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Topical application of autophagy-activating peptide improved skin barrier function and reduced acne symptoms in acne-prone skin

 Yoonjin Lee  ;  Kayoung Shin  ;  Kyong-Oh Shin  ;  Seokjeong Yoon  ;  Juyeon Jung  ;  Eojin Hwang  ;  Hwa-Jee Chung  ;  Amir M Hossini  ;  Christos C Zouboulis  ;  Min Jeong Baek  ;  Ji Hwoon Baek  ;  Young Min Chi  ;  Sangeun Lee  ;  Sekyoo Jeong 
 JOURNAL OF COSMETIC DERMATOLOGY, Vol.20(3) : 1009-1016, 2021-03 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Acne Vulgaris* / drug therapy ; Autophagy ; Humans ; Peptides ; Sebaceous Glands* ; Sebum
Autophagy ; hydrolipidic film ; peptide mimetic ; sebaceous lipogenesis ; skin lipids
Background: Recent studies about the important roles of autophagy signaling in sebaceous lipogenesis and epidermal differentiation suggest potential benefits of autophagy activation in acne.

Aims: To investigate the effects of an autophagy activator on acne-prone skin.

Methods: Autophagy signaling in human immortalized SZ95 sebocytes, normal human epidermal keratinocytes, and 3D reconstituted skin was examined. Effects of an autophagy-activating peptide on sebaceous lipogenesis were measured by fluorescence microscopic analysis. The clinical efficacy in acne-prone skin was evaluated through an eight-week, double-blind, randomized, vehicle-controlled study. Changes in skin surface lipid compositions were further analyzed.

Results: In cultured sebocytes and keratinocytes, the investigated autophagy-activating peptide increased LC3-II expression, indicating a stimulation of autophagy signaling. Testosterone and linoleic acid treatment induced lipogenesis in cultured sebocytes and is further inhibited by the autophagy activator peptide treatment. Increased expression of differentiation marker proteins in cultured keratinocytes was also observed by autophagy-activating peptide. In clinical study, reduction of closed comedones and the amount of skin surface lipids as well as of trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) were observed in acne-prone skin after autophagy-activating peptide application. In addition, reduction of squalene and increase in cholesterol were observed after an 8-week application.

Conclusions: Topical application of an autophagy activator downregulated sebaceous lipogenesis and improved the skin barrier function. Considering the important roles of sebum and skin barrier function in acne pathogenesis, autophagy activation might represent a new therapeutic option in early forms of acne.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Dermatology (피부과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Lee, Sang Eun(이상은) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4720-9955
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