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    The Trapa japonica fruit is a natural plant growing in ponds with its roots in the mud. It has long been used as a home remedy for many diseases; however, a major problem with this kind of natural extract is the multicomponents-multitargets for diseases. Such problems make it difficult to identify the mechanism of action. Another problem is quality control and consistency. The aim of this research was to isolate a single bioactive compound (peptide) derived from the Trapa japonica fruit. The research was conducted with various experimental techniques, such as fermentation and liquid chromatography, to isolate a peptide. We isolated the AC 2 peptide from Trapa japonica fruit and found it to be promising on human dermal papilla cells. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) stresses human dermal papilla cells and is a major cause of hair loss resulting from hormones and environmental factors. The purpose of this research was to develop an understanding of the mechanism by which the AC 2 peptide rescues dihydrotestosterone (DHT)-treated human dermal papilla cells. We explored the effects of the AC 2 peptide on the cell biological functions of human dermal papilla cells (HDPs). HDPs were treated with the AC 2 peptide and DHT. Then, a cytotoxicity assay, flow cytometry, Western blot, immunoprecipitation, and 3D cell culture for immunohistochemistry were conducted to investigate the mTORC1 pathway and suppression of autophagy and apoptosis. In addition, we also synthesized the AC2 peptide as an alternative to the expensive and difficult isolation and purification procedures and confirmed its potential in biomedical applications. We also validated the effects of the synthetic AC2 peptide as well as the isolated and purified AC2 peptide and established their similarity. Although extensive research has been carried out on natural extracts, few single studies have isolated and separated a bioactive peptide (single compound).


    Gun He Nam, Kyung-Jo Jo, Ye-Seul Park, Hye Won Kawk, Je-Geun Yoo, Jin Dong Jang, Sang Moon Kang, Sang-Yong Kim, Young-Min Kim. The peptide AC 2 isolated from Bacillus-treated Trapa japonica fruit extract rescues DHT (dihydrotestosterone)-treated human dermal papilla cells and mediates mTORC1 signaling for autophagy and apoptosis suppression. Scientific reports. 2019 Nov 15;9(1):16903

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    PMID: 31729428

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