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Journal of Cancer Prevention

Original Article

J Cancer Prev 2023; 28(2): 40-46

Published online June 30, 2023

© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention

Baicalein Inhibits α-Melanocyte-stimulating Hormone-stimulated Melanogenesis via p38 Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase Pathway in B16F10 Mouse Melanoma Cells

Min Chang Oh1,* , Pincha Devage Sameera Madushan Fernando1,* , Mei Jing Piao1,2 , Kyoung Ah Kang1,2 , Herath Mudiyanselage Udari lakmini Herath1 , Jin Won Hyun1,2

1Department of Biochemistry, Jeju National University College of Medicine, 2Jeju Research Center for Natural Medicine, Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea

Correspondence to :
Jin Won Hyun, E-mail:,
*These authors contributed equally to this work as co-first authors.

Received: May 22, 2023; Revised: June 13, 2023; Accepted: June 13, 2023

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Excessive UVB exposure causes development of both malignant and non-malignant melanoma via the secretion of α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH). We investigated whether baicalein (5,6,7-trihydroxyflavone) could inhibit α-MSH-stimulated melanogenesis. Baicalein prevented UVB- and α-MSH-induced melanin production and attenuated α-MSH-stimulated tyrosinase (monophenol monooxygenase) activity, and expression of tyrosinase and tyrosine-related protein-2. In addition, baicalein prevented melanogenesis and pigmentation via the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases signaling pathway. These findings suggest that baicalein represents a natural compound for attenuating melanogenesis.

Keywords: &alpha,-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone, Baicalein, Carcinogenesis, Monophenol monooxygenase, B16F10 cells

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