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Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters


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Microbial Biotechnology (MB)  |  Cell Culture and Biomedical Engineering

Microbiol. Biotechnol. Lett. 2021; 49(2): 167-173

Received: December 4, 2020; Revised: February 16, 2021; Accepted: February 26, 2021

A Study on the Tyrosinase Inhibitory and Antioxidant Effect of Microalgae Extracts

Keunho Ji1, Yeeum Kim2 and Young Tae Kim2*

1Basic Science Research Institute, 2Deptartment of Microbiology, Pukyong National University, Busan 48513, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to :
Young Tae Kim,

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) disrupt the cellular redox balance, exert cytotoxic effects, and consequently promote the development of various diseases in humans. Previous studies have reported that antioxidants counteract the adverse effects of ROS. Several studies examine the whitening effects of various agents based on their ability to inhibit tyrosinase activity. Tyrosinase is a critical enzyme involved in the synthesis of melanin, which protects the skin against radiation. Various agents exhibiting antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibitory activities have been synthesized. However, these synthetic drugs are associated with toxicity, decreased safety, and poor skin penetration in vivo, which has limited the clinical application of synthetic drugs. This study examined the antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibitory activities of some microalgae. The methanol, dichloromethane, and ethyl acetate extracts of four microalgal species (Tetraselmis tetrathele, Dunaliella tertiolecta, Platymonas sp., and Chaetoceros simplex) were prepared. The physiological and whitening effects of microalgal extracts were investigated by measuring the antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibitory activities. The ethyl acetate extract of D. tertiolecta exhibited the highest antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibitory activities. Future studies must focus on examining the whitening effects of microalgae on cell lines to facilitate the development of microalga-based therapeutics for skin diseases, functional health foods, and whitening agents. Thus, microalgae have potential applications in the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetic industries.


Antioxidant, cosmeceutical, Dunaliella, microalgae, tyrosinase inhibition

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