Patent: Novel antioxidative peptides for better sunscreens

The thinning of the ozone layer leads to the increase of deadly skin cancer melanoma. To prevent this and other damage of the skin by UV radiation, modern suntan products often contain antioxidants, because antioxidants could help to increase the effectiveness of sunscreens.

That´s because the antioxidants can help prevent free radicals in the body. These free radicals, molecules which have a single unpaired electron in an outer shell, are highly reactive, which means that they can damage biological structures in the body. Antioxidants are agents which limit these damages to biological structures by passivating free radicals.

The novel peptides, which have been identified by Max Planck researchers, contain Tyrosine- and/or tryptophane and are very effective antioxidants. Besides the skin cancer protection, the petides could be used for therapy and prevention of more diseases which involve oxidative processes in the extracellular space. Such diseases are eg. artheriosclerosis, cataracts, diabetes, arthritis as well as the aging of skin and joints.

The antioxidative peptides contain aromatic systems which are able to form stable radicals, especially tyrosine and tryptophane residues. These peptides prevent the oxidation of soluble and fibrillar proteins, lipoprotein particles and membrane lipids. The substances do not penetrate into intact cells, but enrich in the extracellular space. This allows the application of low doses of these peptides. Known antioxidants which are effective in the extracellular space are either much more expensive (tocopherol, ubichinol) or less effective (ascorbate). Furthermore, the peptides are more stable than the known antioxidants because they are stable against the oxigen from the air, but highly reactive against harmful oxigen-derived radicals.

One possible application for the antioxidative peptides could be their addition to sunscreen products to prevent damage of the skin by UV radiation. The invention is patented.

Get the invention (reference 2630 WEL):
Dr. Mareike Göritz
Tel.: +49 89  290919-32
goeritz (at) max-planck-innovation.de

 

Picture: vimarovi

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