Glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine (GHK) is a tripeptide with affinity for copper(II) ions and was isolated from human plasma. This peptide appears to play a physiological role in wound healing. We report the stimulating effect of GHK-Cu on collagen synthesis by fibroblasts. The stimulation began between 10−12 and 10−11 M, maximized at 10−9 M, and was independent of any change in cell number. The presence of a GHK triplet in the α2(I) chain of type I collagen suggests that the tripeptide might be liberated by proteases at the site of a wound and exert in situ healing effects.
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"Subsequent studies directed by Maquart et al. (France) demonstrated that GHK-Cu at a very low, nontoxic concentration (1–10 nanomolar) stimulated both the synthesis and breakdown of collagen and glycosaminoglycans [55, 56]. It modulated an expression of both metalloproteinases and their inhibitors (TIMP-1 and TIMP-2), improving wound healing and facilitating skin remodeling processes . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress, disrupted copper homeostasis, and neuroinflammation due to overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines are considered leading causative factors in development of age-associated neurodegenerative conditions. Recently, a new mechanism of aging-detrimental epigenetic modifications-has emerged. Thus, compounds that possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory activity as well as compounds capable of restoring copper balance and proper gene functioning may be able to prevent age-associated cognitive decline and ward off many common neurodegenerative conditions. The aim of this paper is to bring attention to a compound with a long history of safe use in wound healing and antiaging skin care. The human tripeptide GHK was discovered in 1973 as an activity in human albumin that caused old human liver tissue to synthesize proteins like younger tissue. It has high affinity for copper ions and easily forms a copper complex or GHK-Cu. In addition, GHK possesses a plethora of other regenerative and protective actions including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing properties. Recent studies revealed its ability to up- and downregulate a large number of human genes including those that are critical for neuronal development and maintenance. We propose GHK tripeptide as a possible therapeutic agent against age-associated neurodegeneration and cognitive decline.
Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
"The following are characteristic of ECM remodelling that can contribute to stiffness and systolic/diastolic failure: total collagen content, collagen subtypes, collagen protein stability, collagen cross-linking (Iimoto et al., 1988; Jalil et al., 1989; Mukherjee & Sen 1990; Norton et al., 1997). The activation of MMPs involves collagen degradation with replacement of fibrotic tissue (Dollery et al., 1995; Li et al., 2000b; Maquart et al., 1988). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High levels of homocysteine (Hcy), known as hyperhomocysteinmia (HHcy), are correlated with an increase in extracellular matrix remodelling (ECM) via the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and plasminogen/plasmin system. This results in an increase deposition of collagen that leads to endothelial-myocyte (EM) and myocyte-myocyte (MM) uncoupling; the physiological consequences are a plethora of cardiovascular pathologies. Homocysteine-induced increase in intracellular and mitochondrial Ca(2+) plays an important role in increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) within mitochondria and instigating mitophagy within the cell. This occurs via several Hcy-mitigated processes: agonizing N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor-1 (NMDA-R1), decreasing expression of peroxisome proliferator activator receptor (PPAR) [thereby increasing oxidation], impairing Ca(2+) handling via Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger (NCX1) and Sarco endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase (SERCA-2a). The end result is an increase in ROS that directly or indirectly lead to MMP activation within mitochondria or the cytoplasm. Hcy induces a mitochondrial permeability transition that allows MMPs to be released from mitochondria thereby metabolizing matrix and impairing cardiac function. Further work remains to be elucidated concerning the specific mitochondrial mitophagic mechanisms under which matrix metabolism and remodelling occurs. Moreover, the therapeutic implications of NMDA and PPAR ligands are some promise to patient.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry