What is a peptide?Peptides: the first piece of the puzzle

5 min read

DEC 5, 2020
SKIN SCIENCE

What is a peptide?Peptides: the first piece of the puzzle

5 min read

DEC 5, 2020
SKIN SCIENCE
What once used to be a term used by scientists, peptides seem to be everywhere these days. Though much more common in day-to-day conversation than 10 years ago, there is still plenty of research to be done in this area and we’re excited to keep you up-to-date on it all.
What once used to be a term used by scientists, peptides seem to be everywhere these days. Though much more common in day-to-day conversation than 10 years ago, there is still plenty of research to be done in this area and we’re excited to keep you up-to-date on it all.
01

What is a peptide?

Whether it’s someone telling you to use the latest topical supplement containing peptides or to drink their new favorite peptide water if nothing else, 2020 has brought us peptides and from the looks of it, they are here to stay. This then begs the question of what is a peptide?
01

What is a peptide?

Whether it’s someone telling you to use the latest topical supplement containing peptides or to drink their new favorite peptide water if nothing else, 2020 has brought us peptides and from the looks of it, they are here to stay. This then begs the question of what is a peptide?
A peptide is one or more amino acids linked by chemical bonds. How does this molecule interact within our bodies exactly?
A peptide is one or more amino acids linked by chemical bonds. How does this molecule interact within our bodies exactly?
As with most things in life, it all starts with DNA.
As with most things in life, it all starts with DNA.
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the central information storage system of most animals and plants. Our DNA is made up of nucleic acids.
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the central information storage system of most animals and plants. Our DNA is made up of nucleic acids.
Nucleic acid is an important class of macromolecules found in all cells and viruses. The functions of nucleic acids have to do with the storage... Remember Cs, Ts, Gs, and As? Or more properly referred to as cytosine, thymine, guanine, and adenine. Our body uses our DNA as a template to transcribe RNA.
Nucleic acid is an important class of macromolecules found in all cells and viruses. The functions of nucleic acids have to do with the storage... Remember Cs, Ts, Gs, and As? Or more properly referred to as cytosine, thymine, guanine, and adenine. Our body uses our DNA as a template to transcribe RNA.
Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a molecule similar to DNA. Unlike DNA, RNA is single-stranded. An RNA strand has a backbone made of alternating sugar (ribose) and phosphate groups, and from there, our body produces proteins, an important class of molecules found in all living cells.
Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a molecule similar to DNA. Unlike DNA, RNA is single-stranded. An RNA strand has a backbone made of alternating sugar (ribose) and phosphate groups, and from there, our body produces proteins, an important class of molecules found in all living cells.
A protein is composed of one or more long chains of amino acids, the sequence determining which protein is coded for. You can think of it in this sense: our DNA stores all of our genetic information, while our RNA stores our protein information.
A protein is composed of one or more long chains of amino acids, the sequence determining which protein is coded for. You can think of it in this sense: our DNA stores all of our genetic information, while our RNA stores our protein information.
02

What are proteins?

By definition, proteins are macromolecules made up of at least 50 amino acids, though most proteins in the human body are much larger, and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of our tissues and organs. So what does all of this have to do with peptides? Think of peptides as mini proteins. If a protein was a puzzle, a peptide would be a single piece of the puzzle.Peptides can be as short as two amino acids, or as long as 50 amino acids, arranged in any order. Because of this, they can have a multitude of different functions. They can act to stimulate the body into secreting more of a specific protein, they can alter hormone function and even activate or inhibit various biological processes (just to name a few). Though you might not think you know much about peptides, there are many that you have likely heard of before. The commonly known protein insulin, is made up of 2 peptides of one 30 amino acid chain, and one 23 amino acid. Oxytocin, the “love hormone” is another example of a peptide as it is composed of 9 amino acids.
02

What are proteins?

