Inhibition of plant essential oils and their interaction in binary combinations against tyrosinase

  • Zonglin You School of Biotechnology and Health Sciences, Wuyi University, Jiangmen, China
  • Yonglian Li School of Eco-environment Technology, Guangdong Industry Polytechnic, Guangzhou, China
  • Min Chen School of Biotechnology and Health Sciences, Wuyi University, Jiangmen, China
  • Vincent Kam Wai Wong Dr. Neher’s Biophysics Laboratory for Innovative Drug Discovery, State Key
  • Kun Zhang School of Biotechnology and Health Sciences, Wuyi University, Jiangmen, China
  • Xi Zheng School of Biotechnology and Health Sciences, Wuyi University, Jiangmen, China
  • Wenfeng Liu School of Biotechnology and Health Sciences, Wuyi University, Jiangmen, China
Keywords: Essential oil; Interaction; Anti-tyrosinase


Background: Essential oils (EOs), derived from aromatic plants, exhibit properties beneficial to health, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, antidiabetic, and antiaging effects. However, the effect of EOs and their interaction in binary combinations against tyrosinase is not yet known.

Objective: To evaluate the underlying mechanisms of EOs and their interaction in binary combinations against tyrosinas.

Design: We explored to investigate the inhibitory effect of 65 EOs and the interaction among cinnamon, bay, and magnolia officinalis in their binary combinations against tyrosinase. In addition, the main constituents of cinnamon, bay, and magnolia officinalis were analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS).

Results: The results showed that the most potent EOs against tyrosinase were cinnamon, bay, and magnolia officinalis with IC50 values of 25.7, 30.8, and 61.9 μg/mL, respectively. Moreover, the inhibitory mechanism and kinetics studies revealed that cinnamon and bay were reversible and competitive-type inhibitors, and magnolia officinalis was a reversible and mixed-type inhibitor. In addition, these results, assessed in mixtures of three binary combinations, indicated that the combination of cinnamon with bay at different dose and at dose ratio had a strong antagonistic effect against tyrosinase. Magnolia officinalis combined with cinnamon or bay experienced both antagonistic and synergistic effect in anti-tyrosinase activity.

Conclusion: It is revealed that natural EOs would be promising to be effective anti-tyrosinase agents, and binary combinations of cinnamon, bay, and magnolia officinalis might not have synergistic effects on tyrosinase under certain condition.


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How to Cite
You Z., Li Y., Chen M., Wai Wong V. K., Zhang K., Zheng X., & Liu W. (2022). Inhibition of plant essential oils and their interaction in binary combinations against tyrosinase. Food & Nutrition Research, 66.
Original Articles