16-hydroxy-9-oxo-10E,12E,14E-octadecatrienoic acid, also known as Corchorifatty acid B (CFAB), is isolated from the ethanol extracts of the aerial parts of Melissa officinalis Linné (Labiatae) and exhibits inhibitory effects on cellular pigmentation in both human melanocytes and mouse melanoma B16 cells. CFAB specifically decreases cellular melanin by most likely inducing rapid degradation of tyrosinase in B16 cells. Interestingly, unlike other reagents that promote degradation of tyrosinase in proteasomes or lysosomes, neither proteasomal nor lysosomal inhibitors can halt CFAB-induced tyrosinase degradation. Only brefeldin A, which specifically inhibits protein transport from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi complex, can effectively impede CFAB-induced tyrosinase decrease. These results suggest that CFAB-induced tyrosinase decrease occurs in post-Golgi compartments but not in proteasomal or lysosomal compartments. Taken together, CFAB is a unique reagent that primarily accelerates tyrosinase decrease by a mechanism that differs from those considered for other hypopigmentation reagents currently reported.
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