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A number of seaweed species are used as traditional foods and medicine in different parts of the world, including Asian countries. However, very few data on the anti-melanogenic effect of seaweed have been published. Undaria pinnatifida (Dolmiyeok), a brown alga, is a traditional food in Jeju Island, the southern regions of the Korea peninsula. In this study, ethylacetate extracts of U. pinnatifida (UPE) were examined for their anti-melanogenic potentials. Our results supports the finding that UPE down-regulated melanin content in a dose-dependent pattern. To clarify the target of UPE action in melanogenesis, we performed Western blotting for tyrosinase and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), which are key melanogenic enzymes. UPE inhibited tyrosinase and MITF expressions in a dose-dependent manner. These results indicate that treatment with UPE significantly inhibits the melanogenesis in B16 cells, and may be effective in the whitening agent for the skin
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