The Ubiquitin/Proteasome system removes damaged proteins from cells. If these damaged proteins are not adequately removed, the cell cannot function properly. This system is also critical for the repair of damaged DNA after ultraviolet radiation exposure.
Ubiquitin is a small protein also called "The Kiss of Death Protein". It attaches itself to damaged proteins. Then the damaged proteins are taken to the proteasomes, which are like the little garbage disposal unit in your sink, and broken down.
Our genome studies found that GHK increases activity in Ubiquitin genes by 50% or more in 148 human genes and decreases it by 50% or more in only 31 genes. For proteasomes, GHK increases activity in genes by 50% or more in 48 genes and decreases it by 50% or more in only 7 genes.
This small protein attaches to damaged proteins:
The proteasome is like an open-ended barrel. The damaged protein is pulled in one end, chopped up, and the pieces come out the other end.
Graphic of a proteasome.
Top graphic: Its active sites are sheltered inside the tube (blue). The caps (red; in this case, 11S regulatory particles) on the ends regulate entry into the destruction chamber, where the protein is degraded.
Bottom graphic: The damages protein is pulled into one end of the proteasome and the pieces sent out the other end.