Tyrosinase, a copper-containing enzyme critical in melanin biosynthesis, is a key drug target for hyperpigmentation and melanoma in humans. Testing the inhibitory effects of compounds using tyrosinase from Agaricus bisporus (AbTYR) has been a common practice to identify potential therapeutics from synthetic and natural sources. However, structural diversity among human tyrosinase (hTYR) and AbTYR presents a challenge in developing drugs that are therapeutically effective. In this study, we combined retrospective and computational analyses with experimental data to provide insights into the development of new inhibitors targeting both hTYR and AbTYR. We observed contrasting effects of Thiamidol™ and our 4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)piperazin-1-yl-derivative (6) on both enzymes; based on this finding, we aimed to investigate their binding modes in hTYR and AbTYR to identify residues that significantly improve affinity. All the information led to the discovery of compound [4-(4-hydroxyphenyl)piperazin-1-yl](2-methoxyphenyl)methanone (MehT-3, 7), which showed comparable activity on AbTYR (IC50 = 3.52 μM) and hTYR (IC50 = 5.4 μM). Based on these achievements we propose the exploitation of our computational results to provide relevant structural information for the development of newer dual-targeting molecules, which could be preliminarily tested on AbTYR as a rapid and inexpensive screening procedure before being tested on hTYR.
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