Melanotan 1 (MT-1)
Melanotan 1, commonly known as Afamelanotide, Melanotan 1 is classified as a synthetic peptide variant of the alpha-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH). The body naturally produces Alpha-MSH, and the peptide hormone helps stimulates melanogenesis, a peptide process that brings about the pigmentation of the skin. In trying to carry out its duties, Alpha-MSH stimulates specific melanocortin receptors. Through these melanocortin receptors, Alpha-MSH also influences sexual libido and lipid metabolism. Its role in the pigmentation of the skin has seen it been researched as a potential protective aid against ultraviolet radiation from the sun. On the other hand, Melanotan 2 and PT-141 both similar to Melanotan-1 have been studied for their role in treating sexual dysfunction.
Melanotan-1 and Melanotan-2 are both analogs of Alpha-MSH whereas Melanotan-2 finds its application in sexual libido, Melanotan-1 is used for sin tanning and other skin protective processes. It perfectly mimics the natural tanning process of mammals, and it is also a non-selective agonist of the melanocortin receptors.
Synonyms: Melanotan; Melanotan-1; Melanotan I; CUV1647; EPT1647; NDP-MSH; [Nle4, D-Phe7]α-MSH, Melanotan-1-Peptide, [Nle4, D-Phe7]-α-MSH Melanotan
Melanotan-1 Peptide Amino Acid Sequence: Ac-Ser-Tyr-Ser-Nle-Glu-His-D-Phe-Arg-Trp-Gly-Lys-Pro-Val-NH2
Molecular formula: C78H111N21O19
Molar Mass: 1646.845
CAS number: 75921-69-6
PubChem: CID 16154396
The development process of Melanotan-1
The University of Arizona is the birthplace of Melanotan-1 as they were the first to this peptide tanning analog. During a study, in which a process to combat skin cancer was being formulated that a method of stimulating natural melanogenesis was developed. The study focused on an effective way to produce melanin in the skin without resulting to direct exposure of the skin to sunlight. University researchers attempted to administer alpha-MSH directly, but the short half-life of the alpha-MSH made the result short-lived. This prompted the researchers to develop Melanotan-1. It exhibited the same effect as alpha-MSH but had a longer half-life.
How does Melanotan-1 work
Melanotan-1 releases its photoprotective effects, by activating MC1R on melanin-producing cells called melanocytes. In the epidermal layer of the skin, Melanotan binds with MC1R to produce a photoprotective pigment called eumelanin which furthermore the binding results in the activation of adenylate cyclase and production of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP). The cyclic adenosine monophosphate then brings about the activation of protein kinase A which then leads to the phosphorylation of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate response element-binding (CREB). The microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) genes become the housing site for both the phosphorylated CREB and cAMP response element (CRE) to bind together. This process brings about the synthesis of the MITF protein. This protein can activate different genes, notably genes involved in melanogenesis and also the MC1R gene. This leads to an improved concentration of melanogenic enzymes in the melanocyte.