlefish ink (Sepia sp. with squid ink (Loligo sp. against E. coli. Extraction and purification studies were carried out on Sepia and Loligo melanin using a hydrochloric acid 0,5M treatment under mechanical.The melanins were obtained and further evaluated their activity by direct contact methods between melanin and E. coli in nutrient broth.Total microbes was counted by total plate count.Both inks also was tested their activity against E. coli. The results showed that melanin from cuttlefish and squid inks had inhibitory activity at concentrations of 10 mg / ml and 20 mg / mL, respectively reaching 99.99% against E. coli.The inks of both Cephalopods at the same concentration as melanin, did not show any inhibitory activity against E. coli.  The melanin of Sepia sp. have a higher antibacterial activity than the melanin of Loligo sp.

  16. Inhibitor of differentiation-4 (Id4) stimulates pigmentation in melanoma leading to histiocyte infiltration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiVito, Kyle A; Trabosh, Valerie A; Chen, You-Shin; Simbulan-Rosenthal, Cynthia M; Rosenthal, Dean S

    2015-02-01

    TGF-β and the inhibitors of differentiation (Id) are linked. Smad7 and other TGF-β inhibitors can potently suppress melanomagenesis; however, little work examining Ids has been reported in melanoma, particularly for Id4. Here, we report that Id4, but not Id2 or Id3 expression, surprisingly, activated robust melanin production in xenografts of previously amelanotic (lacking pigment) 1205Lu/Smad7 (S7) cells. Fontana-Masson stain and de-novo expression of MART-1 and tyrosinase proteins confirmed melanin production. Additionally, pigment-laden CD163+ mouse histiocytes with areas of extensive necrosis were found throughout S7/Id4 tumors, but not in parental 1205Lu, S7/Id2 or S7Id3-derived tumors. Mechanistic investigation revealed increased nuclear M-microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and MART-1 promoter activation following Id4 expression in 1205Lu and WM852 melanoma cells, suggesting broader implications for Id4 in melanin synthesis. In human tumors, melanin colocalized with Id4 expression establishing a correlation. Current chemotherapeutics for melanoma are only marginally effective. Immunotherapy provides the most promise, yet the role of innate immunity is poorly understood. Here, TGF-β suppression followed by Id4 expression results in extensive melanin synthesis and robust histiocyte recruitment following tumorigenesis, a novel role for Id4. Our results suggest that TGF-β suppression coupled with pigment overproduction triggers an innate immune response resulting in tumor necrosis. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Natural melanin composites by layer-by-layer assembly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eom, Taesik; Shim, Bong Sub

    2015-04-01

    Melanin is an electrically conductive and biocompatible material, because their conjugated backbone structures provide conducting pathways from human skin, eyes, brain, and beyond. So there is a potential of using as materials for the neural interfaces and the implantable devices. Extracted from Sepia officinalis ink, our natural melanin was uniformly dispersed in mostly polar solvents such as water and alcohols. Then, the dispersed melanin was further fabricated to nano-thin layered composites by the layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly technique. Combined with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), the melanin nanoparticles behave as an LBL counterpart to from finely tuned nanostructured films. The LBL process can adjust the smart performances of the composites by varying the layering conditions and sandwich thickness. We further demonstrated the melanin loading degree of stacked layers, combination nanostructures, electrical properties, and biocompatibility of the resulting composites by UV-vis spectrophotometer, scanning electron microscope (SEM), multimeter, and in-vitro cell test of PC12, respectively.

  18. Berberine-induced pigment dispersion in Bufo melanostictus melanophores by stimulation of beta-2 adrenergic receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Sharique A; Naaz, Ishrat; Choudhary, Ram Kumar

    2014-02-01

    Reduced production of melanin by decreased or the absence of melanocytes leads to various hypopigmentation disorders, and the development of melanogenetic agents for photoprotection and hypopigmentation disorders is one of the top priority areas of research. Hence, the present study was carried out to elucidate the ability of berberine, a principal active ingredient present in the roots of the herb Berberis vulgaris to stimulate pigment dispersion in the isolated skin melanophores of the toad Bufo melanostictus. In the present study, mean melanophore size index of the isolated skin melanophores of B. melanostictus was assayed after treating with various concentrations of berberine. A marked melanin dispersion response leading to skin darkening was observed in the isolated melanophores of toad in response to berberine, which was found to be mediated through beta-2 adrenergic receptors. The physiologically significant dose-related melanin dispersion effects of berberine per se were found to be completely abolished by propranolol, which is a specific beta-2 adrenergic receptor blocker. These per se melanin dispersal effects were also found to be markedly potentiated by isoprenaline, which is a specific beta-adrenoceptor agonist. The results indicate that berberine causes a tremendous, dose-dependent, physiologically significant pigment dispersing in the isolated skin melanophores of B. melanostictus.

  19. Phenotypic plasticity in Drosophila pigmentation caused by temperature sensitivity of a chromatin regulator network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Michel Gibert

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a genotype to produce contrasting phenotypes in different environments. Although many examples have been described, the responsible mechanisms are poorly understood. In particular, it is not clear how phenotypic plasticity is related to buffering, the maintenance of a constant phenotype against genetic or environmental variation. We investigate here the genetic basis of a particularly well described plastic phenotype: the abdominal pigmentation in female Drosophila melanogaster. Cold temperature induces a dark pigmentation, in particular in posterior segments, while higher temperature has the opposite effect. We show that the homeotic gene Abdominal-B (Abd-B has a major role in the plasticity of pigmentation in the abdomen. Abd-B plays opposite roles on melanin production through the regulation of several pigmentation enzymes. This makes the control of pigmentation very unstable in the posterior abdomen, and we show that the relative spatio-temporal expression of limiting pigmentation enzymes in this region of the body is thermosensitive. Temperature acts on melanin production by modulating a chromatin regulator network, interacting genetically with the transcription factor bric-à-brac (bab, a target of Abd-B and Hsp83, encoding the chaperone Hsp90. Genetic disruption of this chromatin regulator network increases the effect of temperature and the instability of the pigmentation pattern in the posterior abdomen. Colocalizations on polytene chromosomes suggest that BAB and these chromatin regulators cooperate in the regulation of many targets, including several pigmentation enzymes. We show that they are also involved in sex comb development in males and that genetic destabilization of this network is also strongly modulated by temperature for this phenotype. Thus, we propose that phenotypic plasticity of pigmentation is a side effect reflecting a global impact of temperature on epigenetic mechanisms

  20. A molecular systems approach to modelling human skin pigmentation: identifying underlying pathways and critical components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghunath, Arathi; Sambarey, Awanti; Sharma, Neha; Mahadevan, Usha; Chandra, Nagasuma

    2015-04-29

    Ultraviolet radiations (UV) serve as an environmental stress for human skin, and result in melanogenesis, with the pigment melanin having protective effects against UV induced damage. This involves a dynamic and complex regulation of various biological processes that results in the expression of melanin in the outer most layers of the epidermis, where it can exert its protective effect. A comprehensive understanding of the underlying cross talk among different signalling molecules and cell types is only possible through a systems perspective. Increasing incidences of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers necessitate the need to better comprehend UV mediated effects on skin pigmentation at a systems level, so as to ultimately evolve knowledge-based strategies for efficient protection and prevention of skin diseases. A network model for UV-mediated skin pigmentation in the epidermis was constructed and subjected to shortest path analysis. Virtual knock-outs were carried out to identify essential signalling components. We describe a network model for UV-mediated skin pigmentation in the epidermis. The model consists of 265 components (nodes) and 429 directed interactions among them, capturing the manner in which one component influences the other and channels information. Through shortest path analysis, we identify novel signalling pathways relevant to pigmentation. Virtual knock-outs or perturbations of specific nodes in the network have led to the identification of alternate modes of signalling as well as enabled determining essential nodes in the process. The model presented provides a comprehensive picture of UV mediated signalling manifesting in human skin pigmentation. A systems perspective helps provide a holistic purview of interconnections and complexity in the processes leading to pigmentation. The model described here is extensive yet amenable to expansion as new data is gathered. Through this study, we provide a list of important proteins essential

  1. Thyrotropin-releasing hormone selectively stimulates human hair follicle pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gáspár, Erzsébet; Nguyen-Thi, Kim T; Hardenbicker, Celine; Tiede, Stephan; Plate, Christian; Bodó, Eniko; Knuever, Jana; Funk, Wolfgang; Bíró, Tamás; Paus, Ralf

    2011-12-01

    In amphibians, thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) stimulates skin melanophores by inducing secretion of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone in the pituitary gland. However, it is unknown whether this tripeptide neurohormone exerts any direct effects on pigment cells, namely, on human melanocytes, under physiological conditions. Therefore, we have investigated whether TRH stimulates pigment production in organ-cultured human hair follicles (HFs), the epithelium of which expresses both TRH and its receptor, and/or in full-thickness human skin in situ. TRH stimulated melanin synthesis, tyrosinase transcription and activity, melanosome formation, melanocyte dendricity, gp100 immunoreactivity, and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor expression in human HFs in a pituitary gland-independent manner. TRH also stimulated proliferation, gp100 expression, tyrosinase activity, and dendricity of isolated human HF melanocytes. However, intraepidermal melanogenesis was unaffected. As TRH upregulated the intrafollicular production of "pituitary" neurohormones (proopiomelanocortin transcription and ACTH immunoreactivity) and as agouti-signaling protein counteracted TRH-induced HF pigmentation, these pigmentary TRH effects may be mediated in part by locally generated melanocortins and/or by MC-1 signaling. Our study introduces TRH as a novel, potent, selective, and evolutionarily highly conserved neuroendocrine factor controlling human pigmentation in situ. This physiologically relevant and melanocyte sub-population-specific neuroendocrine control of human pigmentation deserves clinical exploration, e.g., for preventing or reversing hair graying.

  2. Melanin Transfer in Human 3D Skin Equivalents Generated Exclusively from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karl Gledhill

    Full Text Available The current utility of 3D skin equivalents is limited by the fact that existing models fail to recapitulate the cellular complexity of human skin. They often contain few cell types and no appendages, in part because many cells found in the skin are difficult to isolate from intact tissue and cannot be expanded in culture. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs present an avenue by which we can overcome this issue due to their ability to be differentiated into multiple cell types in the body and their unlimited growth potential. We previously reported generation of the first human 3D skin equivalents from iPSC-derived fibroblasts and iPSC-derived keratinocytes, demonstrating that iPSCs can provide a foundation for modeling a complex human organ such as skin. Here, we have increased the complexity of this model by including additional iPSC-derived melanocytes. Epidermal melanocytes, which are largely responsible for skin pigmentation, represent the second most numerous cell type found in normal human epidermis and as such represent a logical next addition. We report efficient melanin production from iPSC-derived melanocytes and transfer within an entirely iPSC-derived epidermal-melanin unit and generation of the first functional human 3D skin equivalents made from iPSC-derived fibroblasts, keratinocytes and melanocytes.

  3. 4-(Phenylsulfanylbutan-2-One Suppresses Melanin Synthesis and Melanosome Maturation In Vitro and In Vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shing-Yi Sean Wu

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we screened compounds with skin whitening properties and favorable safety profiles from a series of marine related natural products, which were isolated from Formosan soft coral Cladiella australis. Our results indicated that 4-(phenylsulfanylbutan-2-one could successfully inhibit pigment generation processes in mushroom tyrosinase platform assay, probably through the suppression of tyrosinase activity to be a non-competitive inhibitor of tyrosinase. In cell-based viability examinations, it demonstrated low cytotoxicity on melanoma cells and other normal human cells. It exhibited stronger inhibitions of melanin production and tyrosinase activity than arbutin or 1-phenyl-2-thiourea (PTU. Also, we discovered that 4-(phenylsulfanylbutan-2-one reduces the protein expressions of melanin synthesis-related proteins, including the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF, tyrosinase-related protein-1 (Trp-1, dopachrome tautomerase (DCT, Trp-2, and glycoprotein 100 (GP100. In an in vivo zebrafish model, it presented a remarkable suppression in melanogenesis after 48 h. In summary, our in vitro and in vivo biological assays showed that 4-(phenylsulfanylbutan-2-one possesses anti-melanogenic properties that are significant in medical cosmetology.

  4. Differentially expressed genes associated with tryptophan-dependent pigment synthesis in Malassezia furfur--a comparison with the recently published genome of Malassezia globosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, S K; Hort, W; Mayser, P

    2011-07-01

    Malassezia (M.) furfur, a commensal organism found on the human skin, produces a wide range of pigments and fluorochromes when cultured with tryptophan as a sole nitrogen source. Some compounds of this pigment metabolism may provide an explanation for clinical characteristics of pityriasis versicolor (PV), a frequent skin disease in humans characterised by long-lasting pigmentary changes. Malassezia globosa is currently regarded as the causative agent of PV, but tryptophan-dependent pigment production has not yet been demonstrated in this species. In a previous study, we identified M. furfur genes that were differentially expressed 3 and 5 h, respectively, after induction of tryptophan-dependent pigment production. The recent publication of the genome of M. globosa prompted us to check the M. furfur sequences for homologues in M. globosa. The 3-h pool contained 79 sequences and the 5-h pool contained 91 sequences. A translated vs. translated BLAST search resulted in 62 sequences (78%) of the 3-h pool and 61 sequences (67%) of the 5-h pool showing similarity to a sequence from M. globosa. It appears that M. globosa possesses homologues to most of the genes that are differentially expressed during pigment production in M. furfur. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  5. Novel Inhibitory Effect of N-(2-Hydroxycyclohexylvaliolamine on Melanin Production in a Human Skin Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bum-Ho Bin

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Hyper-pigmentation causes skin darkness and medical disorders, such as post-inflammatory melanoderma and melasma. Therefore, the development of anti-melanogenic agents is important for treating these conditions and for cosmetic production. In our previous paper, we demonstrated that the anti-diabetic drug voglibose, a valiolamine derivative, is a potent anti-melanogenic agent. In addition, we proposed an alternative screening strategy to identify valiolamine derivatives with high skin permeability that act as anti-melanogenic agents when applied topically. In this study, we synthesized several valiolamine derivatives with enhanced lipophilicity and examined their inhibitory effects in a human skin model. N-(2-hydroxycyclohexylvaliolamine (HV possesses a stronger inhibitory effect on melanin production than voglibose in a human skin model, suggesting that HV is a more potent anti-melanogenic agent for the skin.

  6. Organelle-specific injury to melanin-containing cells in human skin by pulsed laser irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murphy, G.F.; Shepard, R.S.; Paul, B.S.; Menkes, A.; Anderson, R.R.; Parrish, J.A.

    1983-12-01

    Physical models predict that ultraviolet laser radiation of appropriately brief pulses can selectively alter melanin-containing cellular targets in human skin. Skin of normal human volunteers was exposed to brief (20 nanosecond) 351-nm wave length pulses from a XeF excimer laser, predicting that those cells containing the greatest quantities of melanized melanosomes (lower half of the epidermis) would be selectively damaged. Transmission electron microscopy revealed the earliest cellular alteration to be immediate disruption of melanosomes, both within melanocytes and basal keratinocytes. This disruption was dose dependent and culminated in striking degenerative changes in these cells. Superficial keratinocytes and Langerhans cells were not affected. It was concluded that the XeF excimer laser is capable of organelle-specific injury to melanosomes. These findings may have important clinical implications in the treatment of both benign and malignant pigmented lesions by laser radiations of defined wave lengths and pulse durations.

  7. Eumelanin and pheomelanin are predominant pigments in bumblebee (Apidae: Bombus pubescence

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    Carlo Polidori

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Background Bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus are well known for their important inter- and intra-specific variation in hair (or pubescence color patterns, but the chemical nature of the pigments associated with these patterns is not fully understood. For example, though melanization is believed to provide darker colors, it still unknown which types of melanin are responsible for each color, and no conclusive data are available for the lighter colors, including white. Methods By using dispersive Raman spectroscopy analysis on 12 species/subspecies of bumblebees from seven subgenera, we tested the hypothesis that eumelanin and pheomelanin, the two main melanin types occurring in animals, are largely responsible for bumblebee pubescence coloration. Results Eumelanin and pheomelanin occur in bumblebee pubescence. Black pigmentation is due to prevalent eumelanin, with visible signals of additional pheomelanin, while the yellow, orange, red and brown hairs clearly include pheomelanin. On the other hand, white hairs reward very weak Raman signals, suggesting that they are depigmented. Additional non-melanic pigments in yellow hair cannot be excluded but need other techniques to be detected. Raman spectra were more similar across similarly colored hairs, with no apparent effect of phylogeny and both melanin types appeared to be already used at the beginning of bumblebee radiation. Discussion We suggest that the two main melanin forms, at variable amounts and/or vibrational states, are sufficient in giving almost the whole color range of bumblebee pubescence, allowing these insects to use a single precursor instead of synthesizing a variety of chemically different pigments. This would agree with commonly seen color interchanges between body segments across Bombus species.

  8. Eumelanin and pheomelanin are predominant pigments in bumblebee (Apidae: Bombus) pubescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polidori, Carlo; Jorge, Alberto; Ornosa, Concepción

    2017-01-01

    Bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus ) are well known for their important inter- and intra-specific variation in hair (or pubescence) color patterns, but the chemical nature of the pigments associated with these patterns is not fully understood. For example, though melanization is believed to provide darker colors, it still unknown which types of melanin are responsible for each color, and no conclusive data are available for the lighter colors, including white. By using dispersive Raman spectroscopy analysis on 12 species/subspecies of bumblebees from seven subgenera, we tested the hypothesis that eumelanin and pheomelanin, the two main melanin types occurring in animals, are largely responsible for bumblebee pubescence coloration. Eumelanin and pheomelanin occur in bumblebee pubescence. Black pigmentation is due to prevalent eumelanin, with visible signals of additional pheomelanin, while the yellow, orange, red and brown hairs clearly include pheomelanin. On the other hand, white hairs reward very weak Raman signals, suggesting that they are depigmented. Additional non-melanic pigments in yellow hair cannot be excluded but need other techniques to be detected. Raman spectra were more similar across similarly colored hairs, with no apparent effect of phylogeny and both melanin types appeared to be already used at the beginning of bumblebee radiation. We suggest that the two main melanin forms, at variable amounts and/or vibrational states, are sufficient in giving almost the whole color range of bumblebee pubescence, allowing these insects to use a single precursor instead of synthesizing a variety of chemically different pigments. This would agree with commonly seen color interchanges between body segments across Bombus species.

  9. A potential benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish: downregulation of the oca2 gene increases tyrosine and catecholamine levels as an alternative to melanin synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilandžija, Helena; Ma, Li; Parkhurst, Amy; Jeffery, William R

    2013-01-01

    Albinism, the loss of melanin pigmentation, has evolved in a diverse variety of cave animals but the responsible evolutionary mechanisms are unknown. In Astyanax mexicanus, which has a pigmented surface dwelling form (surface fish) and several albino cave-dwelling forms (cavefish), albinism is caused by loss of function mutations in the oca2 gene, which operates during the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway. In addition to albinism, cavefish have evolved differences in behavior, including feeding and sleep, which are under the control of the catecholamine system. The catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways diverge after beginning with the same substrate, L-tyrosine. Here we describe a novel relationship between the catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways in Astyanax. Our results show significant increases in L-tyrosine, dopamine, and norepinephrine in pre-feeding larvae and adult brains of Pachón cavefish relative to surface fish. In addition, norepinephrine is elevated in cavefish adult kidneys, which contain the teleost homologs of catecholamine synthesizing adrenal cells. We further show that the oca2 gene is expressed during surface fish development but is downregulated in cavefish embryos. A key finding is that knockdown of oca2 expression in surface fish embryos delays the development of pigmented melanophores and simultaneously increases L-tyrosine and dopamine. We conclude that a potential evolutionary benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish may be to provide surplus L-tyrosine as a precursor for the elevated catecholamine synthesis pathway, which could be important for adaptation to the challenging cave environment.

  10. A potential benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish: downregulation of the oca2 gene increases tyrosine and catecholamine levels as an alternative to melanin synthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena Bilandžija

    Full Text Available Albinism, the loss of melanin pigmentation, has evolved in a diverse variety of cave animals but the responsible evolutionary mechanisms are unknown. In Astyanax mexicanus, which has a pigmented surface dwelling form (surface fish and several albino cave-dwelling forms (cavefish, albinism is caused by loss of function mutations in the oca2 gene, which operates during the first step of the melanin synthesis pathway. In addition to albinism, cavefish have evolved differences in behavior, including feeding and sleep, which are under the control of the catecholamine system. The catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways diverge after beginning with the same substrate, L-tyrosine. Here we describe a novel relationship between the catecholamine and melanin synthesis pathways in Astyanax. Our results show significant increases in L-tyrosine, dopamine, and norepinephrine in pre-feeding larvae and adult brains of Pachón cavefish relative to surface fish. In addition, norepinephrine is elevated in cavefish adult kidneys, which contain the teleost homologs of catecholamine synthesizing adrenal cells. We further show that the oca2 gene is expressed during surface fish development but is downregulated in cavefish embryos. A key finding is that knockdown of oca2 expression in surface fish embryos delays the development of pigmented melanophores and simultaneously increases L-tyrosine and dopamine. We conclude that a potential evolutionary benefit of albinism in Astyanax cavefish may be to provide surplus L-tyrosine as a precursor for the elevated catecholamine synthesis pathway, which could be important for adaptation to the challenging cave environment.

  11. Bleaching of melanin in the epidermis of South American fur seal and its application on enzyme immunohistochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.P. Silva

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The South American fur seal (Arctocephalus australis is an amphibious marine mammal distributed along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America. The species is well adjusted to different habitats due to the morphology of its fin-like members and due to some adaptations in their integumentary system. Immunohistochemical studies are very important to evaluate the mechanisms of skin adaptation due the differential expression of the antigens present in the tissue depending of the region of the body surface. However, its strongly pigmented (melanin epidermis prevents the visualization of the immuno-histochemical chromogens markers. In this study a melanin bleaching method was developed aimed to allow the visualization of the chromogens without interfering in the antigen-antibody affinity for immunohistochemistry. The analysis of PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen index in the epidermis of A. australis by immunohistochemistry with diaminobenzidine (DAB as chromogen was used to test the method. The bleaching of the melanin allowed to obtain the cell proliferation index in epidermis and to avoid false positive results without affecting the immunohistochemical results.

  12. Inhibitory effect of 660-nm LED on melanin synthesis in in vitro and in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Chang Taek; Kwon, Tae-Rin; Choi, Eun Ja; Kim, Soon Re; Seok, Joon; Mun, Seog Kyun; Yoo, Kwang Ho; Choi, Yeon Shik; Choi, Sun Young; Kim, Beom Joon

    2017-01-01

    Skin hyperpigmentary disorders including postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma, solar lentigines, and conditions like freckles are common. The light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are the latest category of nonthermal and noninvasive phototherapy to be considered in skin pigmentation disorder treatment. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 660-nm LED on inhibition of melanogenesis. We investigated whether a 660-nm LED affected melanin synthesis in in vitro and in vivo models, and we explored the mechanisms involved. The inhibitory effect of 660-nm LED on melanin synthesis was evaluated in B16F10 cells and HRM-2 melanin-possessing hairless mice were used to evaluate the antimelanogenic effects of 660-nm LED. Interestingly, 660-nm LED inhibited alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone-induced tyrosinase activity in B16F10 cells. We also found that 660-nm LED decreased MITF and tyrosinase expression and induced the activation of ERK. These findings suggest that the depigmenting effects of 660-nm LED result from downregulation of MITF and tyrosinase expression due to increased ERK activity. The 660-nm LED reduced UVB-induced melanogenesis in the skin of HRM-2 via downregulation of tyrosinase and MITF. These findings suggest 660-nm LED is a potentially depigmentation strategy. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Distribution and amount of pigment within the ciliary body and iris of dogs with blue and brown irides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newkirk, Kim M; Haines, Deborah K; Calvarese, Sara T; Esson, Doug W; Chandler, Heather L

    2010-03-01

    Compare the amount and distribution of pigment in normal canine eyes with blue and brown irides. Eighteen mixed-breed dogs euthanized for population control. Intact globes were removed immediately following euthanasia. Iris color was noted, and globes were evaluated histologically to determine the distribution of pigment. High magnification (x400) digital images were taken of the dorsal and ventral ciliary processes (CP) of 13 eyes with blue irides and 13 eyes with brown irides. Low magnification (x20) images were taken of the dorsal and ventral portions of the ciliary body (CB) of 14 eyes with blue irides and 14 eyes with brown irides. The images were digitally analyzed to determine the percent of the CP and CB that were pigmented in the high and low magnification images, respectively. Eyes with brown irides contained abundant melanin pigment around the CB musculature. This pigment was absent in eyes with blue irides, and the difference was statistically significant (P = 0.001) when digitally analyzed using the low magnification images. Iris color did not have a significant (P = 0.34) impact on the amount of melanin within the CP, as determined using the high magnification images. Compared to eyes with brown irides, eyes with blue irides lack pigment around the CB musculature, but contain comparable amounts of pigment in the CP.

  14. Retinal pigment epithelium findings in patients with albinism using wide-field polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schütze, Christopher; Ritter, Markus; Blum, Robert; Zotter, Stefan; Baumann, Bernhard; Pircher, Michael; Hitzenberger, Christoph K; Schmidt-Erfurth, Ursula

    2014-11-01

    To investigate pigmentation characteristics of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in patients with albinism using wide-field polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography compared with intensity-based spectral domain optical coherence tomography and fundus autofluorescence imaging. Five patients (10 eyes) with previously genetically diagnosed albinism and 5 healthy control subjects (10 eyes) were imaged by a wide-field polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography system (scan angle: 40 × 40° on the retina), sensitive to melanin contained in the RPE, based on the polarization state of backscattered light. Conventional intensity-based spectral domain optical coherence tomography and fundus autofluorescence examinations were performed. Retinal pigment epithelium-pigmentation was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively based on depolarization assessed by polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography. This study revealed strong evidence of polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography to specifically image melanin in the RPE. Depolarization of light backscattered by the RPE in patients with albinism was reduced compared with normal subjects. Heterogeneous RPE-specific depolarization characteristics were observed in patients with albinism. Reduction of depolarization observed in the light backscattered by the RPE in patients with albinism corresponds to expected decrease of RPE pigmentation. The degree of depigmentation of the RPE is possibly associated with visual acuity. Findings suggest that different albinism genotypes result in heterogeneous levels of RPE pigmentation. Polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography showed a heterogeneous appearance of RPE pigmentation in patients with albinism depending on different genotypes.

  15. Solitary black pigment stones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolpers, C.; Wosiewitz, U.

    1986-01-01

    Solitary pigment stones of the gall-bladder are rare (1.7%). 82,5% are radiopaque, 17.5% radiolucent. 64,8% of radiopaque solitary pigment stones have the structure of a cockade. Such cockades take years to develop. Solitary cholesterol stones with a nucleus of a radiopaque pigment stone should not be treated for litholysis. 8% of solitary cholesterol stones with a cross diameter below 15 mm. possess a radiolucent pigment stone nucleus. X-ray diagnosis for selecting litholytic treatment remains the safest method, especially if the radiologist compares his films regularly with the specimens after surgery. (orig.) [de

  16. Induction of pigmentation in mouse fibroblasts by expression of human tyrosinase cDNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-01-01

    A distinguishing characteristic of cells of the melanocyte lineage is the expression of the melanosomal enzyme tyrosinase that catalyzes the synthesis of the pigment melanin. A tyrosinase cDNA clone, designated BBTY-1, was isolated from a library constructed from the pigmented TA99+/CF21+ melanoma cell line SK-MEL-19. Expression of BBTY-1 in mouse L929 fibroblasts led to synthesis and expression of active tyrosinase, and, unexpectedly, to stable production of melanin. Melanin was synthesized and stored within membrane-bound vesicles in the cytoplasm of transfected fibroblasts. BBTY-1 detected a 2.4-kb mRNA transcript in nine of nine pigmented, tyrosinase-positive melanoma cell lines. Tyrosinase transcripts of the same size and abundance were detected in a subset (three of eight) of nonpigmented, tyrosinase-negative melanoma cell lines, suggesting that post-transcriptional events are important in regulating tyrosinase activity. Two melanocyte antigens, recognized by mAbs TA99 and CF21, that are specifically located within melanosomes and are coexpressed with tyrosinase activity, did not react with transfected mouse fibroblasts expressing human tyrosinase, supporting the conclusion that these antigenic determinants are distinct from the tyrosinase molecule coded for by BBTY-1. PMID:2499655

  17. Effect of pigment on photomediated production of thymine dimers in cultured melanoma cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    London, D.A.; Carter, D.M.; Condit, E.S.

