Content » Vol 66, Issue 5

Oxidation of dopa in the skin of black and albino mice

Carstam R, Hansson C, Rorsman H, Rosengren E.
DOI: 10.2340/0001555566369374


The dopa oxidase activity of tyrosinase in the skin from albino and black mice was assayed using a technique based on the formation of two diastereomers of 5-S-cysteinyldopa when incubating tissue extracts with both L-dopa and D-dopa as substrates in the presence of cysteine. The amounts of 5-S-L-cysteinyl-L-dopa and 5-S-L-cysteinyl-D-dopa formed were then determined. In the extract from black mouse skin the L-L-diastereomer was produced in more than ten times the amount of the L-D-diastereomer. This stereospecific dopa-oxidation is indicative of the presence of tyrosinase and corresponds well with earlier determinations of the rates of oxidation for human tyrosinase, using L-dopa and D-dopa as substrates. Stereospecific dopa oxidation was absent in albino skin, and the nonspecific dopa-oxidation was two orders of magnitude less than the dopa oxidation in black skin. The study demonstrates the lack of tyrosinase activity in albino skin, and quantifies the non-specific dopa oxidation. The lack of tyrosinase activity in the eluates from albinotic skin was found not to be due to the presence of a tyrosinase inhibitor.


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