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Overview of Copper peptide GHK-Cu

Views: 4     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-04-29      Origin: Site

Copper Peptide GHK-Cu is a naturally occurring copper complex of the tripeptide glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine.This tripeptide has a strong affinity for copper(II) and was originally isolated from human plasma.It can also be found in saliva and urine.


Several copper(II)-peptide complexes occur naturally.In human plasma, the level of GHK-Cu is about 200 ng/ml at the age of 20 years.By age 60, this level drops to 80 ng/ml.In humans,GHK-Cu has been proposed to promote wound healing, attract immune cells, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, stimulate collagen and glycosaminoglycan synthesis in skin fibroblasts and promote blood vessel growth.Recent research has shown that it can regulate the expression of a large number of human genes,often reversing gene expression to a healthier state.Synthesis of GHK-Cu as a repairing and anti-aging ingredient in cosmetics.

Wound healing Copper Peptide powder

Biochemical studies

In the late 1980s, the copper peptide GHK-Cu began to receive attention as a promising wound healing agent.At picomolar to nanomolar concentrations,GHK-Cu stimulates collagen synthesis in dermal fibroblasts and increases accumulation of total protein, glycosaminoglycans (biphasic curve), and DNA in rat dermal wounds.They also found that the GHK sequence is present in collagen and showed that the GHK peptide is released after tissue damage.They proposed a class of emergency response molecules released from the extracellular matrix at the site of injury.GHK-Cu also increases the synthesis of decorin a small proteoglycan involved in the regulation of collagen synthesis, regulation of wound healing, and antitumor defense.It was also determined that GHK-Cu stimulates the synthesis of metalloproteinases (enzymes that break down dermal proteins) and their inhibitors (antiproteases).The fact that GHK-Cu not only stimulates the production of dermal components but also regulates their breakdown suggests that it should be used with caution.

Animal wound healing

A series of animal experiments confirmed that GHK-Cu has significant wound healing activity.In rabbit skin wounds,GHK-Cu promoted wound healing, resulting in better wound contraction, faster granular tissue development, and improved angiogenesis.It also boosts levels of antioxidant enzymes.

GHK-Cu has been found to induce enhanced systemic healing in rats, mice, and pigs; that is, injection of GHK-Cu peptide in one area of the body (e.g., thigh muscle) improves healing in distant body areas (e.g., ear).These treatments greatly increased healing parameters such as collagen production, angiogenesis, and wound closure in the wound chamber and full-thickness wounds.In one study, full-thickness wounds with a diameter of 6 mm were created on ischemic flaps on the back of rats, and the wounds were treated daily for 13 days with topical GHK or topical hydroxypropylmethylcellulose vehicle site, or no treatment was given. At the end of the study, wound size was reduced by 64.5% in the GHK group; increased by 45.6% in the vehicle-treated group; and by 28.2% in the control group.GHK group wounds were significantly different from the control group, accompanied by significantly lower levels of tumor necrosis factor α and elastin-degrading matrix metalloproteinases.

Biotinylated GHK-Cu was incorporated into collagen membranes and used as wound dressings.This GHK-Cu-rich material stimulates wound contraction and cell proliferation, and increases the expression of antioxidant enzymes.The same material was tested for wound healing in diabetic rats.GHK-Cu treatment resulted in faster wound contraction and epithelialization, higher levels of glutathione and ascorbic acid, increased collagen synthesis, and activation of fibroblasts and mast cells.Compared with vehicle alone or untreated wounds, ischemic open wounds healed faster in rats treated with GHK-copper, metalloproteinases 2 and 9, and tumor necrosis factor-β (a major inflammatory cytokines) decreased. 

Cosmetic use

Copper peptide GHK-Cu is widely used in anti-aging cosmetics (INCI name: Copper tripeptide-1) Several controlled face studies confirmed the anti-aging, firming and anti-wrinkle activities of copper peptide GHK-Cu