    1976-01-01

    It was the aim of these studies to determine whether the presence of intracellular melanin quantitatively alters the rate of production of thymine dimers in DNA of irradiated cells in culture. Pigmented and nonpigmented Cloudman mouse melanoma cells were selected assuming that the two cell lines differ primarily in their content of melanin pigment. Cells were cultivated in tritiated thymine in order to label their DNA and were then exposed to ultraviolet (uv) irradiation (260 nm, 500-2000 ergs/mm 2 ). Neither cell line survived these doses of irradiation. DNA was extracted immediately following irradiation and was subjected to acid hydrolysis. The presence of thymine dimers was determined by two-dimensional paper chromatography. The percent of labeled thymine recovered as thymine dimer was calculated and was found to be a linear function of uv dose for both cell lines. The rate of formation of dimers in the nonpigmented cells was nearly twice that in the pigmented cells. These data demonstrate the photoprotective property of intracellular melanin in shielding isolated cells from one type of photomediated injury to DNA

  18. Melanin-gamma rays assistants for bismuth oxide nanoparticles synthesis at room temperature for enhancing antimicrobial, and photocatalytic activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Batal, Ahmed I; El-Sayyad, Gharieb S; El-Ghamry, Abbas; Agaypi, Kerolos M; Elsayed, Mohamed A; Gobara, Mohamed

    2017-08-01

    Melanin pigment has been deemed as a natural photoprotector with strong hydrophobicity. It allured considerable compatibility with many applications in medicine, food, and nanotechnology. Penicillium chrysogenium has been devoted to the green synthesis of melanin whereby optimizing its culture and environmental conditions. The impacts of alternative economic L-tyrosine natural sources (unprecedented alternate origins) and gamma radiation were pledged for the potential growing of the pigment. Herein, notable increases in melanin yield (6.4mg/ml; much higher than nonoptimized one by 40 folds) was obtained by optimizing the culture, and environmental requirements [potato starch (3.0%), yeast extract (5.0%), copper sulfate (0.2mM), 0.25% L-tyrosine, 0.1% L-glycine, and 0.1% Tween 20 at pH5.0, and 30°C for 7.0days using 180.0rpm shaking speed]. The addition of banana's peel (2.0%) has been led to increase the melanin production up to (8.3mg/ml; much higher than optimized one by 1.29 folds). It stimulated the induced enzymes, (i.e., tyrosinase) because it contained significant amounts of L-tyrosine, dopamine, and L-DOPA as resources for melanin biosynthesis. Then irradiated P. chrysogenium (2.5kGy) induced the pigment yield to 10.3mg/ml; much higher than optimized one by (1.61 folds). On the other hand, we tailored a methodology involved the product of melanin and gamma rays (25.0kGy) to an eco-friendly synthesis of Bismuth oxide nanoparticles (BiONPs) at the room temperature. Melanin under such alkaline condition functioning as simultaneously hydrolyzes, photoprotection of the Bi seeds, and stabilizer against the uncontrolled growth and the free radicals attack. Whereas the gamma irradiation induced the room temperature condensation reaction to occur, a novel mechanism proposal was discussed. BiONPs were characterized by UV-Vis., DLS, XRD, SEM, EDX, and FTIR. DLS and XRD calculations with TEM analysis exhibited the mean diameter of BiONPs was 29.82nm. Moreover, the as

  19. Subcellular Compartmentalization and Trafficking of the Biosynthetic Machinery for Fungal Melanin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Srijana Upadhyay

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Protection by melanin depends on its subcellular location. Although most filamentous fungi synthesize melanin via a polyketide synthase pathway, where and how melanin biosynthesis occurs and how it is deposited as extracellular granules remain elusive. Using a forward genetic screen in the pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus, we find that mutations in an endosomal sorting nexin abolish melanin cell-wall deposition. We find that all enzymes involved in the early steps of melanin biosynthesis are recruited to endosomes through a non-conventional secretory pathway. In contrast, late melanin enzymes accumulate in the cell wall. Such subcellular compartmentalization of the melanin biosynthetic machinery occurs in both A. fumigatus and A. nidulans. Thus, fungal melanin biosynthesis appears to be initiated in endosomes with exocytosis leading to melanin extracellular deposition, much like the synthesis and trafficking of mammalian melanin in endosomally derived melanosomes.

  20. Clay pigment structure characterisation as a guide for provenance determination-a comparison between laboratory powder micro-XRD and synchrotron radiation XRD

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Švarcová, Silvie; Bezdička, Petr; Hradil, David; Hradilová, J.; Žižak, I.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 399, č. 1 (2011), s. 331-336 ISSN 1618-2642 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40320502 Keywords : powder X-ray micro-diffraction * kaolinite * pigment provenance Subject RIV: CA - Inorganic Chemistry Impact factor: 3.778, year: 2011

  1. Laccases involved in 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene melanin biosynthesis in Aspergillus fumigatus are regulated by developmental factors and copper homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upadhyay, Srijana; Torres, Guadalupe; Lin, Xiaorong

    2013-12-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus produces heavily melanized infectious conidia. The conidial melanin is associated with fungal virulence and resistance to various environmental stresses. This 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin is synthesized by enzymes encoded in a gene cluster in A. fumigatus, including two laccases, Abr1 and Abr2. Although this gene cluster is not conserved in all aspergilli, laccases are critical for melanization in all species examined. Here we show that the expression of A. fumigatus laccases Abr1/2 is upregulated upon hyphal competency and drastically increased during conidiation. The Abr1 protein is localized at the surface of stalks and conidiophores, but not in young hyphae, consistent with the gene expression pattern and its predicted role. The induction of Abr1/2 upon hyphal competency is controlled by BrlA, the master regulator of conidiophore development, and is responsive to the copper level in the medium. We identified a developmentally regulated putative copper transporter, CtpA, and found that CtpA is critical for conidial melanization under copper-limiting conditions. Accordingly, disruption of CtpA enhanced the induction of abr1 and abr2, a response similar to that induced by copper starvation. Furthermore, nonpigmented ctpAΔ conidia elicited much stronger immune responses from the infected invertebrate host Galleria mellonella than the pigmented ctpAΔ or wild-type conidia. Such enhancement in eliciting Galleria immune responses was independent of the ctpAΔ conidial viability, as previously observed for the DHN melanin mutants. Taken together, our findings indicate that both copper homeostasis and developmental regulators control melanin biosynthesis, which affects conidial surface properties that shape the interaction between this pathogen and its host.

  2. Comparison of pigment cell ultrastructure and organisation in the dermis of marble trout and brown trout, and first description of erythrophore ultrastructure in salmonids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djurdjevič, Ida; Kreft, Mateja Erdani; Sušnik Bajec, Simona

    2015-01-01

    Skin pigmentation in animals is an important trait with many functions. The present study focused on two closely related salmonid species, marble trout (Salmo marmoratus) and brown trout (S. trutta), which display an uncommon labyrinthine (marble-like) and spot skin pattern, respectively. To determine the role of chromatophore type in the different formation of skin pigment patterns in the two species, the distribution and ultrastructure of chromatophores was examined with light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. The presence of three types of chromatophores in trout skin was confirmed: melanophores; xanthophores; and iridophores. In addition, using correlative microscopy, erythrophore ultrastructure in salmonids was described for the first time. Two types of erythrophores are distinguished, both located exclusively in the skin of brown trout: type 1 in black spot skin sections similar to xanthophores; and type 2 with a unique ultrastructure, located only in red spot skin sections. Morphologically, the difference between the light and dark pigmentation of trout skin depends primarily on the position and density of melanophores, in the dark region covering other chromatophores, and in the light region with the iridophores and xanthophores usually exposed. With larger amounts of melanophores, absence of xanthophores and presence of erythrophores type 1 and type L iridophores in the black spot compared with the light regions and the presence of erythrophores type 2 in the red spot, a higher level of pigment cell organisation in the skin of brown trout compared with that of marble trout was demonstrated. Even though the skin regions with chromatophores were well defined, not all the chromatophores were in direct contact, either homophilically or heterophilically, with each other. In addition to short-range interactions, an important role of the cellular environment and long-range interactions between chromatophores in promoting adult pigment pattern

  3. Melanin fluorescence spectra by step-wise three photon excitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2012-03-01

    Melanin is the characteristic chromophore of human skin with various potential biological functions. Kerimo discovered enhanced melanin fluorescence by stepwise three-photon excitation in 2011. In this article, step-wise three-photon excited fluorescence (STPEF) spectrum between 450 nm -700 nm of melanin is reported. The melanin STPEF spectrum exhibited an exponential increase with wavelength. However, there was a probability of about 33% that another kind of step-wise multi-photon excited fluorescence (SMPEF) that peaks at 525 nm, shown by previous research, could also be generated using the same process. Using an excitation source at 920 nm as opposed to 830 nm increased the potential for generating SMPEF peaks at 525 nm. The SMPEF spectrum peaks at 525 nm photo-bleached faster than STPEF spectrum.

  4. Unsuspected Intrinsic Property of Melanin to Dissociate Water Can Be Used for the Treatment of CNS Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Arturo Solís; del Carmen Arias Esparza, María; Solís Arias, Paola Eugenia; Ávila-Rodriguez, Marco; Barreto, George Emilio; Li, Yi; Bachurin, Sergey Olegovich; Aliev, Gjumrakch

    2016-01-01

    Retinal adhesion mechanisms in mammals are quite complex and multifactorial in nature. To date, these mechanisms are incompletely understood due to a variety of chemical, physical, and physiological forces impinging upon retinal tissue: retinal pigment epithelium, nearby tissues as sclera and vitreous, the subretinal space, and the highly complex interphotoreceptor matrix that fills subretinal space. The adhesion of the retina to the choroid, rather than anatomical, is a dynamic process, as the retina detaches a few minutes after life ceases. The adhesion mechanisms described in the literature, such as intraocular pressure and the oncotic pressure of the choroid that seems to push the retina towards the choroid, the delicate anatomical relationships between the rod and cone photoreceptors, the retinal pigment epithelium, the existence of a complex material called interphotoreceptor matrix, as well as other metabolic and structural factors, still cannot explain the remarkable features observed in the adhesion mechanisms between the photoreceptor layer and retinal pigment epithelium cells. The unexpected intrinsic property of melanin to absorb light energy and transform it into chemically based free energy can explain normal adhesion of the sensory retina to the pigment epithelium. In this article, we explore and highlight this explanation, which states that it is definitely able to provide a new treatment avenue against devastating neurodegenerative properties.

  5. Key regulatory role of dermal fibroblasts in pigmentation as demonstrated using a reconstructed skin model: impact of photo-aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Duval

    Full Text Available To study cutaneous pigmentation in a physiological context, we have previously developed a functional pigmented reconstructed skin model composed of a melanocyte-containing epidermis grown on a dermal equivalent comprising living fibroblasts. The present studies, using the same model, aimed to demonstrate that dermal fibroblasts influence skin pigmentation up to the macroscopic level. The proof of principle was performed with pigmented skins differing only in the fibroblast component. First, the in vitro system was reconstructed with or without fibroblasts in order to test the global influence of the presence of this cell type. We then assessed the impact of the origin of the fibroblast strain on the degree of pigmentation using fetal versus adult fibroblasts. In both experiments, impressive variation in skin pigmentation at the macroscopic level was observed and confirmed by quantitative parameters related to skin color, melanin content and melanocyte numbers. These data confirmed the responsiveness of the model and demonstrated that dermal fibroblasts do indeed impact the degree of skin pigmentation. We then hypothesized that a physiological state associated with pigmentary alterations such as photo-aging could be linked to dermal fibroblasts modifications that accumulate over time. Pigmentation of skin reconstructed using young unexposed fibroblasts (n = 3 was compared to that of tissues containing natural photo-aged fibroblasts (n = 3 which express a senescent phenotype. A stimulation of pigmentation in the presence of the natural photo-aged fibroblasts was revealed by a significant increase in the skin color (decrease in Luminance and an increase in both epidermal melanin content and melanogenic gene expression, thus confirming our hypothesis. Altogether, these data demonstrate that the level of pigmentation of the skin model is influenced by dermal fibroblasts and that natural photo-aged fibroblasts can contribute to the

  6. Kinetics of Melanin Polymerization during Enzymatic and Nonenzymatic Oxidation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondal, Sayan; Thampi, Arya; Puranik, Mrinalini

    2018-02-22

    Melanin is an abundant biopigment in the animal kingdom, but its structure remains poorly understood. This is a substantial impediment to understanding the mechanistic origin of its observed functions. Proposed models of melanin structure include aggregates of both linear and macrocyclic units and noncovalently held monomers. Both models are broadly in agreement with current experimental data. To constrain the structural and kinetic models of melanin, experimental data of high resolution with chemical specificity accompanied by atomistic modeling are required. We have addressed this by obtaining electronic absorption, infrared, and ultraviolet resonance Raman (RR) spectra of melanin at several wavelengths of excitation that are sensitive to small changes in structure. From these experiments, we observed kinetics of the formation of different species en route to melanin polymerization. Exclusive chemical signatures of monomer 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (dopa), intermediate dopachrome (DC), and early-time polymer are established through their vibrational bands at 1292, 1670, and 1616 cm -1 respectively. Direct evidence of reduced heterogeneity of melanin oligomers in tyrosinase-induced formation is provided from experimental measurements of vibrational bandwidths. Models made with density functional theory show that the linear homopolymeric structures of 5,6-dihydroxyindole can account for experimentally observed wavenumbers and broad bandwidth in Raman spectra of dopa-melanin. We capture resonance Raman (RR) signature of DC, the intermediate stabilized by the enzyme tyrosinase, for the first time in an enzyme-assisted melanization reaction using 488 nm excitation wavelength and propose that this wavelength can be used to probe reaction intermediates of melanin formation in solution.

  7. Free radical scavenging activities of pigment extract from Hibiscus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The macroporous resin adsorption method was used to purify the pigment from Hibiscus syriacus L. petals. Through the comparison of the adsorption and desorption rates of six types of macroporous resins including AB-8, S-8, NKA-9, DM-130, D101 and 860021 to the pigment, 860021 resin was selected as the most ...

  8. Development of gadolinium based nanoparticles having an affinity towards melanin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morlieras, Jessica; Chezal, Jean-Michel; Miot-Noirault, Elisabeth; Roux, Amandine; Heinrich-Balard, Laurence; Cohen, Richard; Tarrit, Sébastien; Truillet, Charles; Mignot, Anna; Hachani, Roxanne; Kryza, David; Antoine, Rodolphe; Dugourd, Philippe; Perriat, Pascal; Janier, Marc; Sancey, Lucie; Lux, François; Tillement, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Small Rigid Platforms (SRPs) are sub-5 nanometre gadolinium based nanoparticles that have been developed for multimodal imaging and theranostic applications. They are composed of a polysiloxane network surrounded by gadolinium chelates. A covalent coupling with quinoxaline derivatives has been performed. Such derivatives have proven their affinity for melanin frequently expressed in primary melanoma cases. Three different quinoxaline derivatives have been synthesised and coupled to the nanoparticles. The affinity of the grafted nanoparticles for melanin has then been shown in vitro by surface plasmon resonance on a homemade melanin grafted gold chip.Small Rigid Platforms (SRPs) are sub-5 nanometre gadolinium based nanoparticles that have been developed for multimodal imaging and theranostic applications. They are composed of a polysiloxane network surrounded by gadolinium chelates. A covalent coupling with quinoxaline derivatives has been performed. Such derivatives have proven their affinity for melanin frequently expressed in primary melanoma cases. Three different quinoxaline derivatives have been synthesised and coupled to the nanoparticles. The affinity of the grafted nanoparticles for melanin has then been shown in vitro by surface plasmon resonance on a homemade melanin grafted gold chip. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c2nr33457g

  9. Photodegradation of melanin thin films by UV lithography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farley, C. W.; Kassu, A.; Sharma, A.

    2011-09-01

    Effect of ambient humidity on the photodegradation of melanin is investigated using an interferometric technique to fabricate gratings on thin films. A low power 355 nm diode laser is used to fabricate gratings on melanin thin films, while a 1 mW He-Ne laser is used to probe grating formation. Effects at several different UV intensities, ranging from 10 mW to 30 mW, and ambient humidities, ranging from 13% to 93%, are investigated on melanin thin films of two different thicknesses; 22 nm and 40nm. It is found that humidity has a great effect on the photodegradation of melanin. It is also found that existing gratings on melanin thin films can be enhanced by raising ambient humidity. These results have implications in the biological evolution of many mammals; as well as implications in fabrication and effective lifetime of organic electronics. The interferometric technique used shows great promise for fabricating grating to analyze photodegradation of different biomolecules under varying conditions. A simple mathematical model is developed to help explain the contribution of light intensity and ambient humidity to the photodegradation of melanin.nage.

  10. 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthesis inhibitors increase erythritol production in Torula corallina, and DHN-melanin inhibits erythrose reductase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jung-Kul; Jung, Hyung-Moo; Kim, Sang-Yong

    2003-06-01

    The yeast Torula corallina is a strong erythritol producer that is used in the industrial production of erythritol. However, melanin accumulation during culture represents a serious problem for the purification of erythritol from the fermentation broth. Melanin biosynthesis inhibitors such as 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine and 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin inhibitors were added to the T. corallina cultures. Only the DHN-melanin inhibitors showed an effect on melanin production, which suggests that the melanin formed during the culturing of T. corallina is derived from DHN. This finding was confirmed by the detection of a shunt product of the pentaketide pathway, flaviolin, and elemental analysis. Among the DHN-melanin inhibitors, tricyclazole was the most effective. Supplementation with tricyclazole enhanced the production of erythritol while significantly inhibiting the production of DHN-melanin and DHN-melanin biosynthetic enzymes, such as trihydroxynaphthalene reductase. The erythrose reductase from T. corallina was purified to homogeneity by ion-exchange and affinity chromatography. Purified erythrose reductase was significantly inhibited in vitro in a noncompetitive manner by elevated levels of DHN-melanin. In contrast, the level of erythrose reductase activity was unaffected by increasing concentrations of tricyclazole. These results suggest that supplemental tricyclazole reduces the production of DHN-melanin, which may lead to a reduction in the inhibition of erythrose reductase and a higher yield of erythritol. This is the first report to demonstrate that melanin biosynthesis inhibitors increase the production of a sugar alcohol in T. corallina.

  11. [Microbial sources of pigments].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cañizares-Villanueva, R O; Ríos-Leal, E; Olvera Ramírez, R; Ponce Noyola, T; Márquez Rocha, F

    1998-01-01

    Pigments from natural sources has been obtained since long time ago, and their interest has increased due to the toxicity problems caused by those of synthetic origin. In this way the pigments from microbial sources are a good alternative. Some of more important natural pigments, are the carotenoids, flavonoids (anthocyanins) and some tetrapirroles (chloropyls, phycobilliproteins). Another group less important are the betalains and quinones. The carotenoids are molecules formed by isoprenoids units and the most important used as colorant are the alpha and beta carotene which are precursors of vitamin A, and some xantophylls as astaxanthin. The pigment more used in the industry is the beta-carotene which is obtained from some microalgae and cyanobacteria. The astaxanthin another important carotenoid is a red pigment of great commercial value, and it is used in the pharmaceutical feed and acuaculture industries. This pigments is mainly obtained from Phaffia rhodozyma and Haematococcus pluvialis and other organisms. The phycobilliproteins obtained from cyanobacteria and some group of algae, have recently been increased on the food industries. In the last years it has been used as fluorescent marker in biochemical assays. Our research group have carried out studies about the factors that improve the production of these pigments obtained from different microbial species as well as the methods for their extraction and application.

  12. The stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence guided ablation of melanin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Gu, Zetong; DiMarzio, Charles

    2015-02-01

    Previous research has shown that the stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated and excited by a continuous-wave (CW) mode near infrared (NIR) laser, is a low-cost and reliable method for detecting melanin. We have developed a device utilizing the melanin SMPAF to guide the ablation of melanin with a 975 nm CW laser. This method provides the ability of targeting individual melanin particles with micrometer resolution, and enables localized melanin ablation to be performed without collateral damage. Compared to the traditional selective photothermolysis, which uses pulsed lasers for melanin ablation, this method demonstrates higher precision and lower cost. Therefore, the SMPAF guided selective ablation of melanin is a promising tool of melanin ablation for both medical and cosmetic purposes.

  13. Melanin concentrating hormone in central hypersomnia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyron, Christelle; Valentin, Françoise; Bayard, Sophie; Hanriot, Lucie; Bedetti, Christophe; Rousset, Bernard; Luppi, Pierre-Hervé; Dauvilliers, Yves

    2011-09-01

    Narcolepsy with cataplexy (NC) is a disabling disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and abnormal rapid eye movement (REM) sleep manifestations, due to a deficient hypocretin/orexin neurotransmission. Melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) neurons involved in the homeostatic regulation of REM sleep are intact. We hypothesized that an increased release of MCH in NC would be partly responsible for the abnormal REM sleep manifestations. Twenty-two untreated patients affected with central hypersomnia were included: 14 NC, six idiopathic hypersomnia with long sleep time, and two post-traumatic hypersomnia. Fourteen neurological patients without any sleep disorders were included as controls. Using radioimmunoassays, we measured hypocretin-1 and MCH levels in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The MCH level was slightly but significantly lower in patients with hypersomnia (98 ± 32 pg/ml) compared to controls (118 ± 20 pg/ml). After exclusion of patients affected with post-traumatic hypersomnia the difference became non-significant. We also failed to find any association between MCH level and hypocretin level, the severity of daytime sleepiness, the number of SOREMPs, the frequency of cataplexy, and the presence of hypnagogic hallucinations or sleep paralysis. This study reports the first measurement of MCH in CSF using radioimmunoassay technology. It appears to be a non-informative tool to differentiate etiologies of central hypersomnia with or without REM sleep dysregulation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Photoacoustic discrimination of vascular and pigmented lesions using classical and Bayesian methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swearingen, Jennifer A.; Holan, Scott H.; Feldman, Mary M.; Viator, John A.

    2010-01-01

    Discrimination of pigmented and vascular lesions in skin can be difficult due to factors such as size, subungual location, and the nature of lesions containing both melanin and vascularity. Misdiagnosis may lead to precancerous or cancerous lesions not receiving proper medical care. To aid in the rapid and accurate diagnosis of such pathologies, we develop a photoacoustic system to determine the nature of skin lesions in vivo. By irradiating skin with two laser wavelengths, 422 and 530 nm, we induce photoacoustic responses, and the relative response at these two wavelengths indicates whether the lesion is pigmented or vascular. This response is due to the distinct absorption spectrum of melanin and hemoglobin. In particular, pigmented lesions have ratios of photoacoustic amplitudes of approximately 1.4 to 1 at the two wavelengths, while vascular lesions have ratios of about 4.0 to 1. Furthermore, we consider two statistical methods for conducting classification of lesions: standard multivariate analysis classification techniques and a Bayesian-model-based approach. We study 15 human subjects with eight vascular and seven pigmented lesions. Using the classical method, we achieve a perfect classification rate, while the Bayesian approach has an error rate of 20%.

  15. Sunscreening fungal pigments influence the vertical gradient of pendulous lichens in boreal forest canopies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Färber, Leonie; Sølhaug, Knut Asbjorn; Esseen, Per-Anders; Bilger, Wolfgang; Gauslaa, Yngvar

    2014-06-01

    Pendulous lichens dominate canopies of boreal forests, with dark Bryoria species in the upper canopy vs. light Alectoria and Usnea species in lower canopy. These genera offer important ecosystem services such as winter forage for reindeer and caribou. The mechanism behind this niche separation is poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that species-specific sunscreening fungal pigments protect underlying symbiotic algae differently against high light, and thus shape the vertical canopy gradient of epiphytes. Three pale species with the reflecting pigment usnic acid (Alectoria sarmentosa, Usnea dasypoga, U. longissima) and three with dark, absorbing melanins (Bryoria capillaris, B. fremontii, B. fuscescens) were compared. We subjected the lichens to desiccation stress with and without light, and assessed their performance with chlorophyll fluorescence. Desiccation alone only affected U. longissima. By contrast, light in combination with desiccation caused photoinhibitory damage in all species. Usnic lichens were significantly more susceptible to light during desiccation than melanic ones. Thus, melanin is a more efficient light-screening pigment than usnic acid. Thereby, the vertical gradient of pendulous lichens in forest canopies is consistent with a shift in type and functioning of sunscreening pigments, from high-light-tolerant Bryoria in the upper to susceptible Alectoria and Usnea in the lower canopy.

  16. Pigments in Thermophilic fungi

    OpenAIRE

    Somasundaram, T; Rao, Sanjay SR; Maheshwari, R

    1986-01-01

    UV and visible absorption spectra of thermophilic fungi were obtained by photoacoustic spectroscopy. Based on these data as well as on the chem. properties and IR spectra, it is suggested that the pigments may be hydroxylated polycyclic quinones.

  17. Chlorophyll: The wonder pigment

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Bhat, S.R.

    Chlorophyll, the green plant pigment, a 'real life force' of living beings, besides synthesizing food, is a great source of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals. Adding chlorophyll rich food to our diet fortifies our body against health...

  18. Melanisation of Aspergillus terreus—Is Butyrolactone I Involved in the Regulation of Both DOPA and DHN Types of Pigments in Submerged Culture?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elina K. Palonen

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Pigments and melanins of fungal spores have been investigated for decades, revealing important roles in the survival of the fungus in hostile environments. The key genes and the encoded enzymes for pigment and melanin biosynthesis have recently been found in Ascomycota, including Aspergillus spp. In Aspergillus terreus, the pigmentation has remained mysterious with only one class of melanin biogenesis being found. In this study, we examined an intriguing, partially annotated gene cluster of A. terreus strain NIH2624, utilizing previously sequenced transcriptome and improved gene expression data of strain MUCL 38669, under the influence of a suggested quorum sensing inducing metabolite, butyrolactone I. The core polyketide synthase (PKS gene of the cluster was predicted to be significantly longer on the basis of the obtained transcriptional data, and the surrounding cluster was positively regulated by butyrolactone I at the late growth phase of submerged culture, presumably during sporulation. Phylogenetic analysis of the extended PKS revealed remarkable similarity with a group of known pigments of Fusarium spp., indicating a similar function for this PKS. We present a hypothesis of this PKS cluster to biosynthesise a 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN-type of pigment during sporulation with the influence of butyrolactone I under submerged culture.

  19. Prodigiosin-like pigments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, N N

    1975-05-01

    Prodigiosin, the bright red tripyrrole pigment from Serratia marcescens, has also been identified in Pseudomonas magnesiorubra, Vibrio psychroerythrus, and two Gram-negative rod-shaped mesophilic marine bacteria not members of the genus Serratia. Prodigiosin is sometimes bound to proteins; thus, extracts may require acid treatment before isolation of the pigment. Higher homologs of prodigiosin have been detected by mass spectroscopy. A mutant strain of S. marcescens produced nor-prodigiosin, in which the methoxy group of prodigiosin is replaced by a hydroxy group. Another mutant strain produced a blue tetrapyrrole pigment whose structure is a dimer of prodigiosin's rings A and B. Three novel biosynthetic analogs of prodigiosin have been obtained using a colorless mutant which does make rings A and B but not ring C and which can couple rings A and B with some added monopyrroles similar to ring C. The structures of three prodiginine (prodigiosin-like) pigments from streptomyces have been elucidated. All have the methoxytripyrrole aromatic nucleus of prodigiosin and all have an 11 carbon aliphatic side chain attached at carbon 2 of ring C. In two of the pigments the side chain is also linked to another carbon of ring C. The earlier literature about prodiginine pigments from actinomycetes has been interpreted and evaluated in light of the most recent findings. The structure elucidation of six prodiginine pigments from Actinomadurae (Nocardiae) has been completed. Only one, undecylprodiginine, is the same as from a streptomycete. For three of the six pigments, nine carbon side chains are observed and in four of them the side chain is attached to carbon 5 of ring A as well as carbon 2 of ring C so that a large ring is formed which includes the three pyrrole moieties. A section on identification summarized useful methods and presents information with which any known prodiginine pigment can be identified. The final step in the biosynthesis of prodigiosin was known to be

  20. The protective effect of melanin against radiation. Final technical report, Oct 1975--Oct 1976

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swan, G.A.; Baldry, P.A.

    1976-10-01

    Oxidation and reduction of autoxidative dopa-melanin were studied. Reduction with neither ascorbic acid nor sodium dithionite led to any overall increase in the number of 5,6-dihydroxyindole units in the melanin polymer. The melanin was oxidised using repsectivley potassium ferricyanide and ceric sulphate solutions but in neither case was the melanin e.s.r. signal diminished. The interaction of melanin's free radicals with cupric ions was shown not to be chemical in nature. The number of bound cupric ions was determined and the value used to calculate the number of free radicals in autoxidative dopa-melanin.

  1. Ultraviolet radiation directly induces pigment production by cultured human melanocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Friedmann, P.S.; Gilchrest, B.A.

    1987-01-01

    In humans the major stimulus for cutaneous pigmentation is ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Little is known about the mechanism underlying this response, in part because of the complexity of interactions in whole epidermis. Using a recently developed culture system, human melanocytes were exposed daily to a physiologic range of UVR doses from a solar simulator. Responses were determined 24 hours after the last exposure. There was a dose-related increase in melanin content per cell and uptake of 14 C-DOPA, accompanied by growth inhibition. Cells from donors of different racial origin gave proportionately similar increases in melanin, although there were approximately tenfold differences in basal values. Light and electron microscopy revealed UVR-stimulated increases in dendricity as well as melanosome number and degree of melanization, analogous to the well-recognized melanocyte changes following sun exposure of intact skin. Similar responses were seen with Cloudman S91 melanoma cells, although this murine cell line required lower UVR dosages and fewer exposures for maximal stimulation. These data establish that UVR is capable of directly stimulating melanogenesis. Because cyclic AMP elevation has been associated in some settings with increased pigment production by cultured melanocytes, preliminary experiments were conducted to see if the effects of UVR were mediated by cAMP. Both alpha-MSH and isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX), as positive controls, caused a fourfold increase in cAMP level in human melanocytes and/or S91 cells, but following a dose of UVR sufficient to stimulate pigment production there was no change in cAMP level up to 4 hours after exposure. Thus, it appears that the UVR-induced melanogenesis is mediated by cAMP-independent mechanisms

  2. Photosynthetic Pigments in Diatoms

    OpenAIRE

    Kuczynska, Paulina; Jemiola-Rzeminska, Malgorzata; Strzalka, Kazimierz

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthetic pigments are bioactive compounds of great importance for the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. They are not only responsible for capturing solar energy to carry out photosynthesis, but also play a role in photoprotective processes and display antioxidant activity, all of which contribute to effective biomass and oxygen production. Diatoms are organisms of a distinct pigment composition, substantially different from that present in plants. Apart from light-harvestin...

