The findings elicited that SCPs1 had the strongest inhibitory effect on protein expression, namely TYR, TRP-1, MITF and MC1R, when the concentration was at 0.5 mg/ mL (p < 0.0001).
The mechanism at work was “first downregulating genes associated with the cAMP-CREB pathway at the transcription level, thus leading to a decrease in protein expression.”
Additionally, the researchers noted an increase in glutathione (GSH) content with a higher SCPs1 concentration. GSH has been shown to be an effective antioxidant and further reduces TYR in the pathway.
Funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China, the researchers come from the agriculture and education ministries, universities, and technology and innovation institutes in Wuhan, China.
The study targeted the cAMP-CREB pathway in melanogenesis – the production of melanin pigments, and the researchers had wanted to substantiate the data supporting the potential application of fish-derived collagen peptides in whitening products.
Mouse melanoma cells (B16) were tested with different concentrations of SCPs1, and measurements on cell viability and other parameters mentioned above were taken.
Cosmetic potential of fish-derived collagen peptides
There has been a demand for natural skin whitening ingredients, and fish-derived collagen peptides is becoming an emerging topic of interest.
There is also an economic interest to harvest collagen from fish scales: “Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) is a fast-growing, economical fish that is rich in nutritional value. Fish scales are one of the major byproducts that are produced during the processing of fish products, yet their rich collagen content is rarely utilized, leading to a loss of the associated potential economic value.
“The enzymatic hydrolysis of collagen to obtain collagen peptides with different biological activities is an effective way to efficiently utilize this by-product,” the researchers explained.
Despite its value, most studies are centred on the preliminary in-vitro experimental stage, and limited has been done to explore its mechanism at work when it comes to regulating melanogenesis.
While there are multiple pathways to regulating melanogenesis, cAMP-CREB pathway was chosen as it targets the “microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) is important in the regulation of intracellular TYR and related enzymes [in melanin production].”
The researchers warranted the need to investigate other existing pathways involved in melanogenesis.
“The results showed that SCPs1 may affect melanogenesis by increasing GSH content, decreasing ROS and cAMP content and inhibiting tyrosinase activity.
“In addition, SCPs1 may downregulate the expression of genes related to the cAMP-CREB signalling pathway at the transcriptional level, leading to downregulation of protein expression, thus inhibiting melanogenesis,” the paper concluded.
“Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) Scale Collagen Peptides-1 (SCPs1) Inhibit Melanogenesis through Downregulation of the cAMP-CREB Signaling Pathway”
Authors: Li, H., et al.