Oxidation of dopa in the skin of black and albino mice
Carstam R, Hansson C, Rorsman H, Rosengren E.
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.