Aquaporins: The One-Molecule-at-a-Time Moisturizer

May 1, 2008 | Contact Author | By: Bud Brewster, Cosmetics & Toiletries
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Title: Aquaporins: The One-Molecule-at-a-Time Moisturizer
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Perspiration dripping off a sweating brow can be easily seen, one drop at a time. Moisture within a biological cell is similar, although it happens on a smaller scale-one molecule at a time, in a channel through the middle of a protein embedded in the membrane surrounding the cell. That protein is called an aquaporin because it is a pore through which water passes in and out.

Science often happens the same way. Individual facts and findings pass one-by-one through the barrier between ignorance and knowledge. Occasionally, when a fact or finding is disproved, the flow is reversed.

This column describes aquaporins and outlines their 16-year history, with particular interest in an aquaglycero-porin found in human skin. Future columns will highlight the activities of several cosmetic manufacturers and their compositions to “stimulate” that aquaporin as a way to beautify human skin and hair. The current column will serve as an introduction and trace the step-by-step development of knowledge about aquaporins.

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Table 1. Selected Findings on the AQP3 Timeline

 Table 1. Selected Findings on the AQP3 Timeline

Brewster Aquaporins in Patents

  Brewster Aquaporins in Patents

Figure 1. The bilayer membrane around a cell

 Figure 1. The bilayer membrane around a cell 

Figure 2. Water permeating through an aquaporin

 Figure 2. Water permeating through an aquaporin

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