Inhibitory effects of arbutin-β-glycosides synthesized from enzymatic transglycosylation for melanogenesis
To develop a new skin whitening agent, arbutin-β-glycosides were synthesized and evaluated for their melanogenesis inhibitory activities. Three active compounds were synthesized via the transglycosylation reaction of Thermotoga neapolitana β-glucosidase and purified by recycling preparative HPLC. As compared with arbutin (IC50 = 6 mM), the IC50 values of these compounds were 8, 10, and 5 mM for β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1→6)-arbutin, β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1→4)-arbutin, and β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1→3)-arbutin, respectively. β-d-Glucosyl-(1→3)-arbutin also exerted the most profound inhibitory effects on melanin synthesis in B16F10 melanoma cells. Melanin synthesis was inhibited to a significant degree at 5 mM, at which concentration the melanin content was reduced to below 70% of that observed in the untreated cells. Consequently, β-d-glucopyranosyl-(1→3)-arbutin is a more effective depigmentation agent and is also less cytotoxic than the known melanogenesis inhibitor, arbutin.