  3. Photosynthetic Pigments in Diatoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paulina Kuczynska

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Photosynthetic pigments are bioactive compounds of great importance for the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. They are not only responsible for capturing solar energy to carry out photosynthesis, but also play a role in photoprotective processes and display antioxidant activity, all of which contribute to effective biomass and oxygen production. Diatoms are organisms of a distinct pigment composition, substantially different from that present in plants. Apart from light-harvesting pigments such as chlorophyll a, chlorophyll c, and fucoxanthin, there is a group of photoprotective carotenoids which includes β-carotene and the xanthophylls, diatoxanthin, diadinoxanthin, violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, and zeaxanthin, which are engaged in the xanthophyll cycle. Additionally, some intermediate products of biosynthetic pathways have been identified in diatoms as well as unusual pigments, e.g., marennine. Marine algae have become widely recognized as a source of unique bioactive compounds for potential industrial, pharmaceutical, and medical applications. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on diatom photosynthetic pigments complemented by some new insights regarding their physico-chemical properties, biological role, and biosynthetic pathways, as well as the regulation of pigment level in the cell, methods of purification, and significance in industries.

  4. Photosynthetic Pigments in Diatoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuczynska, Paulina; Jemiola-Rzeminska, Malgorzata; Strzalka, Kazimierz

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthetic pigments are bioactive compounds of great importance for the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. They are not only responsible for capturing solar energy to carry out photosynthesis, but also play a role in photoprotective processes and display antioxidant activity, all of which contribute to effective biomass and oxygen production. Diatoms are organisms of a distinct pigment composition, substantially different from that present in plants. Apart from light-harvesting pigments such as chlorophyll a, chlorophyll c, and fucoxanthin, there is a group of photoprotective carotenoids which includes β-carotene and the xanthophylls, diatoxanthin, diadinoxanthin, violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, and zeaxanthin, which are engaged in the xanthophyll cycle. Additionally, some intermediate products of biosynthetic pathways have been identified in diatoms as well as unusual pigments, e.g., marennine. Marine algae have become widely recognized as a source of unique bioactive compounds for potential industrial, pharmaceutical, and medical applications. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on diatom photosynthetic pigments complemented by some new insights regarding their physico-chemical properties, biological role, and biosynthetic pathways, as well as the regulation of pigment level in the cell, methods of purification, and significance in industries. PMID:26389924

  5. Photosynthetic Pigments in Diatoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuczynska, Paulina; Jemiola-Rzeminska, Malgorzata; Strzalka, Kazimierz

    2015-09-16

    Photosynthetic pigments are bioactive compounds of great importance for the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. They are not only responsible for capturing solar energy to carry out photosynthesis, but also play a role in photoprotective processes and display antioxidant activity, all of which contribute to effective biomass and oxygen production. Diatoms are organisms of a distinct pigment composition, substantially different from that present in plants. Apart from light-harvesting pigments such as chlorophyll a, chlorophyll c, and fucoxanthin, there is a group of photoprotective carotenoids which includes β-carotene and the xanthophylls, diatoxanthin, diadinoxanthin, violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, and zeaxanthin, which are engaged in the xanthophyll cycle. Additionally, some intermediate products of biosynthetic pathways have been identified in diatoms as well as unusual pigments, e.g., marennine. Marine algae have become widely recognized as a source of unique bioactive compounds for potential industrial, pharmaceutical, and medical applications. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on diatom photosynthetic pigments complemented by some new insights regarding their physico-chemical properties, biological role, and biosynthetic pathways, as well as the regulation of pigment level in the cell, methods of purification, and significance in industries.

  6. Fluorescence spectroscopy of synthetic melanin in solution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perna, G.; Frassanito, M.C. [Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita di Foggia, Viale Pinto, 71100 Foggia (Italy); Palazzo, G. [Dipartimento di Chimica, Universita di Bari, Via Orabona 4, 70126 Bari (Italy); Gallone, A. [Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita di Foggia, Viale Pinto, 71100 Foggia (Italy); Mallardi, A. [ICPS-CNR, Via Orabona 4, 70126 Bari (Italy); Biagi, P.F. [Dipartimento Interateneo di Fisica, Universita di Bari, Via Amendola 173, 70126 Bari (Italy); Capozzi, V. [Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche, Universita di Foggia, Viale Pinto, 71100 Foggia (Italy)], E-mail: v.capozzi@unifg.it

    2009-01-15

    We report a detailed investigation of fluorescence properties of synthetic eumelanin pigment in solution. A complete set of fluorescence spectra in the near-UV and visible range is analysed. Excitation spectra at a few selected emission energies are also investigated. Our measurements support the hypothesis that fluorescence in eumelanin is related to chemically distinct oligomeric units that can be selectively excited. Fluorescence due to large oligomer systems is spectrally differentiated from that due to monomers and small oligomer systems. Fluorescence excitation measurements show the contribution of 5,6-dihydroxyndole-2-carboxylic acid and 5,6-dihydroxyndole monomers to the emission of small-size oligomers.

  7. Targeted Disruption of Melanin Biosynthesis Genes in the Human Pathogenic Fungus Lomentospora prolificans and Its Consequences for Pathogen Survival

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayat Al-Laaeiby

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The dematiaceous (melanised fungus Lomentospora (Scedosporium prolificans is a life-threatening opportunistic pathogen of immunocompromised humans, resistant to anti-fungal drugs. Melanin has been shown to protect human pathogenic fungi against antifungal drugs, oxidative killing and environmental stresses. To determine the protective role of melanin in L. prolificans to oxidative killing (H2O2, UV radiation and the polyene anti-fungal drug amphotericin B, targeted gene disruption was used to generate mutants of the pathogen lacking the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN-melanin biosynthetic enzymes polyketide synthase (PKS1, tetrahydroxynapthalene reductase (4HNR and scytalone dehydratase (SCD1. Infectious propagules (spores of the wild-type strain 3.1 were black/brown, whereas spores of the PKS-deficient mutant ΔLppks1::hph were white. Complementation of the albino mutant ΔLppks1::hph restored the black-brown spore pigmentation, while the 4HNR-deficient mutant ΔLp4hnr::hph and SCD-deficient mutant ΔLpscd1::hph both produced orange-yellow spores. The mutants ΔLppks1::hph and ΔLp4hnr::hph showed significant reductions in spore survival following H2O2 treatment, while spores of ΔLpscd1::hph and the ΔLppks1::hph complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to strain 3.1. Spores of the mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLpscd1::hph and complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to 3.1 following exposure to UV radiation, but survival of ΔLppks1::hph spores was significantly reduced compared to the wild-type strain. Strain 3.1 and mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLppks1::hph:PKS were resistant to amphotericin B while, paradoxically, the PKS1- and SCD1-deficient mutants showed significant increases in growth in the presence of the antifungal drug. Taken together, these results show that while melanin plays a protective role in the survival of the pathogen to oxidative killing and UV radiation, melanin does not

  8. Targeted Disruption of Melanin Biosynthesis Genes in the Human Pathogenic Fungus Lomentospora prolificans and Its Consequences for Pathogen Survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Laaeiby, Ayat; Kershaw, Michael J; Penn, Tina J; Thornton, Christopher R

    2016-03-24

    The dematiaceous (melanised) fungus Lomentospora (Scedosporium) prolificans is a life-threatening opportunistic pathogen of immunocompromised humans, resistant to anti-fungal drugs. Melanin has been shown to protect human pathogenic fungi against antifungal drugs, oxidative killing and environmental stresses. To determine the protective role of melanin in L. prolificans to oxidative killing (H₂O₂), UV radiation and the polyene anti-fungal drug amphotericin B, targeted gene disruption was used to generate mutants of the pathogen lacking the dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN)-melanin biosynthetic enzymes polyketide synthase (PKS1), tetrahydroxynapthalene reductase (4HNR) and scytalone dehydratase (SCD1). Infectious propagules (spores) of the wild-type strain 3.1 were black/brown, whereas spores of the PKS-deficient mutant ΔLppks1::hph were white. Complementation of the albino mutant ΔLppks1::hph restored the black-brown spore pigmentation, while the 4HNR-deficient mutant ΔLp4hnr::hph and SCD-deficient mutant ΔLpscd1::hph both produced orange-yellow spores. The mutants ΔLppks1::hph and ΔLp4hnr::hph showed significant reductions in spore survival following H₂O₂ treatment, while spores of ΔLpscd1::hph and the ΔLppks1::hph complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to strain 3.1. Spores of the mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLpscd1::hph and complemented strain ΔLppks1::hph:PKS showed spore survivals similar to 3.1 following exposure to UV radiation, but survival of ΔLppks1::hph spores was significantly reduced compared to the wild-type strain. Strain 3.1 and mutants ΔLp4hnr::hph and ΔLppks1::hph:PKS were resistant to amphotericin B while, paradoxically, the PKS1- and SCD1-deficient mutants showed significant increases in growth in the presence of the antifungal drug. Taken together, these results show that while melanin plays a protective role in the survival of the pathogen to oxidative killing and UV radiation, melanin does not

  9. EPR examination of Zn2+ and Cu2+ binding by pigmented soil fungi Cladosporium cladosporioides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buszman, Ewa; Pilawa, Barbara; Zdybel, Magdalena; Wilczynski, Slawomir; Gondzik, Anna; Witoszynska, Teresa; Wilczok, Tadeusz

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the usefulness of electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR) to estimate zinc and copper ions biosorption from the environment by pigmented soil fungi Cladosporium cladosporioides. The existence of a low amount of pheomelanin, besides eumelanin, in C. cladosporioides samples was proved by the analysis of shape of their EPR spectra. Concentration of o-semiquinone free radicals in crude mycelium was 2.4 x 10 17 spin/g. Changes in free radicals system of C. cladosporioides cultured in the presence of Zn 2+ and Cu 2+ were analysed. Both magnetic and chemical interactions of zinc and copper ions with free radicals in C. cladosporioides melanin were found. Magnetically interacting diamagnetic Zn 2+ ions increased the concentration of o-semiquinone free radicals in melanin existing in C. cladosporioides mycelium, whereas paramagnetic Cu 2+ ions decreased this concentration. Chemical interactions of Zn 2+ and Cu 2+ ions decreased the free radical concentrations in C. cladosporioides melanin. Homogeneously distributed free radicals in C. cladosporioides melanin rise its activity in biosorption processes

  10. Transcriptome analysis of integument differentially expressed genes in the pigment mutant (quail during molting of silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyi Nie

    Full Text Available In the silkworm Bombyx mori, pigment mutants with diverse body colors have been maintained throughout domestication for about 5000 years. The silkworm larval body color is formed through the mutual interaction of melanin, ommochromes, pteridines and uric acid. These pigments/compounds are synthesized by the cooperative action of various genes and enzymes. Previous reports showed that melanin, ommochrome and pteridine are increased in silkworm quail (q mutants. To understand the pigment increase and alterations in pigment synthesis in q mutant, transcriptome profiles of the silkworm integument were investigated at 16 h after head capsule slippage in the fourth molt in q mutants and wild-type (Dazao. Compared to the wild-type, 1161 genes were differentially expressed in the q mutant. Of these modulated genes, 62.4% (725 genes were upregulated and 37.6% (436 genes were downregulated in the q mutant. The molecular function of differently expressed genes was analyzed by Blast2GO. The results showed that upregulated genes were mainly involved in protein binding, small molecule binding, transferase activity, nucleic acid binding, specific DNA-binding transcription factor activity and chromatin binding, while exclusively down-expressed genes functioned in oxidoreductase activity, cofactor binding, tetrapyrrole binding, peroxidase activity and pigment binding. We focused on genes related to melanin, pteridine and ommochrome biosynthesis; transport of uric acid; and juvenile hormone metabolism because of their importance in integument coloration during molting. This study identified differently expressed genes implicated in silkworm integument formation and pigmentation using silkworm q mutant. The results estimated the number and types of genes that drive new integument formation.

  11. Uptake in melanoma cells of N-(2-diethylaminoethyl)-2-iodobenzamide (BZA2), an imaging agent for melanoma staging: relation to pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansard, Sandrine; Papon, Janine; Moreau, Marie-France; Miot-Noirault, Elisabeth; Labarre, Pierre; Bayle, Martine; Veyre, Annie; Madelmont, Jean-Claude; Moins, Nicole

    2005-07-01

    N-(2-diethylaminoethyl)-2-iodobenzamide (BZA(2)) has been singled out as the most efficacious melanoma scintigraphy imaging agent. Our work was designed to assess the mechanisms of the specific affinity of the radioiodinated iodobenzamide for melanoma tissue. We studied the cellular uptake and retention of [(125)I]-BZA(2) on various cell lines. In vitro, cellular [(125)I]-BZA(2) uptake was related to the pigmentation status of the cells: higher in pigmented melanoma cell lines (M4 Beu, IPC 227, B 16) than in a nonpigmented one (M3 Dau) and nonmelanoma cell lines (MCF 7 and L 929). Two mechanisms were assessed: binding of the tracer to melanin or to sigma receptors of melanoma cells. First, the uptake of [(125)I]-BZA(2) after melanogenesis stimulation by alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone and l-tyrosine increased in the B 16 melanoma cell line both in vitro and in vivo according to melanin concentration. Moreover, the binding of [(125)I]-BZA(2) to synthetic melanin was dependent on melanin concentration and could be saturated. Second, no competition was evidenced on M4 Beu cells between [(125)I]-BZA(2) and haloperidol, a sigma ligand, at concentrations < or =10(-6) M. We show that the specificity and sensibility of BZA(2) as a melanoma scintigraphic imaging agent are mostly due to interactions with melanic pigments.

  12. Skin pigmentation evaluation in broilers fed natural and synthetic pigments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castañeda, M P; Hirschler, E M; Sams, A R

    2005-01-01

    Broiler carcass skin color is important in the United States and Mexico. This study evaluated the use of natural and synthetic pigments in broiler diets at commercial levels. Birds were fed natural or synthetic pigments at low or high levels, simulating US and Mexican commercial practices. Skin color was measured during live production (3 to 7 wk of age) and after slaughter and chilling. The natural pigments had consistently greater skin b* values (yellowness) than the synthetic pigments. The high levels produced greater skin b* values than the low levels, regardless of source. The synthetic pigments had a slower increase in skin b* but reached the same level as the natural low by 7 wk. There was no difference in skin a* values (redness) due to pigment source or level or the age of the bird. By 7 wk, all pigment sources approached plateau levels in the blood, but the synthetic pigment diet produced higher blood levels of yellow and red pigments than the natural pigment diets. Processing intensified skin yellowness and reduced skin redness. These data suggest that although synthetic pigments might have been absorbed better than natural ones, natural pigments were more efficient at increasing skin yellowness and there were only small differences between high and low levels for each pigment source. This finding may allow reduction in pigment use and feed cost to achieve the same skin acceptance by the consumer.

  13. Size Control and Fluorescence Labeling of Polydopamine Melanin-Mimetic Nanoparticles for Intracellular Imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devang R. Amin

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available As synthetic analogs of the natural pigment melanin, polydopamine nanoparticles (NPs are under active investigation as non-toxic anticancer photothermal agents and as free radical scavenging therapeutics. By analogy to the widely adopted polydopamine coatings, polydopamine NPs offer the potential for facile aqueous synthesis and incorporation of (biofunctional groups under mild temperature and pH conditions. However, clear procedures for the convenient and reproducible control of critical NP properties such as particle diameter, surface charge, and loading with functional molecules have yet to be established. In this work, we have synthesized polydopamine-based melanin-mimetic nanoparticles (MMNPs with finely controlled diameters spanning ≈25 to 120 nm and report on the pH-dependence of zeta potential, methodologies for PEGylation, and the incorporation of fluorescent organic molecules. A comprehensive suite of complementary techniques, including dynamic light scattering (DLS, cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS, zeta-potential, ultraviolet–visible (UV–Vis absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy, and confocal microscopy, was used to characterize the MMNPs and their properties. Our PEGylated MMNPs are highly stable in both phosphate-buffered saline (PBS and in cell culture media and exhibit no cytotoxicity up to at least 100 µg mL−1 concentrations. We also show that a post-functionalization methodology for fluorophore loading is especially suitable for producing MMNPs with stable fluorescence and significantly narrower emission profiles than previous reports, suggesting they will be useful for multimodal cell imaging. Our results pave the way towards biomedical imaging and possibly drug delivery applications, as well as fundamental studies of MMNP size and surface chemistry dependent cellular interactions.

  14. Size Control and Fluorescence Labeling of Polydopamine Melanin-Mimetic Nanoparticles for Intracellular Imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amin, Devang R; Sugnaux, Caroline; Lau, King Hang Aaron; Messersmith, Phillip B

    2017-09-01

    As synthetic analogs of the natural pigment melanin, polydopamine nanoparticles (NPs) are under active investigation as non-toxic anticancer photothermal agents and as free radical scavenging therapeutics. By analogy to the widely adopted polydopamine coatings, polydopamine NPs offer the potential for facile aqueous synthesis and incorporation of (bio)functional groups under mild temperature and pH conditions. However, clear procedures for the convenient and reproducible control of critical NP properties such as particle diameter, surface charge, and loading with functional molecules have yet to be established. In this work, we have synthesized polydopamine-based melanin-mimetic nanoparticles (MMNPs) with finely controlled diameters spanning ≈25 to 120 nm and report on the pH-dependence of zeta potential, methodologies for PEGylation, and the incorporation of fluorescent organic molecules. A comprehensive suite of complementary techniques, including dynamic light scattering (DLS), cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), zeta-potential, ultraviolet-visible (UV-Vis) absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy, and confocal microscopy, was used to characterize the MMNPs and their properties. Our PEGylated MMNPs are highly stable in both phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and in cell culture media and exhibit no cytotoxicity up to at least 100 μg mL -1 concentrations. We also show that a post-functionalization methodology for fluorophore loading is especially suitable for producing MMNPs with stable fluorescence and significantly narrower emission profiles than previous reports, suggesting they will be useful for multimodal cell imaging. Our results pave the way towards biomedical imaging and possibly drug delivery applications, as well as fundamental studies of MMNP size and surface chemistry dependent cellular interactions.

  15. Mathematical modeling predicts enhanced growth of X-ray irradiated pigmented fungi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Shuryak

    Full Text Available Ionizing radiation is known for its cytotoxic and mutagenic properties. However, recent evidence suggests that chronic sub-lethal irradiation stimulates the growth of melanin-pigmented (melanized fungi, supporting the hypothesis that interactions between melanin and ionizing photons generate energy useful for fungal growth, and/or regulate growth-promoting genes. There are no quantitative models of how fungal proliferation is affected by ionizing photon energy, dose rate, and presence versus absence of melanin on the same genetic background. Here we present such a model, which we test using experimental data on melanin-modulated radiation-induced proliferation enhancement in the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, exposed to two different peak energies (150 and 320 kVp over a wide range of X-ray dose rates. Our analysis demonstrates that radiation-induced proliferation enhancement in C. neoformans behaves as a binary "on/off" phenomenon, which is triggered by dose rates 5000 mGy/h. Proliferation enhancement of irradiated cells compared with unirradiated controls occurs at both X-ray peak energies, but its magnitude is modulated by X-ray peak energy and cell melanization. At dose rates <5000 mGy/h, both melanized and non-melanized cells exposed to 150 kVp X-rays, and non-melanized cells exposed to 320 kVp X-rays, all exhibit the same proliferation enhancement: on average, chronic irradiation stimulates each founder cell to produce 100 (95% CI: 83, 116 extra descendants over 48 hours. Interactions between melanin and 320 kVp X-rays result in a significant (2-tailed p-value = 4.8 × 10(-5 additional increase in the number of radiation-induced descendants per founder cell: by 55 (95% CI: 29, 81. These results show that both melanin-dependent and melanin-independent mechanisms are involved in radiation-induced fungal growth enhancement, and implicate direct and/or indirect interactions of melanin with high energy ionizing photons as an important pro

  16. Inhibition of two stages of melanin synthesis by sesamol, sesamin and sesamolin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Montra Srisayam

    2017-10-01

    Conclusions: Three sesame lignans prevent melanin synthesis through 2 stages: (a by blocking melanin-induction and (b by interrupting melanogenic enzyme production. This study provides evidence that sesamol, sesamin and sesamolin are potential for antimelanogenesis agents.

  17. Age-related hair pigment loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobin, Desmond J

    2015-01-01

    Humans are social animals that communicate disproportionately via potent genetic signals imbued in the skin and hair, including racial, ethnic, health, gender, and age status. For the vast majority of us, age-related hair pigment loss becomes the inescapable signal of our disappearing youth. The hair follicle (HF) pigmentary unit is a wonderful tissue for studying mechanisms generally regulating aging, often before this becomes evident elsewhere in the body. Given that follicular melanocytes (unlike those in the epidermis) are regulated by the hair growth cycle, this cycle is likely to impact the process of aging in the HF pigmentary unit. The formal identification of melanocyte stem cells in the mouse skin has spurred a flurry of reports on the potential involvement of melanocyte stem cell depletion in hair graying (i.e., canities). Caution is recommended, however, against simple extrapolation of murine data to humans. Regardless, hair graying in both species is likely to involve an age-related imbalance in the tissue's oxidative stress handling that will impact not only melanogenesis but also melanocyte stem cell and melanocyte homeostasis and survival. There is some emerging evidence that the HF pigmentary unit may have regenerative potential, even after it has begun to produce white hair fibers. It may therefore be feasible to develop strategies to modulate some aging-associated changes to maintain melanin production for longer. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  18. Polyketides, toxins and pigments in Penicillium marneffei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tam, Emily W T; Tsang, Chi-Ching; Lau, Susanna K P; Woo, Patrick C Y

    2015-10-30

    Penicillium marneffei (synonym: Talaromyces marneffei) is the most important pathogenic thermally dimorphic fungus in China and Southeastern Asia. The HIV/AIDS pandemic, particularly in China and other Southeast Asian countries, has led to the emergence of P. marneffei infection as an important AIDS-defining condition. Recently, we published the genome sequence of P. marneffei. In the P. marneffei genome, 23 polyketide synthase genes and two polyketide synthase-non-ribosomal peptide synthase hybrid genes were identified. This number is much higher than those of Coccidioides immitis and Histoplasma capsulatum, important pathogenic thermally dimorphic fungi in the Western world. Phylogenetically, these polyketide synthase genes were distributed evenly with their counterparts found in Aspergillus species and other fungi, suggesting that polyketide synthases in P. marneffei did not diverge from lineage-specific gene duplication through a recent expansion. Gene knockdown experiments and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detector/electrospray ionization-quadruple time of flight-mass spectrometry analysis confirmed that at least four of the polyketide synthase genes were involved in the biosynthesis of various pigments in P. marneffei, including melanin, mitorubrinic acid, mitorubrinol, monascorubrin, rubropunctatin, citrinin and ankaflavin, some of which were mycotoxins and virulence factors of the fungus.

  19. Polyketides, Toxins and Pigments in Penicillium marneffei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily W. T. Tam

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Penicillium marneffei (synonym: Talaromyces marneffei is the most important pathogenic thermally dimorphic fungus in China and Southeastern Asia. The HIV/AIDS pandemic, particularly in China and other Southeast Asian countries, has led to the emergence of P. marneffei infection as an important AIDS-defining condition. Recently, we published the genome sequence of P. marneffei. In the P. marneffei genome, 23 polyketide synthase genes and two polyketide synthase-non-ribosomal peptide synthase hybrid genes were identified. This number is much higher than those of Coccidioides immitis and Histoplasma capsulatum, important pathogenic thermally dimorphic fungi in the Western world. Phylogenetically, these polyketide synthase genes were distributed evenly with their counterparts found in Aspergillus species and other fungi, suggesting that polyketide synthases in P. marneffei did not diverge from lineage-specific gene duplication through a recent expansion. Gene knockdown experiments and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-photodiode array detector/electrospray ionization-quadruple time of flight-mass spectrometry analysis confirmed that at least four of the polyketide synthase genes were involved in the biosynthesis of various pigments in P. marneffei, including melanin, mitorubrinic acid, mitorubrinol, monascorubrin, rubropunctatin, citrinin and ankaflavin, some of which were mycotoxins and virulence factors of the fungus.

  20. Melanin microcavitation threshold in the near infrared

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Morgan S.; Kennedy, Paul K.; Vincelette, Rebecca L.; Schuster, Kurt J.; Noojin, Gary D.; Wharmby, Andrew W.; Thomas, Robert J.; Rockwell, Benjamin A.

    2014-02-01

    Thresholds for microcavitation of isolated bovine and porcine melanosomes were determined using single nanosecond (ns) laser pulses in the NIR (1000 - 1319 nm) wavelength regime. Average fluence thresholds for microcavitation increased non-linearly with increasing wavelength. Average fluence thresholds were also measured for 10-ns pulses at 532 nm, and found to be comparable to visible ns pulse values published in previous reports. Fluence thresholds were used to calculate melanosome absorption coefficients, which decreased with increasing wavelength. This trend was found to be comparable to the decrease in retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) layer absorption coefficients reported over the same wavelength region. Estimated corneal total intraocular energy (TIE) values were determined and compared to the current and proposed maximum permissible exposure (MPE) safe exposure levels. Results from this study support the proposed changes to the MPE levels.

  1. Melanin determination by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for K. marxianus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ultraviolet light (UV) mutated K. marxianus was found to turn dark brown during a growth assay. This brown color was hypothesized to be melanin overproduction influenced by the UV exposure. Cell cultures were oxidized and HPLC analyzed to determine melanin concentrations. The resulting melanin con...

  2. N-Nicotinoyl dopamine, a novel niacinamide derivative, retains high antioxidant activity and inhibits skin pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Bora; Kim, Jin Eun; Lee, Su Min; Lee, Soung-Hoon; Lee, Jin Won; Kim, Myung Kyoo; Lee, Kye Jong; Kim, Hyuk; Lee, Joo Dong; Choi, Kang-Yell

    2011-11-01

    We synthesized a novel derivative of a well-known skin-lightening compound niacinamide, N-nicotinoyl dopamine (NND). NND did not show inhibitory effects of tyrosinase and melanin synthesis in B16F10 mouse melanoma cells. However, NND retains high antioxidant activity without affecting viability of cells. In a reconstructed skin model, topical applications of 0.05% and 0.1% NND induced skin lightening and decreased melanin production without affecting the viability and morphology of melanocytes and overall tissue histology. Moreover, no evidence for skin irritation or sensitization was observed when 0.1% NND emulsion was applied onto the skin of 52 volunteers. The effect of NND on skin lightening was further revealed by pigmented spot analyses of human clinical trial. Overall, NND treatment may be a useful trial for skin lightening and treating pigmentary disorders. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  3. Trace metals as biomarkers for eumelanin pigment in the fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wogelius, R A; Manning, P L; Barden, H E; Edwards, N P; Webb, S M; Sellers, W I; Taylor, K G; Larson, P L; Dodson, P; You, H; Da-qing, L; Bergmann, U

    2011-09-16

    Well-preserved fossils of pivotal early bird and nonavian theropod species have provided unequivocal evidence for feathers and/or downlike integuments. Recent studies have reconstructed color on the basis of melanosome structure; however, the chemistry of these proposed melanosomes has remained unknown. We applied synchrotron x-ray techniques to several fossil and extant organisms, including Confuciusornis sanctus, in order to map and characterize possible chemical residues of melanin pigments. Results show that trace metals, such as copper, are present in fossils as organometallic compounds most likely derived from original eumelanin. The distribution of these compounds provides a long-lived biomarker of melanin presence and density within a range of fossilized organisms. Metal zoning patterns may be preserved long after melanosome structures have been destroyed.

  4. Influence of melanocytes in the ex-vivo reconstructed epidermal melanin unit following an acute UV irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cario-Andre, M.

