Reverse Engineering Applied to Red Human Hair Pheomelanin Reveals Redox-Buffering as a Pro-Oxidant Mechanism.

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TitleReverse Engineering Applied to Red Human Hair Pheomelanin Reveals Redox-Buffering as a Pro-Oxidant Mechanism.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsKim, E, Panzella, L, Micillo, R, Bentley, WE, Napolitano, A, Payne, GF
JournalSci Rep
Volume5
Pagination18447
Date Published2015
ISSN2045-2322
Abstract<p>Pheomelanin has been implicated in the increased susceptibility to UV-induced melanoma for people with light skin and red hair. Recent studies identified a UV-independent pathway to melanoma carcinogenesis and implicated pheomelanin's pro-oxidant properties that act through the generation of reactive oxygen species and/or the depletion of cellular antioxidants. Here, we applied an electrochemically-based reverse engineering methodology to compare the redox properties of human hair pheomelanin with model synthetic pigments and natural eumelanin. This methodology exposes the insoluble melanin samples to complex potential (voltage) inputs and measures output response characteristics to assess redox activities. The results demonstrate that both eumelanin and pheomelanin are redox-active, they can rapidly (sec-min) and repeatedly redox-cycle between oxidized and reduced states, and pheomelanin possesses a more oxidative redox potential. This study suggests that pheomelanin's redox-based pro-oxidant activity may contribute to sustaining a chronic oxidative stress condition through a redox-buffering mechanism.</p>
DOI10.1038/srep18447
Alternate JournalSci Rep
PubMed ID26669666
PubMed Central IDPMC4680885