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Anti-tyrosinase and antimelanogenic effect of cinnamic acid derivatives from Prunus mahaleb L.: Phenolic composition, isolation, identification and inhibitory activity.

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The traditional use of Prunus species against skin diseases and especially for skin lightning cosmeceutical purposes is widespread in many cultures. Prunus mahaleb L. is a well known food plant and used in the baking industry for flavoring. The fruit kernels (endocarp) are used in India for hyperpigmentation.

AIM OF THE STUDY: To investigate the chemical composition with the antimelanogenesis effect of P. mahaleb seed and kernel extracts and isolated compounds.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Isolation studies performed from the methanol extracts obtained from kernels and structures were determined using NMR and MS analysis. Antimelanogenesis effect was determined by mushroom tyrosinase assay, cellular tyrosinase assay and melanin content assay using B16F10 murine melanoma cells.

RESULTS: Five cinnamic acid derivatives were isolated and their structures (2-O-β-glucopyranosyloxy-4-methoxy-hydrocinnamic acid (1), cis-melilotoside (2), dihydromelilotoside (3), trans-melilotoside (4), 2-O-β-glucosyloxy-4-methoxy trans-cinnamic acid (5)) were elucidated using advanced spectroscopic methods. Mushroom tyrosinase enzyme inhibition of extracts, fractions and pure compounds obtained from P. mahaleb kernels were investigated and structure-activity relationship revealed. According to a detailed, comprehensive and validated LC-MS/MS technique analysis, vanilic acid (41.407 mg/g), protocatechuic acid (8.992 mg/g) and ferulic acid (4.962 mg/g) in the kernel ethylacetate fraction; quinic acid (14.183 mg/g), fumaric acid (8.349 mg/g) and aconitic acid (5.574 mg/g) were found as major phenolic compounds in the water fraction. The correlation of trace element copper content in extracts and fractions with mushroom enzyme activity was determined. By examining the enzyme kinetics of the compounds with effective cinnamic acid derivatives, inhibition types and enzyme binding constants Ki were calculated. Compounds 1,3 and 5 exhibited high noncompetitive tyrosinase inhibitory activity against L-tyrosine substrates, with IC50 values of 0.22, 0.31 and 0.37 mM respectively. In addition compounds 1, 3 and 5 showed dose-dependent inhibitory effects on intracellular tyrosinase and melanin levels in α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-induced B16F10 melanoma cells.

CONCLUSIONS: Potent tyrosinase inhibitory compounds and extracts of P. mahaleb kernels suggest that it could be a new, non-toxic and inexpensive resource for the cosmeceutical industry and in skin diseases associated with hyperpigmentation.

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