Cosming 2023

Biomimetic approach to the role of digeneaside in algae and its transposition to cosmetics

Autophagy and mitophagy are two natural biological mechanisms that are clearly involved in aging.
Autophagy is a mechanism that protects organs from chronic degeneration and extends lifespan in contributing to proteostasis and mitochondrial homeostasis [1]. Autophagic flow decreases with age in many organs [2] while its upward regulation is implicated in the extension of life through mitochondrial adaptation to stress [3]. Moreover, mitochondrial function plays a major role in numerous cellular pathways from ATP production to nuclear gene expression and epigenetic alterations. This mitochondrial function declines with age.
Recent articles [4,5] highlight the importance of mitophagy and autophagy in the cutaneaous cellular aging by endogenous (age-related) and exogenous (environmental stress) processes.
Digeneaside is a chemical compound naturally present in red algae such as Polysiphonia lanosa L. also known as « Pompon des ascophylles ». This compound acts as an osmo-regulator enabling the algae to manage the stress caused by salinity variation induced by its environment.
Like the algae in its environment and by biomimicry, we demonstrate a beneficial effect of digeneaside, or an algae extract containing it, on skin cells.
Indeed, the application of digeneaside on Normal Human Keratinocytes (NHK) and Fibroblasts (NHF) in various biological models showed that:

  • digeneaside protects lysosomal and mitochondrial network in NHK and NHF
  • digeneaside stimulates mitophagy and autophagy activities in skin cells, thus preserving cells and tissues longevity
  • digeneaside restores the UV-induced decrease in ATP production
  • digeneaside has beneficial effect on certain components of the extra cellular matrix such as hyaluronic acid

Like its natural role in algae (detoxifying saline osmolyte), digeneaside helps detoxify skin cells against external aggressions and allows to improve skin condition.
This is a good example of “pharmaco-mimicry”.