Definitions for melaninˈmɛl ə nɪn
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word melanin
insoluble pigments that account for the color of e.g. skin and scales and feathers
Any of a group of naturally occurring dark pigments, especially the pigment found in skin, hair, fur, and feathers.
a black pigment found in the pigment-bearing cells of the skin (particularly in the skin of the negro), in the epithelial cells of the external layer of the retina (then called fuscin), in the outer layer of the choroid, and elsewhere. It is supposed to be derived from the decomposition of hemoglobin
Origin: [Gr. me`las, me`lanos, black.]
Melanin is an ubiquitous natural pigment found in most organisms. In animals melanin pigments are derivatives of the amino acid tyrosine. The most common biological melanin is eumelanin. This is a brown-black polymer of dihydroxyindole carboxylic acids and their reduced forms. Another common form of melanin is pheomelanin, a cysteine-containing red-brown polymer of benzothiazine units largely responsible for red hair and freckles. The production of melanin in human skin is called melanogenesis. Production of melanin is induced by UVB-radiation simulated by DNA, which is also a photoprotectant. This occurs by means of a process called "ultrafast internal conversion". This property enables melanin to dissipate more than 99.9% of the absorbed UV radiation as heat. This prevents the UVB radiation damage that is responsible for the formation of malignant melanoma and other skin cancers.
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