Melanins: Insoluble polymers of TYROSINE derivatives found in and causing darkness in skin (SKIN PIGMENTATION), hair, and feathers providing protection against SUNBURN induced by SUNLIGHT. CAROTENES contribute yellow and red coloration.Monophenol Monooxygenase: An enzyme of the oxidoreductase class that catalyzes the reaction between L-tyrosine, L-dopa, and oxygen to yield L-dopa, dopaquinone, and water. It is a copper protein that acts also on catechols, catalyzing some of the same reactions as CATECHOL OXIDASE. EC 1.14.18.1.Melanocytes: Mammalian pigment cells that produce MELANINS, pigments found mainly in the EPIDERMIS, but also in the eyes and the hair, by a process called melanogenesis. Coloration can be altered by the number of melanocytes or the amount of pigment produced and stored in the organelles called MELANOSOMES. The large non-mammalian melanin-containing cells are called MELANOPHORES.Skin Pigmentation: Coloration of the skin.Pigmentation: Coloration or discoloration of a part by a pigment.Melanosomes: Melanin-containing organelles found in melanocytes and melanophores.Naphthols: Naphthalene derivatives carrying one or more hydroxyl (-OH) groups at any ring position. They are often used in dyes and pigments, as antioxidants for rubber, fats, and oils, as insecticides, in pharmaceuticals, and in numerous other applications.Dihydroxyphenylalanine: A beta-hydroxylated derivative of phenylalanine. The D-form of dihydroxyphenylalanine has less physiologic activity than the L-form and is commonly used experimentally to determine whether the pharmacological effects of LEVODOPA are stereospecific.Albinism: General term for a number of inherited defects of amino acid metabolism in which there is a deficiency or absence of pigment in the eyes, skin, or hair.Exophiala: A normally saprophytic mitosporic Chaetothyriales fungal genus. Infections in humans include PHAEOHYPHOMYCOSIS; and PERITONITIS.. Exophiala jeanselmei (previously Phialophora jeanselmei) is an etiological agent of MYCETOMA.Hyperpigmentation: Excessive pigmentation of the skin, usually as a result of increased epidermal or dermal melanin pigmentation, hypermelanosis. Hyperpigmentation can be localized or generalized. The condition may arise from exposure to light, chemicals or other substances, or from a primary metabolic imbalance.Cysteinyldopa: Found in large amounts in the plasma and urine of patients with malignant melanoma. It is therefore used in the diagnosis of melanoma and for the detection of postoperative metastases. Cysteinyldopa is believed to be formed by the rapid enzymatic hydrolysis of 5-S-glutathionedopa found in melanin-producing cells.Laccase: A copper-containing oxidoreductase enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of 4-benzenediol to 4-benzosemiquinone. It also has activity towards a variety of O-quinols and P-quinols. It primarily found in FUNGI and is involved in LIGNIN degradation, pigment biosynthesis and detoxification of lignin-derived products.Hair: A filament-like structure consisting of a shaft which projects to the surface of the SKIN from a root which is softer than the shaft and lodges in the cavity of a HAIR FOLLICLE. It is found on most surfaces of the body.Agaricales: An extensive order of basidiomycetous fungi whose fruiting bodies are commonly called mushrooms.Catechol Oxidase: An enzyme of the oxidoreductase class that catalyzes the reaction between catechol and oxygen to yield benzoquinone and water. It is a complex of copper-containing proteins that acts also on a variety of substituted catechols. EC 1.10.3.1.Cryptococcus neoformans: A species of the fungus CRYPTOCOCCUS. Its teleomorph is Filobasidiella neoformans.Hair Color: Color of hair or fur.Melanoma, Experimental: Experimentally induced tumor that produces MELANIN in animals to provide a model for studying human MELANOMA.Melanosis: Disorders of increased melanin pigmentation that develop without preceding inflammatory disease.Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor: A basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factor that regulates the CELL DIFFERENTIATION and development of a variety of cell types including MELANOCYTES; OSTEOCLASTS; and RETINAL PIGMENT EPITHELIUM. Mutations in MITF protein have been associated with OSTEOPETROSIS and WAARDENBURG SYNDROME.Feathers: Flat keratinous structures found on the skin surface of birds. Feathers are made partly of a hollow shaft fringed with barbs. They constitute the plumage.Melanoma: A malignant neoplasm derived from cells that are capable of forming melanin, which may occur in the skin of any part of the body, in the eye, or, rarely, in the mucous membranes of the genitalia, anus, oral cavity, or other sites. It occurs mostly in adults and may originate de novo or from a pigmented nevus or malignant lentigo. Melanomas frequently metastasize widely, and the regional lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and brain are likely to be involved. The incidence of malignant skin melanomas is rising rapidly in all parts of the world. (Stedman, 25th ed; from Rook et al., Textbook of Dermatology, 4th ed, p2445)Pigmentation DisordersSepia: A genus of cuttlefish in the family Sepiidae. They live in tropical, subtropical and temperate waters in most oceans.Albinism, Oculocutaneous: Heterogeneous group of autosomal recessive disorders comprising at least four recognized types, all having in common varying degrees of hypopigmentation of the skin, hair, and eyes. The two most common are the tyrosinase-positive and tyrosinase-negative types.Chromatophores: The large pigment cells of fish, amphibia, reptiles and many invertebrates which actively disperse and aggregate their pigment granules. These cells include MELANOPHORES, erythrophores, xanthophores, leucophores and iridiophores. (In algae, chromatophores refer to CHLOROPLASTS. In phototrophic bacteria chromatophores refer to membranous organelles (BACTERIAL CHROMATOPHORES).)Pigments, Biological: Any normal or abnormal coloring matter in PLANTS; ANIMALS or micro-organisms.Melanoma, Amelanotic: An unpigmented malignant melanoma. It is an anaplastic melanoma consisting of cells derived from melanoblasts but not forming melanin. (Dorland, 27th ed; Stedman, 25th ed)Lespedeza: A plant genus of the family FABACEAE.Mesons: Short-lived elementary particles found in cosmic radiation or produced from nuclear disintegration. Their mass is between that of protons and electrons and they can be negative, positive, or neutral. pi-Mesons (pions) are heavier than mu-mesons (muons) and are proposed for cancer radiotherapy because their capture and disintegration by matter produces powerful, but short-lived, secondary radiation.Actinium: Actinium. A trivalent radioactive element and the prototypical member of the actinide family. It has the atomic symbol Ac, atomic number 89, and atomic weight 227.0278. Its principal isotope is 227 and decays primarily by beta-emission.Levodopa: The naturally occurring form of DIHYDROXYPHENYLALANINE and the immediate precursor of DOPAMINE. Unlike dopamine itself, it can be taken orally and crosses the blood-brain barrier. It is rapidly taken up by dopaminergic neurons and converted to DOPAMINE. It is used for the treatment of PARKINSONIAN DISORDERS and is usually given with agents that inhibit its conversion to dopamine outside of the central nervous system.alpha-MSH: A 13-amino acid peptide derived from proteolytic cleavage of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE, the N-terminal segment of ACTH. ACTH (1-13) is amidated at the C-terminal to form ACTH (1-13)NH2 which in turn is acetylated to form alpha-MSH in the secretory granules. Alpha-MSH stimulates the synthesis and distribution of MELANIN in MELANOCYTES in mammals and MELANOPHORES in lower vertebrates.Tenebrio: A genus of beetles which infests grain products. Its larva is called mealworm.Alternaria: A mitosporic Loculoascomycetes fungal genus including several plant pathogens and at least one species which produces a highly phytotoxic antibiotic. Its teleomorph is Lewia.Hypothalamic Hormones: Peptide hormones produced by NEURONS of various regions in the HYPOTHALAMUS. They are released into the pituitary portal circulation to stimulate or inhibit PITUITARY GLAND functions. VASOPRESSIN and OXYTOCIN, though produced in the hypothalamus, are not included here for they are transported down the AXONS to the POSTERIOR LOBE OF PITUITARY before being released into the portal circulation.Intramolecular Oxidoreductases: Enzymes of the isomerase class that catalyze the oxidation of one part of a molecule with a corresponding reduction of another part of the same molecule. They include enzymes converting aldoses to ketoses (ALDOSE-KETOSE ISOMERASES), enzymes shifting a carbon-carbon double bond (CARBON-CARBON DOUBLE BOND ISOMERASES), and enzymes transposing S-S bonds (SULFUR-SULFUR BOND ISOMERASES). (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 5.3.Skin Lightening Preparations: Substances used to obtain a lighter skin complexion or to treat HYPERPIGMENTATION disorders.