1. Functional Biomaterial Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Jeongeup-si, Jeollabuk-do 56212, Republic of Korea
2. Department of Bio-material and product development and R&D center, General Bio, Namwon-si, Jeollabuk-do 55793, Republic of Korea
* The authors contributed equally to this work.
Plant tissue culture holds immense potential for the production of secondary metabolites with various physiological functions. We recently established a plant tissue culture system capable of producing secondary metabolites from Aster yomena. This study aimed to uncover the mechanisms underlying the potential therapeutic effects of Aster yomena callus pellet extract (AYC-P-E) on photoaging-induced skin pigmentation. Excessive melanogenesis was induced in B16F10 melanoma cells using α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH). The effects of AYC-P-E treatment on melanin biosynthesis inducers and melanin synthesis inhibition were assessed. Based on the results, a clinical study was conducted in subjects with skin pigmentation. AYC-P-E inhibited melanogenesis in α-MSH-treated B16F10 cells, accompanied by decreased mRNA and protein expression of melanin biosynthesis inducers, including cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB), tyrosinase, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), tyrosinase related protein-1 (TRP-1), and TRP-2. This anti-melanogenic effect was mediated by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MEK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and protein kinase B (AKT) phosphorylation. Treatment of subjects with skin pigmentation with AYC-P-E-containing cream formulations resulted in 3.33%, 7.06%, and 8.68% improvement in the melanin levels at 2, 4, and 8 weeks, respectively. Our findings suggest that AYC-P-E inhibits excessive melanogenesis by activating MEK/ERK and AKT signaling, potentiating its cosmetic applications in hyperpigmentation treatment.
Keywords: Aster yomena, callus, extract, metabolite, melanogenesis, skin pigmentation