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The regulatory role of the tetrapeptide AcSDKP in skin and hair physiology and the prevention of ageing effects in these tissues--a potential cosmetic role.

  • Hajem, N
  • Chapelle, A
  • Bignon, J
  • Pinault, A
  • Liu, J-M
  • Salah-Mohellibi, N
  • Lati, E
  • Wdzieczak-Bakala, J
Published Article
International journal of cosmetic science
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2013
DOI: 10.1111/ics.12046
PMID: 23488645


The naturally occurring tetrapeptide acetyl-N-Ser-Asp-Lys-Pro (AcSDKP) recognized as a potent angiogenic factor was shown recently to contribute to the repair of cutaneous injuries. In the current article, we report the ability of AcSDKP to exert a beneficial effect on normal healthy skin and scalp and to compensate for the ageing process. In vitro AcSDKP at 10⁻¹¹-10⁻⁷ M significantly stimulates the growth of human keratinocytes, fibroblasts and follicle dermal papilla cells. Moreover, it enhances the growth of human epidermal keratinocyte progenitor and stem cells as shown in a clonogenic survival assay. Topical treatment of ex vivo cultured skin explants with 10⁻⁵ M AcSDKP increases the thickness of the epidermis and upregulates the synthesis of keratins 14 and 19, fibronectin, collagen III and IV as well as the glycoaminoglycans (GAGs). In the ex vivo-cultured hair follicles, AcSDKP promotes hair shaft elongation and induces morphological and molecular modifications matching the criteria of hair growth. Furthermore, AcSDKP at 10⁻¹¹-10⁻⁷ M was shown to improve epidermal barrier, stimulating expression of three protein components of tight junctions (claudin-1, occludin, ZO-1) playing an important role in connecting neighbouring cells. This tetrapeptide exercises also activation of SIRT1 implicated in the control of cell longevity. Indeed, a two-fold increase in the synthesis of SIRT1 by cultured keratinocytes was observed in the presence of 10⁻¹¹-10⁻⁷ M AcSDKP. In conclusion, these findings provide convincing evidence of the regulatory role of AcSDKP in skin and hair physiology and suggest a cosmetic use of this natural tetrapeptide to prevent skin ageing and hair loss and to promote the cutaneous regeneration and hair growth.

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