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Title: 4-Hydroxy-oxindole-3-acetic acid: A New Natural Skin Whitener

item WILLE, JOHN - Bioderm Technologies, Inc
item Berhow, Mark

Submitted to: Society of Investigative Dermatology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/6/2009
Publication Date: 5/6/2009
Citation: Wille, J.J., Berhow, M.A. 2009. 4-Hydroxy-Oxindole-3-acetic acid: A new natural skin whitener. Society of Investigative Dermatology Annual Meeting. p. S42.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The search for new natural skin whiteners with improved safety and efficacy commands a high priority in world-wide personal and skin care markets. To meet this challenge and satisfy the need for green/ecocitizenship, cosmetic companies have scoured the planet for more exotic plants and places. Our search began nearer to home with such ubiquitous commercial food plants as corn and other grains. The story begins with the discovery that corn tassels produce a fragrant odor during pollination. Over the past decade, corn tassel extracts (Tasselin) have been prepared and examined in our laboratories to analyze their primary constituents and to perform biochemical and biological assessments, which have demonstrated their anti-irritant, anti-oxidant, and anti-microbial activities. Here we report yet another biological activity present in corn tassels, a new natural skin whitener. HPLC analyses of hydroalcoholic fractions of corn tassels reveals many phenolic compounds, among which is a predominant component that we isolated and identified as 4-hydroxy-oxindole-3-acetic acid. This proprietary compound was purified and its exact chemical composition determined by preparative HPLC and mass spectrometry. Early in our investigation, we made the observation that partially purified corn tassel extracts inhibit melanin formation in common bread mold cultures. We have now completed studies demonstrating that our purified indole compound (Tasselin A) is an effective inhibitor of mushroom tyrosinase enzyme, a key enzyme in the melanin biochemical pathway. Current efforts are now focused on scale-up preparation and commercialization of this prospective new natural skin whitener.