CAS Number: 49557-75-7
Chemical Formula: C14H24N6O4
Molar Mass: 340.38 g/mol
What’s Copper peptide GHK-Cu?
Copper peptide GHK-Cu is a naturally occurring copper complex of the tripeptide glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine. The tripeptide has strong affinity for copper(II). And it was first isolated from human plasma. It can be found also in saliva and urine.
In human plasma, the level of GHK-Cu is about 200 ng/ml at age 20. By the age of 60, the level drops to 80 ng/ml. In humans, scientists proposed to use GHK-Cu to promote wound healing, attraction of immune cells, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, stimulation of collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis in skin fibroblasts and promotion of blood vessels growth. Recent studies revealed its ability to modulate expression of a large number of human genes, generally reversing gene expression to a healthier state. In cosmetics, synthetic GHK-Cu is used as a reparative and anti-aging ingredient.
- Anti-inflammatory activity
GHK peptide has anti-inflammatory properties but the mechanism remains unclear. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties, copper-peptides could replace corticosteroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in treatment of inflammatory skin conditions. They also can reduce UV-induced Erythema.
- DNA repair
A recent study showed GHK-Cu’s ability to restore function of irradiated fibroblasts to that of intact cells.
- Nerve regeneration
GHK promotes nerve regeneration. Axon regeneration was studied using collagen tubes with incorporated peptides. GHK increased migration of hematogenous cells into collagen tube, production of nerve growth factors, expression of integrins and the rate of regeneration of myelinated nerve fibers.
- Effect on stem cells
GHK-Cu stimulates proliferation of keratinocytes and increased expression of integrins and p63 protein in the epidermal stem cells.
- Anti-cancer effect
GHK-Cu reverses the expression of certain genes involved in metastatic spreading of colon cancer. GHK-Cu was effective at a very low concentration – 1mkM.
- Genomic studies
GHK may directly modulate gene expression, which may explain the diversity of its biological actions.
Copper peptide GHK-Cu is widely used in anti-aging cosmetics (INCI name: Copper tripeptide-1). Gorouhi, F.; Maibach, H.I. (2009). “Role of topical peptides in preventing and treating aged skin”. Int. J. Cosm. Sci. 31 (5): 327–345. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2494.2009.00490.x. PMID 19570099.] Several controlled facial studies confirmed anti-aging, firming and anti-wrinkle activity of copper peptide GHK-Cu.
A 12-week facial study on 67 women indicated that GHK-Cu cream applied twice daily improved aged skin appearance, increased thickness, reduced wrinkles and strongly stimulated dermal keratinocyte proliferation as determined by histological analysis of biopsies. The same study found copper peptide GHK-Cu to be non-toxic and non-irritating.
Copper peptide GHK-Cu and its analogues were found to stimulate hair growth. In some circumstances, the efficiency of synthetic analog of GHK-Cu was similar to that of 5% minoxidil. A commercial product GraftCyte was clinically proven to improve hair transplantation outcome. Shown to promote collagen production, using copper peptides topically on the scalp will help strengthen already existing hair, while stimulating growth in areas that are lacking thickness.
- Pickart, L (2008). “The human tri-peptide GHK and tissue remodeling”. J. Biomater. Sci. Polymer Edn. 19 (8): 969–988. doi:1163/156856208784909435. PMID18644225.
- Hong, Y; Downey, T; Eu, KW; Koh, PK; Cheah, PY (2010). “A ‘metastasis-prone’ signature for early-stage mismatch-repair proficient sporadic colorectal cancer patients and its implications for possible therapeutics”. Clin Exp Metastasis. 27 (2): 83–90. doi:1007/s10585-010-9305-4. PMID 20143136.
- Gorouhi, F.; Maibach, H.I. (2009). “Role of topical peptides in preventing and treating aged skin”. Int.J.Cosm.Sci. 31 (5):327–345. doi:1111/j.1468-2494.2009.00490.x. PMID19570099.
- Uno H, Kurata S “Chemical agents and peptides affect hair growth. J Invest Dermatol. 1993; 101(1 Suppl):143S-147S
- Perez-Meza, D; Leavitt, M; Trachy, R (1988). “Clinical evaluation of GraftCyte moist dressings on hair graft viability and quality of healing”. Inter. J. Cos. Surg. 6: 80–84.
- “Copper Peptides for Hair Loss.” www.regrowth.com. Regrowth, 15 Oct. 2014. Web. 27 Apr. 2015.