BACKGROUND: Bacteria associated with marine invertebrates are a rich source of bioactive metabolites.
OBJECTIVE: The effects of marine bacteria extracts on pigmentation were investigated to find novel whitening agents.
METHODS: The marine bacteria collected near Gangwha Island in Korea were isolated and extracted using organic solvent. The organic extracts were screened and selected using the cell free tyrosinase activity. The whitening effects of the selected extract were further investigated using cultured melanocytes, cultured skin and in vivo zebrafish. The whitening mechanism of the marine extract was also investigated.
RESULTS: The marine bacterial methylene chloride extract reduced the pigmentation of Melan-a cells, human melanocytes, cultured skin and in vivo zebrafish. The decrease in pigmentation was due to the inhibition of tyrosinase activity and the expression of tyrosinase and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor protein. These bacteria were identified as a novel Pseudomonas species.
CONCLUSION: The methylene chloride extract of marine pseudomonas species possesses a whitening effect. Further chemical isolation and characterization of the active compounds from this marine bacterial extract are needed.
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