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Biosynthesis of Melanin

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Melanins are naturally occurring pigments found in animals and plants. They are complex heterogeneous polymers whose chemical structure has not been satisfactorily determined. In Plants Melanins occur as Allomelanin, whereas in animals there are two major classes of natural Melanins, the black-brown Eumelanin found in human black hair and in the retina of the eye and the yellow-red Pheomelanin found in red hair and red feathers. Melanins are produced in cells called Melanocytes. Melanocytes are located in the top skin layer. Melanogenesis is the production of color pigments Eumelanin and Pheomelanin in Melanocytes. Melanogenesis occurs via enzymatic and non-enzymatic pathways. In enzymatic pathway, Melanogenesis is regulated by at least three Melanocyte-specific enzymes, Tyrosinase, TRP1 (Tyrosinase-Related Protein-1) and TRP2 (Tyrosinase-Related Protein-2). [...]


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