    2000-11-01

    Influence of melanocytes in skin pigmentation is well documented, however its photo-protective role has given rise to controversy. The role of melanocytes have been investigated on reconstructed epidermis with 100 % of keratinocytes or 95 % of keratinocytes and 5 % of melanocytes. In a first time, the effect of an acute UVB dose has been studied on both reconstructed epidermis, next we have investigated UVA and UVA+B effects on these epidermis. Following irradiation, the presence of melanocytes in reconstructed epidermis protects against apoptosis without protecting significantly against DNA damage formation (CPD, 6-4PP) and protects against UV-induced unbalance of the SOD/catalase ratio (antioxidants enzymes). On the contrary, the presence of melanocytes in reconstructed epidermis amplifies lipids and proteins oxidations but seems to protect against DNA oxidations. Melanocytes differ from keratinocytes by their melanin content and their more important concentration in polyunsaturated fatty acids. To evaluate what is the part of melanin and the part of polyunsaturated fatty acids in epidermal UV responses, reconstructed epidermis with keratinocytes have been supplemented with polyunsaturated fatty acid. This study indicates that polyunsaturated fatty acids are responsible for lipids and proteins oxidations and that melanin protect against DNA oxidation induced by lipid peroxidation. All these studies demonstrate that, model of reconstructed epidermis and epidermis in-vivo have the same behaviour following UV irradiation. In the last part, sunscreens and antioxidants have been tested on reconstructed epidermis and have demonstrated that model of reconstructed epidermis is suitable for photo-protective molecules screening. (author)

  5. Raman af hvide pigmenter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reeler, Nini Elisabeth Abildgaard; Nielsen, Ole Faurskov; Sauer, Stephan P. A.

    2013-01-01

    Et samspil mellem kunst og kemi. I et samarbejde mellem Statens Museum for Kunst og Kemisk Institut på KU er Ramanspek-troskopi brugt til at definere sammensætningen af blandinger af blyhvidt og calcit i maleriers hvide pigmenter.......Et samspil mellem kunst og kemi. I et samarbejde mellem Statens Museum for Kunst og Kemisk Institut på KU er Ramanspek-troskopi brugt til at definere sammensætningen af blandinger af blyhvidt og calcit i maleriers hvide pigmenter....

  6. Effect of pigment concentration on fastness and color values of thermal and UV curable pigment printing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baysal, Gulcin; Kalav, Berdan; Karagüzel Kayaoğlu, Burçak

    2017-10-01

    In the current study, it is aimed to determine the effect of pigment concentration on fastness and colour values of thermal and ultraviolet (UV) curable pigment printing on synthetic leather. For this purpose, thermal curable solvent-based and UV curable water-based formulations were prepared with different pigment concentrations (3, 5 and 7%) separately and applied by screen printing technique using a screen printing machine. Samples printed with solvent-based formulations were thermally cured and samples printed with water-based formulations were cured using a UV curing machine equipped with gallium and mercury (Ga/Hg) lamps at room temperature. The crock fastness values of samples printed with solvent-based formulations showed that increase in pigment concentration was not effective on both dry and wet crock fastness values. On the other hand, in samples printed with UV curable water-based formulations, dry crock fastness was improved and evaluated as very good for all pigment concentrations. However, increasing the pigment concentration affected the wet crock fastness values adversely and lower values were observed. As the energy level increased for each irradiation source, the fastness values were improved. In comparison with samples printed with solvent-based formulations, samples printed with UV curable water-based formulations yielded higher K/S values at all pigment concentrations. The results suggested that, higher K/S values can be obtained in samples printed with UV curable water-based formulations at a lower pigment concentration compared to samples printed with solvent-based formulations.

  7. True bursal pigmented villonodular synovitis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdelwahab, Ibrahim Fikry; Kenan, Samuel; Steiner, German C.; Abdul-Quader, Mohammed

    2002-01-01

    We describe two cases of pigmented villonodular synovitis affecting true bursae. This study was also designed to discuss the term ''pigmented villonodular bursitis'', not confined to true synovial bursae, sometimes creating misunderstanding. (orig.)

  8. True bursal pigmented villonodular synovitis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abdelwahab, Ibrahim Fikry [Department of Radiology, New York Methodist Hospital, Affiliated with New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY (United States); Kenan, Samuel [Department of Orthopedics, New York University Medical Center, NY (United States); Steiner, German C. [Department of Pathology, Hospital for Joint Diseases/Orthopedic Institute, New York, NY (United States); Abdul-Quader, Mohammed [Department of Radiology, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University, New York, NY (United States)

    2002-06-01

    We describe two cases of pigmented villonodular synovitis affecting true bursae. This study was also designed to discuss the term ''pigmented villonodular bursitis'', not confined to true synovial bursae, sometimes creating misunderstanding. (orig.)

  9. Analysis on unevenness of skin color using the melanin and hemoglobin components separated by independent component analysis of skin color image

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojima, Nobutoshi; Fujiwara, Izumi; Inoue, Yayoi; Tsumura, Norimichi; Nakaguchi, Toshiya; Iwata, Kayoko

    2011-03-01

    Uneven distribution of skin color is one of the biggest concerns about facial skin appearance. Recently several techniques to analyze skin color have been introduced by separating skin color information into chromophore components, such as melanin and hemoglobin. However, there are not many reports on quantitative analysis of unevenness of skin color by considering type of chromophore, clusters of different sizes and concentration of the each chromophore. We propose a new image analysis and simulation method based on chromophore analysis and spatial frequency analysis. This method is mainly composed of three techniques: independent component analysis (ICA) to extract hemoglobin and melanin chromophores from a single skin color image, an image pyramid technique which decomposes each chromophore into multi-resolution images, which can be used for identifying different sizes of clusters or spatial frequencies, and analysis of the histogram obtained from each multi-resolution image to extract unevenness parameters. As the application of the method, we also introduce an image processing technique to change unevenness of melanin component. As the result, the method showed high capabilities to analyze unevenness of each skin chromophore: 1) Vague unevenness on skin could be discriminated from noticeable pigmentation such as freckles or acne. 2) By analyzing the unevenness parameters obtained from each multi-resolution image for Japanese ladies, agerelated changes were observed in the parameters of middle spatial frequency. 3) An image processing system modulating the parameters was proposed to change unevenness of skin images along the axis of the obtained age-related change in real time.

  10. Role of the Ubiquitin Proteasome System in Regulating Skin Pigmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hideya Ando

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Pigmentation of the skin, hair and eyes is regulated by tyrosinase, the critical rate-limiting enzyme in melanin synthesis by melanocytes. Tyrosinase is degraded endogenously, at least in part, by the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS. Several types of inherited hypopigmentary diseases, such as oculocutaneous albinism and Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome, involve the aberrant processing and/or trafficking of tyrosinase and its subsequent degradation which can occur due to the quality-control machinery. Studies on carbohydrate modifications have revealed that tyrosinase in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER is proteolyzed via ER-associated protein degradation and that tyrosinase degradation can also occur following its complete maturation in the Golgi. Among intrinsic factors that regulate the UPS, fatty acids have been shown to modulate tyrosinase degradation in contrasting manners through increased or decreased amounts of ubiquitinated tyrosinase that leads to its accelerated or decelerated degradation by proteasomes.

  11. Murine and human b locus pigmentation genes encode a glycoprotein (gp75) with catalase activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halaban, R.; Moellmann, G.

    1990-01-01

    Melanogenesis is regulated in large part by tyrosinase, and defective tyrosinase leads to albinism. The mechanisms for other pigmentation determinants (e.g., those operative in tyrosinase-positive albinism and in murine coat-color mutants) are not yet known. One murine pigmentation gene, the brown (b) locus, when mutated leads to a brown (b/b) or hypopigmentated (B lt /B lt ) coat versus the wild-type black (B/B). The authors show that the b locus codes for a glycoprotein with the activity of a catalase (catalase B). Only the c locus protein is a tyrosinase. Because peroxides may be by-products of melanogenic activity and hydrogen peroxide in particular is known to destroy melanin precursors and melanin, they conclude that pigmentation is controlled not only by tyrosinase but also by a hydroperoxidase. The studies indicate that catalase B is identical with gp75, a known human melanosomal glycoprotein; that the b mutation is in a heme-associated domain; and that the B lt mutation renders the protein susceptible to rapid proteolytic degradation

  12. Genetic monitoring of irradiated Drosophila populations treated with antimutagen melanine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mosseh, I.B.; Savchenko, V.K.; Lyakh, I.P.

    1986-01-01

    It was shown that viability of irradiated Drosophila is, on an average, lower than in intact populations. The fertility first decreases then increases exceeding the control level. Melanine added to the diet increases fertility and viability of both exposed and intact Drosophila populations

  13. Uncovering of melanin fluorescence in human skin tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholz, Matthias; Stankovic, Goran; Seewald, Gunter; Leupold, Dieter

    2007-07-01

    Due to its extremely low fluorescence quantum yield, in the conventionally (one-photon) excited autofluorescence of skin tissue, melanin fluorescence is masked by several other endogenous and possibly also exogenous fluorophores (e.g. NADH, FAD, Porphyrins). A first step to enhance the melanin contribution had been realized by two-photon fs-pulse excitation in the red/near IR, based on the fact that melanin can be excited by stepwise two-photon absorption, whereas all other fluorophores in this spectral region allow only simultaneous two-photon excitation. Now, the next and decisive step has been realized: Using an extremely sensitive detection system, for the first time twophoton fluorescence of skin tissue excited with pulses in the ns-range could be measured. The motivation for this step was based on the fact that the population density of the fluorescent level resulting from a stepwise excitation has a different dependence of the pulse duration than that from a simultaneous excitation (Δt2 vs. Δt). Due to this strong discrimination between the fluorophores, practically pure melanin fluorescence can be obtained. Examples for in-vivo, ex-vivo as well as paraffin embedded skin tissue will be shown. The content of information with respect to early diagnosis of skin deseases will be discussed.

  14. Modelling and verification of melanin concentration on human skin type

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Karsten, AE

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Lasers are used in the minimalistic or noninvasive diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders. Less laser light reaches the deeper skin layers in dark skin types, due to its higher epidermal melanin concentration compared with lighter skin. Laser...

  15. Ions doped melanin nanoparticle as a multiple imaging agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Shin-Woo; Cho, Hee-Sang; Yoon, Young Il; Jang, Moon-Sun; Hong, Kwan Soo; Hui, Emmanuel; Lee, Jung Hee; Yoon, Tae-Jong

    2017-10-10

    Multimodal nanomaterials are useful for providing enhanced diagnostic information simultaneously for a variety of in vivo imaging methods. According to our research findings, these multimodal nanomaterials offer promising applications for cancer therapy. Melanin nanoparticles can be used as a platform imaging material and they can be simply produced by complexation with various imaging active ions. They are capable of specifically targeting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-expressing cancer cells by being anchored with a specific antibody. Ion-doped melanin nanoparticles were found to have high bioavailability with long-term stability in solution, without any cytotoxicity in both in vitro and in vivo systems. By combining different imaging modalities with melanin particles, we can use the complexes to obtain faster diagnoses by computed tomography deep-body imaging and greater detailed pathological diagnostic information by magnetic resonance imaging. The ion-doped melanin nanoparticles also have applications for radio-diagnostic treatment and radio imaging-guided surgery, warranting further proof of concept experimental.

  16. Predicting human epidermal melanin concentrations for different skin tones

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Smit, Jacoba E

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available from the Realistic Skin Model (RSM) part of the ASAP® software from Breault Research. Skin-like phantoms were prepared by adding Intralipid (20% fat emulsion) to samples of increasing melanin concentration at pH ~ 7. UV-VIS transmittance spectra...

  17. Phototrophic pigment production with microalgae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulders, K.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract

    Microalgal pigments are regarded as natural alternatives for food colorants. To facilitate optimization of microalgae-based pigment production, this thesis aimed to obtain key insights in the pigment metabolism of phototrophic microalgae, with the main focus on secondary

  18. Phototrophic pigment production with microalgae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulders, K.J.M.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract

    Microalgal pigments are regarded as natural alternatives for food colorants. To facilitate optimization of microalgae-based pigment production, this thesis aimed to obtain key insights in the pigment metabolism of phototrophic microalgae, with the main  focus

  19. Red blood cell membrane-camouflaged melanin nanoparticles for enhanced photothermal therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Qin; Luo, Zimiao; Men, Yongzhi; Yang, Peng; Peng, Haibao; Guo, Ranran; Tian, Ye; Pang, Zhiqing; Yang, Wuli

    2017-10-01

    Photothermal therapy (PTT) has represented a promising noninvasive approach for cancer treatment in recent years. However, there still remain challenges in developing non-toxic and biodegradable biomaterials with high photothermal efficiency in vivo. Herein, we explored natural melanin nanoparticles extracted from living cuttlefish as effective photothermal agents and developed red blood cell (RBC) membrane-camouflaged melanin (Melanin@RBC) nanoparticles as a platform for in vivo antitumor PTT. The as-obtained natural melanin nanoparticles demonstrated strong absorption at NIR region, higher photothermal conversion efficiency (∼40%) than synthesized melanin-like polydopamine nanoparticles (∼29%), as well as favorable biocompatibility and biodegradability. It was shown that RBC membrane coating on melanin nanoparticles retained their excellent photothermal property, enhanced their blood retention and effectively improved their accumulation at tumor sites. With the guidance of their inherited photoacoustic imaging capability, optimal accumulation of Melanin@RBC at tumors was achieved around 4 h post intravenous injection. Upon irradiation by an 808-nm laser, the developed Melanin@RBC nanoparticles exhibited significantly higher PTT efficacy than that of bare melanin nanoparticles in A549 tumor-bearing mice. Given that both melanin nanoparticles and RBC membrane are native biomaterials, the developed Melanin@RBC platform could have great potential in clinics for anticancer PTT. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A Preliminary Study on the Pattern, the Physiological Bases and the Molecular Mechanism of the Adductor Muscle Scar Pigmentation in Pacific Oyster Crassostrea gigas

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    Wenchao Yu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The melanin pigmentation of the adductor muscle scar and the outer surface of the shell are among attractive features and their pigmentation patterns and mechanism still remains unknown in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas. To study these pigmentation patterns, the colors of the adductor muscle scar vs. the outer surface of the shell on the same side were compared. No relevance was found between the colors of the adductor muscle scars and the corresponding outer surface of the shells, suggesting that their pigmentation processes were independent. Interestingly, a relationship between the color of the adductor muscle scars and the dried soft-body weight of Pacific oysters was found, which could be explained by the high hydroxyl free radical scavenging capacity of the muscle attached to the black adductor muscle scar. After the transcriptomes of pigmented and unpigmented adductor muscles and mantles were studied by RNAseq and compared, it was found that the retinol metabolism pathway were likely to be involved in melanin deposition on the adductor muscle scar and the outer surface of the shell, and that the different members of the tyrosinase or Cytochrome P450 gene families could play a role in the independent pigmentation of different organs.

  1. Scavenging or Quenching Effect of Melanin on Superoxide Anion and Singlet Oxygen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tada, Mika; Kohno, Masahiro; Niwano, Yoshimi

    2010-01-01

    Although photoprotective properties of skin melanin have been well documented, a few studies on the effect of melanin on reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation have been reported. To study the interaction of melanin with ROS, scavenging or quenching effect of melanin on O2•− and 1O2 was examined by electron spin resonance (ESR)-spin trapping methods and a spectrophotometric method, respectively. Melanin potently interacted with O2•− generated in a hypoxanthine (HPX)-xanthine oxidase (XOD) reaction, and with 1O2 generated from a peroxidase, H2O2, and halide system. In the HPX-XOD reaction, it was proved that melanin doses not interfere with the enzyme reaction. It is confirmed that one of the mechanisms by which melanin protects UV-induced skin damage is likely scavenging or quenching activity against ROS such as O2•− and 1O2. PMID:20490317

  2. Dynamic thermal effects of epidermal melanin and plasmonic nanoparticles during photoacoustic breast imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghassemi, Pejhman; Wang, Quanzeng; Pfefer, T. Joshua

    2016-03-01

    Photoacoustic Tomography (PAT) employs high-power near-infrared (near-IR) laser pulses to generate structural and functional information on tissue chromophores up to several centimeters below the surface. Such insights may facilitate detection of breast cancer - the most common cancer in women. PAT mammography has been the subject of extensive research, including techniques based on exogenous agents for PAT contrast enhancement and molecular specificity. However, photothermal safety risks of PAT due to strong chromophores such as epidermal melanin and plasmonic nanoparticles have not been rigorously studied. We have used computational and experimental approaches to elucidate highly dynamic optical-thermal processes during PAT. A Monte Carlo model was used to simulate light propagation at 800 and 1064 nm in a multi-layer breast tissue geometry with different epidermal pigmentation levels and a tumorsimulating inclusion incorporating nanoparticles. Energy deposition results were then used in a bioheat transfer model to simulate temperature transients. Experimental measurements involved multi-layer hydrogel phantoms with inclusions incorporating gold nanoparticles. Phantom optical properties were measured using the inverse adding-doubling technique. Thermal imaging was performed as phantoms were irradiated with 5 ns near-IR pulses. Scenarios using 10 Hz laser irradiation of breast tissue containing various nanoparticle concentrations were implemented experimentally and computationally. Laser exposure levels were based on ANSI/IEC limits. Surface temperature measurements were compared to corresponding simulation data. In general, the effect of highly pigmented skin on temperature rise was significant, whereas unexpectedly small levels of temperature rise during nanoparticle irradiation were attributed to rapid photodegradation. Results provide key initial insights into light-tissue interactions impacting the safety and effectiveness of PAT.

  3. Oxidation levels differentially impact melanocytes: low versus high concentration of hydrogen peroxide promotes melanin synthesis and melanosome transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Luyan; Li, Jian; Lin, Xiao; Wu, Wenyu; Kang, Kefei; Fu, Wenwen

    2012-01-01

    UVB light can generate potentially harmful hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) in vivo, but it can also promote the beneficial proliferation and migration of melanocytes. The successful use of UVB monotherapy for treatment of vitiligo suggests that H(2)O(2) may have a biphasic effect on melanin synthesis and melanosome transfer. To study the beneficial role of H(2)O(2) on melanogenesis and melanosome transport in living melanocytes and keratinocytes. A co-culture system model was constructed using the primary human melanocytes and keratinocytes. The MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay was used to determine cell proliferation, NaOH was used to determine the melanin content, and real-time PCR was used to determine tyrosinase expression. Western blot was used to determine Rab-27A and protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR-2) expression. This study demonstrated that tyrosinase was activated by low concentrations of H(2)O(2) (≤0.3 mM); however, this activity was downregulated by high concentrations of H(2)O(2) (>0.3 mM). Activation of high levels of melanin synthesis was induced when cells were treated with low concentrations of H(2)O(2) (0.3 mM). Further observation using an in vitro co-culture system of fluorescein (carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester, CFDA-SE)-labeled melanocytes and keratinocytes indicated that melanosome transfer occurred in normal human epidermal melanocytes. Fluorescence microscopy revealed increased melanosome transfer into keratinocytes treated with 0.3 mM H(2)O(2) in the co-culture compared to the control. Examination of melanosomes in the keratinocytes by flow cytometry confirmed these results. Furthermore, treatment with H(2)O(2) (0.3 mM) upregulated the expression of Rab-27A and PAR-2, significant proteins involved in melanosome transfer, according to Western blot. These results confirmed that low concentration levels of H(2)O(2) play a major role in the regulation of human pigmentation by increasing

  4. Towards the development of a novel bioinspired functional material: Synthesis and characterization of hybrid TiO{sub 2}/DHICA-melanin nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pezzella, Alessandro; Capelli, Luigia [Dept. of Chemical Sciences, Via Cintia 4, 80126 Napoli (Italy); Costantini, Aniello [Dept. of Materials and Production Engineering, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Napoli (Italy); Luciani, Giuseppina, E-mail: luciani@unina.it [Dept. of Materials and Production Engineering, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Napoli (Italy); Tescione, Fabiana; Silvestri, Brigida [Dept. of Materials and Production Engineering, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Napoli (Italy); Vitiello, Giuseppe [Dept. of Chemical Sciences, Via Cintia 4, 80126 Napoli (Italy); Branda, Francesco [Dept. of Materials and Production Engineering, Piazzale Tecchio 80, 80125 Napoli (Italy)

    2013-01-01

    A large number of recent literature data focus on modification/modulation of surface chemistry of inorganic materials in order to improve their functional properties. Melanins, a wide class of natural pigments, are recently emerging as a powerful organic component for developing bioinspired active material for a large number of applications from organoelectronics to bioactive compounds. Here we report the use of the approach referred as 'chimie douce', involving in situ formation of the hybrids through reactions of precursors under mild conditions, to prepare novel hybrid functional architectures based on eumelanin like 5,6 dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid (DHICA) polymer and TiO{sub 2}. Two synthesis procedures were carried out to get DHICA-melanin coated TiO{sub 2} nanoparticles as well as mixed DHICA/TiO{sub 2} hybrid nanostructures. Such systems were characterized through EPR, FT-IR and fluorescence spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and TEM microscopy in order to assess the effect of synthesis path as well as of DHICA content on structural, morphological and optical properties of TiO{sub 2} nanostructures. In particular, EPR, FT-IR spectra and TGA analysis confirmed the presence of DHICA-melanin in these samples. TEM measurements indicated the formation of the nanoparticles having relatively narrow size distribution with average particle size of about 10 nm. DHICA-melanin does act as a morphological agent affecting morphology of hybrid nanostructures. XRD analysis proved that TiO{sub 2} hybrid nanoparticles kept anatase structures for DHICA-melanin contents within the range of investigated compositions, i.e. up to 50% wt/wt. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer TiO{sub 2}/DHICA melanin blends are novel hybrid functional architectures. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Two synthetic approaches were explored to produce TiO{sub 2}/DHICA nanostructures. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer TiO{sub 2} nanorods prepared

  5. HIV-Associated Oral Mucosal Melanin Hyperpigmentation: A Clinical Study in a South African Population Sample

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Chandran

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of HIV-associated oral mucosal melanin hyperpigmentation (HIV-OMH in a specific population of HIV-seropositive South Africans and to analyse the associations between HIV-OMH clinical features and the demographic and immunological characteristics of the study cohort. Material and Methods. This cross-sectional study included 200 HIV-seropositive Black subjects. The collected data comprised age, gender, CD4+ T cell count, viral load, systemic disease, medications, oral site affected by HIV-OMH, extent (localized or generalized, intensity of the pigmentation (dark or light, and smoking and snuff use. Results. Overall, 18.5% of the study cohort had HIV-OMH. Twenty-two and a half percent had OMH that could not with confidence be attributed to HIV infection, and 59% did not have any OMH. There was a significant but weak association between smoking and the presence of HIV-OMH. Conclusions. The prevalence of HIV-OMH in the study population was 18.5%, the gingiva being the most commonly affected site. It appears that the CD4+ T cell count does not play any role in the biopathology of HIV-OMH.

  6. Effects of a turmeric extract (Curcuma longa) on chronic ultraviolet B irradiation-induced skin damage in melanin-possessing hairless mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumiyoshi, Maho; Kimura, Yoshiyuki

    2009-12-01

    Turmeric (the rhizomes of Curcuma longa L., Zingiberacease) is widely used as a dietary pigment and spice, and has been traditionally used for the treatment of inflammation, skin wounds and hepatic disorders in Ayurvedic, Unani and Chinese medicine. Although the topical application or oral administration of turmeric is used to improve skin trouble, there is no evidence to support this effect. The aim of this study was to clarify whether turmeric prevents chronic ultraviolet B (UVB)-irradiated skin damage. We examined the effects of a turmeric extract on skin damage including changes in skin thickness and elasticity, pigmentation and wrinkling caused by long-term, low-dose ultraviolet B irradiation in melanin-possessing hairless mice. The extract (at 300 or 1000 mg/kg, twice daily) prevented an increase in skin thickness and a reduction in skin elasticity induced by chronic UVB exposure. It also prevented the formation of wrinkles and melanin (at 1000 mg/kg, twice daily) as well as increases in the diameter and length of skin blood vessels and in the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2). Prevention of UVB-induced skin aging by turmeric may be due to the inhibition of increases in MMP-2 expression caused by chronic irradiation.

  7. Comparative study on the incidence and outcomes of pigmented versus non pigmented keratomycosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabyasachi Sengupta

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To determine the incidence, outcomes and establish factors determining visual prognosis of keratomycosis due to pigmented fungi in comparison with nonpigmented fungi. Materials and Methods: All culture-proven cases of fungal keratitis from January 2006 to August 2008 were drawn from a computerized database and cases with adequate documentation were analyzed for predisposing factors, clinical characteristics, microbiology and treatment methods. Outcomes of keratitis due to pigmented and nonpigmented fungi were compared using t-test and χ2 test. Results: Of 373 cases of keratomycosis during the study period, pigmented fungi were etiological agents in 117 eyes (31.3% and nonpigmented fungi in 256 eyes (68.7%. Eyes with nonpigmented keratitis had significantly larger ulcers (14.96 mm 2 and poorer vision (1.42 logMAR at presentation compared to those with keratomycosis due to pigmented fungi (P=0.01. The characteristic macroscopic pigmentation was seen in only 14.5% in the pigmented keratitis group. Both groups responded favorably to medical therapy (78.1% vs. 69.1% with scar formation (P=0.32 and showed a significant improvement in mean visual acuity compared with that at presentation (P<0.01. Visual improvement in terms of line gainers and losers in the subgroup of eyes that experienced healing was also similar. Location of the ulcer was the only factor that had significant predictive value for visual outcome (P=0.021. Conclusion: Incidence of keratomycosis due to pigmented fungi may be increasing as compared to previous data. These eyes have similar response to medical therapy and similar visual outcome compared to nonpigmented keratitis. Central ulcers have a poor visual outcome.

  8. The Relationship of Brimonidine Concentration in Vitreous Body to the Free Concentration in Retina/Choroid Following Topical Administration in Pigmented Rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinno, Keisuke; Kurokawa, Kazuya; Kozai, Seiko; Kawamura, Akio; Inada, Katsuhiro; Tokushige, Hideki

    2017-05-01

    Several studies showed that repeated topical administration of brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solution reached the human vitreous concentration above 2 nM, which is the concentration necessary to activate the α 2 -adrenergic receptor. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the relationship of the brimonidine concentration in the vitreous body to the free concentration in the retina/choroid which is the target site of brimonidine on neuroprotective effect after topical administration. Brimonidine concentrations in the eye tissues of pigmented rabbits were determined following single ocular administration of 0.1% brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solution at pH 7.3. Binding affinity of brimonidine to melanin and melanin content in the retina/choroid of pigmented rabbits was also examined. The concentration of free brimonidine which did not bind to melanin in the retina/choroid was calculated using the binding parameters to melanin. Topically applied brimonidine rapidly distributed to intraocular tissues. The elimination rate from melanin-containing tissues such as the iris/ciliary body and retina/choroid was slower than the aqueous humor and vitreous body in pigmented rabbits. In both the anterior and posterior retina/choroid, the free brimonidine concentrations were over 100-fold lower than the total concentrations. The concentrations in the vitreous body closely matched to the free concentrations in the posterior retina/choroid. Simulated free concentrations in the posterior retina/choroid were gradually increased when 0.1% solution was instilled twice daily. The present data indicated that the brimonidine concentration in the vitreous body was comparable to the free concentration in the posterior retina/choroid. This suggests that the vitreous concentration can be a surrogate indicator of the free brimonidine concentration in the posterior retina/choroid. From the present findings, it is expected that multiple instillation of brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic

  9. Pigmentos maculares Macular pigments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Canovas

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available A luteína e a zeaxantina são pigmentos amarelos que se localizam na mácula. Devido à sua localização, diminuem e filtram a quantidade de luz principalmente azul que chega aos fotorreceptores, atuam como antioxidantes e podem melhorar a qualidade visual. Esta é uma revisão do seu mecanismo de incorporação, ação, possíveis aplicações e conhecimento científico a respeito.Lutein and Zeaxanthin are yellow pigments located at the macula. Because of your location macular pigments decrease and filter the amount of blue light that reach photoreceptors, protect the outer retina from oxidative stress and may improve the vision quality. This is a review regarding incorporation mechanism, function and knowledge update.

  10. Retinal pigment epithelial integrity is compromised in the developing albino mouse retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwai-Takekoshi, Lena; Ramos, Anna; Schaler, Ari; Weinreb, Samuel; Blazeski, Richard; Mason, Carol

    2016-12-15

    In the developing murine eye, melanin synthesis in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) coincides with neurogenesis of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Disruption of pigmentation in the albino RPE is associated with delayed neurogenesis in the ventrotemporal retina, the source of ipsilateral RGCs, and a reduced ipsilateral RGC projection. To begin to unravel how melanogenesis and the RPE regulate RGC neurogenesis and cell subpopulation specification, we compared the features of albino and pigmented mouse RPE cells during the period of RGC neurogenesis (embryonic day, E, 12.5 to 18.5) when the RPE is closely apposed to developing RGC precursors. At E12.5 and E15.5, although albino and pigmented RPE cells express RPE markers Otx2 and Mitf similarly, albino RPE cells are irregularly shaped and have fewer melanosomes compared with pigmented RPE cells. The adherens junction protein P-cadherin appears loosely distributed within the albino RPE cells rather than tightly localized on the cell membrane, as in pigmented RPE. Connexin 43 (gap junction protein) is expressed in pigmented and albino RPE cells at E13.5 but at E15.5 albino RPE cells have fewer small connexin 43 puncta, and a larger fraction of phosphorylated connexin 43 at serine 368. These results suggest that the lack of pigment in the RPE results in impaired RPE cell integrity and communication via gap junctions between RPE and neural retina during RGC neurogenesis. Our findings should pave the way for further investigation of the role of RPE in regulating RGC development toward achieving proper RGC axon decussation. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3696-3716, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Uptake of 3H-cAMP by retinal pigment epithelium isolated from bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moredock Steve

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In bluegill sunfish, the melanin-containing pigment granules of the retinal pigment epithelium undergo cyclic movements in response both to ambient lighting and circadian cues. Pigment granules aggregate into the cell body at night (in the dark, and disperse into apical processes during the day (in the light. Regulation of pigment granule aggregation in a number of fishes depends on modulating the intracellular levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphate. Results Here we show isolated RPE takes up cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP in a saturable manner, exogenously applied cAMP induces pigment granule aggregation in retinal pigment epithelium isolated from bluegill, and aggregation induced in this manner is inhibited by treatment with probenecid, an organic anion transport inhibitor. Conclusion Our results raise the possibility that cAMP functions as a messenger secreted from the neural retina to signal darkness to the RPE, which takes it up. It further suggests that organic anion transport systems are the route by which cAMP crosses RPE cell membranes since probenecid inhibits extracellular cAMP from causing pigment granule aggregation.

