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Yanggu, South Korea

Shin D.H.,Somang Cosmetics Corporation | Cha Y.J.,Somang Cosmetics Corporation | Joe G.J.,Somang Cosmetics Corporation | Yang K.E.,Korea Basic Science Institute | And 3 more authors.
Pharmaceutical Biology | Year: 2013

Context: Sophora flavescens Ait. (Leguminosae) has been proposed as a new whitening agent for cosmetics, because it has a strong ability to inhibit tyrosinase, a key enzyme in the formation of melanin. Objective: We conducted a study to determine whether ethanol extract of the roots of S. flavescens has the potential for use as a whitening cosmetic agent by investigating its underlying mechanisms of action. Materials and methods: To elucidate the mechanism of action of S. flavescens extract, we used DNA microarray technology. We investigated the changes in the mRNA levels of genes associated with the formation and transport of melanosomes. We also identified the formation and transport of melanosomes with immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence analyses. Finally, the skin-whitening effect in vivo of S. flavescens extract was analyzed on human skin. Results: We found that S. flavescens extract strongly inhibited tyrosinase activity (IC50, 10.4μg/mL). Results also showed that key proteins involved in the formation and transport of melanosomes were dramatically downregulated at both mRNA and protein level in keratinocytes exposed to S. flavescens extract. In addition, a clinical trial of a cream containing 0.05% S. flavescens extract on human skin showed it had a significant effect on skin whitening by mechanical and visual evaluation (1.14-fold). Discussion and conclusion: This study provides important clues toward understanding the effects of S. flavescens extract on the formation and transport of melanosomes. From these results, we suggest that naturally occurring S. flavescens extract might be useful as a new whitening agent in cosmetics. © 2013 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

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