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    Pheomelanin is a natural yellow-reddish sulfur-containing pigment derived from tyrosinase-catalyzed oxidation of tyrosine in presence of cysteine. Generally, the formation of melanin pigments is a protective response against the damaging effects of UV radiation in skin. However, pheomelanin, like other photosensitizing substances, can trigger, following exposure to UV radiation, photochemical reactions capable of modifying and damaging cellular components. The photoproperties of this natural pigment have been studied by analyzing pheomelanin effect on oxidation/nitration of tyrosine induced by UVB radiation at different pH values and in presence of iron ions. Photoproperties of pheomelanin can be modulated by various experimental conditions, ranging from the photoprotection to the triggering of potentially damaging photochemical reactions. The study of the photomodification of l-Tyrosine in the presence of the natural pigment pheomelanin has a special relevance, since this tyrosine oxidation/nitration pathway can potentially occur in vivo in tissues exposed to sunlight and play a role in the mechanisms of tissue damage induced by UV radiation.


    Alessia Mariano, Irene Bigioni, Anna Scotto d'Abusco, Alessia Baseggio Conrado, Simonetta Maina, Antonio Francioso, Luciana Mosca, Mario Fontana. Pheomelanin Effect on UVB Radiation-Induced Oxidation/Nitration of l-Tyrosine. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Dec 27;23(1)

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    PMID: 35008693

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