Will inhibiting MITF or MC1R lighten the skin?

So I have been reading a lot about melanotan 2, having used it to get a tan in 2012.

Now I'm researching peptides that will whiten the skin and since melanotan 2 is a MC1R agonist, I figured that a MC1R antagonist will do the opposite, and lighten the skin. I found a MC1R agonist, MSG606. I also researched MITF inhibitors and found ML329. MITF regulates melanin in the skin.

My background in biochemistry isn't the best, so I might have interpreted those peptides and their research papers wrongly, but Prof. Victor Hruby, the researcher who first synthesized and researched Melanotan confirmed to me that MSG606, also synthesized by him, does affect pigmentation.

There is a big market for skin lightening out there, and it baffles me that those who would like to have lighter skin tones haven't gone the same route as melanotan and started injecting peptides. Is it because those peptides I mentioned can't alter pigmentation? Or what exactly.

Both peptides have been found around 2013.

What do you guys think?

Research papers
MSG606, referred to as "Peptide 6" here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641192/

ML329: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK154496/


  • I think it's very depressing how much of a market for skin lightening there is.

    But I also remember reading how some people use harsh and dangerous chemicals to try and lighten skin now, and how it's mostly snake oil, so I expect they don't use things that might work better because the hucksters selling them bleach or whatever don't see a profit in a more science based solution.
  • Copying and pasting from the closed thread:

    As a good rule of thumb, don't. Perhaps attempt animal testing of your own, document the procedure and results, and determine physical risk. Of course even if the physical risk isn't immediately obvious i'd recommend not experimenting on yourself, who knows if this will increase your chances of skin cancer.

    Tekniklr has a great point. Why is it that you would like to go to such lengths to whiten your skin?

  • edited December 2018

    Hypothetically you would be able to reduce further pigmentation of dermal tissue by slowing (or stopping) the development of melanocytes. But melanocytes do a lot more than just pigment the skin, there's a disorder known as Waardenburg syndrome that is characterized by less/non-functional melanocytes. So it seems to make sense that disturbing the development and survival of melanocytes (through the inhibition of MITF) would cause issues.

    However, this is based on my limited knowledge of melanocytes, but I think worth noting


    EDIT: A quick search of the MC1R gene shows that it is a part of DNA repair, so uhh... be careful about turning off your body's natural defense against DNA damage

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