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Fighting Skin Aging by Targeting the Degradation of Collagen by Collagenase

  • Skin aging (ageing) concerns the skin, in the epidermis where it is responsible for texture changes. However the most visible effect of aging is loss of volume in the dermis. 
  • In the dermis intact collagen fibers (as well as hyaluronic acid) play an important structural role in its volume.
  • The visible changes in aging are mostly due to photo aging which is due to the effects of ultraviolet light (UV).



  • The review goes through the following chronological effects of UV action which result in the degradation of collagen:
    • Photoaging (photoageing) begins with the absorption of energy and the generation of reactive oxygen species 
    • The mammalian ultraviolet response and activation of tyrosine kinase receptors 
    • Ultraviolet exposure activates tyrosine kinase receptors by inhibiting protein tyrosine phosphatases 
    • Induction of matrix metalloproteinases couples the mammalian ultraviolet response to photoaging 
    • Accumulation of collagen fibril fragmentation creates a dermal microenvironment that perpetuates aging/photoaging



  • The article ends with proposed solutions on treating aging/photoaging:-(by stimulating the production of collagen): lasers, microdermabrasion, 5-FU, fillers, topical vitamin A and its derivatives (all-trans retinoic acid)-the future treatments also lie in the targeting of molecular pathways involved in the synthesis and degradation of collagen.



Article selection: Prof Dr Jean-Hilaire Saurat – dermatologist. Geneva, Switzerland

Source of information: Ageing: collagenase-mediated collagen fragmentation as a rejuvenation target. Fisher GJ1, Sachs DL, Voorhees JJ. Br J Dermatol. 2014 Sep;171(3):446-9. doi: 10.1111/bjd.13267.



Source of information: here