Whitening effect of novel peptide mixture by regulating melanosome biogenesis, transfer and degradation

Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2021 Jan 1;25(1):15-26. doi: 10.4196/kjpp.2021.25.1.15.


Peptides are short chain of amino acids linked by peptide bonds. They are widely used as effective and biocompatible active ingredients in cosmetic industry. In this study, we developed novel peptide mixture and identified its anti-pigmentation effect on melanocytes and keratinocytes. Our results revealed that peptide mixture inhibited melanosome biogenesis through the regulation of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor, a key factor of melanogenesis in melanocytes. And we observed that peptide mixture inhibited melanosome uptake through the reduction of protease-activated receptor 2, a phagocytosis-related receptor in keratinocytes. Furthermore, peptide mixture activated autophagy system resulting in degradation of transferred melanosomes in keratinocytes. The anti-pigmentation effect of multi-targeting peptide mixture was assessed in a human skin equivalent model (MelanoDerm). Melanin contents in epidermal layer were significantly decreased by topical treatment of peptide mixture, suggesting that it can be applied as a novel cosmetics material having a whitening function.

Keywords: Autophagy; Melanosome; Microphthalmia-associated transcription factor PAR-2; Peptide.