The simplest amino acid, glycine, is important in protein composition and plays a significant role in numerous physiological events in mammals. Despite the inhibitory effect of glycine on spontaneous melanogenesis in B16F0 melanoma cells, the details of the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. The present study was conducted to investigate the further effects and the mechanisms of inhibitory effect of glycine on melanogenesis using B16F0 melanoma cells and hair follicle melanogenesis in C57BL/6J mice. Treatment with glycine (1-16 mM) for 72 h inhibited α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-induced melanogenesis in a concentration-dependent manner without any effects on cell proliferation in B16F0 melanoma cells. Treatment with kojic acid (2.5 mM) for 72 h also inhibited α-MSH-induced melanogenesis in B16F0 melanoma cells. The highest dose of glycine inhibited the α-MSH-induced increment of tyrosinase protein levels in B16F0 melanoma cells. In hair follicle melanogenesis in C57BL/6J mice, treatment with glycine (1250 or 2500 mg/kg, i.p.) for 5 d prevented the decrement of L* and C* values and inhibited the increment of tyrosinase protein levels and melanin content within the skin. Treatment with hydroquinone (100 mg/kg, i.p.) for 5 d had a similar hypopigmenting effect to that of high dose glycine. These results suggest that glycine has an inhibitory effect on melanogenesis that is mediated by down-regulation of tyrosinase protein levels, leading to a hypopigmenting effect in C57BL/6J mice.
- B16F0 melanoma
- C57BL/6J mouse