Short sequence amino acids or oligopeptides represent a relatively new and promising area of dermatology. Oligopeptides are defined as peptide sequences ranging from 2 to 20 amino acids. This class of proteins includes potent biologically active compounds, which can modulate various cellular and molecular processes. The medical potential of short sequence peptides was initially characterized many decades ago with the identification of biological mediators such as angiotensin, vasopressin, oxytocin and bradykinin. However, the role of oligopeptides in affecting biological activity within the skin has only recently been explored. Currently, the dermatologic use of protein peptide fragments is a rapidly growing field of research. Recent studies suggest that treatment with various biologically active peptides can result in favourable clinical outcomes such as for the treatment of hyperpigmentation disorders with tyrosinase inhibitors and the use of collagen synthesis modulators to diminish skin laxity. In this review, we explore the roles of biologically active short sequence peptides as potential therapeutics through the modulation of collagen, elastin and melanin synthesis.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.