Discovery of Potent Cysteine-Containing Dipeptide Inhibitors against Tyrosinase: A Comprehensive Investigation of 20 × 20 Dipeptides in Inhibiting Dopachrome Formation

Tien Sheng Tseng, Keng Chang Tsai, Wang Chuan Chen, Yeng Tseng Wang, Yu Ching Lee, Chung Kuang Lu, Ming Jaw Don, Chang Yu Chang, Ching Hsiao Lee, Hui Hsiung Lin, Hung Ju Hsu, Nai Wan Hsiao

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Tyrosinase is an essential copper-containing enzyme required for melanin synthesis. The overproduction and abnormal accumulation of melanin cause hyperpigmentation and neurodegenerative diseases. Thus, tyrosinase is promising for use in medicine and cosmetics. Our previous study identified a natural product, A5, resembling the structure of the dipeptide WY and apparently inhibiting tyrosinase. Here, we comprehensively estimated the inhibitory capability of 20 × 20 dipeptides against mushroom tyrosinase. We found that cysteine-containing dipeptides, directly blocking the active site of tyrosinase, are highly potent in inhibition; in particular, N-terminal cysteine-containing dipeptides markedly outperform the C-terminal-containing ones. The cysteine-containing dipeptides, CE, CS, CY, and CW, show comparative bioactivities, and tyrosine-containing dipeptides are substrate-like inhibitors. The dipeptide PD attenuates 16.5% melanin content without any significant cytotoxicity. This study reveals the functional role of cysteine residue positional preference and the selectivity of specific amino acids in cysteine-containing dipeptides against tyrosinase, aiding in developing skin-whitening products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6181-6188
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jul 15


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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