Tyrosinase-based TLC (thin layer chromatography) was developed for screening of anti-melanogenic drugs. In particular, this technique enables researchers to identify melanogenic inhibitor(s) in tested mixtures with the naked eye. In comparison with traditional colorimetric screening assays for tyrosinase inhibitor(s), not only is tyrosinase-based TLC a more cost-effective option (nearly one-tenth the enzyme cost of colorimetric methods) but also is a more sensitive detection approach for kojic acid (KA), a standard anti-melanogenic drug. The detection limit of tyrosinase-based TLC and colorimetric tyrosinase assay for KA was 0.0125 and 1.25 μg, respectively, demonstrating that the former was 100-fold more sensitive than the latter to determine the tyrosinase inhibitory rate of KA. Furthermore, the results of this method have demonstrated excellent precision by Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility (Gage R&R), with the variation of total Gage R&R being 28.24%. To verify the applicability of tyrosinase-based TLC, this platform was employed to screen melanogenic inhibitor(s) from Ganoderma formosanum extracts and two of all fractions (GFE-EA F4, F5) obtained showed depigmenting activity. It is noteworthy that these two fractions also exerted anti-melanogenesis activity on zebrafish, therefore verifying the credibility of tyrosinase-based TLC. In sum, this technique provides new insight into the discovery of novel melanogenic inhibitor(s).
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