Some amino acids have bioregulatory functions, which far exceed those of precursors for proteins or of substrates for specific enzymes. Two of these amino acids, L-tyrosine and L-dopa, are precursors to melanin and catecholamines. In vertebrates, they can act as inducers and regulators of the melanogenic apparatus and of MSH receptors-two quite complex functions that could hardly be performed by mere substrates. Focussing on the pigmentary system as a study model, we therefore explore the hypothesis that L-tyrosine and L-dopa act as hormone-like bioregulators in mammals, with melanocytes regulating tyrosine and dopa activity via their metabolic consumption.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistics and Probability
- Modeling and Simulation
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Applied Mathematics