Back to Journals » Drug Design, Development and Therapy » Volume 13

Amine derivatives of furocoumarin induce melanogenesis by activating Akt/GSK-3β/β-catenin signal pathway

Authors Zang D, Niu C, Niu C, Aisa HA

Received 20 July 2018

Accepted for publication 28 November 2018

Published 12 February 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 623—632


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sukesh Voruganti

Deng Zang,1,2 Chao Niu,1 Haji Akber Aisa1

1Key Laboratory of Plant Resources and Chemistry in Arid Regions, State Key Laboratory Basis of Xinjiang Indigenous Medicinal Plants Resource Utilization, Xinjiang Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China; 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Background: Melanogenesis, or the biosynthesis of melanin, plays a critical role in the pigmentation of skin, hair, and eyes. Reduced melanogenesis may lead to depigmentation conditions such as vitiligo. Psoralen, a furocoumarin derivative, is closely associated with melanogenesis, and its derivative 8-methoxypsoralen is used in psoralen and ultraviolet A therapy for pigmentation disorders. In a previous study, we synthesized a new series of amine derivatives of furocoumarin, of which 5-(morpholinomethyl)-3-phenyl-7H-furo[3,2-g]chromen-7-one (encoded as D206008) showed a remarkable melanogenic effect in B16 murine cells.
Methods: In this study, we examined the effects of D206008 on the melanogenesis-related pathways in B16 cells. D206008 increased melanin production and tyrosinase (TYR) activity, as well as the mRNA and protein expression levels of the melanogenic enzymes TYR, TRP-1 and TRP-2, and the melanogenesis-related transcription factor microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) in a dose-dependent (0–100 µM) and time-dependent (0–48 hours) manner.
Results: Mechanistically, D206008 inhibited β-catenin degradation by enhancing the phosphorylation of Akt and glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3β), which increased the accumulation of β-catenin in the cytoplasm. Nuclear translocation of β-catenin also increased in response to D206008 treatment.
Conclusion: Taken together, these data indicate that D206008 promotes melanin synthesis by stimulating the nuclear translocation of β-catenin, which activates MITF transcription and eventually melanogenesis.

Keywords: amine derivatives of furocoumarin, melanogenesis, Akt/GSK-3β/β-catenin

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]