Exploring anti-tyrosinase bioactive compounds from the Cape flora
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Tyrosinase is an enzyme widely distributed in the biosphere and is found in many species of bacteria, fungi, animals, and plants; it is associated with melanin production. Even though it possesses many beneficial properties such as photoprotection, but overproduction causes undesirable effects such melasma, solar lentigines etc. Therefore, tyrosinase enzyme inhibitors are of far-ranging importance in cosmetics, medicinal products, and food industries. This study is aimed to test anti-tyrosinase activity in 37 plants from 20 families using mushroom tyrosinase inhibition method; each plant was extracted with methanol. The results showed that 17 plant extracts, exerted a considerable level of in vitro tyrosinase inhibition comparable to positive controls of kojic acid in the same solvent systems when evaluated spectrophotometrically. Among plant extracts, those that showed an inhibition rate >50 % at 50 μg/ml and ˃60 % at 200 μg/ml were A. karroo (Hayne.), A. afra Jacq. Ex Willd, C. geifolia (L.), E. racemosa (L.), H. petiolare Hilliard & B.L.Burt, M. quercifolia (L.), M. communis (L.), P. rigida (Wikstr.), P. ecklonii (Benth.), P. ericoides (L.), S. Africanacaerulea (L.), S. Africana-lutea (L.), S. antarcticus (Willd.), S. lucida (L.) F.A.Barkley, S. hamilifolius (L.), S. furcellata R.Br and T riparia which exhibited great anti-tyrosinase activity.