Aquaporins: Stimulation by Vitamins, Steroids and Sugar Alcohols

Nov 1, 2008 | Contact Author | By: Bud Brewster, C&T magazine
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Title: Aquaporins: Stimulation by Vitamins, Steroids and Sugar Alcohols
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Aquaporins are proteins that reside in the cellular membrane. In response to osmotic forces, they control the passage of specific materials into and out of the cell. As reported previously in Cosmetics & Toiletries,1 one type of aquaporin in human skin is aquaporin-3 (AQP3), a pore by which water, glycerin and certain other moisturizing agents gain access to the interior of epidermal cells. The importance of moisturization for skin health and appearance means that personal care companies have a reason to be interested in the activity or presence (expression) of aquaporins, especially AQP3. As reported in the technical literature, four personal care companies have studied the world of biochemicals to discover AQP3 stimulators from three different sources: vitamins, steroids and sugar alcohols.

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Figure 1. Examples of glyceryl glucosides

CT0811-Brewster_Fig1

“Glucose is linked to glycerin by a glycosidic bond of the amoneric oxygen. These kinds of monosaccharides are characterized by their hydrophilicity,” Scherner told C&T magazine. “Glyceryl glycosides have been widely known for many years. In particular, extremophile plants and different cyanobacteria produce glyceryl glycosides for osmotic adjustment in order to be able to survive in extremely dry or salty environmental conditions.” Structures of two glyceryl glucosides are shown here. Some organisms produce the 1-O-isomer; others produce the 2-O-isomer.

Figure 2. Effect of glyceryl glucoside on AQP3 mRNA levels

CT0811-Brewster_Fig2
“In a large screen of actives using human keratinocytes we analyzed the AQP3 stimulation potential of glyceryl glucoside in relation to glycerol because we were trying to identify new active moisturizers better than glycerol,” Breitenbach said. “We observed a significant increase in AQP3 mRNA levels by the application of glyceryl glucoside.”

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