Planta Med 2005; 71(8): 785-787
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-871232
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Identification of Tyrosinase Inhibitors from Glycyrrhiza uralensis

Hyoung Ja Kim1 , 3 , Seon Hee Seo1 , Byeong-gon Lee2 , Yong Sup Lee3
  • 1Division of Life Sciences, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Bioscience Research, R & D Center, AmorePacific Corp., Kyung-gi, Korea
  • 3Department of Pharmaceutical Science, College of Pharmacy, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea
Further Information

Publication History

Received: November 4, 2004

Accepted: March 23, 2005

Publication Date:
08 August 2005 (online)


Tyrosinase is a key enzyme in the production of melanins. Phytochemical studies of a Glycyrrhiza uralensis extract were performed by measuring the tyrosinase and melanin synthesis inhibitory activity. Glycyrrhisoflavone and glyasperin C were identified as tyrosinase inhibitors for the first time. Glyasperin C showed a stronger tyrosinase inhibitory activity (IC50 = 0.13 ± 0.01 μg/mL) than glabridin (IC50 = 0.25 ± 0.01 μg/mL) and a moderate inhibition of melanin production (17.65 ± 8.8 % at 5 μg/mL). Glycyrrhisoflavone showed a strong melanin synthesis inhibitory activity (63.73 ± 6.8 % inhibition at 5 μg/mL). These results suggest that glyasperin C and glycyrrhisoflavone could be promising candidates in the design of skin-whitening agents.


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Dr. Yong Sup Lee

Department of Pharmaceutical Science

College of Pharmacy

Kyung Hee University


1 Hoegi-Dong

Seoul 130-701


Phone: +82-2-961-0370

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