Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 62, Issue 15, pp 1707–1723 | Cite as

Tyrosinase inhibitors from natural and synthetic sources: structure, inhibition mechanism and perspective for the future

  • Y.-J. Kim
  • H. UyamaEmail author


Tyrosinase is known to be a key enzyme in melanin biosynthesis, involved in determining the color of mammalian skin and hair. Various dermatological disorders, such as melasma, age spots and sites of actinic damage, arise from the accumulation of an excessive level of epidermal pigmentation. In addition, unfavorable enzymatic browning of plant-derived foods by tyrosinase causes a decrease in nutritional quality and economic loss of food products. The inadequacy of current conventional techniques to prevent tyrosinase action encourages us to seek new potent tyrosinase inhibitors. This article overviews the various inhibitors obtained from natural and synthetic sources with their industrial importance.

Key words.

Tyrosinase melanogenesis hyperpigmentation food browning inhibitor 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Advanced Science and InnovationOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Materials Chemistry, Graduate School of EngineeringOsaka UniversityOsakaJapan

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