Acremonidin E produced by Penicillium sp. SNF123, a fungal endophyte of Panax ginseng, has antimelanogenic activities

Kyuri Kim, Hae In Jeong, Inho Yang, Sang Jip Nam, Kyung Min Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Ginseng extracts and ginseng-fermented products are widely used as functional cosmetic ingredients for their whitening and antiwrinkle effects. Recently, increasing attention has been given to bioactive metabolites isolated from endophytic fungi. However, little is known about the bioactive metabolites of the fungi associated with Panax ginseng Meyer. Methods: An endophytic fungus, Penicillium sp. SNF123 was isolated from the root of P. ginseng, from which acremonidin E was purified. Acremonidin E was tested on melanin synthesis in the murine melanoma cell line B16F10, in the human melanoma cell line MNT-1, and in a pigmented 3D-human skin model, Melanoderm. Results: Acremonidin E reduced melanogenesis in α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-stimulated B16F10 cells with minimal cytotoxicity. qRT–PCR analysis demonstrated that acremonidin E downregulated melanogenic genes, including tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related protein 1 (TRP-1), while their enzymatic activities were unaffected. The antimelanogenic effects of acremonidin E were further confirmed in MNT-1 and a pigmented 3D human epidermal skin model, Melanoderm. Immunohistological examination of the Melanoderm further confirmed the regression of both melanin synthesis and melanocyte activation in the treated tissue. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that acremonidin E, a bioactive metabolite derived from a fungal endophyte of P. ginseng, can inhibit melanin synthesis by downregulating tyrosinase, illuminating the potential utility of microorganisms associated with P. ginseng for cosmetic ingredients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-107
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Ginseng Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the grants from National Research Foundation (NRF) No. 2018R1D1A1B07042919 , and 2018R1A5A2025286 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • Acremonidin E
  • Endophytic fungus
  • Melanogenesis
  • Panax ginseng
  • Penicillium sp. SNF12


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