An acetone extract from the stems of Schisandra nigra Max. (Schisandraceae) exhibited significant inhibition of 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX)-stimulated melanogenesis in murine B16 melanoma F10 cells. Fractionation and purification of the extract led to the isolation of two new tetrahydrofuran-type lignans, (+)-5-methoxyzuonin A (2) and kadlongirin C (3), along with eight known compounds (1, 4–10). The structures of the new compounds were determined by spectroscopic analyses. Of the isolated compounds (1, 3 –10), (+)-zuonin A (1) showed remarkable inhibition of melanogenesis at concentrations without cytotoxicity in B16 melanoma F10 cells. (+)-Zuonin A (1) did not inhibit tyrosinase; however, Western blot analysis revealed that it decreased protein levels of tyrosinase and tyrosinase-related proteins (TRP)-1 and TRP-2 without changing phosphorylation level of cAMP response element-binding protein.
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