TOKYO : Forever young : study uncovers protein that keeps skin youthful.

Beauty might only be skin deep, but for those wondering how to keep that skin young, scientists may have found an answer in the form of a protein that encourages cell competition.

The prosaically named COL 17A I might not sound like a fountain of youth, but the new study suggests it does heavy lifting when it comes to keeping skin intact and unimpaired.

The protein works by encouraging cell competition, a key process to maintain tissue fitness. That effectively ''drives out'' weaker cells while encouraging replication of stronger ones.

But ageing results in a depletion of  COL, 17AI, as do familiar enemies of youthful skin, like UV radiation.

And when that happens, weaker cells replicate, leaving the skin thinner, more prone to damage and and slower to heal

The research published Thursday in the journal Nature is based on investigations using mice tails, which share many of the same characteristics as human skin.

After confirming the importance of COL17AI, the team decided to investigate whether they could stimulate the protein once it was depleted - effectively looking for compounds that could kickstart the anti-ageing process in skin.

They isolated two chemical compounds - Y27632 and apocynin - and tested both on skin cells, with positive results.

''Application of these drugs to full thickness skin wounds, significantly promoted wound repair,'' the study said.

The two compounds point to ways of ''facilitating skin regeneration and reducing skin ageing,'' the study added.

In a review of the study commissioned by Nature, two professors from the University of Colorado said cell competition had previously only been studied extensively in fruit flies.[Agencies]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!