  12. Gene expression analysis of zebrafish melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium reveals indicators of biological function and developmental origin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles W Higdon

    Full Text Available In order to facilitate understanding of pigment cell biology, we developed a method to concomitantly purify melanocytes, iridophores, and retinal pigmented epithelium from zebrafish, and analyzed their transcriptomes. Comparing expression data from these cell types and whole embryos allowed us to reveal gene expression co-enrichment in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, as well as in melanocytes and iridophores. We found 214 genes co-enriched in melanocytes and retinal pigmented epithelium, indicating the shared functions of melanin-producing cells. We found 62 genes significantly co-enriched in melanocytes and iridophores, illustrative of their shared developmental origins from the neural crest. This is also the first analysis of the iridophore transcriptome. Gene expression analysis for iridophores revealed extensive enrichment of specific enzymes to coordinate production of their guanine-based reflective pigment. We speculate the coordinated upregulation of specific enzymes from several metabolic pathways recycles the rate-limiting substrate for purine synthesis, phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate, thus constituting a guanine cycle. The purification procedure and expression analysis described here, along with the accompanying transcriptome-wide expression data, provide the first mRNA sequencing data for multiple purified zebrafish pigment cell types, and will be a useful resource for further studies of pigment cell biology.

  13. Human pigmentation: A side effect adapted from a primitive organism′s survival, acting through cell attachment with an affinity for the keratinocyte and for elastin: Part I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanju Arianayagam

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Pigmentation featured millions of years ago and perhaps began with an amoeba frightening off a predator with some agent such as dopamine to prevent its attachment for phagocytosis by an enemy. This paper suggests that the environmental forces of grip and stick deserve greater emphasis and that mechanical forces involved in grip and stick or release from attachment, all point to control of proteases underlying pigmentation. There is an affinity for elastin as a pathway for melanin to exit its peripheral location in the epidermis into lymphatics and play a humeral role in defense mechanisms. The hair follicle follows the epidermal-dermal pattern of behavior with an affinity for elastin, a controlling function of melanin and through the bulge, an influence of mechanical forces and control by protease inhibitors.

  14. The effect of melanin on the bystander effect in human keratinocytes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mosse, I. [Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the National Academy of Sciences, Academicheskaya Str. 27, Minsk (Belarus)]. E-mail: i.mosse@igc.bas-net.by; Marozik, P. [Institute of Genetics and Cytology of the National Academy of Sciences, Academicheskaya Str. 27, Minsk (Belarus); Radiation and Environmental Science Centre, DIT, Dublin 8 (Ireland); Seymour, C. [Department of Medical Physics and Applied Radiation Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont. (Canada); Mothersill, C. [Department of Medical Physics and Applied Radiation Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont. (Canada)

    2006-05-11

    The influence of melanin on radiation-induced bystander effects has been studied. Melanin is known to be a natural substance with proved radioprotective properties in different organisms and cell lines. It is non-toxic and is effective against acute and chronic irradiation. The lower the radiation dose, the higher the relative impact of melanin protection. In this study influence of melanin on human keratinocytes (HPV-G cells) has been studied using the colony-forming assay. We have shown that bystander donor medium from 0.5 Gy irradiated cells when transferred to unirradiated cells, caused almost the same effect as direct irradiation. Melanin increased the colony-forming ability of bystander recipient cells when it was added into culture medium before irradiation. The effect of melanin added after irradiation was to produce less protection in both the directly irradiated and bystander medium treated groups. The absorption spectrum of the filtered medium is identical to one of the intact culture medium showing that melanin was not present in filtered medium. Thus, it cannot protect recipient cells but reduces the amount of the bystander effect. It is concluded that melanin added before irradiation effectively decreased the radiation dose. The reduction of the impact of the bystander signal on recipient cells when melanin was added to the donor medium after harvest but before filtration, may mean that the bystander signal has a physical component as melanin can absorb all types of physical energy.

  15. SOX9 is a key player in ultraviolet B-induced melanocyte differentiation and pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passeron, Thierry; Valencia, Julio C; Bertolotto, Corine; Hoashi, Toshihiko; Le Pape, Elodie; Takahashi, Kaoruko; Ballotti, Robert; Hearing, Vincent J

    2007-08-28

    SOX (SRY type HMG box) proteins are transcription factors that are predominantly known for their roles during development. During melanocyte development from the neural crest, SOX10 regulates microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, which controls a set of genes critical for pigment cell development and pigmentation, including dopachrome tautomerase and tyrosinase. We report here that another SOX factor, SOX9, is expressed by melanocytes in neonatal and adult human skin and is up-regulated by UVB exposure. We demonstrate that this regulation is mediated by cAMP and protein kinase. We also show that agouti signal protein, a secreted factor known to decrease pigmentation, down-regulates SOX9 expression. In adult and neonatal melanocytes, SOX9 regulates microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, dopachrome tautomerase, and tyrosinase promoters, leading to an increase in the expression of these key melanogenic proteins and finally to a stimulation of pigmentation. SOX9 completes the complex and tightly regulated process leading to the production of melanin by acting at a very upstream level. This role of SOX9 in pigmentation emphasizes the poorly understood impact of SOX proteins in adult tissues.

  16. Mimicry's palette: widespread use of conserved pigments in the aposematic signals of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, David W; Seymoure, Brett M; Pfennig, David W

    2014-03-01

    Mimicry, where one species resembles another species because of the selective benefits of sharing a common signal, is especially common in snakes. Snakes might be particularly prone to evolving mimicry if all species share some of the same proximate mechanisms that can be used to produce aposematic/mimetic signals. We evaluated this possibility by examining color pigments in 11 species of snakes from four different families, three species of which participate in a coral snake mimicry complex involving convergence in coloration. We found that all 11 species used combinations of two pteridine pigments and melanin in their coloration, regardless of whether or not they were mimics. Furthermore, the presence or absence of red pteridines was strongly correlated with the relative excitation of medium- and long-wavelength photoreceptors in birds, thereby linking shared pigmentation to perception of those pigments by likely agents of selection. Thus, precise color mimicry might be relatively easy to evolve among snakes owing to symplesiomorphies in pigmentation. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Melanin and Melanin-Related Polymers as Materials with Biomedical and Biotechnological Applications-Cuttlefish Ink and Mussel Foot Proteins as Inspired Biomolecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solano, Francisco

    2017-07-18

    The huge development of bioengineering during the last years has boosted the search for new bioinspired materials, with tunable chemical, mechanical, and optoelectronic properties for the design of semiconductors, batteries, biosensors, imaging and therapy probes, adhesive hydrogels, tissue restoration, photoprotectors, etc. These new materials should complement or replace metallic or organic polymers that cause cytotoxicity and some adverse health effects. One of the most interesting biomaterials is melanin and synthetic melanin-related molecules. Melanin has a controversial molecular structure, dependent on the conditions of polymerization, and therefore tunable. It is found in animal hair and skin, although one of the common sources is cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) ink. On the other hand, mussels synthesize adhesive proteins to anchor these marine animals to wet surfaces. Both melanin and mussel foot proteins contain a high number of catecholic residues, and their properties are related to these groups. Dopamine (DA) can easily polymerize to get polydopamine melanin (PDAM), that somehow shares properties with melanin and mussel proteins. Furthermore, PDAM can easily be conjugated with other components. This review accounts for the main aspects of melanin, as well as DA-based melanin-like materials, related to their biomedical and biotechnological applications.

  18. Melanin and Melanin-Related Polymers as Materials with Biomedical and Biotechnological Applications—Cuttlefish Ink and Mussel Foot Proteins as Inspired Biomolecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Solano

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The huge development of bioengineering during the last years has boosted the search for new bioinspired materials, with tunable chemical, mechanical, and optoelectronic properties for the design of semiconductors, batteries, biosensors, imaging and therapy probes, adhesive hydrogels, tissue restoration, photoprotectors, etc. These new materials should complement or replace metallic or organic polymers that cause cytotoxicity and some adverse health effects. One of the most interesting biomaterials is melanin and synthetic melanin-related molecules. Melanin has a controversial molecular structure, dependent on the conditions of polymerization, and therefore tunable. It is found in animal hair and skin, although one of the common sources is cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis ink. On the other hand, mussels synthesize adhesive proteins to anchor these marine animals to wet surfaces. Both melanin and mussel foot proteins contain a high number of catecholic residues, and their properties are related to these groups. Dopamine (DA can easily polymerize to get polydopamine melanin (PDAM, that somehow shares properties with melanin and mussel proteins. Furthermore, PDAM can easily be conjugated with other components. This review accounts for the main aspects of melanin, as well as DA-based melanin-like materials, related to their biomedical and biotechnological applications.

  19. Structure and Function of Iron-Loaded Synthetic Melanin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Yiwen; Xie, Yijun; Wang, Zhao; Zang, Nanzhi; Carniato, Fabio; Huang, Yuran; Andolina, Christopher M.; Parent, Lucas R.; Ditri, Treffly B.; Walter, Eric D.; Botta, Mauro; Rinehart, Jeffrey D.; Gianneschi, Nathan C.

    2016-11-22

    We describe a synthetic method for increasing and controlling the iron loading of synthetic melanin nanoparticles and use the resulting materials to perform a systematic quantitative investigation on their structure- property relationship. A comprehensive analysis by magnetometry, electron paramagnetic resonance, and nuclear magnetic relaxation dispersion reveals the complexities of their magnetic behavior and how these intraparticle magnetic interactions manifest in useful material properties such as their performance as MRI contrast agents. This analysis allows predictions of the optimal iron loading through a quantitative modeling of antiferromagnetic coupling that arises from proximal iron ions. This study provides a detailed understanding of this complex class of synthetic biomaterials and gives insight into interactions and structures prevalent in naturally occurring melanins.

  20. Spectrophotometer is useful for assessing vitiligo and chemical leukoderma severity by quantifying color difference with surrounding normally pigmented skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, M; Okamura, K; Araki, Y; Suzuki, M; Tanaka, T; Abe, Y; Nakano, S; Yoshizawa, J; Hozumi, Y; Inoie, M; Suzuki, T

    2017-10-22

    Acquired skin hypopigmentation has many etiologies, including autoimmune melanocyte destruction, skin aging, inflammation, and chemical exposure. Distinguishing lesions from normally pigmented skin is clinically important to precisely assess disease severity. However, no gold standard assessment method has been reported. We aimed to investigate whether spectrophotometers are useful for assessing vitiligo and rhododendrol (4-(4-hydroxyphenol)-2-butanol) (Rhododenol ® )-induced leukoderma disease severity by quantifying skin color. Mexameter ® MX18 and CM-700d spectrophotometer were used for assessing vitiligo/leukoderma by measuring melanin index, L*a*b* color space, and ΔE*ab value, which represents the color difference between two subjects and is calculated by the values of L*a*b*. MX18 and CM-700d can quantitatively distinguish vitiligo/leukoderma from normally pigmented skin based on melanin index. CM-700d consistently quantified the color of vitiligo/leukoderma lesions and surrounding normally pigmented skin in L*a*b* color spaces and ΔE*ab. ΔE*ab is well correlated with melanin index and clinical appearance. ΔE*ab has been frequently used in aesthetic dentistry; however, current study is the first to use it in the measurement of skin color. ΔE*ab seems to be a useful parameter to evaluate the color contrast between vitiligo/leukoderma and surrounding normally pigmented skin and can be used to evaluate disease severity and patient's quality of life. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Synthesis of chromium containing pigments from chromium galvanic sludges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andreola, F.; Barbieri, L.; Bondioli, F.; Cannio, M.; Ferrari, A.M.; Lancellotti, I.

    2008-01-01

    In this work the screening results of the scientific activity conducted on laboratory scale to valorise chromium(III) contained in the galvanic sludge as chromium precursor for ceramic pigments are reported. The valorisation of this waste as a secondary raw material (SRM) is obtained by achievement of thermal and chemical stable crystal structures able to color ceramic material. Two different pigments pink CaCr 0.04 Sn 0.97 SiO 5 and green Ca 3 Cr 2 (SiO 4 ) 3 were synthesized by solid-state reactions using dried Cr sludge as chromium oxide precursor. The obtained pigments were characterized by X-ray diffraction and SEM analysis. Furthermore the color developed in a suitable ceramic glaze was investigated in comparison with the color developed by the pigments prepared from pure Cr 2 O 3 . The characterization carried out corroborates the thermal and chemical stability of the synthesized pigments and, especially for the Cr-Sn pink pigment, the powders develop an intense color that is very similar to the color developed by the pigments obtained starting from pure Cr 2 O 3

  2. Down-regulated PAR-2 is associated in part with interrupted melanosome transfer in pigmented basal cell epithelioma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakuraba, Kazuko; Hayashi, Nobukazu; Kawashima, Makoto; Imokawa, Genji

    2004-08-01

    In pigmented basal cell epithelioma (BCE), there seems to be an abnormal transfer of melanized melanosomes from proliferating melanocytes to basaloid tumor cells. In this study, the interruption of that melanosome transfer was studied with special respect to the altered function of a phagocytic receptor, protease-activated receptor (PAR)-2 in the basaloid tumor cells. We used electron microscopy to clarify the disrupted transfer at the ultrastructural level and then performed immunohistochemistry and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to examine the regulation of a phagocytic receptor, PAR-2, expressed on basaloid tumor cells. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that basaloid tumor cells of pigmented BCE have a significantly lower population of melanosomes ( approximately 16.4%) than do normal keratinocytes located in the perilesional normal epidermis ( approximately 91.0%). In contrast, in pigmented seborrheic keratosis (SK), a similarly pigmented epidermal tumor, the distribution of melanin granules does not differ between the lesional ( approximately 93.9%) and the perilesional normal epidermis ( approximately 92.2 %), indicating that interrupted melanosome transfer occurs in BCE but not in all pigmented epithelial tumors. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that the expression of PAR-2 mRNA transcripts in basaloid cells is significantly decreased in pigmented BCE compared with the perilesional normal epidermis. In contrast, in pigmented SK, where melanosome transfer to basaloid tumor cells is not interrupted, the expression of PAR-2 mRNA transcripts is comparable between the basaloid tumor cells and the perilesional normal epidermis. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that basaloid cells in pigmented BCE have less immunostaining for PAR-2 than do keratinocytes in the perilesional normal epidermis whereas in pigmented SK, there is no difference in immunostaining for PAR-2 between the basaloid tumor and the perilesional normal epidermis. These

  3. Insolubilization of Chestnut Shell Pigment for Cu(II Adsorption from Water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeng-Yu Yao

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Chestnut shell pigment (CSP is melanin from an agricultural waste. It has potential as an adsorbent for wastewater treatment but cannot be used in its original state because of its solubility in water. We developed a new method to convert CSP to insolubilized chestnut shell pigment (ICSP by heating, and the Cu(II adsorption performance of ICSP was evaluated. The conversion was characterized, and the thermal treatment caused dehydration and loss of carboxyl groups and aliphatic structures in CSP. The kinetic adsorption behavior obeyed the pseudo-second-order rate law, and the equilibrium adsorption data were well described with both the Langmuir and the Freundlich isotherms. ICSP can be used as a renewable, readily-available, easily-producible, environmentally-friendly, inexpensive and effective adsorbent to remove heavy-metal from aquatic environments.

  4. Evidence of macular pigment in the central macula in albinism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfson, Yulia; Fletcher, Emily; Strauss, Rupert W; Scholl, Hendrik P N

    2016-04-01

    Albinism represents a spectrum of disorders with diminished to absent amounts of melanin pigmentation including the posterior segment of the eye. Macular pigment (MP) consists of two main carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, concentrated in the macula. MP serves as blue light absorbent, antioxidant, and may reduce chromatic aberration and glare. It remains unclear if albinos have detectable MP. The purpose was to investigate the distribution of MP in albino patients with psychophysical and imaging techniques. MP was measured at the eccentricity of 0.5° by heterochromatic flicker perimetry (QuantifEye(®); Tinsley Precision Instruments Ltd.) or by scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (MPOD module, MultiColor Spectralis(®), Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany) in four albino patients, who were also investigated with multimodal ophthalmic imaging. Visual acuity ranged from 20/32 to 20/125, nystagmus was present in three patients, and all patients showed typical foveal hypoplasia on fundus exam and optical coherence tomography. Fundus autofluorescence (FAF) demonstrated various degrees of central FAF signal attenuation. Genetic testing was available in three patients and confirmed the diagnosis. Measurable amounts of MP were detected in all four patients and ranged from 0.05 to 0.24, which is below the normal range. We conclude that MP can be demonstrated and measured in albinos. Further studies are needed to investigate MP accumulation following carotenoid supplementation and its impact on visual performance. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Animal pigment bilirubin discovered in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirone, Cary; Quirke, J Martin E; Priestap, Horacio A; Lee, David W

    2009-03-04

    The bile pigment bilirubin-IXalpha is the degradative product of heme, distributed among mammals and some other vertebrates. It can be recognized as the pigment responsible for the yellow color of jaundice and healing bruises. In this paper we present the first example of the isolation of bilirubin in plants. The compound was isolated from the brilliant orange-colored arils of Strelitzia nicolai, the white bird of paradise tree, and characterized by HPLC-ESMS, UV-visible, (1)H NMR, and (13)C NMR spectroscopy, as well as comparison with an authentic standard. This discovery indicates that plant cyclic tetrapyrroles may undergo degradation by a previously unknown pathway. Preliminary analyses of related plants, including S. reginae, the bird of paradise, also revealed bilirubin in the arils and flowers, indicating that the occurrence of bilirubin is not limited to a single species or tissue type.

  6. Role of semiconductivity and ion transport in the electrical conduction of melanin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mostert, Albertus B.; Powell, Benjamin J.; Pratt, Francis L.; Hanson, Graeme R.; Sarna, Tadeusz; Gentle, Ian R.; Meredith, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Melanins are pigmentary macromolecules found throughout the biosphere that, in the 1970s, were discovered to conduct electricity and display bistable switching. Since then, it has been widely believed that melanins are naturally occurring amorphous organic semiconductors. Here, we report electrical conductivity, muon spin relaxation, and electron paramagnetic resonance measurements of melanin as the environmental humidity is varied. We show that hydration of melanin shifts the comproportionation equilibrium so as to dope electrons and protons into the system. This equilibrium defines the relative proportions of hydroxyquinone, semiquinone, and quinone species in the macromolecule. As such, the mechanism explains why melanin at neutral pH only conducts when “wet” and suggests that both carriers play a role in the conductivity. Understanding that melanin is an electronic-ionic hybrid conductor rather than an amorphous organic semiconductor opens exciting possibilities for bioelectronic applications such as ion-to-electron transduction given its biocompatibility. PMID:22615355

  7. Sensitizing pigment in the fly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vogt, K.; Kirschfeld, K.

    1983-01-01

    The sensitizing pigment hypothesis for the high UV sensitivity in fly photoreceptors (R1-6) is further substantiated by measurements of the polarisation sensitivity in the UV. The quantum yield of the energy transfer from sensitizing pigment to rhodopsin was estimated by electrophysiological measurements of the UV sensitivity and the rhabdomeric absorptance (at 490 nm) in individual receptor cells. The transfer efficiency is >=0.75 in receptors with an absorptance in the rhabdomeres of 0.55-0.95. This result suggests that the sensitizing pigment is bound in some way to the rhodopsin. A ratio of two molecules of sensitizing pigment per one rhodopsin is proposed. (orig.)

  8. Identification of a phenoloxidase- and melanin-dependent defence mechanism in Achatina fulica infected with Angiostrongylus vasorum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coaglio, Aytube Lucas; Ferreira, Mônica Alves Neves Diniz; Dos Santos Lima, Walter; de Jesus Pereira, Cíntia Aparecida

    2018-02-27

    Angiostrongylus vasorum has different freshwater aquatic and terrestrial gastropod molluscs as an intermediate host, e.g. Arion spp. The mollusc Achatina fulica is a danger to public health, given the large diversity of nematodes utilizing it as an intermediate host, such as the parasites of the genus Angiostrongylus, of importance in human and veterinary medicine. Achatina fulica has been shown to have an excellent capacity for maintaining outbreaks and natural infections with A. cantonensis in Asia. Within the mollusc, the nematode parasites activate haemocytes and/or haemolymph factors and in some invertebrates, phenoloxidase (PO), that induces the release of toxic elements and eliminates the parasites. Despite the importance of A. fulica in the life-cycle of nematodes, little is known regarding the defence mechanisms involving PO in molluscs infected with nematodes. Here, the presence of PO and nitric oxide (NO) in the haemolymph and haemocytes of A. fulica infected with first-stage (L1) larvae of Angiostrongylus vasorum was evaluated, together with the presence of melanin in the cephalopod mollusc tissue. An increase in PO at one day post infection (dpi), in comparison with the control using the substrates L-tyrosine (F (4,90)  = 6.73, P = 0.00006), L-DOPA (F (4,90)  = 22.67, P = 0.02) and p-phenylenediamine (PPD) (F (4,90)  = 27.58, P = 0.0019), was observed. PO increase coincided with the presence of melanin in the cephalopodal tissue. At 8 dpi, PO activity, compared to L-DOPA (F (4,90)  = 22.67, P = 0.00002) and PPD (F (4,90)  = 27.58, P = 0.079) decreased, while melanin increased. At 13 dpi, PO decreased with PPD (F (4,90)  = 27.58, P = 0.000015) and also the amount of melanin observed in histology. At 30 dpi, PO increased along with the substrates L-DOPA and PPD, while melanin decreased. NO levels increased until 8 dpi, and decreased after 13 dpi. To our knowledge, this is the first study that

  9. The analysis of pigments on rock surfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fankhauser, B.; O'Connor, S.; Pittelkow, Y.

    1997-01-01

    A limestone slab of roof fall coated with a red pigment was recovered from a Rockshelter in the Napier Ranges of the Kimberley region, Western Australia. Next to the roof fall fragment in the same stratigraphic layer was a piece of ochre. Three questions were presented: (1) is the red substance an ochre? (2) is the piece of ochre identical to the red substance on the roof fall? and (3) are the layers of pigment on the top and bottom of the limestone slab the same? In addition, as an extension from these questions, a general method was developed for the in situ analysis of ochre pigments on substrates to determine likely compositions and ochre sources. The analysis of the red pigment presented an analytical problem because the substance was intimately associated with the rock slab and therefore the analysis had to be done in situ. Not only was the red layer thin, but on a micro level it was uneven. Energy dispersive x-ray analysis (EDXA) penetrated the red layer, simultaneously analysing this layer and the rock substrate to different degrees depending upon the thickness of the red layer. Determining if the substance was actually ochre involved a comparison of elemental analyses between the background (slab) and background with red coating. Coatings of other ochres with known elemental concentrations on the same limestone background gave a comparison of the effect of simultaneously analysing a thin layer and background with different compositions. Three graphical methods useful for insitu analysis are demeonstrated. The find dates (around 40,000 BP) add to a growing body of data in support of the widespread use of ochre accompanying the earliest documented use of widely separated and environmentally diverse regions of Australia by Aboriginal people

  10. Melanins Protect Sporothrix brasiliensis and Sporothrix schenckii from the Antifungal Effects of Terbinafine

    OpenAIRE

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; Figueiredo-Carvalho, Maria Helena Galdino; Brito-Santos, F?bio; Almeida-Silva, Fernando; Oliveira, Manoel Marques Evangelista; Zancop?-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2016-01-01

    Terbinafine is a recommended therapeutic alternative for patients with sporotrichosis who cannot use itraconazole due to drug interactions or side effects. Melanins are involved in resistance to antifungal drugs and Sporothrix species produce three different types of melanin. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether Sporothrix melanins impact the efficacy of antifungal drugs. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC) of two Sporothrix brasiliensi...

  11. Electron spin resonance of melanin from hair. Effects of temperature, pH and light irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arnaud, R.; Perbet, G. (Clermont-Ferrand-2 Univ., 63 - Aubiere (France)); Deflandre, A.; Lang, G. (Centre de Recherches de la Societe L' Oreal, Aulnay Sous Bois (France) Dept. de Chimie Generale)

    1983-08-01

    The variation with temperature, pH and light of the ESR signal of hydrated melanin powders from Japanese black hair has been studied. An explanation of the results is proposed on the basis of quinhydrone type complexes and of acid-base equilibria of melanin and its semiquinone radicals. During exposure to light of wavelengths 254-600 nm, both stable and unstable radicals have been observed. The action spectrum for the formation of stable melanin radicals has been determined.

  12. Pigmented villo nodular synovitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radha S

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Pigmented villonodular synovitis is a rare disorder affecting joints. Methods : We reviewed 19 cases of pigmented villonodular synovitis out of 481 arthroscopic synovial biopsies over a period of ten years. A common presenting symptom was locking. Both diffuse and localized forms were diagnosed. Duration of symptoms varied from 5 months to3 years. We report our experience of patients treated by arthroscopic excision for localized villonodular synovitis and arthroscopic synovectomy for diffuse villonodular synovitis followed by intraarticular Yttrium. Results : In diffuse villonodular synovitis arthroscopic total synovectomy was done a using special angular and straight motorized shaver through different portals to reach all corners of the joint. Localized variety was treated by excising the pedicle attached to the synovium. In our series none of the patients with localized villonodular synovitis showed recurrence till date. Three cases of diffuse variety presented with effusion and swelling three to six months after treatment and were managed by arthoscopic synovial shaving. Two cases who showed recurrence after one year were subjected to intraarticular 90Y isotope injection. Conclusion : Arthroscopic synovectomy helps in reducing morbidity. Radiation and intraarticular Injection of 90 Y are alternative modes of treatment.

  13. Ethnic and mouse strain differences in central corneal thickness and association with pigmentation phenotype.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David P Dimasi

    Full Text Available The cornea is a transparent structure that permits the refraction of light into the eye. Evidence from a range of studies indicates that central corneal thickness (CCT is strongly genetically determined. Support for a genetic component comes from data showing significant variation in CCT between different human ethnic groups. Interestingly, these studies also appear to show that skin pigmentation may influence CCT. To validate these observations, we undertook the first analysis of CCT in an oculocutaneous albinism (OCA and Ugandan cohort, populations with distinct skin pigmentation phenotypes. There was a significant difference in the mean CCT of the OCA, Ugandan and Australian-Caucasian cohorts (Ugandan: 517.3±37 µm; Caucasian: 539.7±32.8 µm, OCA: 563.3±37.2 µm; p<0.001. A meta-analysis of 53 studies investigating the CCT of different ethnic groups was then performed and demonstrated that darker skin pigmentation is associated with a thinner CCT (p<0.001. To further verify these observations, we measured CCT in 13 different inbred mouse strains and found a significant difference between the albino and pigmented strains (p = 0.008. Specific mutations within the melanin synthesis pathway were then investigated in mice for an association with CCT. Significant differences between mutant and wild type strains were seen with the nonagouti (p<0.001, myosin VA (p<0.001, tyrosinase (p = 0.025 and tyrosinase related protein (p = 0.001 genes. These findings provide support for our hypothesis that pigmentation is associated with CCT and identifies pigment-related genes as candidates for developmental determination of a non-pigmented structure.

  14. The Analgesic Acetaminophen and the Antipsychotic Clozapine Can Each Redox-Cycle with Melanin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Temoçin, Zülfikar; Kim, Eunkyoung; Li, Jinyang; Panzella, Lucia; Alfieri, Maria Laura; Napolitano, Alessandra; Kelly, Deanna L; Bentley, William E; Payne, Gregory F

    2017-12-20

    Melanins are ubiquitous but their complexity and insolubility has hindered characterization of their structures and functions. We are developing electrochemical reverse engineering methodologies that focus on properties and especially on redox properties. Previous studies have shown that melanins (i) are redox-active and can rapidly and repeatedly exchange electrons with diffusible oxidants and reductants, and (ii) have redox potentials in midregion of the physiological range. These properties suggest the functional activities of melanins will depend on their redox context. The brain has a complex redox context with steep local gradients in O 2 that can promote redox-cycling between melanin and diffusible redox-active chemical species. Here, we performed in vitro reverse engineering studies and report that melanins can redox-cycle with two common redox-active drugs. Experimentally, we used two melanin models: a convenient natural melanin derived from cuttlefish (Sepia melanin) and a synthetic cysteinyldopamine-dopamine core-shell model of neuromelanin. One drug, acetaminophen (APAP), has been used clinically for over a century, and recent studies suggest that low doses of APAP can protect the brain from oxidative-stress-induced toxicity and neurodegeneration, while higher doses can have toxic effects in the brain. The second drug, clozapine (CLZ), is a second generation antipsychotic with polypharmacological activities that remain incompletely understood. These in vitro observations suggest that the redox activities of drugs may be relevant to their modes-of-action, and that melanins may interact with drugs in ways that affect their activities, metabolism, and toxicities.

  15. Different culture media containing methyldopa for melanin production by Cryptococcus species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralciane de Paula Menezes

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Melanin production by species of Cryptococcus is widely used to characterize C. neoformans complex in mycology laboratories. This study aims to test the efficacy of methyldopa from pharmaceutical tablet as a substrate for melanin production, to compare the production of melanin using different agar base added with methyldopa, and to compare the melanin produced in those media with that produced in Niger seed agar and sunflower seed agar by C. neoformans, C. laurentii, and C. albidus. Two isolates of each species, C. neoformans, C. laurentii, and C. albidus, and one of Candida albicans were used to experimentally detect conditions for melanin production. METHODS: The following media were tested: Mueller-Hinton agar (MHA, brain and heart infusion agar (BHIA, blood agar base (BAB, and minimal medium agar (MMA, all added with methyldopa, and the media Niger seed agar (NSA and sunflower seed agar (SSA. RESULTS: All isolates grew in most of the culture media after 24h. Strains planted on media BAB and BHIA showed growth only after 48h. All isolates produced melanin in MMA, MHA, SSA, and NSA media. CONCLUSIONS: Methyldopa in the form pharmaceutical tablet can be used as a substrate for melanin production by Cryptococcus species; minimal medium plus methyldopa was more efficient than the BAB, MHA, and BHIA in the melanin production; and NSA and SSA, followed by MMA added with methyldopa, were more efficient than other media studied for melanin production by all strains studied.

  16. Production and Cytotoxicity of Extracellular Insoluble and Droplets of Soluble Melanin by Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. N. Madhusudhan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3 strain with potential to synthesize both insoluble and soluble melanins was detected. Melanins are quite distinguished based on their solubility for varied biotechnological applications. The present investigation reveals the enhanced production of insoluble and soluble melanins in tyrosine medium by a single culture. Streptomyces lusitanus DMZ-3 was characterized by 16S rRNA gene analysis. An enhanced production of 5.29 g/L insoluble melanin was achieved in a submerged bioprocess following response surface methodology. Combined interactive effect of temperature (50°C, pH (8.5, tyrosine (2.0 g/L, and beef extract (0.5 g/L were found to be critical variables for enhanced production in central composite design analysis. An optimized indigenous slant culture system was an innovative approach for the successful production (264 mg/L of pure soluble melanin from the droplets formed on the surface of the culture. Both insoluble and soluble melanins were confirmed and characterized by Chemical, reactions, UV, FTIR, and TLC analysis. First time, cytotoxic study of melanin using brine shrimps was reported. Maximum cytotoxic activity of soluble melanin was Lc50-0.40 µg/mL and insoluble melanin was Lc50-0.80 µg/mL.

  17. B16F1 melanoma cells upregulate melanin synthesis after photodynamic therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moder, A.; Gassner, F.; Krammer, B.; Thalhamer, J.; Hammerl, P.

    2003-01-01

    Full text: The success of photodynamic therapy (PDT) of melanotic tumors is severely limited by insufficient penetration of light into deeper tissue layers. In this study, we analyzed the effect of PDT on the melanin production of the melanoma cell line B16F1. In vitro, these cells produce only little melanin. However, after PDT we found a dramatic elevation in intracellular melanin. Melanin production increased with, both, the concentration of the sensitizing agent and the light dose, and was found to continue for several hours after cell death. PDT-induced melanin synthesis was not prevented by the addition of cycloheximide or actinomycin D prior to irradiation, indicating that de-novo protein synthesis and transcriptional activity are not required for this effect. We also analyzed tyrosinase activity, a key enzyme in melanin biosynthesis, in PDT-treated B16 cells. Tyrosinase activity was found in PDT-treated as well as untreated cells. Cell fractionation experiments showed that tyrosinase was present in the cytosolic as well as the melanosomal fractions of, both, PDT-treated (melanin-high) as well as untreated (melanin-low) cells. These data indicate that PDT-induced production of melanin is not controlled at the transcriptional or translational level and that tyrosinase is not likely an essential regulator in this process. (author)

  18. Differences in pigmentation between life cycle stages in Scrippsiella lachrymosa (dinophyceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persson, Agneta; Smith, Barry C; Cyronak, Tyler; Cooper, Emily; DiTullio, Giacomo R

    2016-02-01

    Various life cycle stages of cyst-producing dinoflagellates often appear differently colored under the microscope; gametes appear paler while zygotes are darker in comparison to vegetative cells. To compare physiological and photochemical competency, the pigment composition of discrete life cycle stages was determined for the common resting cyst-producing dinoflagellate Scrippsiella lachrymosa. Vegetative cells had the highest cellular pigment content (25.2 ± 0.5 pg · cell(-1) ), whereas gamete pigment content was 22% lower. The pigment content of zygotes was 82% lower than vegetative cells, even though they appeared darker under the microscope. Zygotes of S. lachrymosa contained significantly higher cellular concentrations of β-carotene (0.65 ± 0.15 pg · cell(-1) ) than all other life stages. Photoprotective pigments and the de-epoxidation ratio of xanthophylls-cycle pigments in S. lachrymosa were significantly elevated in zygotes and cysts compared to other stages. This suggests a role for accessory pigments in combating intracellular oxidative stress during sexual reproduction or encystment. Resting cysts contained some pigments even though chloroplasts were not visible, suggesting that the brightly colored accumulation body contained photosynthetic pigments. The differences in pigmentation between life stages have implications for interpretation of pigment data from field samples when sampled during dinoflagellate blooms. © 2015 Phycological Society of America.

  19. Long-term changes in pigmentation of arctic Daphnia provide potential for reconstructing aquatic UV exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nevalainen, Liisa; Rantala, Marttiina V.; Luoto, Tomi P.; Ojala, Antti E. K.; Rautio, Milla

    2016-07-01

    Despite the biologically damaging impacts of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) in nature, little is known about its natural variability, forcing mechanisms, and long-term effects on ecosystems and organisms. Arctic zooplankton, for example the aquatic keystone genus Daphnia (Crustacea, Cladocera) responds to biologically damaging UV by utilizing photoprotective strategies, including pigmentation. We examined the preservation and content of UV-screening pigments in fossil Daphnia remains (ephippia) in two arctic lake sediment cores from Cornwallis Island (Lake R1), Canada, and Spitsbergen (Lake Fugledammen), Svalbard. The aims were to document changes in the degree of UV-protective pigmentation throughout the past centuries, elucidate the adaptive responses of zooplankton to long-term variations in UV exposure, and estimate the potential of fossil zooplankton pigments in reconstructing aquatic UV regimes. The spectroscopic absorbance measurements of fossil Daphnia ephippia under UV (280-400 nm) and visible light (400-700 nm) spectral ranges indicated that melanin (absorbance maxima at UV wavebands 280-350 nm) and carotenoids (absorbance maxima at 400-450 nm) pigments were preserved in the ephippia in both sediment cores. Downcore measurements of the most important UV-protective pigment melanin (absorbance measured at 305 and 340 nm) showed marked long-term variations in the degree of melanisation. These variations likely represented long-term trends in aquatic UV exposure and were positively related with solar radiation intensity. The corresponding trends in melanisation and solar activity were disrupted at the turn of the 20th century in R1, but remained as strong in Fugledammen. The reversed trends in the R1 core were simultaneous with a significant aquatic community reorganization taking place in the lake, suggesting that recent environmental changes, likely related to climate warming had a local effect on pigmentation strategies. This time horizon is also

  20. A novel role for pigment genes in the stress response in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Uniza Wahid; Øverli, Øyvind; Hinkle, Patricia M.; Pasha, Farhan Ahmad; Johansen, Ida Beitnes; Berget, Ingunn; Silva, Patricia I. M.; Kittilsen, Silje; Höglund, Erik; Omholt, Stig W.; Våge, Dag Inge

    2016-01-01

    In many vertebrate species visible melanin-based pigmentation patterns correlate with high stress- and disease-resistance, but proximate mechanisms for this trait association remain enigmatic. Here we show that a missense mutation in a classical pigmentation gene, melanocyte stimulating hormone receptor (MC1R), is strongly associated with distinct differences in steroidogenic melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2R) mRNA expression between high- (HR) and low-responsive (LR) rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). We also show experimentally that cortisol implants increase the expression of agouti signaling protein (ASIP) mRNA in skin, likely explaining the association between HR-traits and reduced skin melanin patterning. Molecular dynamics simulations predict that melanocortin 2 receptor accessory protein (MRAP), needed for MC2R function, binds differently to the two MC1R variants. Considering that mRNA for MC2R and the MC1R variants are present in head kidney cells, we hypothesized that MC2R activity is modulated in part by different binding affinities of the MC1R variants for MRAP. Experiments in mammalian cells confirmed that trout MRAP interacts with the two trout MC1R variants and MC2R, but failed to detect regulation of MC2R signaling, possibly due to high constitutive MC1R activity. PMID:27373344

  1. A novel role for pigment genes in the stress response in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

    KAUST Repository

    Khan, Uniza Wahid

    2016-07-04

    In many vertebrate species visible melanin-based pigmentation patterns correlate with high stress- and disease-resistance, but proximate mechanisms for this trait association remain enigmatic. Here we show that a missense mutation in a classical pigmentation gene, melanocyte stimulating hormone receptor (MC1R), is strongly associated with distinct differences in steroidogenic melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2R) mRNA expression between high- (HR) and low-responsive (LR) rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). We also show experimentally that cortisol implants increase the expression of agouti signaling protein (ASIP) mRNA in skin, likely explaining the association between HR-traits and reduced skin melanin patterning. Molecular dynamics simulations predict that melanocortin 2 receptor accessory protein (MRAP), needed for MC2R function, binds differently to the two MC1R variants. Considering that mRNA for MC2R and the MC1R variants are present in head kidney cells, we hypothesized that MC2R activity is modulated in part by different binding affinities of the MC1R variants for MRAP. Experiments in mammalian cells confirmed that trout MRAP interacts with the two trout MC1R variants and MC2R, but failed to detect regulation of MC2R signaling, possibly due to high constitutive MC1R activity.

  2. Nonphotosynthetic Pigments as Potential Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S.; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Previous work on possible surface reflectance biosignatures for Earth-like planets has typically focused on analogues to spectral features produced by photosynthetic organisms on Earth, such as the vegetation red edge. Although oxygenic photosynthesis, facilitated by pigments evolved to capture photons, is the dominant metabolism on our planet, pigmentation has evolved for multiple purposes to adapt organisms to their environment. We present an interdisciplinary study of the diversity and detectability of nonphotosynthetic pigments as biosignatures, which includes a description of environments that host nonphotosynthetic biologically pigmented surfaces, and a lab-based experimental analysis of the spectral and broadband color diversity of pigmented organisms on Earth. We test the utility of broadband color to distinguish between Earth-like planets with significant coverage of nonphotosynthetic pigments and those with photosynthetic or nonbiological surfaces, using both 1-D and 3-D spectral models. We demonstrate that, given sufficient surface coverage, nonphotosynthetic pigments could significantly impact the disk-averaged spectrum of a planet. However, we find that due to the possible diversity of organisms and environments, and the confounding effects of the atmosphere and clouds, determination of substantial coverage by biologically produced pigments would be difficult with broadband colors alone and would likely require spectrally resolved data. Key Words: Biosignatures—Exoplanets—Halophiles—Pigmentation—Reflectance spectroscopy—Spectral models. Astrobiology 15, 341–361. PMID:25941875

  3. New directions in phthalocyanine pigments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinh, Diep VO

    1994-01-01

    Phthalocyanines have been used as a pigment in coatings and related applications for many years. These pigments are some of the most stable organic pigments known. The phthalo blue and green pigments have been known to be ultraviolet (UV) stable and thermally stable to over 400 C. These phthalocyanines are both a semiconductor and photoconductor, exhibiting catalytic activity and photostabilization capability of polymers. Many metal free and metallic phthalocyanine derivatives have been prepared. Development of the new classes of phthalocyanine pigment could be used as coating on NASA spacecraft material such as glass to decrease the optical degradation from UV light, the outside of the space station modules for UV protection, and coating on solar cells to increase lifetime and efficiency.

  4. Expression of melanin and insecticidal protein from Rhodotorula ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SERVER

    2006-02-16

    /red pigment are described. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Plasmid DNA was prepared from Rhodotorula glutinis by the procedure of Krostad et al. (1983). For preferential isolation of plasmids 50 megadaltons (mD) in size and ...

  5. Iris phenotypes and pigment dispersion caused by genes influencing pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Michael G; Hawes, Norman L; Trantow, Colleen M; Chang, Bo; John, Simon W M

    2008-10-01

    Spontaneous mutations altering mouse coat colors have been a classic resource for discovery of numerous molecular pathways. Although often overlooked, the mouse iris is also densely pigmented and easily observed, thus representing a similarly powerful opportunity for studying pigment cell biology. Here, we present an analysis of iris phenotypes among 16 mouse strains with mutations influencing melanosomes. Many of these strains exhibit biologically and medically relevant phenotypes, including pigment dispersion, a common feature of several human ocular diseases. Pigment dispersion was identified in several strains with mutant alleles known to influence melanosomes, including beige, light, and vitiligo. Pigment dispersion was also detected in the recently arising spontaneous coat color variant, nm2798. We have identified the nm2798 mutation as a missense mutation in the Dct gene, an identical re-occurrence of the slaty light mutation. These results suggest that dysregulated events of melanosomes can be potent contributors to the pigment dispersion phenotype. Combined, these findings illustrate the utility of studying iris phenotypes as a means of discovering new pathways, and re-linking old ones, to processes of pigmented cells in health and disease.

  6. Effective melanin depigmentation of human and murine ocular tissues: an improved method for paraffin and frozen sections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Manicam

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: The removal of excessive melanin pigments that obscure ocular tissue morphology is important to address scientific questions and for differential diagnosis of ocular tumours based on histology. Thus, the goal of the present study was to establish an effective and fast melanin bleaching method for paraffin and frozen mouse and human ocular tissues. METHODS: Paraffin-embedded and frozen ocular specimens from mice and human donors were subjected to bleaching employing two methods. The first employed potassium permanganate (KMnO4 with oxalic acid, and the second 10% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2. To determine optimal bleaching conditions, depigmentation was carried out at various incubation times. The effect of diluents used for 10% H2O2 was assessed using phosphate-buffered saline (PBS, and deionized water. Three different slide types and two fixatives, which were ice-cold acetone with 80% methanol, and 4% paraformaldehyde (PFA were used to determine the optimal conditions for better tissue adherence during bleaching. All tissues were stained in hematoxylin and eosin for histological evaluation. RESULTS: Optimal bleaching was achieved using warm 10% H2O2 diluted in PBS at 65°C for 120 minutes. Chromium-gelatin-coated slides prevented tissue detachment. Adherence of cryosections was also improved with post-fixation using 4% PFA and overnight air-drying at RT after cryosectioning. Tissue morphology was preserved under these conditions. Conversely, tissues bleached in KMnO4/oxalic acid demonstrated poor depigmentation with extensive tissue damage. CONCLUSIONS: Warm dilute H2O2 at 65°C for 120 minutes rapidly and effectively bleached both cryo- and paraffin sections of murine and human ocular tissues.

  7. Natural pigments and sacred art

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelekian, Lena, ,, Lady

    2010-05-01

    Since the dawn of mankind, cavemen has expressed himself through art. The earliest known cave paintings date to some 32,000 years ago and used 4 colours derived from the earth. These pigments were iron oxides and known as ochres, blacks and whites. All pigments known by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans and Renaissance man were natural and it was not until the 18th century that synthetic pigments were made and widely used. Until that time all art, be it sacred or secular used only natural pigments, of which the preparation of many have been lost or rarely used because of their tedious preparation. As a geologist, a mineralogist and an artist specializing in iconography, I have been able to rediscover 89 natural pigments extracted from minerals. I use these pigments to paint my icons in the traditional Byzantine manner and also to restore old icons, bringing back their glamour and conserving them for years to come. The use of the natural pigments in its proper way also helps to preserve the traditional skills of the iconographer. In the ancient past, pigments were extremely precious. Many took an exceedingly long journey to reach the artists, and came from remote countries. Research into these pigments is the work of history, geography and anthropology. It is an interesting journey in itself to discover that the blue aquamarines came from Afghanistan, the reds from Spain, the greens Africa, and so on. In this contribution I will be describing the origins, preparation and use of some natural pigments, together with their history and provenance. Additionally, I will show how the natural pigments are used in the creation of an icon. Being a geologist iconographer, for me, is a sacrement that transforms that which is earthly, material and natural into a thing of beauty that is sacred. As bread and wine in the Eucharist, water during baptism and oil in Holy Union transmit sanctification to the beholder, natural pigments do the same when one considers an icon. The

  8. Comparing in vivo pump–probe and multiphoton fluorescence microscopy of melanoma and pigmented lesions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Jesse W.; Degan, Simone; Gainey, Christina S.; Mitropoulos, Tanya; Simpson, Mary Jane; Zhang, Jennifer Y.; Warren, Warren S.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract. We demonstrate a multimodal approach that combines a pump–probe with confocal reflectance and multiphoton autofluorescence microscopy. Pump–probe microscopy has been proven to be of great value in analyzing thin tissue sections of pigmented lesions, as it produces molecular contrast which is inaccessible by other means. However, the higher optical intensity required to overcome scattering in thick tissue leads to higher-order nonlinearities in the optical response of melanin (e.g., two-photon pump and one-photon probe) that present additional challenges for interpreting the data. We show that analysis of pigment composition in vivo must carefully account for signal terms that are nonlinear with respect to the pump and probe intensities. We find that pump–probe imaging gives useful contrast for pigmented structures over a large range of spatial scales (100  μm to 1 cm), making it a potentially useful tool for tracking the progression of pigmented lesions without the need to introduce exogenous contrast agents. PMID:25415567

  9. Genome-wide association analysis identifies potential regulatory genes for eumelanin pigmentation in chicken plumage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, L; Du, X; Wei, S; Gu, L; Li, N; Gong, Y; Li, S

    2017-10-01

    Plumage color in chicken is determined by the proportion of eumelanin and pheomelanin pigmentation. As the main ingredient in plumage melanin, eumelanin plays a key role in the dark black, brown and grey coloration. However, very few studies have been performed to identify the related genes and mutations on a genome-wide scale. Herein, a resource family consisting of one backcross population and two F2 cross populations between a black roster and Yukou Brown I parent stockbreed was constructed for identification of genes related to eumelanin pigmentation. Chickens with eumelanin in their plumage were classified as the case group, and the rest were considered the control group. A genome-wide association study of this phenotype and genotypes using Affymetrix 600K HD SNP arrays in this F2 family revealed 13 significantly associated SNPs and in 10 separate genes on chromosomes 1, 2, 3 and 5. Based on previous studies in model species, we inferred that genes, including NUAK family kinase 1 (NUAK1) and sonic hedgehog (SHH), may play roles in the development of neural crest cells or melanoblasts during the embryonic period, which may also affect the eumelanin pigmentation. Our results facilitate the understanding of the genetic basis of eumelanin pigmentation in chicken plumage. © 2017 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  10. ESTIMATION OF MELANIN CONTENT IN IRIS OF HUMAN EYE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. A. Genina

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Based on the experimental data obtained in vivo from digital analysis of color images of human irises, the mean melanin content in human eye irises has been estimated. For registration of color images the digital camera Olympus C-5060 has been used. The images have been obtained from irises of healthy volunteers as well as from irises of patients with open-angle glaucoma. The computer program has been developed for digital analysis of the images. The result has been useful for development of novel methods and optimization of already existing ones for non-invasive glaucoma diagnostics.

  11. The Melanin-Concentrating Hormone as an Integrative Peptide Driving Motivated Behaviors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanne B. Diniz

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH is an important peptide implicated in the control of motivated behaviors. History, however, made this peptide first known for its participation in the control of skin pigmentation, from which its name derives. In addition to this peripheral role, MCH is strongly implicated in motivated behaviors, such as feeding, drinking, mating and, more recently, maternal behavior. It is suggested that MCH acts as an integrative peptide, converging sensory information and contributing to a general arousal of the organism. In this review, we will discuss the various aspects of energy homeostasis to which MCH has been associated to, focusing on the different inputs that feed the MCH peptidergic system with information regarding the homeostatic status of the organism and the exogenous sensory information that drives this system, as well as the outputs that allow MCH to act over a wide range of homeostatic and behavioral controls, highlighting the available morphological and hodological aspects that underlie these integrative actions. Besides the well-described role of MCH in feeding behavior, a prime example of hypothalamic-mediated integration, we will also examine those functions in which the participation of MCH has not yet been extensively characterized, including sexual, maternal, and defensive behaviors. We also evaluated the available data on the distribution of MCH and its function in the context of animals in their natural environment. Finally, we briefly comment on the evidence for MCH acting as a coordinator between different modalities of motivated behaviors, highlighting the most pressing open questions that are open for investigations and that could provide us with important insights about hypothalamic-dependent homeostatic integration.

  12. Effects of melanin on the accumulation of exopolysaccharides by Aureobasidium pullulans grown on nitrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Weifa; Campbell, Bradley S; McDougall, Barbara M; Seviour, Robert J

    2008-11-01

    Aureobasidium pullulans produced pullulan and melanin when grown in medium containing low nitrate levels. With high nitrate concentrations, however, this fungus produced a mixture of exopolysaccharides (EPS) without melanin synthesis. At 0.78 g l(-1) N as nitrate, where no melanin synthesis occurred, maximum EPS yields reached 6.92 g l(-1) and then decreased to the final yield of 2.36 g l(-1). Following melanin addition (0.1 g l(-1)), yields reached 7.02 g l(-1) at 48 h and fell to a final yield of 5.21 g l(-1). The EPS produced in high nitrate medium contained both pullulan and (1-->3)-beta-glucan, but only pullulan was produced with melanin-supplementation. With melanin addition a doubling of (1-->3)-beta-glucanase activity was observed in high nitrate medium compared to that without supplementation. On the other hand amylolytic activities disappeared in medium with melanin production or addition. Culture filtrates sustained a higher reducing capacity (RC) when melanin was present. Low RC appeared to reduce (1-->3)-beta-glucanase activity and increase amylolytic activities. Thus, higher RC appears to inhibit production/activity of amylose-degrading enzymes capable of degrading pullulan, and stimulates (1-->3)-beta-glucanase synthesis/activity, leading to a preferential accumulation of pullulan.

  13. CONSTITUTIVE MELANIN IN THE CELL WALL OF THE ETIOLOGIC AGENT OF LOBO'S DISEASE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TABORDA Valeria B.A.

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Lobo's disease is a chronic granulomatous disease caused by the obligate pathogenic fungus, whose cell walls contain constitutive melanin. In contrast, melanin does not occur in the cell walls of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis when stained by the Fontana-Masson stain.

  14. Transferring Biomarker into Molecular Probe: Melanin Nanoparticle as a Naturally Active Platform for Multimodality Imaging

    OpenAIRE

    Fan, Quli; Cheng, Kai; Hu, Xiang; Ma, Xiaowei; Zhang, Ruiping; Yang, Min; Lu, Xiaomei; Xing, Lei; Huang, Wei; Gambhir, Sanjiv Sam; Cheng, Zhen

    2014-01-01

    Developing multifunctional and easily prepared nanoplatforms with integrated different modalities is highly challenging for molecular imaging. Here, we report the successful transfer of an important molecular target, melanin, into a novel multimodality imaging nanoplatform. Melanin is abundantly expressed in melanotic melanomas and thus has been actively studied as a target for melanoma imaging. In our work, the multifunctional biopolymer nanoplatform based on ultrasmall (

  15. Melanins Protect Sporothrix brasiliensis and Sporothrix schenckii from the Antifungal Effects of Terbinafine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Almeida-Paes

    Full Text Available Terbinafine is a recommended therapeutic alternative for patients with sporotrichosis who cannot use itraconazole due to drug interactions or side effects. Melanins are involved in resistance to antifungal drugs and Sporothrix species produce three different types of melanin. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether Sporothrix melanins impact the efficacy of antifungal drugs. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC and minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC of two Sporothrix brasiliensis and four Sporothrix schenckii strains grown in the presence of the melanin precursors L-DOPA and L-tyrosine were similar to the MIC determined by the CLSI standard protocol for S. schenckii susceptibility to amphotericin B, ketoconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine. When MICs were determined in the presence of inhibitors to three pathways of melanin synthesis, we observed, in four strains, an increase in terbinafine susceptibility in the presence of tricyclazole, a DHN-melanin inhibitor. In addition, one S. schenckii strain grown in the presence of L-DOPA had a higher MFC value when compared to the control. Growth curves in presence of 2×MIC concentrations of terbinafine showed that pyomelanin and, to a lesser extent, eumelanin were able to protect the fungi against the fungicidal effect of this antifungal drug. Our results suggest that melanin protects the major pathogenic species of the Sporothrix complex from the effects of terbinafine and that the development of new antifungal drugs targeting melanin synthesis may improve sporotrichosis therapies.

  16. Melanins Protect Sporothrix brasiliensis and Sporothrix schenckii from the Antifungal Effects of Terbinafine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; Figueiredo-Carvalho, Maria Helena Galdino; Brito-Santos, Fábio; Almeida-Silva, Fernando; Oliveira, Manoel Marques Evangelista; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2016-01-01

    Terbinafine is a recommended therapeutic alternative for patients with sporotrichosis who cannot use itraconazole due to drug interactions or side effects. Melanins are involved in resistance to antifungal drugs and Sporothrix species produce three different types of melanin. Therefore, in this study we evaluated whether Sporothrix melanins impact the efficacy of antifungal drugs. Minimal inhibitory concentrations (MIC) and minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFC) of two Sporothrix brasiliensis and four Sporothrix schenckii strains grown in the presence of the melanin precursors L-DOPA and L-tyrosine were similar to the MIC determined by the CLSI standard protocol for S. schenckii susceptibility to amphotericin B, ketoconazole, itraconazole or terbinafine. When MICs were determined in the presence of inhibitors to three pathways of melanin synthesis, we observed, in four strains, an increase in terbinafine susceptibility in the presence of tricyclazole, a DHN-melanin inhibitor. In addition, one S. schenckii strain grown in the presence of L-DOPA had a higher MFC value when compared to the control. Growth curves in presence of 2×MIC concentrations of terbinafine showed that pyomelanin and, to a lesser extent, eumelanin were able to protect the fungi against the fungicidal effect of this antifungal drug. Our results suggest that melanin protects the major pathogenic species of the Sporothrix complex from the effects of terbinafine and that the development of new antifungal drugs targeting melanin synthesis may improve sporotrichosis therapies.

  17. Reflectance Spectra of Peacock Feathers and the Turning Angles of Melanin Rods in Barbules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okazaki, Toshio

    2018-02-01

    I analyzed the association between the reflectance spectra and melanin rod arrangement in barbules of the eyespot of peacock feathers. The reflectance spectra from the yellow-green feather of the eyespot indicated double peaks of 430 and 540 nm. The maximum reflectance spectrum of the blue feather was 480 nm, and that of the dark blue feather was 420 nm. The reflectance spectra from brown feathers indicated double peaks of 490 and 610 nm. Transmission electron microscopic analysis confirmed that melanin rods were arranged fanwise in the outer layer toward the barbule tips. In addition, using polarized light microscope, I attempted to determine whether the turning angles of melanin rods in the barbules reflected different colors. The turning angle of the polarizing axis of the barbules was supported by that of the melanin rods, observed using transmission electron microscopic images. To compare the turning angle of melanin rods in the respective barbules, I calculated the opening width of the fanwise melanin rods by dividing the width of the barbules by the turning angle of the polarizing axis of barbules and obtained a positive correlation between the reflectance spectra and opening width of the fanwise melanin rods. Moreover, the widely spreading reflection from the barbules may occur because of the fanwise melanin rod arrangement.

  18. Interactions between Melanin Enzymes and Their Atypical Recruitment to the Secretory Pathway by Palmitoylation

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    Srijana Upadhyay

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Melanins are biopolymers that confer coloration and protection to the host organism against biotic or abiotic insults. The level of protection offered by melanin depends on its biosynthesis and its subcellular localization. Previously, we discovered that Aspergillus fumigatus compartmentalizes melanization in endosomes by recruiting all melanin enzymes to the secretory pathway. Surprisingly, although two laccases involved in the late steps of melanization are conventional secretory proteins, the four enzymes involved in the early steps of melanization lack a signal peptide or a transmembrane domain and are thus considered “atypical” secretory proteins. In this work, we found interactions among melanin enzymes and all melanin enzymes formed protein complexes. Surprisingly, the formation of protein complexes by melanin enzymes was not critical for their trafficking to the endosomal system. By palmitoylation profiling and biochemical analyses, we discovered that all four early melanin enzymes were strongly palmitoylated during conidiation. However, only the polyketide synthase (PKS Alb1 was strongly palmitoylated during both vegetative hyphal growth and conidiation when constitutively expressed alone. This posttranslational lipid modification correlates the endosomal localization of all early melanin enzymes. Intriguingly, bioinformatic analyses predict that palmitoylation is a common mechanism for potential membrane association of polyketide synthases (PKSs and nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs in A. fumigatus. Our findings indicate that protein-protein interactions facilitate melanization by metabolic channeling, while posttranslational lipid modifications help recruit the atypical enzymes to the secretory pathway, which is critical for compartmentalization of secondary metabolism.

