Dual inhibitions of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) ethanolic extract on melanogenesis in B16-F1 murine melanocytes: Inhibition of tyrosinase activity and its gene expression

Hee jin Jun, Miran Roh, Hae Won Kim, Soung Jin Houng, Boram Cho, Eun Joo Yun, Md A. Hossain, Hojoung Lee, Kyoung Heon Kim, Sung-Joon Lee

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of wild type and UV-irradiated lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) ethanolic extracts (MOE and UMOE) on melanogenesis in vitro were examined. UMOE showed potent antioxidant activity and significantly inhibited the mushroom and melanocyte tyrosinase activity, and lowered cellular melanin content by 49% at 200 μg/mL in B16-F1 melanocytes. The key gene and protein expression of tyrosinase, tyrosinase-related protein (TRP)-1, and TRP-2 were reduced (-73% for TRP-1 protein at 200 μg/mL UMOE, p<0.05). MOE showed similar results to a slightly lesser degree. We found that myo-inositol, a major compound in lemon balm extracts, significantly reduced cellular melanin synthesis and its effect was greater than arbutin at 1 mM. These suggest that both MOE and UMOE have anti-melanogenic role by both direct inhibition of tyrosinase and down-regulation of gene expressions in melanogenesis. UV-irradiation slightly improved the anti-melanogenic activities. UMOE may be useful as natural anti-melanogenic biomaterials for functional foods and cosmetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1051-1059
Number of pages9
JournalFood Science and Biotechnology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug 1



  • hypopigmentation
  • lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
  • tyrosinase
  • UV-irradiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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