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Biologic activities of molecular chaperones and pharmacologic chaperone imidazole-containing dipeptide-based compounds: natural skin care help and the ultimate challenge: implication for adaptive responses in the skin.

  • Babizhayev, Mark A1
  • Nikolayev, Gennady M
  • Nikolayeva, Juliana G
  • Yegorov, Yegor E
Published Article
American journal of therapeutics
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2012
DOI: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e3181e71fb7
PMID: 20861720


Accumulation of molecular damage and increased molecular heterogeneity are hallmarks of photoaged skin and pathogenesis of human cutaneous disease. Growing evidence demonstrates the ability of molecular chaperone proteins and of pharmacologic chaperones to decrease the environmental stress and ameliorate the oxidation stress-related and glycation disease phenotypes, suggesting that the field of chaperone therapy might hold novel treatments for skin diseases and aging. In this review, we examine the evidence suggesting a role for molecular chaperone proteins in the skin and their inducer and protecting agents: pharmacologic chaperone imidazole dipeptide-based agents (carcinine and related compounds) in cosmetics and dermatology. Furthermore, we discuss the use of chaperone therapy for the treatment of skin photoaging diseases and other skin pathologies that have a component of increased glycation and/or free radical-induced oxidation in their genesis. We examine biologic activities of molecular and pharmacologic chaperones, including strategies for identifying potential chaperone compounds and for experimentally demonstrating chaperone activity in in vitro and in vivo models of human skin disease. This allows the protein to function and traffic to the appropriate location in the skin, thereby increasing protein activity and cellular function and reducing stress on skin cells. The benefits of imidazole dipeptide antioxidants with transglycating activity (such as carcinine) in skin care are that they help protect and repair cell membrane damage and help retain youthful, younger-looking skin. All skin types will benefit from daily, topical application of pharmacologic chaperone antioxidants, anti-irritants, in combination with water-binding protein agents that work to mimic the structure and function of healthy skin. General strategies are presented addressing ground techniques to improve absorption of usually active chaperone proteins and dipeptide compounds, include encapsulation into hydrophobic carriers, a combination with penetration enhancers, active electrical transport, or chemical modification to increase hydrophobicity.

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