  19. Comparison of the structural and physical properties of human hair eumelanin following enzymatic or acid/base extraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yan; Kempf, Valerie R; Nofsinger, J Brian; Weinert, Emily E; Rudnicki, Mark; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Simon, John D

    2003-08-01

    Eumelanin was isolated from a sample of black, Indonesian human hair using three different published procedures: two different acid/base extractions and an enzymatic extraction. The morphology and spectroscopic properties of the isolated pigments differ significantly. The acid/base procedures both yield an amorphous material, while enzymatic extraction yields ellipsoidal melanosomes. Amino acid analysis shows that there is protein associated with the isolated pigments, accounting for 52, 40 and 14% of the total mass for the two acid/base extractions and the enzymatic extraction, respectively. The amino acid compositions do not correlate with those of keratin or tyrosinase. Metal elemental analysis shows that the acid/base extraction removes a majority of many metal ions bound to the pigment. Chemical degradation analysis by KMnO4/H+ and H2O2/OH- indicates significant differences between the pigments isolated by acid/base and enzymatic extraction. After correction for the protein mass in the two pigments, the lower yields of both pyrrole-2,3,5-tricarboxylic acid and pyrrole-2,3-dicarboxylic acid, eumelanin degradation products, indicate acid/base extraction modifies the chemical structure of the melanin, consistent with the result of Soluene solubilization assay. While the optical absorption spectra of the bulk pigments are similar, the spectra of the molecular weight less than 1000 mass fractions differ significantly. The data clearly indicate that pigment obtained from human hair by acid/base extraction contains significant protein, exhibits destruction of the melanosome, and possesses altered molecular structure. The acid/base extracted hair melanin is not representative of the natural material and is a poor model system for studying the physical and biological properties of melanins. The enzymatically extracted hair melanin, on the contrary, retains the morphology of intact melanosomes and is an excellent source of human melanin.

  20. EFFECT OF CADMIUM(II) ON FREE RADICALS IN DOPA-MELANIN TESTED BY EPR SPECTROSCOPY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Chodurek, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy may be applied to examine interactions of melanin with metal ions and drugs. In this work EPR method was used to examination of changes in free radical system of DOPA-melanin--the model eumelanin after complexing with diamagnetic cadmium(II) ions. Cadmium(II) may affect free radicals in melanin and drugs binding by this polymer, so the knowledge of modification of properties and free radical concentration in melanin is important to pharmacy. The effect of cadmium(II) in different concentrations on free radicals in DOPA-melanin was determined. EPR spectra of DOPA-melanin, and DOPA-melanin complexes with cadmium(II) were measured by an X-band (9.3 GHz) EPR spectrometer produced by Radiopan (Poznań, Poland) and the Rapid Scan Unit from Jagmar (Krak6w, Poland). The DOPA (3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine) to metal ions molar ratios in the reaction mixtures were 2:1, 1:1, and 1: 2. High concentrations of o-semiquinone (g ~2.0040) free radicals (~10(21)-10(22) spin/g) characterize DOPA-melanin and its complexes with cadmium(II). Formation of melanin complexes with cadmium(II) increase free radical concentration in DOPA-melanin. The highest free radical concentration was obtained for DOPA-melanin-cadmium(II) (1:1) complexes. Broad EPR lines with linewidths: 0.37-0.73 mT, were measured. Linewidths increase after binding of cadmium(II) to melanin. Changes of integral intensities and linewidths with increasing microwave power indicate the homogeneous broadening of EPR lines, independently on the metal ion concentration. Slow spin-lattice relaxation processes existed in all the tested samples, their EPR lines saturated at low microwave powers. Cadmium(II) causes fastening of spin-lattice relaxation processes in DOPA-melanin. The EPR results bring to light the effect of cadmium(II) on free radicals in melanin, and probably as the consequence on drug binding to eumelanin.

  1. Pigmented guinea pig skin irradiated with Q-switched ruby laser pulses. Morphologic and histologic findings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dover, J.S.; Margolis, R.J.; Polla, L.L.; Watanabe, S.; Hruza, G.J.; Parrish, J.A.; Anderson, R.R.

    1989-01-01

    Q-switched ruby laser pulses cause selective damage to cutaneous pigmented cells. Repair of this selective damage has not been well described. Therefore, using epilated pigmented and albino guinea pig skin, we studied the acute injury and tissue repair caused by 40-ns, Q-switched ruby laser pulses. Gross observation and light and electron microscopy were performed. No specific changes were evident in the albino guinea pigs. In pigmented animals, with radiant exposures of 0.4 J/cm2 or greater, white spots confined to the 2.5-mm exposure sites developed immediately and faded over 20 minutes. Delayed depigmentation occurred at seven to ten days, followed by full repigmentation by four to eight weeks. Regrowing hairs in sites irradiated at and above 0.4 J/cm2 remained white for at least four months. Histologically, vacuolation of pigment-laden cells was seen immediately in the epidermis and the follicular epithelium at exposures of 0.3 J/cm2 and greater. Melanosomal disruption was seen immediately by electron microscopy at and above 0.3 J/cm2. Over the next seven days, epidermal necrosis was followed by regeneration of a depigmented epidermis. By four months, melanosomes and melanin pigmentation had returned; however, hair follicles remained depigmented and devoid of melanocytes. This study demonstrates that selective melanosomal disruption caused by Q-switched ruby laser pulses leads to transient cutaneous depigmentation and persistent follicular depigmentation. Potential exists for selective treatment of pigmented epidermal and dermal lesions with this modality.

  2. Quercus infectoria and Terminalia chebula decrease melanin content and tyrosinase activity in B16/F10 cell lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akram Jamshidzadeh

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Context: One of the most complained skin cares in ethnic skin like Asian women is hyperpigmentation, and lightening preparations have been long-standing desired. Due to the side effects of current drugs, medicinal plants have attracted more attentions as a source of novel drugs. Mazo (Quercus infectoria galls and Terminalia chebula fruits have been suggested in Persian Traditional Medicine as a safe treatment for hyperpigmentation. Aims: To evaluate the cytotoxicity and the effect on melanin synthesis in B16/F10 melanoma of Q. infectoria and T. chebula extracts. Methods: After collection and scientific authentication, plants were extracted by maceration method with methanol and were standardized based on total phenolic content. MTT assay and colorimetric method were used for cytotoxicity and determination of melanin content and tyrosinase activity in B16/F10 cells, respectively. Kojic acid was used as a reference compound. Results: Total phenolic content of Q. infectoria and T. chebula was determined as 287.34 ± 4.21 and 172.61 ± 8.67 mg gallic acid equivalent/g dried extract, respectively. Both plants decreased cell viability at 100 µg/mL and significantly reduced intercellular melanin to 66.25% and 71.1%, respectively in comparison to kojic acid (56.63% at 50 µg/mL. In the same concentration, 65.7% and 71.2% tyrosinase activity was inhibited by Q. infectoria and T. chebula, which significantly were different from control (p<0.001. Conclusions: These findings suggest that both plants especially Q. infectoria could inhibit melanogenesis in non-toxic concentrations and would be a good candidate for further studies.

  3. Radiation, heat and anti-melanin drug response of a transformed mouse embryo cell line with varying melanin content

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raaphorst, G.P.; Azzam, E.I.

    1987-11-01

    The R25 melanoma-like cell line, produced by transformation of the C3H-10T1/2 mouse embryo cell line, was studied to determine 1) whether the increased size of the survival curve shoulder indicated an increased capacity for radiation damage repair, 2) whether the presence of melanin influences radiosensitivity and heat sensitivity and 3) whether this melanoma cell line is sensitive in its response to anti-melanoma chemical agents compared to its normal parental cell line and other transformants not exhibiting melanoma like properties. (U.K.).

  4. SpectraCam®: A new polarized hyperspectral imaging system for repeatable and reproducible in vivo skin quantification of melanin, total hemoglobin, and oxygen saturation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nkengne, A; Robic, J; Seroul, P; Gueheunneux, S; Jomier, M; Vie, K

    2018-02-01

    An accurate way to determine skin pigmentation is to acquire the spectral reflectance of a skin sample and to quantify chromophores by reverse calculation from physical models of light propagation. Therefore, we tested a new hyperspectral imaging device and software suite, the SpectraCam ® system, and evaluated its accuracy to quantify skin chromophores. Validation of the SpectraCam ® system was performed by, firstly, comparing the known and the acquired reflectance spectra of color phantoms. Repeatability and reproducibility were then evaluated by two operators who performed acquisitions at different time points and compared the acquired reflectance spectra. The specificity of the system was tested by quantitative analysis of single chromophore variation models: lentigo and pressure relief. Finally, we tested the ability of the SpectraCam ® system to detect variations in chromophore in the eye region due to the daily application of a new anti-dark circle cosmetic product. The SpectraCam ® system faithfully acquires the reflectance spectra of color phantoms (r 2 >0.90). The skin reflectance spectra acquired by different operators at different times are highly repeatable (r 2 >0.94) and reproducible (r 2 >0.99). The SpectraCam ® system can also produce qualitative maps that reveal local variations in skin chromophore or underlying structures such as blood vessels. The system is precise enough to detect melanin variation in lentigo or total hemoglobin and oxygen saturation variations upon pressure relief. It is also sensitive enough to detect a decrease in melanin in the eye region due to the application of an anti-dark circle cosmetic product. The SpectraCam ® system proves to be rapid and produces high-resolution data encompassing a large field of view. It is a robust hyperspectral imaging system that quantifies melanin, total hemoglobin, and oxygen saturation and is well adapted to cosmetic research. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley

  5. Role of Melanin in Melanocyte Dysregulation of Reactive Oxygen Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noah C. Jenkins

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We have recently reported a potential alternative tumor suppressor function for p16 relating to its capacity to regulate oxidative stress and observed that oxidative dysregulation in p16-depleted cells was most profound in melanocytes, compared to keratinocytes or fibroblasts. Moreover, in the absence of p16 depletion or exogenous oxidative insult, melanocytes exhibited significantly higher basal levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS than these other epidermal cell types. Given the role of oxidative stress in melanoma development, we speculated that this increased susceptibility of melanocytes to oxidative stress (and greater reliance on p16 for suppression of ROS may explain why genetic compromise of p16 is more commonly associated with predisposition to melanoma rather than other cancers. Here we show that the presence of melanin accounts for this differential oxidative stress in normal and p16-depleted melanocytes. Thus the presence of melanin in the skin appears to be a double-edged sword: it protects melanocytes as well as neighboring keratinocytes in the skin through its capacity to absorb UV radiation, but its synthesis in melanocytes results in higher levels of intracellular ROS that may increase melanoma susceptibility.

  6. Anti-infective properties of the melanin-glucan complex obtained from medicinal tinder bracket mushroom, Fomes fomentarius (L.: Fr.) Fr. (Aphyllophoromycetideae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seniuk, Olga F; Gorovoj, Leontiy F; Beketova, Galina V; Savichuk, Hatalia O; Rytik, Petr G; Kucherov, Igor I; Prilutskay, Alla B; Prilutsky, Alexandr I

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this investigation was to comparatively study the efficiency of traditionally used anti-infective drugs and biopolymer complexes originated from the medicinal mushroom Fomes fomentarius (L.:Fr.) Fr.: 1) water-soluble melanin-glucan complex (MGC; -80% melanins and -20% beta-glucans) and 2) insoluble chitin-glucan-melanin complex (ChGMC; -70% chitin, -20% beta-glucans, and -10% melanins). Infectious materials (Helicobacter pylori, Candida albicans, and Herpes vulgaris I and HIV-1(zmb) were used in pure cultures of in vitro and in vivo models on experimental animals. Comparison studies of fungal biopolymers and effective modern antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral drugs were used in in vitro models. The comparative clinical efficiency of ChGMC and of etiotropic pharmaceuticals in models of H. pylori, C. albicans, and H. vulgaris I infection contamination were studied. Using in vitro models, it was established that MGC completely depresses growth of C. albicans. MGC had an antimicrobial effect on H. pylori identical to erythromycin in all concentrations, and had a stronger action on this bacterium than other tested antibiotics. Tested MGC possesses simultaneously weak toxicity and high anti-HIV-1 activity in comparison with zidovudine (Retrovir). The obtained results show that CLUDDT therapy in Wistar rats with the application of ChGMC is, on average, 1.35-1.43 times as effective as a traditional one. Considering the absence of MGC and ChGMC toxic properties on blood cells even in very high concentrations, these complexes may be used as a source of biopolymers for the creation of essentially new agents for wide application in infectious pathology.

  7. Pigment production from a mangrove Penicillium | Chintapenta ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A mangrove Penicillium producing red pigment was cultured in an optimized medium that was designed by the authors previously and used in this study. The purpose of this study was to identify the pigment and also to study the effect of bio elements on pigment production. Pigment from the medium was efficiently extracted ...

  8. Pigment production from a mangrove Penicillium

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SAM

    2014-06-25

    Jun 25, 2014 ... A mangrove Penicillium producing red pigment was cultured in an optimized medium that was designed by the authors previously and used in this study. The purpose of this study was to identify the pigment and also to study the effect of bio elements on pigment production. Pigment from the medium was.

  9. An Inverse Modeling Approach to Estimating Phytoplankton Pigment Concentrations from Phytoplankton Absorption Spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moisan, John R.; Moisan, Tiffany A. H.; Linkswiler, Matthew A.

    2011-01-01

    Phytoplankton absorption spectra and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) pigment observations from the Eastern U.S. and global observations from NASA's SeaBASS archive are used in a linear inverse calculation to extract pigment-specific absorption spectra. Using these pigment-specific absorption spectra to reconstruct the phytoplankton absorption spectra results in high correlations at all visible wavelengths (r(sup 2) from 0.83 to 0.98), and linear regressions (slopes ranging from 0.8 to 1.1). Higher correlations (r(sup 2) from 0.75 to 1.00) are obtained in the visible portion of the spectra when the total phytoplankton absorption spectra are unpackaged by multiplying the entire spectra by a factor that sets the total absorption at 675 nm to that expected from absorption spectra reconstruction using measured pigment concentrations and laboratory-derived pigment-specific absorption spectra. The derived pigment-specific absorption spectra were further used with the total phytoplankton absorption spectra in a second linear inverse calculation to estimate the various phytoplankton HPLC pigments. A comparison between the estimated and measured pigment concentrations for the 18 pigment fields showed good correlations (r(sup 2) greater than 0.5) for 7 pigments and very good correlations (r(sup 2) greater than 0.7) for chlorophyll a and fucoxanthin. Higher correlations result when the analysis is carried out at more local geographic scales. The ability to estimate phytoplankton pigments using pigment-specific absorption spectra is critical for using hyperspectral inverse models to retrieve phytoplankton pigment concentrations and other Inherent Optical Properties (IOPs) from passive remote sensing observations.

  10. An experimental test of the role of structural blue and melanin-based chestnut coloration in aggressive contests in male eastern bluebirds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Austin eMercadante

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Male eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis have feathers with either structurally based blue coloration or melanin-based chestnut coloration, and they hold territories during the breeding season that they defend vigorously. We tested whether the melanin pigmentation or structural coloration of feathers serve as signals during intrasexual aggressive encounters by placing color-modified stuffed bluebirds in male territories. We recorded the time to attack and the intensity of attacks on each model, and we then compared the response to color-enhanced versus color-reduced models. Male bluebirds attacked models with brighter and more chromatic blue coloration significantly more often than they attacked models with darker and less chromatic blue coloration. In contrast, the darkness of the chestnut breast coloration did not have a significant effect on the rate at which models were attacked. We conclude that territorial male bluebirds perceive intruding males with brighter blue coloration as a greater threat than males with drabber blue coloration, presumably because blue coloration is a signal of fighting ability. In contrast, the chestnut coloration of breast feathers appears to be a signal of gender and sexual maturity and not a graded signal of social status.

  11. The Amount of Melanin Influences p16 Loss in Spitzoid Melanocytic Lesions: Correlation With CDKN2A Status by FISH and MLPA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez Ciarpaglini, Carolina; Gonzalez, Jose; Sanchez, Beatriz; Agusti, Jaime; Navarro, Lara; Nieto, Gema; Monteagudo, Carlos

    2018-02-27

    The risk assessment of spitzoid lesions is one of the most difficult challenges in dermatopathology practice. In this regard, the loss of p16 expression and the homozygous deletion of CDKN2A, have been pointed in the literature as reliable indicators of high risk. However, these findings are poorly reproducible, and the molecular bases underlying the loss of p16 expression remain unclear. We aimed to identify the underlying events causing loss of CDKN2A/p16 in spitzoid tumors. We evaluated the immunohistochemical expression of p16, and the presence of CDKN2A genetic alterations detected through fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA), in a series of 130 Spitz nevi, 20 atypical spitzoid tumors, and 11 spitzoid melanoma. We found a significant loss of p16 expression in cases with high amount of melanin content in the 3 groups (P<0.000001) and a similar proportion of p16-negative cases in the group of Spitz nevi and atypical spitzoid tumors. MLPA allowed the recognition of CDKN2A microdeletions, which correlated with p16 loss (P=0.01). MLPA and FISH were more accurate than immunohistochemistry to detect CDKN2A alterations; although contrary to MLPA, FISH fails to recognize CDKN2A microdeletions. According to our results, p16 expression may be useful in the study of cases with atypical features and low melanin content, but it has no value in highly pigmented spitzoid lesions.

  12. Using a melanin granule lattice model to study the thermal effects of pulsed and scanning light irradiations through a measurement aperture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Do-Hyun

    2011-12-01

    Optical radiation hazards of scanning light sources are often evaluated using pulsed light source criteria, with the relevant pulse parameter equivalent to the scanning light source determined by the energy delivered through a measurement aperture. However, physical equivalence has not been completely understood: a pulsed light source is temporally dynamic but spatially stationary, while a scanning light source is temporally stationary but spatially dynamic. This study introduces a numerical analysis based upon the melanin granule lattice model to investigate the equivalence of scanning and pulsed light sources through a measurement aperture and their respective thermal effects in the pigmented retinal layer. The numerical analysis calculates the thermal contribution of individual melanin granules with varying temporal sequence, and finds that temperature changes and thermal damage thresholds for the two different types of light sources were not equal. However, dwell times of 40 to 200 μsec did not produce significant differences between pulsed and scanning light sources in temperature change and thermal damage thresholds to the sample tissue.

  13. Effect of UVC, UVB, UVA and a solar simulator on the survival of mouse melanoma cell lines differing in melanin content

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, H.Z.; Hill, G.J.; Cieszka, K.; Azure, M. [New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ (United States)

    1994-12-31

    These studies were designed to determine the survival of cells that vary in constitutive pigment levels after exposure to different UV wave lengths. The lamps employed emitted UVC (near monochromatic 254 nm), UVB (Philips TL01-88.7% of UV output is UVB), UVA (Philips HPW125-89% of output is at 365 nm) and Westinghouse FS20 (broad band UVB and UVA). Dish lids were used to cut off UVC in the UVB and FS20 experiments and 0.25 inch plate glass was used to cut off UVB in the UVA experiments. UVC photons interact with putative intracellular photosensitizers which in turn convert O{sub 2} to active oxygen species which damage DNA to produce strand breaks, cross links and base damage. UVB acts by both mechanisms. The two cell lines studied were Cloudman S91/I3 (3.6 pg melanin/cell) and the closely related S91/amel (1.2 pg melanin/cell). Attached cells were covered with Ca{sup ++} and Mg{sup ++} free PBS and irradiated in the cold. Colonies were scored after 2 weeks. The two cell lines exhibit similar survival kinetics after UVC. S91/IE is more sensitive to killing by either UVB (TL01) or UVA. However, S91/amel cells are more sensitive to killing by UVB plus UVA (FS20). It is clear that UV of different qualities can interact to produce effects that would not be predicted based on responses to monochromatic wave lengths.

  14. Oral pigmentation induced by Premarin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérusse, R; Morency, R

    1991-07-01

    Pigmented lesions of the oral cavity are important entities. The wide range of their clinical differential diagnosis includes such diverse systemic conditions as Addison's disease, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, malignant melanoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, as well as specific oral lesions, such as amalgam tattoo or gingival melanosis. This paper reports a very rare cause of oral pigmentation, a melanic type, related to the use of Premarin.

  15. Growth of a radiation-transformed clone of C3H 1OT1/2 cells into melanin-producing colonies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szekely, J.G.; Raaphorst, G.P.; Lobreau, A.U.; Azzam, E.I.; Vadasz, J.A.

    1985-01-01

    When R25, a radiation-transformed clone of C3H 1OT1/2 cells, was plated in soft agarose, a fraction of the colonies became pigmented. The morphologies of the white and dark colonies and their cells were compared by optical, transmission and scanning electron microscopy. The transformed R25 cells had apparently differentiated into melanin-producing cells in the soft agarose, with the white colonies containing actively growing cells having only a few melanosomes, and the dark colonies being made up of stationary-phase cells filled with electronopaque melanosomes. Exposure of the R25 cells to 4.0 Gy of X-rays decreased the percentage of dark colonies, while exposure to 1% DMSO had no effect.

  16. Analysis of Indian pigment gallstones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautray, T.R.; Vijayan, V.; Panigrahi, S.

    2007-01-01

    Particle induced X-ray emission and particle induced γ-ray emission spectroscopic techniques have been carried out to analyse the elemental concentrations of human pigment gallstone samples from eastern region (Orissa) and southern region (Chennai) of India. It was observed that 18 minor/trace elements namely Na, Mg, Al, P, S, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Br and Pb were present in the pigment gallstone samples of both the regions. Our study reveals that average concentration of all elements except Ni in south Indian pigment gallstone samples is higher than that of corresponding values in east Indian pigment gallstone samples whereas elements like Al, P, S, Cl and V did not show much variation between these two regions. Fourier transform infra-red analysis was carried out to identify the functional groups and the classification of the pigment type gallstones of both the regions. The thermal behaviour of pigment gallstones was carried out by thermogravimetry-derivative thermogravimetry analysis

  17. Drusenoid retinal pigment epithelium detachments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Hage Amaro

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The authors make a review of drusenoid retinal pigment epithelium detachments(DPDs, a form of retinal pigment epithelium detachment(PED that evolves from confluent and large soft drusen.Drusenoidretinal pigment epithelial detachments are a recognized element of the "dry" AMD. Until now, no treatment is indicated in drusenoid PEDs. The authors describe the clinical characteristics of drusenoid retinal pigment epithelium detachments (DPEDs and make a review of the DPEDs related in the international literature. We related in this revision paper the multimodal advanced image exams in two cases of dusenoid retinal pigment epithelium detachments (DPEDs and the general characteristics of thisfinding associated with Dry Macular degeneration.Upon examination of the ocular fundusDPEDs emerge as well-circumscribed yellow or yellow–white elevations of the RPE that are usually found within the macula.They may show scalloped borders and a slightly irregular surface. When visualized using fluorescein angiography (FA,DPEDs are typically described as faint hyper-fluorescent in the early phase followed by a slow increase in fluorescence throughout the transit stage of the study without late leakage. With optical coherence tomography (OCT, drusenoid PEDs usually show a smooth contour of the detached hyperreflective RPE band that may have an undulating appearance.Drusenoid PEDs encompass far above the ground possibility type of "dry" AMD that develops in relationship with large confluent soft drusen.At this point no treatment is utilized in drusenoid retinal pigment epithelium detachment(DPEDs.

  18. Multimodal microscopy and the stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence of melanin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Zhenhua

    The author's work is divided into three aspects: multimodal microscopy, stepwise multi-photon activation fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, and customized-profile lenses (CPL) for on-axis laser scanners, which will be introduced respectively. A multimodal microscope provides the ability to image samples with multiple modalities on the same stage, which incorporates the benefits of all modalities. The multimodal microscopes developed in this dissertation are the Keck 3D fusion multimodal microscope 2.0 (3DFM 2.0), upgraded from the old 3DFM with improved performance and flexibility, and the multimodal microscope for targeting small particles (the "Target" system). The control systems developed for both microscopes are low-cost and easy-to-build, with all components off-the-shelf. The control system have not only significantly decreased the complexity and size of the microscope, but also increased the pixel resolution and flexibility. The SMPAF of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave (CW) mode near-infrared (NIR) laser, has potential applications for a low-cost and reliable method of detecting melanin. The photophysics of melanin SMPAF has been studied by theoretical analysis of the excitation process and investigation of the spectra, activation threshold, and photon number absorption of melanin SMPAF. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin, mouse melanoma, and human black and white hairs are compared with images taken by conventional multi-photon fluorescence microscopy (MPFM) and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). SMPAF images significantly increase specificity and demonstrate the potential to increase sensitivity for melanin detection compared to MPFM images and CRM images. Employing melanin SMPAF imaging to detect melanin inside human skin in vivo has been demonstrated, which proves the effectiveness of melanin detection using SMPAF for medical purposes. Selective melanin ablation with micrometer resolution has been presented using the Target system

  19. Yolk pigments of the Mexican leaf frog.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marinetti, G V; Bagnara, J T

    1983-02-25

    Eggs of the Mexican leaf frog contain blue and yellow pigments identified as biliverdin and lutein, respectively. Both pigments are bound to proteins that occur in crystalline form in the yolk platelet. The major blue pigment is biliverdin IX alpha. The eggs vary in color from brilliant blue to pale yellow-green depending on the amount of each pigment. These pigments may provide protective coloration to the eggs.

  20. Hemosiderin pigmentation of tumour cells in cerebellar pilocytic astrocytoma associated with post-traumatic hemorrhage in adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taraszewska, Anna; Czernicki, Zbigniew; Andrychowski, Jarosław

    2005-01-01

    The pilocytic astrocytoma is only rarely associated with gross intratumoral hemorrhage despite rich vasculature and blood vessel changes, accompanied often by perivascular depots of hemosiderin. We report an unusual case of pigmented cerebellar pilocytic astrocytoma presenting with posttraumatic hemorrhage in a 38-year-old man with no history related to the tumor. CT and MRI examination after head injury demonstrated unexpectedly the cystic lesion of 2 cm in diameter in the region of the right cerebellar hemisphere and vermis. The lesion was associated with hematoma and it was surgically removed 3 weeks after trauma. Histopathological examination revealed pilocytic astrocytoma tissue with broad hemorrhagic changes and with an unusual pattern of massive pigmentation of the cytoplasm of pilocytic astrocytes, consistent with hemosiderosis. Positive stains for iron and ferritin and ultrastructural study confirmed deposition of hemosiderin granules in the tumour cells. There was no evidence of melanin or melanosomes. This finding of hemosiderin accumulation in the cytoplasm of neoplastic astroglia seems to be analogous to post-hemorrhagic pigmentation of the normal Bergmann glia and subpial astrocytes. In the literature, the examples of neuroepithelial tumors with hemosiderin pigmentation of tumor cells have been rarely documented. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of pigmented pilocytic astrocytoma exhibiting extensive intracellular hemosiderin deposition.

  1. Photoreactivity of biologically active compounds. VII. Interaction of antimalarial drugs with melanin in vitro as part of phototoxicity screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensen, S; Orsteen, A L; Sande, S A; Tønnesen, H H

    1994-10-01

    The drugs commonly used in the treatment of malaria are photochemically unstable. Several of these compounds accumulate in melanin-rich tissues and cause toxic reactions which may be light induced. As part of the screening of the photochemical properties and phototoxic capabilities of antimalarials, the in vitro interaction of eight antimalarials with melanin was studied. The dissociation constant for the drug-melanin complex and the relative number of binding sites on melanin were estimated for six of the drugs using a curve-fitting program. The reaction rate for the formation of the melanin-drug complex was determined, and the complexes were further characterized by zeta potential measurements.

  2. Data on melanin production in B16F1 melanoma cells in the presence of emu oil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minoru Ito

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Here, we present data on the effects of emu oil, obtained from emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae fat deposits, on melanogenesis in B16F1 murine melanoma cells. The cells were cultured in media containing different concentrations of emu oil, and the melanin content of these cells was measured using a microplate reader. Next, melanin content was measured for cells cultured with α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone. This article reports the different melanin contents as μg melanin/mg cellular protein, by using bar graphs with error bars. The present data imply that emu oil reduces the cellular melanin production.

  3. Stepwise multiphoton activation fluorescence reveals a new method of melanin detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Zhenhua; Kerimo, Josef; Mega, Yair; DiMarzio, Charles A.

    2013-06-01

    The stepwise multiphoton activated fluorescence (SMPAF) of melanin, activated by a continuous-wave mode near infrared (NIR) laser, reveals a broad spectrum extending from the visible spectra to the NIR and has potential application for a low-cost, reliable method of detecting melanin. SMPAF images of melanin in mouse hair and skin are compared with conventional multiphoton fluorescence microscopy and confocal reflectance microscopy (CRM). By combining CRM with SMPAF, we can locate melanin reliably. However, we have the added benefit of eliminating background interference from other components inside mouse hair and skin. The melanin SMPAF signal from the mouse hair is a mixture of a two-photon process and a third-order process. The melanin SMPAF emission spectrum is activated by a 1505.9-nm laser light, and the resulting spectrum has a peak at 960 nm. The discovery of the emission peak may lead to a more energy-efficient method of background-free melanin detection with less photo-bleaching.

