Scientists create medicines to keep skin young by increasing the levels of a crucial protein

How wrinkles could be a thing of the past: scientists create medicines that could keep the skin young by increasing the levels of a crucial protein

  • Scientists at the University of Colorado investigated in mice and in the laboratory.
  • They said that rubbing certain chemicals on the skin could help regenerate it.
  • These increase the levels of an elastic protein that decreases with time.

By Colin Fernández Correspondent of science for the Daily Mail

Published: 1:00 PM EDT, April 3, 2019 | Updated: 13:29 EDT, April 3, 2019

Fallen, wrinkled faces may soon be a thing of the past, as researchers have identified a key mechanism in how the skin ages.

Scientists have discovered a key protein compound that could represent "a new intervention against aging."

Two drugs have been created that offer the hope that a source of youth can be developed in the future.

The drugs work by increasing the levels of a certain protein, which is found at high levels in young skin cells, but it begins to decrease over time as we get older.

Scientists at the University of Colorado said their discovery could reveal a way to reduce wrinkles, sun damage and, potentially, even skin cancer (stock image)

Scientists at the University of Colorado said their discovery could reveal a way to reduce wrinkles, sun damage and, potentially, even skin cancer (stock image)

When the levels of this protein decrease, the skin cells appear older, misshapen and less elastic.

They also appear thinner and become more stained and more brittle.

While many cells are being born far below the surface of the skin with high levels of protein, the skin looks young.

In a "survival of the fittest" scenario, these healthier skin cells outweigh the weaker ones, which die.

But over time, less strong skin cells are born and the weaker ones take over, creating a wrinkled appearance on the skin.

In addition, stress, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, or sun damage can also reduce the levels of the protein, called COL17A1.

But giving hope to anyone who wants a more youthful appearance, the researchers said they have found a way to increase their levels.

Researchers suggest that in addition to recreating youthful appearance, medications have the potential to help heal wounds and even prevent skin cancer.

Emi Nishimura, from the Tokyo School of Medicine and Dentistry, and his colleagues made the discovery in mice and in human skin tissue grown in the laboratory.

The compounds have not yet been tested in living humans.

Writing in the journal Nature, the authors said they discovered two chemical compounds that boosted COL17A1.

The chemicals, Y27632 and apocynin, when applied to the skin, "significantly promoted wound repair" by increasing the production of skin cells with high levels of COL17A1, the authors wrote.

The discovery "points towards directions to facilitate the regeneration of the skin and reduce the aging of the skin," they said.

Commenting on the discovery, Ganna Bilusova and James DeGregori, both from the University of Colorado, suggest that the discovery may also help prevent the formation of tumors.

They wrote that "the maintenance of suitable stem cells over the years in which an individual probably reproduces probably also prevents the development of the tumor, because these apt cells compete (and eliminate) both the damaged stem cells and the cells prone to tumors. "

They added that the work "provides evidence that healthy cells in mammals can also efficiently repopulate adult tissues, replacing damaged or unfit cells.

"Both chemicals improve the healing of wounds on the skin of the mouse tail, providing a demonstration of the therapeutic potential of this new clbad of drug."

The development also points the way to regenerating other organs besides the skin, wrote Professor Bilusova and Professor DeGregori.

"Future studies are needed to determine the mechanisms of cellular competition in other tissues and to identify compounds capable of reversing aging in other organs."


Wrinkles are wrinkles, creases or wrinkles in the skin.

They usually appear as people get older, but they can also develop after spending a lot of time in the water.

The first wrinkles that appear on a person's face tend to occur as a result of facial expressions.

A tendency to laugh, frown or be dazzled in a certain way can amplify wrinkles in certain regions.

Lines of laughter and crow's feet tend to form from the smile and the furrows of the forehead originate from a frown.

Sun damage, smoking, dehydration, some medications, and environmental and genetic factors also affect when and where people will develop wrinkles.

Most wrinkles tend to appear on the parts of the body that receive the most exposure to the sun, especially the face and neck, the back of the hands and arms.

The upper layer of the skin should be renewed regularly, since it is made up of dead cells.

As it ages, the epidermis takes longer to renew itself, and shows more and more signs of its age.

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