Wrinkles and sagging facial contours may soon be a thing of the past, as researchers at the University of Colorado have identified a key mechanism for skin aging. Scientists have discovered a key protein compound, the manipulation of which may become a new means of anti-aging therapy.Specialists have already created two experimental drugs that give hope for the discovery of the source of youth. The drugs act by increasing the level of COL17A1 protein, which is found in young skin cells in high concentrations, but over time begins to deplete. When the level of this protein falls, the skin cells become old, deformed and less elastic. They also become more subtle and fragile. While a lot of cells with a high content of COL17A1 protein are born deep beneath the surface of the skin, the skin looks young. The strongest and healthiest skin cells are superior to the weaker ones that die quickly. But over time, less strong skin cells are born, and weaker ones start to dominate, giving the skin a wrinkled appearance. In addition, stress, such as exposure to toxic chemicals or damage from the sun, can also reduce COL17A1 protein levels, but now researchers have found a way to increase this protein level.
Experts suggest that the drugs they create can not only restore youth, but also contribute to the healing of wounds and even the prevention of skin cancer. Scientists came to this conclusion by conducting experiments on mice and tissues of human skin grown in the laboratory. In the future, the work of drugs has yet to be tested on living people. According to experts, the two chemical compounds they created when applied to the skin stimulate the production of cells with a high level of COL17A1 protein. This, in turn, improves skin regeneration and reduces its aging. Researchers also believe that these compounds can help prevent the formation of tumors.