Stimulation of collagen synthesis in fibroblast cultures by the tripeptide-copper complex glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine-Cu2+

FEBS Lett. 1988 Oct 10;238(2):343-6. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(88)80509-x.


Glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine (GHK) is a tripeptide with affinity for copper(II) ions and was isolated from human plasma. This peptide appears to play a physiological role in wound healing. We report the stimulating effect of GHK-Cu on collagen synthesis by fibroblasts. The stimulation began between 10(-12) and 10(-11) M, maximized at 10(-9) M, and was independent of any change in cell number. The presence of a GHK triplet in the alpha 2(I) chain of type I collagen suggests that the tripeptide might be liberated by proteases at the site of a wound and exert in situ healing effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Collagen / biosynthesis*
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Growth Substances
  • Humans
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology*
  • Procollagen / biosynthesis
  • Proline / metabolism
  • Wound Healing


  • Growth Substances
  • Oligopeptides
  • Procollagen
  • glycyl-histidyl-lysine
  • Collagen
  • Proline