β‑Lactoglobulin Peptide Fragments Conjugated with Caffeic Acid Displaying Dual Activities for Tyrosinase Inhibition and Antioxidant Effect

The regulation of tyrosinase activity and reactive oxygen species is of great importance for the prevention of dermatological disorders in the fields of medicine and cosmetics. Herein, we report a strategy based on solid-phase peptide chemistry for the synthesis of β-lactoglobulin peptide fragment/caffeic acid (CA) conjugates (CA-Peps) with dual activities of tyrosinase inhibition and antioxidation. The purity of the prepared conjugates, CA-MHIR, CA-HIRL, and CA-HIR, significantly increased to 99%, as acetonide-protected CA was employed in solid-phase coupling reactions on Rink amide resins. The tyrosinase inhibitory activities of all CA-Pep derivatives were higher than the activity of kojic acid, and CA-MHIR exhibited the highest tyrosinase inhibition activity (IC<sub>50</sub> = 47.9 μM). Moreover, CA-Pep derivatives displayed significantly enhanced antioxidant activities in the peroxidation of linoleic acid as compared to the pristine peptide fragments. All CA-Pep derivatives showed no cytotoxicity against B16–F1 melanoma cells.