Purification and characterization of human hair melanin degradating enzymes.

CELL 171

Kenzo Koike, koike.kenzo@kao.co.jp, Beauty Research Center, Kao Corporation, 2-1-3, Bunka, Sumida, Tokyo, 131-8501, Japan
Human hair shows various colors from blonde to pure black due to melanin. Especially, Asian black hair contains much of Eumelanin (black pigments). At present, such melanin is bleached (discolored) by radical oxidation with hydrogen peroxide under alkaline condition. This chemical treatment sometimes causes serious hair damages, such as breakage and split of hair fibers. To prevent such hair damages, the substitutive procedure for melanin degradation by enzymes under moderate condition has been examined. The strain Cerioporiopsis sp. MD-1 was isolated form forest soil as a microorganism degrading hair black melanin. The enzyme from the culture broth was purified by chromatograms, and characterized.