By definition, proteins are macromolecules made up of at least 50 amino acids, though most proteins in the human body are much larger, and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of our tissues and organs. So what does all of this have to do with peptides? Think of peptides as mini proteins. If a protein was a puzzle, a peptide would be a single piece of the puzzle.Peptides can be as short as two amino acids, or as long as 50 amino acids, arranged in any order. Because of this, they can have a multitude of different functions. They can act to stimulate the body into secreting more of a specific protein, they can alter hormone function and even activate or inhibit various biological processes (just to name a few). Though you might not think you know much about peptides, there are many that you have likely heard of before. The commonly known protein insulin, is made up of 2 peptides of one 30 amino acid chain, and one 23 amino acid. Oxytocin, the “love hormone” is another example of a peptide as it is composed of 9 amino acids.
03

Our Favorite Peptides

As you may know by now, science, peptides, and skin are a few of our favorite things here at OneSkin, and you can always count on us to bring you high impact research going on in this field. Many researchers (and consumers!) have a newfound love of collagen peptides [2]. While early research is promising, science is showing that there is more to it than purchasing the latest flavored collagen peptide powder for your coffee. As we mentioned, a peptide can be any combination of between 2 and 50 amino acids. First off, there are multiple different types of collagen in the human body, each being about 3000 amino acids. Hint: this means there can be over 1,000,000 different combinations of peptides that are collagen peptidesSince not all peptides are created equal, this means that these peptides might have different effects on our bodies, or potentially no effect at all. This characteristic of peptides becomes applicable when thinking about the new trend of ingestible collagen peptides, typically in the form of collagen peptide supplements.. But, there is still hope! Though there is much research to be done in this area, collagen peptides are still a source of amino acids, which are the building blocks of peptides and proteins, that could be useful for a variety of functions in your body, including the skin. Look at your current topical skin care products and see if any contain peptides. Bonus if you do some research as to why these peptides are included and what their function is!Now to our favorite part. What are peptides for skin health and why should we care? Recognizing the promise of peptides, OneSkin years ago set out to find one that had the potential to improve skin health at the molecular level. After screening almost 1000 peptides, we found OS-01, the first peptide published to reduce the accumulation of senescent cells and target one of the root causes of skin aging. Interested in more OS-01 exclusives? Stay tuned for our future posts where we review some exciting data where OS-01 shows the ability to improve not only your skin health but also your health span in vivo.
03

Our Favorite Peptides

As you may know by now, science, peptides, and skin are a few of our favorite things here at OneSkin, and you can always count on us to bring you high impact research going on in this field. Many researchers (and consumers!) have a newfound love of collagen peptides [2]. While early research is promising, science is showing that there is more to it than purchasing the latest flavored collagen peptide powder for your coffee. As we mentioned, a peptide can be any combination of between 2 and 50 amino acids. First off, there are multiple different types of collagen in the human body, each being about 3000 amino acids. Hint: this means there can be over 1,000,000 different combinations of peptides that are collagen peptidesSince not all peptides are created equal, this means that these peptides might have different effects on our bodies, or potentially no effect at all. This characteristic of peptides becomes applicable when thinking about the new trend of ingestible collagen peptides, typically in the form of collagen peptide supplements.. But, there is still hope! Though there is much research to be done in this area, collagen peptides are still a source of amino acids, which are the building blocks of peptides and proteins, that could be useful for a variety of functions in your body, including the skin. Look at your current topical skin care products and see if any contain peptides. Bonus if you do some research as to why these peptides are included and what their function is!Now to our favorite part. What are peptides for skin health and why should we care? Recognizing the promise of peptides, OneSkin years ago set out to find one that had the potential to improve skin health at the molecular level. After screening almost 1000 peptides, we found OS-01, the first peptide published to reduce the accumulation of senescent cells and target one of the root causes of skin aging. Interested in more OS-01 exclusives? Stay tuned for our future posts where we review some exciting data where OS-01 shows the ability to improve not only your skin health but also your health span in vivo.
Key Takeaways:
  • As the major building block of life, DNA codes for every protein, such as peptides, in your body.
  • Peptides are chains of amino acids thcn stimulate different functions in the body, such as controlling hormone function and inhibiting or accelerating biological processes.
  • OneSkin screened almost 1000 peptides searching for one that could improve skin health at the molecular level by reducing the accumulation of senescent cells.
Key Takeaways:
  • As the major building block of life, DNA codes for every protein, such as peptides, in your body.
  • Peptides are chains of amino acids thcn stimulate different functions in the body, such as controlling hormone function and inhibiting or accelerating biological processes.
  • OneSkin screened almost 1000 peptides searching for one that could improve skin health at the molecular level by reducing the accumulation of senescent cells.
References
References

Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

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