Skin is constantly under attack by various oxidative stresses—both external, such as UV radiation, and internal, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) molecules generated during cell metabolism. Consequently, oxidative stress is recognized as a key factor in skin aging, and constitutes a major concern in the cosmetic field. Since coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a known powerful antioxidant that can play an essential role in mitochondrial energy synthesis,1 a new antioxidant, referred to here as compound IV08.004 and based on pentapeptide-34 trifluoroacetatea, was designed to activate CoQ10. Here, the authors describe both in vitro and in vivo studies investigating the compound’s antioxidant and anti-aging effects.
To increase CoQ10, poly PrenylTransferase (PDSS1/2) and CoQ10B were targeted; to understand the roles of these entities in CoQ10 production and CoQ10 itself in anti-aging, some background would first be helpful. In cells, CoQ10 is synthesized in the mitochondria starting from acetyl-CoA and tyrosine in a 17-step process (see Figure 1). The benzoquinone portion of CoQ10 is synthesized from tyrosine, whereas the isoprene side chain arises from acetyl-CoA through the mevalonate pathway. The enzyme Prenyl Diphosphate Synthase, constituted by PDSS1 and PDSS2 subunits—also known as Decaprenyl Diphosphate Synthase or Trans-Prenyl Transferase (TPT)—catalyzes the second step in the final reaction sequence of CoQ10 biosynthesis, which is the condensation of the poly-isoprenoid side chain with para-hydroxybenzoate.2