  4. Structural Studies of Bleached Melanin by Synchrotron Small-angle X-ray Scattering¶

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Littrell, Kenneth C.; Gallas, James M.; Zajac, Gerry W.; Thiyagarajan, Pappannan

    2003-01-01

    Small-angle X-ray scattering was used to measure the effects of chemical bleaching on the size and morphology of tyrosine-derived synthetic melanin dispersed in aqueous media. The average size as measured by the radius of gyration of the melanin particles in solution, at neutral to mildly basic pH, decreases from 16.5 to 12.5 angstroms with increased bleaching. The melanin particles exhibit scattering characteristic of sheet-like structures with a thickness of approximately 11 angstroms at all but the highest levels of bleaching. The scattering data are well described by the form factor for scattering from a pancake-like circular cylinder. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that unbleached melanin, at neutral to mildly basic pH, is a planar aggregate of 6- to 10-nm-sized melanin protomolecules, hydrogen bonded through their quinone and phenolic perimeters. The observed decrease in melanin particle size with increased bleaching is interpreted as evidence for deaggregation, most probably the result of oxidative disruption of hydrogen bonds and an increase in the number of charged, carboxylic acid groups, whereby the melanin aggregates disassociate into units composed of decreasing numbers of protomolecules.

  5. Related allopolyploids display distinct floral pigment profiles and transgressive pigments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Elizabeth W; Berardi, Andrea E; Smith, Stacey D; Litt, Amy

    2017-01-01

    Both polyploidy and shifts in floral color have marked angiosperm evolution. Here, we investigate the biochemical basis of the novel and diverse floral phenotypes seen in allopolyploids in Nicotiana (Solanaceae) and examine the extent to which the merging of distinct genomes alters flavonoid pigment production. We analyzed flavonol and anthocyanin pigments from Nicotiana allopolyploids of different ages (N. tabacum, 0.2 million years old; several species from Nicotiana section Repandae, 4.5 million years old; and five lines of first-generation synthetic N. tabacum) as well as their diploid progenitors. Allopolyploid floral pigment profiles tend not to overlap with their progenitors or related allopolyploids, and allopolyploids produce transgressive pigments that are not present in either progenitor. Differences in floral color among N. tabacum accessions seems mainly to be due to variation in cyanidin concentration, but changes in flavonol concentrations among accessions are also present. Competition for substrates within the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway to make either flavonols or anthocyanins may drive the differences seen among related allopolyploids. Some of the pigment differences observed in allopolyploids may be associated with making flowers more visible to nocturnal pollinators. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  6. The visual pigment cyanide effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crescitelli, F; Karvaly, B

    1989-12-01

    The visual pigment of the Tokay gecko (Gekko gekko) with its in situ absorption maximum at 521 nm has its spectral position at 500 to 505 nm when chloride-deficient digitonin is used for the extraction. In this case the addition of chloride or bromide to the extract restores the maximum to 521 nm. This property, characteristic of gecko pigments in general, does not occur with any of the rhodopsins that have been tested. Simple salts of cyanide, a pseudohalogenoid with an ionic radius close to those of chloride and bromide and/or its hydrolysis product attacks both this gecko pigment and rhodopsins in the dark. This is seen as a slow thermal loss of photopigment if (sodium) cyanide is present at concentrations above 40 mM for the gecko pigment and 150 mM for the rhodopsins of the midshipman (Porichthys notatus) and of the frog (Rana pipiens). In all cases the loss of the photopigment is accompanied by the appearance of a spectral product with maximum absorption at about 340 nm. Cyanide addition has no effect on the photosensitivity of the native pigments and neither does it alter, as do chloride, bromide and other anions, the spectral absorbance curve. The spectral product at 340 nm also appears when the visual pigments are photolyzed in the presence of cyanide salts below the threshold concentrations given above. Incubation of digitonin-solubilized all-trans-retinal with (sodium) cyanide leads to a reaction product with absorption spectrum similar to that obtained with visual pigments under comparable conditions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  7. L-tyrosine induces the production of a pyomelanin-like pigment by the parasitic yeast-form of Histoplasma capsulatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida-Paes, Rodrigo; Almeida-Silva, Fernando; Pinto, Gabriela Costa Maia; Almeida, Marcos de Abreu; Muniz, Mauro de Medeiros; Pizzini, Claudia Vera; Gerfen, Gary J; Nosanchuk, Joshua Daniel; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely Maria

    2018-06-01

    Melanization of Histoplasma capsulatum remains poorly described, particularly in regards to the forms of melanin produced. In the present study, 30 clinical and environmental H. capsulatum strains were grown in culture media with or without L-tyrosine under conditions that produced either mycelial or yeast forms. Mycelial cultures were not melanized under the studied conditions. However, all strains cultivated under yeast conditions produced a brownish to black soluble pigment compatible with pyomelanin when grew in presence of L-tyrosine. Sulcotrione inhibited pigment production in yeast cultures, strengthening the hyphothesis that H. capsulatum yeast forms produce pyomelanin. Since pyomelanin is produced by the fungal parasitic form, this pigment may be involved in H. capsulatum virulence.

  8. Effect of newly developed pigments and ultraviolet absorbers on the color change of pigmented silicone elastomer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohit G Kheur

    2017-01-01

    Conclusion: The newly developed pigment led to increased color stability as compared to commercially available pigments. Addition of UV stabilizer, Chimassorb led to a further reduction in color change of the pigmented elastomer.

  9. Differential sensitivity of pigmented and non-pigmented marine bacteria to metals and antibiotics

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nair, S.; Chandramohan, D.; LokaBharathi, P.A.

    The response of pigmented and non-pigmented marine bacteria to metals and antibiotics was investigated. The two groups responded differently to heavy metals and antibiotics. Pigmented bacteria were more resistant to metals. Among the metals, Zn...

  10. Isolation of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia from clinical samples: An investigation of patterns motility and production of melanin pigment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rabeeh Izadi Amoli

    2017-09-01

    Conclusions: The highest percentage of bacteria is isolated of oxygen manometer system and dental suction, yet has not been reported from oxygen manometer system. These bacteria have also been associated with patients who have respiratory problems, so it is essential for staffs of hospitals to draw attention to this source of bacteria.

  11. Screening of micro-organisms for decolorization of melanins produced by bluestain fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rättö, M; Chatani, M; Ritschkoff, A C; Viikari, L

    2001-03-01

    A total of 17 fungi and four bacteria were screened for their ability to decolorize melanin, using isolated extracellular melanin of the bluestain fungus Aureobasidium pullulans as substrate. On agar media, decolorization was observed by four fungal strains: Bjerkandera adusta VTT-D-99746, Galactomyces geotrichum VTT-D-84228, Trametes hirsuta VTT-D-95443 and Trametes versicolor VTT-D-99747. The four fungi were more efficient on nitrogen-limited medium than on complete medium. The melanin-decolorizing activity of G. geotrichum appeared to be located on the mycelium and could be liberated into the medium enzymatically.

  12. The role of alpha-synuclein in melanin synthesis in melanoma and dopaminergic neuronal cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianhong Pan

    Full Text Available The relatively high co-occurrence of Parkinson's disease (PD and melanoma has been established by a large number of epidemiological studies. However, a clear biological explanation for this finding is still lacking. Ultra-violet radiation (UVR-induced skin melanin synthesis is a defense mechanism against UVR-induced damage relevant to the initiation of melanoma, whereas, increased neuromelanin (NM, the melanin synthesized in dopaminergic neurons, may enhance the susceptibility to oxidative stress-induced neuronal injury relevant to PD. SNCA is a PD-causing gene coding for alpha-Synuclein (α-Syn that expresses not only in brain, but also in skin as well as in tumors, such as melanoma. The findings that α-Syn can interact with tyrosinase (TYR and inhibit tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, both of which are enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of melanin and dopamine (DA, led us to propose that α-Syn may participate in the regulation of melanin synthesis. In this study, by applying ultraviolet B (UVB light, a physiologically relevant stimulus of melanogenesis, we detected melanin synthesis in A375 and SK-MEL-28 melanoma cells and in SH-SY5Y and PC12 dopaminergic neuronal cells and determined effects of α-Syn on melanin synthesis. Our results showed that UVB light exposure increased melanin synthesis in all 4 cell lines. However, we found that α-Syn expression reduced UVB light-induced increase of melanin synthesis and that melanin content was lower when melanoma cells were expressed with α-Syn, indicating that α-Syn may have inhibitory effects on melanin synthesis in melanoma cells. Different from melanoma cells, the melanin content was higher in α-Syn-over-expressed dopaminergic neuronal SH-SY5Y and PC12 cells, cellular models of PD, than that in non-α-Syn-expressed control cells. We concluded that α-Syn could be one of the points responsible for the positive association between PD and melanoma via its differential roles in melanin synthesis in

  13. A genome-wide association study identifies novel single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with dermal shank pigmentation in chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guangqi; Li, Dongfeng; Yang, Ning; Qu, Lujiang; Hou, Zhuocheng; Zheng, Jiangxia; Xu, Guiyun; Chen, Sirui

    2014-12-01

    Shank color of domestic chickens varies from black to blue, green, yellow, or white, which is controlled by the combination of melanin and xanthophylls in dermis and epidermis. Dermal shank pigmentation of chickens is determined by sex-linked inhibitor of dermal melanin (Id), which is located on the distal end of the long arm of Z chromosome, through controlling dermal melanin pigmentation. Although previous studies have focused on the identification of Id and the linear relationship with barring and recessive white skin, no causal mutations have yet been identified in relation to the mutant dermal pigment inhibiting allele at the Id locus. In this study, we first used the 600K Affymetrix Axiom HD genotyping array, which includes ~580,961 SNP of which 26,642 SNP were on the Z chromosome to perform a genome-wide association study on pure lines of 19 Tibetan hens with dermal pigmentation shank and 21 Tibetan hens with yellow shank to refine the Id location. Association analysis was conducted by the PLINK software using the standard chi-squared test, and then Bonferroni correction was used to adjust multiple testing. The genome-wide study revealed that 3 SNP located at 78.5 to 79.2 Mb on the Z chromosome in the current assembly of chicken genome (galGal4) were significantly associated with dermal shank pigmentation of chickens, but none of them were located in known genes. The interval we refined was partly converged with previous results, suggesting that the Id gene is in or near our refined genome region. However, the genomic context of this region was complex. There were only 15 SNP markers developed by the genotyping array within the interval region, in which only 1 SNP marker passed quality control. Additionally, there were about 5.8-Mb gaps on both sides of the refined interval. The follow-up replication studies may be needed to further confirm the functional significance for these newly identified SNP. ©2014 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  14. Diversity and functional properties of bistable pigments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukamoto, Hisao; Terakita, Akihisa

    2010-11-01

    Rhodopsin and related opsin-based pigments, which are photosensitive membrane proteins, have been extensively studied using a wide variety of techniques, with rhodopsin being the most understood G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR). Animals use various opsin-based pigments for vision and a wide variety of non-visual functions. Many functionally varied pigments are roughly divided into two kinds, based on their photoreaction: bistable and monostable pigments. Bistable pigments are thermally stable before and after photo-activation, but monostable pigments are stable only before activation. Here, we review the diversity of bistable pigments and their molecular characteristics. We also discuss the mechanisms underlying different molecular characteristics of bistable and monostable pigments. In addition, the potential of bistable pigments as a GPCR model is proposed.

  15. Screening of marine algae for potential tyrosinase inhibitor: those inhibitors reduced tyrosinase activity and melanin synthesis in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Seon-Heui; Ko, Seok-Chun; Kim, Daekyung; Jeon, You-Jin

    2011-04-01

    In order to find new anti-browning and whitening agents in this study, we investigated 43 indigenous marine algae for tyrosinase inhibitory activity. The extracts from Endarachne binghamiae, Schizymenia dubyi, Ecklonia cava (EC) and Sargassum silquastrum (SS) evidenced potent tyrosinase inhibitory activity similar to that of positive control, kojic acid. Among those marine algae, EC and SS are distributed abundantly on Jeju Island. Therefore, we selected those two species for further studies. Our results evidenced that both species reduced cellular melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activity. On the other hand, we utilized zebrafish as an alternative in vivo model. All the tested samples evidenced excellent inhibitory effects on the pigmentation of zebrafish, most likely due to their potential tyrosinase inhibitory activity. In simultaneous in vivo toxicity tests, no toxicity was observed in either algal species, on the other hand, toxicity was observed in positive controls. These results provided that EC and SS extract could be used as an ingredient for whiting cosmetics and that zebrafish is an alternative in vivo model. © 2010 Japanese Dermatological Association.

  16. Identification of organic pigments in tattoo inks and permanent make-up using laser desorption ionisation mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niederer, Markus; Hauri, Urs; Kroll, Lydia; Hohl, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    Nowadays, about 12% of the European and 20% of the US population are tattooed. Rising concerns regarding consumer safety, led to legal restrictions on tattoo and permanent make-up (PMU) inks. Restrictions also include bans on certain colourants. Both ink types use organic pigments for colour-giving, plus inorganic pigments for white and black and colour tones. Pigments are only sparingly soluble in common solvents and occur as suspended particles in the ink matrix. Their detection and identification therefore pose a major challenge for laboratories involved in monitoring the legal compliance of tattoo inks and PMU. We overcame this challenge by developing a direct laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry method, which included an easy sample clean up. The method proved to be capable of detecting and identifying organic pigments in almost all of the tested ink samples. Method validation and routine deployment during market surveys showed the method to be fit for purpose. Pigment screening of 396 tattoo inks and 55 PMU taken from the Swiss market between 2009 and 2017 lead to the following conclusions: Pigment variety is much greater in tattoo inks (18) than in PMU (10); four prohibited pigments (Pigment Green 7, Pigment Red 122, Pigment Violet 19 and 23) were found in both ink types; for PMU, these four pigments made up 12% of the pigment findings, compared to 32% for tattoo inks. Therefore, legal compliance of PMU was at a higher level. A comparison of pigments found with those declared on tattoo ink labels clearly showed that banned pigments are rarely declared, but rather masked by listing non present legal pigments and label forging; therefore, highlighting the urgency of widespread market controls.

  17. Zebrafish mutations in gart and paics identify crucial roles for de novo purine synthesis in vertebrate pigmentation and ocular development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Anthony; Uribe, Rosa A; Yieh, Leah; Nuckels, Richard; Gross, Jeffrey M

    2009-08-01

    Although purines and purinergic signaling are crucial for numerous biochemical and cellular processes, their functions during vertebrate embryonic development have not been well characterized. We analyze two recessive zebrafish mutations that affect de novo purine synthesis, gart and paics. gart encodes phosphoribosylglycinamide formyltransferase, phosphoribosylglycinamide synthetase, phosphoribosylaminoimidazole synthetase, a trifunctional enzyme that catalyzes steps 2, 3 and 5 of inosine monophosphate (IMP) synthesis. paics encodes phosphoribosylaminoimidazole carboxylase, phosphoribosylaminoimidazole succinocarboxamide synthetase, a bifunctional enzyme that catalyzes steps 6 and 7 of this process. Zygotic gart and paics mutants have pigmentation defects in which xanthophore and iridophore pigmentation is almost completely absent, and melanin-derived pigmentation is significantly decreased, even though pigment cells are present in normal amounts and distributions. Zygotic gart and paics mutants are also microphthalmic, resulting from defects in cell cycle exit of proliferative retinoblasts within the developing eye. Maternal-zygotic and maternal-effect mutants demonstrate a crucial requirement for maternally derived gart and paics; these mutants show more severe developmental defects than their zygotic counterparts. Pigmentation and eye growth phenotypes in zygotic gart and paics mutants can be ascribed to separable biosynthetic pathways: pigmentation defects and microphthalmia result from deficiencies in a GTP synthesis pathway and an ATP synthesis pathway, respectively. In the absence of ATP pathway activity, S phase of proliferative retinoblasts is prolonged and cell cycle exit is compromised, which results in microphthalmia. These results demonstrate crucial maternal and zygotic requirements for de novo purine synthesis during vertebrate embryonic development, and identify independent functions for ATP and GTP pathways in mediating eye growth and pigmentation

  18. Iris pigmentation and AC thresholds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roche, A F; Mukherjee, D; Chumlea, W C; Siervogel, R M

    1983-03-01

    Data from 160 White children were used to analyze possible associations between iris pigmentation and AC pure-tone thresholds. Iris pigmentation was graded from iris color using glass models of eyes, and AC thresholds were obtained under carefully controlled conditions. Analyses of variance using two groupings of iris color grades showed no evidence of an association between iris color grade and AC thresholds. Furthermore, inspection of arrays of the actual glass eye models, in conjunction with the order of mean thresholds at each test frequency, did not indicate the presence of an association between iris color grades and thresholds. It was concluded that while iris pigmentation may be related to some aspects of hearing ability, it does not appear to be related to AC thresholds in children.

  19. SCF/c-kit signaling is required for cyclic regeneration of the hair pigmentation unit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botchkareva, N V; Khlgatian, M; Longley, B J; Botchkarev, V A; Gilchrest, B A

    2001-03-01

    Hair graying, an age-associated process of unknown etiology, is characterized by a reduced number and activity of hair follicle (HF) melanocytes. Stem cell factor (SCF) and its receptor c-kit are important for melanocyte survival during development, and mutations in these genes result in unpigmented hairs. Here we show that during cyclic HF regeneration in C57BL/6 mice, proliferating, differentiating, and melanin-producing melanocytes express c-kit, whereas presumptive melanocyte precursors do not. SCF overexpression in HF epithelium significantly increases the number and proliferative activity of melanocytes. During the induced hair cycle in C57BL/6 mice, administration of anti-c-kit antibody dose-dependently decreases hair pigmentation and leads to partially depigmented (gray) or fully depigmented (white) hairs, associated with significant decreases in melanocyte proliferation and differentiation, as determined by immunostaining and confocal microscopy. However, in the next hair cycle, the previously treated animals grow fully pigmented hairs with the normal number and distribution of melanocytes. This suggests that melanocyte stem cells are not dependent on SCF/c-kit and when appropriately stimulated can generate melanogenically active melanocytes. Therefore, the blockade of c-kit signaling offers a fully reversible model for hair depigmentation, which might be used for the studies of hair pigmentation disorders.

  20. Biology and genetics of oculocutaneous albinism and vitiligo - common pigmentation disorders in southern Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manga, Prashiela; Kerr, Robyn; Ramsay, Michèle; Kromberg, Jennifer G R

    2013-07-29

    Pigmentation disorders span the genetic spectrum from single-gene autosomal recessive disorders such as oculocutaneous albinism (OCA), the autosomal dominant disorder piebaldism to X-linked ocular albinism and multifactorial vitiligo. OCA connotes a group of disorders that result in hypopigmented skin due to decreased melanin production in melanocytes and loss of visual acuity. There are four non-syndromic forms, OCA1-4, which are classified based on the gene that is mutated (tyrosinase, OCA2, tyrosinase-related protein 1 and SLC45A2, respectively). Despite the fact that multiple genes account for the various forms of OCA, the phenotypes of all four forms result from disruption in the maturation and trafficking of the enzyme tyrosinase. OCA2 is the most prevalent autosomal recessive disorder among southern African blacks, affecting 1/3 900 individuals; while OCA3, although rare, is most prevalent in southern Africa. Another common pigmentation disorder in southern Africa is vitiligo, which affects 1 - 2% of people worldwide. Vitiligo is a complex, acquired disorder in which melanocytes are destroyed due to an autoimmune response. The aetiology underlying this disorder is poorly understood, although recent genetic association studies have begun to shed light on the contributing factors. Pigmentation disorders have significant psychosocial implications and co-morbidities, yet therapies are still lacking. Recent progress in our understanding of the pathobiology of both albinism and vitiligo may herald novel treatment strategies for these disorders. 

  1. Skin pigmentation provides evidence of convergent melanism in extinct marine reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindgren, Johan; Sjövall, Peter; Carney, Ryan M; Uvdal, Per; Gren, Johan A; Dyke, Gareth; Schultz, Bo Pagh; Shawkey, Matthew D; Barnes, Kenneth R; Polcyn, Michael J

    2014-02-27

    Throughout the animal kingdom, adaptive colouration serves critical functions ranging from inconspicuous camouflage to ostentatious sexual display, and can provide important information about the environment and biology of a particular organism. The most ubiquitous and abundant pigment, melanin, also has a diverse range of non-visual roles, including thermoregulation in ectotherms. However, little is known about the functional evolution of this important biochrome through deep time, owing to our limited ability to unambiguously identify traces of it in the fossil record. Here we present direct chemical evidence of pigmentation in fossilized skin, from three distantly related marine reptiles: a leatherback turtle, a mosasaur and an ichthyosaur. We demonstrate that dark traces of soft tissue in these fossils are dominated by molecularly preserved eumelanin, in intimate association with fossilized melanosomes. In addition, we suggest that contrary to the countershading of many pelagic animals, at least some ichthyosaurs were uniformly dark-coloured in life. Our analyses expand current knowledge of pigmentation in fossil integument beyond that of feathers, allowing for the reconstruction of colour over much greater ranges of extinct taxa and anatomy. In turn, our results provide evidence of convergent melanism in three disparate lineages of secondarily aquatic tetrapods. Based on extant marine analogues, we propose that the benefits of thermoregulation and/or crypsis are likely to have contributed to this melanisation, with the former having implications for the ability of each group to exploit cold environments.

  2. Technical note: comparing von Luschan skin color tiles and modern spectrophotometry for measuring human skin pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swiatoniowski, Anna K; Quillen, Ellen E; Shriver, Mark D; Jablonski, Nina G

    2013-06-01

    Prior to the introduction of reflectance spectrophotometry into anthropological field research during the 1950s, human skin color was most commonly classified by visual skin color matching using the von Luschan tiles, a set of 36 standardized, opaque glass tiles arranged in a chromatic scale. Our goal was to establish a conversion formula between the tile-based color matching method and modern reflectance spectrophotometry to make historical and contemporary data comparable. Skin pigmentation measurements were taken on the forehead, inner upper arms, and backs of the hands using both the tiles and a spectrophotometer on 246 participants showing a broad range of skin pigmentation. From these data, a second-order polynomial conversion formula was derived by jackknife analysis to estimate melanin index (M-index) based on tile values. This conversion formula provides a means for comparing modern data to von Luschan tile measurements recorded in historical reports. This is particularly important for populations now extinct, extirpated, or admixed for which tile-based measures of skin pigmentation are the only data available. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Flux pinning mechanism and Hc2-anisotropy in melanin doped bulk MgB2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahabuddin Shah, M.; Shahabuddin, Mohammed; Alzayed, Nasser S.; Parakkandy, Jafar M.

    2014-06-01

    Flux pinning mechanism in melanin doped MgB2 superconductor has been studied using a scaling law proposed by Dew-Hughes and another method proposed by Eisterer. Our experimental data could be fitted very closely by the aforementioned scaling law. The fitting parameters, the positions of peaks bpeak and k = bpeak/bn confirm a grain-boundary pinning in the 10% melanin doped sample, while the undoped sample consists of mixed pinning. Furthermore, percolation theory was utilized under grain-boundary approximation to investigate the role of Hc2-anisotropy in the critical current density, and its dependence on applied field as well as temperature. The Hc2-anisotropy decreases with melanin doping resulting in the increase of Jc in high field. There is suppression of flux pinning maximum due to melanin doping, which is found to be the main reason for the degradation of low-field Jc.

  4. Corticosterone mediates the condition-dependent component of melanin-based coloration

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roulin, A.; Almasi, B.; Rossi-Pedruzzi, A.; Ducrest, A.-L.; Wakamatsu, K.; Mikšík, Ivan; Blount, J.D.; Jenni-Eiermann, S.; Jenni, L.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 75, č. 4 (2008), s. 1351-1358 ISSN 0003-3472 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : coricosterone * barn owl * melanin Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 2.828, year: 2008

  5. Lasers in esthetic treatment of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation: a review article.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakhshi, Mahin; Rahmani, Somayeh; Rahmani, Ali

    2015-11-01

    The health and suitability of mouth components play an important role towards defining facial attractiveness. An important component of the oral cavity is the color of the gingival tissue. Gingival melanin hyperpigmentation is caused by several reasons and affects people across ethnicity, race, age, and both gender. Lasers are presently being used for gingival melanin depigmentation. In this article, we reviewed studies on laser parameters, duration of gingival healing, pain perception during and after the operation, scores used for the evaluation of gingival melanin hyperpigmentation, follow-up period, treatment results, and recurrence reports. We conclude that laser ablation for gingival depigmentation is one of the most pleasant, reliable, acceptable, and impressive techniques available for treating gingival melanin hyperpigmentation.

  6. The role of melanin as protector against free radicals in skin and its role as free radical indicator in hair

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrling, Thomas; Jung, Katinka; Fuchs, Jürgen

    2008-05-01

    Throughout the body, melanin is a homogenous biological polymer containing a population of intrinsic, semiquinone-like radicals. Additional extrinsic free radicals are reversibly photo-generated by UV and visible light. Melanin photochemistry, particularly the formation and decay of extrinsic radicals, has been the subject of numerous electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy studies. Several melanin monomers exist, and the predominant monomer in a melanin polymer depends on its location within an organism. In skin and hair, melanin differs in content of eumelanin or pheomelanin. Its bioradical character and its susceptibility to UV irradiation makes melanin an excellent indicator for UV-related processes in both skin and hair. The existence of melanin in skin is strongly correlated with the prevention against free radicals/ROS generated by UV radiation. Especially in the skin melanin (mainly eumelanin) ensures the only natural UV protection by eliminating the generated free radicals/ROS. Melanin in hair can be used as a free radical detector for evaluating the efficacy of hair care products. The aim of this study was to investigate the suitability of melanin as protector of skin against UV generated free radicals and as free radical indicator in hair.

  7. Examination by EPR spectroscopy of free radicals in melanins isolated from A-375 cells exposed on valproic acid and cisplatin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chodurek, Ewa; Zdybel, Magdalena; Pilawa, Barbara; Dzierzewicz, Zofia

    2012-01-01

    Drug binding by melanin biopolymers influence the effectiveness of the chemotherapy, radiotherapy and photodynamic therapy. Free radicals of melanins take part in formation of their complex with drugs. The aim of this work was to determine the effect of the two compounds: valproic acid (VPA) and cisplatin (CPT) on free radicals properties of melanin isolated from A-375 melanoma cells. Free radicals were examined by an X-band (9.3 GHz) electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. EPR spectra were measured for the model synthetic eumelanin - DOPA-melanin, the melanin isolated from the control A-375 cells and these cells treated by VPA, CPT and both VPA and CPT. For all the examined samples broad EPR lines (deltaBpp: 0.48-0.68 mT) with g-factors of 2.0045-2.0060 characteristic for o-semiquinone free radicals were observed. Free radicals concentrations (N) in the tested samples, g-factors, amplitudes (A), integral intensities (I) and linewidths (deltaBpp) of the EPR spectra, were analyzed. The EPR lines were homogeneously broadened. Continuous microwave saturation of the EPR spectra indicated that slow spin-lattice relaxation processes existed in all the tested melanin samples. The relatively slowest spin-lattice relaxation processes characterized melanin isolated from A-375 cells treated with both VPA and CPT. The changes of the EPR spectra with increasing microwave power in the range of 2.2-70 mW were evaluated. Free radicals concentrations in the melanin from A-375 cells were higher than in the synthetic DOPA-melanin. The strong increase of free radicals concentration in the melanin from A-375 cells was observed after their treating by VPA. CPT also caused the increase of free radicals concentrations in the examined natural melanin. The free radicals concentration in melanin isolated from A-375 cells treated with both VPA and CPT was slightly higher than those in melanin from the control cells.

  8. Andrographolide suppresses melanin synthesis through Akt/GSK3β/β-catenin signal pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Ping-Ya; Yin, Wei-Han; Wang, Meng-Ran; Dang, Yong-Yan; Ye, Xi-Yun

    2015-07-01

    Tyrosinase (TYR) is the key enzyme controlling the production of melanin. Very few papers have reported that andrographolide can inhibit melanin content. To investigate the effects of andrographolide on melanin synthesis. Cell viability, melanin content, TYR activity, transcriptional and protein expression levels of TYR family and other kinds of proteins involved in melanogenesis were measured after the treatments of andrographolide. It was found that andrographolide decreased melanin content, TYR activity and transcriptional and protein expression of TYR family and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) in B16F10 melanoma cells. Data showed andrographolide also decreased melanin content and TYR content in ultraviolet B (UVB) irradiation induced brown guinea pigs. Moreover, we found that melanin content and TYR activity were effectively inhibited in Human Epidermis Melanocyte (HEM) treated with andrographolide at the medium concentrations without apparent effect on cell viability. Results in experiments treated with MG-132 or cycloheximide (CHX) showed that andrographolide lowered the content of β-catenin in cell nucleus resulting from accelerating the degradation of β-catenin. Phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) and Akt decreased simultaneously. 6-Bromoindirubin-3'-oxime (BIO, inhibitor of GSK3β) and insulin-like growth factors-1 (IGF-1, activator of Akt) could reverse the decline of β-catenin in B16F10 cells induced by andrographolide. These results demonstrate that andrographolide can effectively suppress melanin content and TYR activity in B16F10 cells, HEM cells and