Archives of Pharmacal Research

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 307–311 | Cite as

Kojic acid, a potential inhibitor of NF-κB activation in transfectant human HaCaT and SCC-13 cells

  • Ki-Young Moon
  • Kwang Seok Ahn
  • Jinseon Lee
  • Yeong Shik Kim
Research Article Medicinal Chemistry & Natural Products


The activation of NF-κkB induced by kojic acid, an inhibitor of tyrosinase for biosynthesis of melanin in melanocytes, was investigated in human transfectant HaCaT and SCC-13 cells. These two keratinocyte cell lines transfected with pNF-κB-SEAP-NPT plasmid were used to determine the activation ofNF-kB. Transfectant cells release the secretory alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) as a transcription reporter in response to theNF-kB activity and contain the neomycin phosphotransferase (NPT) gene for the dominant selective marker of geneticin resistance. NF-κB activation was measured in the SEAP reporter gene assay using a fluorescence detection method. Kojic acid showed the inhibition of cellular NF-κB activity in both human keratinocyte transfectants. It could also downregulate the ultraviolet ray (UVR)-induced activation of NF-κB expression in transfectant HaCaT cells. Moreover, the inhibitory activity of kojic acid in transfectant HaCaT cells was found to be more potent than known antioxidants,e.g., vitamin C andN-acetyl-L-cysteine. These results indicate that kojic acid is a potential inhibitor of NF-κB activation in human keratinocytes, and suggest the hypothesis that NF-κB activation may be involved in kojic acid induced anti-melanogenic effect.

Key words

Kojic acid Transfectant HaCaT and SCC-13 cells NF-κB activation Keratinocytes Anti-melanogenic effect 


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Copyright information

© The Pharmaceutical Society of Korea 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ki-Young Moon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kwang Seok Ahn
    • 1
  • Jinseon Lee
    • 3
  • Yeong Shik Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.Natural Products Research InstituteSeoul National UniversityJongno-Ku, SeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PathologyKwangju Health CollegeShinchang-Dong, Kwangsan-Ku, Kwangju
  3. 3.Professional Graduate School of Oriental MedicineWonkwang University 334-2 Shinyong-dongIksan, ChonbukKorea

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