Melanogenesis (the process that produces pigment) begins when the pituitary gland stimulates the release of tyrosine, then attaches to tyrosinase which forms L-DOPA. L-DOPA produces eumelanin (dark or brown color) or pheomelanin (red or yellow). Once synthesis is complete, melanin granules pack into vessels called melanosomes. Melanosomes then carry the pigment through dendrites to the keratinocytes.
Last Update: May 11, 2019