Vol.45, No.4, 2021, pp.849-862, doi:10.32604/biocell.2021.015900
OPEN ACCESS
REVIEW
Biomedical overview of melanin. 1. Updating melanin biology and chemistry, physico-chemical properties, melanoma tumors, and photothermal therapy
  • ALFONSO BLÁZQUEZ-CASTRO1,2,*, JUAN CARLOS STOCKERT2,3
1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Autonomous University of Madrid, Cantoblanco, Madrid, 28049, Spain
2 Centro Integrativo de Biología y Química Aplicada, Universidad Bernardo O’Higgins, Santiago, 8370854, Chile
3 Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Cátedra de Histología y Embriología, e Instituto de Investigación y Tecnología en Reproducción Animal, Buenos Aires, C1427CWO, Argentina
* Address correspondence to: Alfonso Blázquez-Castro,
Received 22 January 2021; Accepted 04 March 2021; Issue published 22 April 2021
Abstract
Melanins (eumelanin, pheomelanin, and allomelanin) represent a very, if not the most, important group of biological pigments. Their biological roles are multiple, from photoprotection to antioxidant activity, heavy metal disposal or the myriad uses of color in organisms across all Phyla. In the first part of this review, eumelanin biology and some chemical aspects will be presented, as well as key physico-chemical features that make this biological pigment so interesting. The principal characteristics of the melanocyte, the melanin-synthesizing cell in mammals, will also be introduced. Transformed melanocytes are the cause of one of the most devastating known cancers: the malignant melanoma. Epidemiology and molecular signaling aspects will be presented next, as well as the principal advances in promising oncotherapies designed and applied for the treatment of melanoma. In particular, on account of the photo-physical properties of melanin, special details will be provided regarding the use of photothermal therapy for melanoma treatment.
Keywords
Antitumor therapies, Biological pigments, Melanin, Melanoma, Photothermal therapy, Skin tumors
Cite This Article
BLÁZQUEZ-CASTRO, A., STOCKERT, J. C. (2021). Biomedical overview of melanin. 1. Updating melanin biology and chemistry, physico-chemical properties, melanoma tumors, and photothermal therapy. BIOCELL, 45(4), 849–862.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.