Scientists finally managed to discover the fountain of youth for the skin. They became special COL17A1 protein that stimulates cell competition.
COL17A1 the study allowed researchers to conclude that this protein is the dominant element when it comes to keeping skin in one piece. It works by encouraging cell competition is a key process to maintain the fitness of the tissues of the skin. In other words, to effectively “displace” the weaker cells, stimulating the reproduction of the stronger.
However, the aging process of the human body leads to depletion of COL17A1, which also contribute to ultraviolet radiation and other factors that negatively affect skin health. Under the influence of such factors weaker cells multiply, skin becomes delicate, more susceptible of damage and healing and recovery is much slower.
A study recently published in the journal Nature, which led to conclusions about the importance of COL17A1 protein based on studies using mice tails, which have many of the same characteristics as human skin. After confirming the importance of COL17A1, the team of scientists decided to investigate whether they can stimulate the production of a protein after its exhaustion, searching effective compounds that could launch anti-aging processes in the skin. Researchers have isolated two chemical compounds Y27632, and apocynin – and tested both on the skin cells and get positive results.
“The use of these drugs on skin wounds full thickness has contributed significantly to the healing of wounds”, the study says. These two compounds indicate a means to “facilitate the regeneration of skin and reduction of skin aging,” according to a press release.
In a survey conducted by the order of Nature, two professors from the University of Colorado noted that cellular competition is previously widely studied only in fruit flies. The study “provides evidence that healthy mammalian cells can also effectively colonize the tissue of adults, replacing the unusable or damaged cells, said Professor Gunn Belousova and James Degregory. Future research is needed to determine the mechanisms of cell competition in other tissues and to identify compounds that can reverse aging in other organs”.