Journal of Oleo Science
Online ISSN : 1347-3352
Print ISSN : 1345-8957
ISSN-L : 1345-8957
Essential Oils and Natural Products
Bioassay-guided Fractionation of Clove Buds Extract Identifies Eugenol as Potent Melanogenic Inducer in Melanoma Cells
Takuhiro UtoTomoe OhtaEri NakayamaMina NakagawaMaki HatadaYukihiro Shoyama
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2022 Volume 71 Issue 9 Pages 1403-1412


Clove, a dried flower buds of Syzygium aromaticum, is used in traditional medicine, for culinary purposes, and in essential oil production. In our preliminary screening of crude drugs used in Japanese Kampo formulas, a methanol (MeOH) extract of clove buds was found to exhibit a melanin induction. To date, the effects of clove buds or their constituents on the activation of melanogenesis remain unclear. Thus, this study aimed to isolate active compounds from the MeOH extract of clove buds associated with melanin synthesis in melanoma cells and to investigate the molecular mechanism involved. The MeOH extract of clove buds increased melanin content in murine B16-F1 melanoma cells. To identify the active compounds responsible for melanin induction, the MeOH extract was suspended in water and successively partitioned using hexane, ethyl acetate (EtOAc), and n-butanol (n-BuOH). Comparative analysis revealed that the EtOAc fraction induced melanin synthesis. Bioassay-guided separation of the EtOAc fraction isolated three compounds including eugenol. The analysis of structure-activity relationships of eugenol and structurally related compounds indicated that eugenol was the most potent melanin inducer among the 11 compounds, and that a hydroxyl group at C-1 and a methoxy group at C-2 may contribute to melanin induction. Eugenol induced melanin synthesis in human HMV-II melanoma cells as well as in B16-F1 cells. Further analysis indicated that eugenol may invoke intracellular tyrosinase activity and expression of tyrosinase, tyrosinaserelated protein (TRP)-1, TRP-2, and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF). These results suggest that eugenol enhances melanin synthesis by upregulating the expression of MITF and subsequent expression of melanogenic enzymes, and that it may be a potent therapeutic agent for hypopigmentation.

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© 2022 by Japan Oil Chemists' Society

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