Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 383–395 | Cite as

Mechanism of skin pigmentation

  • Lam Do Phuong Uyen
  • Dung Hoang Nguyen
  • Eun-Ki Kim


Melanin is a pigment that plays an important role in providing coloration and protecting human skin from the harmful effects of UV light radiation. Human skin color is determined by the type and amount of melanins that are synthesized and deposited within the melanosomes. In addition, the transfer of these specialized membrane-bound organelles from melanocytes to surrounding keratinocytes also plays a role in dictating human skin color. In order to investigate the principle features of skin pigmentation, the origin, function, and production ability of melanin should be highly understood in terms of biological and pathophysiological aspects. Furthermore, a deep understanding of melanin synthesis will also contribute to cosmetics and drugs development. In this review, the processes of melanin biosynthesis, such as survival, proliferation, and differentiation of melanin cells, as well as the biological regulation of human pigmentation were described.


melanin keratinocyte regulation tyrosinase ultraviolet radiation 


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lam Do Phuong Uyen
    • 1
  • Dung Hoang Nguyen
    • 1
  • Eun-Ki Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological EngineeringInha UniversityIncheonKorea

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