Die Pharmazie

Methyl gallate from Acer barbinerve decreases melanin synthesis in Mel-Ab cells.

PMID 25975099


Methyl gallate (MG) was isolated from the bark of Acer barbinerve, which has traditionally been used in Oriental medicine. In the present study, we examined the effects of MG on melanin synthesis in Mel-Ab melanocyte cells. MG decreased melanin pigmentation in a concentration-dependent manner, but did not directly inhibit tyrosinase activity. Further analysis showed that MG had no effect on extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation, but induced phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)3β, which is known to increase β-catenin accumulation. Accordingly, the β-catenin level was increased by MG. However, a specific GSK3β inhibitor did not rescue the MG-induced inhibition of melanogenesis. Additionally, MG decreased the protein expression of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase, which regulate melanin synthesis. Based on these results, we conclude that MG inhibits melanogenesis by decreasing the expression of MITF and tyrosinase.