Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Enzyme in cosmetic products can act as allergen via the skin

10.04.2015

Papain is an important industrial protein-degrading enzyme that is used, for example, in the food and cosmetic industries. When humans or animals come in contact with papain, strong allergic reactions of the skin can be the result, as scientists from the Messerli Research Institute of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, the Medical University of Vienna, and the University of Vienna have found out. Their study was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Papain is found naturally in papaya and is often referred to as a “plant-based pepsin” in reference to the digestive enzyme pepsin that is present in the stomach. Erika Jensen-Jarolim, Head of the Department of Comparative Medicine at the Messerli Research Institute, and her team researched the effect of papain directly on the skin of mice as well as on skin cells in the petri dish.


Professor Erika Jensen-Jarolim

Michael Bernkopf/Vetmeduni Vienna

The cosmetic industry uses papain in exfoliating treatments to remove dead surface skin. There even are enzyme-based shampoos for house pets to clean the fur and make it easier to brush.

How papain induces allergic reactions

Skin consists of several layers joined via cellular connections called “tight junctions”. First authors Caroline Stremnitzer and Krisztina Manzano-Szalai and the project team showed that papain induces a breakdown of these cell-cell junctions. On the skin, papain results in a loss of the barrier function. “After just a short period of time, papain increased vascular permeability and inflammatory cells infiltrated the skin,” Jensen-Jarolim explains.

Around two weeks after being exposed to papain, the researchers found antibodies to papain in the mice. These immunoglobulins are the cause of the allergic reaction toward the enzyme. “Exposed mice not only experienced a loss of the barrier function of the skin, but also had a specific allergic sensitization toward papain. The animals developed an allergy,” says allergy expert Jensen-Jarolim.

Caution is called for with papain-containing products

But the permeation of the skin barrier does not appear to be a prerequisite for sensitization toward papain. “The enzyme remains allergenic even when its enzymatic function has been blocked,” explains Jensen-Jarolim. The disruption to the skin barrier, she says, is essential for the infiltration of other allergens and bacteria.

In humans and in animals, diseases of the skin such as atopic dermatitis, commonly referred to as eczema, involve an increased permeability of the skin with a heightened risk for bacterial, fungal, or viral colonisation. Besides genetic factors, allergenic enzymes from external sources may also contribute to the symptoms.

It is striking that papain has an enormous structural similarity with one of the most important house dust mite allergens. The authors conclude that sensitization toward these house dust mite allergens follows the same principle. “People with sensitive skin as well as small children should avoid the enzyme (EC Number 3.4.22.2) as much as possible and observe the ingredients declaration for consumer products as regulated by EU Directive 2000/13/EC,” says Jensen-Jarolim.


Service:
The article “Papain Degrades Tight Junction Proteins of Human Keratinocytes In Vitro and Sensitizes C57BL/6 Mice via the Skin Independent of its Enzymatic Activity or TLR4 Activation” by Caroline Stremnitzer, Krisztina Manzano-Szalai, Anna Willensdorfer, Philipp Starkl, Mario Pieper, Peter König, Michael Mildner, Erwin Tschachler, Ursula Reichart and Erika Jensen-Jarolim was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25705851

About the Messerli Research Institute
The Messerli Research Institute was founded in 2010 with support from the Messerli Foundation (Switzerland) under management of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna and in cooperation with the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna. The research is devoted to the interaction between humans and animals, as well as its theoretical principles in animal cognition and behaviour, comparative medicine and ethology. The institute’s work is characterized by its broad interdisciplinary approach (biology, human medicine, veterinary medicine, philosophy, psychology, law) and strong international focus. http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/messerli

About the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
The University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna) is one of the leading academic and research institutions in the field of veterinary medicine in Europe. The university’s focus is on the research areas of animal health, food safety, animal husbandry and animal protection as well as biomedical basics. Vetmeduni Vienna employs about 1,300 people and currently has an enrolment of 2,300 students. The campus in Vienna’s Floridsdorf district houses five university clinics as well as various research facilities. Two research institutes on Vienna’s Wilhelminenberg and a teaching and research property in Lower Austria also form part of Vetmeduni Vienna. Vetmeduni Vienna celebrated 250 years of existence in 2015. http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at

Medical University of Vienna
The Medical University of Vienna is one of Europe’s most renowned educational and research institutions in medicine. With nearly 7,500 students, it is the largest medical educational institution in the German-speaking world. Its 27 university clinics and three clinical institutes, 12 theoretical centres and many highly-specialised laboratories also make it one of the most important elite research institutions in Europe in the biomedical field. The university has more than 48,000 m² available for clinical research. http://www.meduniwien.ac.at

Scientific contact:
Prof. Dr Erika-Jensen-Jarolim
Comparative Medicine
Messerli Resarch Institute –
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Medical Wien of Vienna, and University of Vienna
erika.jensen-jarolim@vetmeduni.ac.at

Released by:
Heike Hochhauser
Public Relations and Communications
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna (Vetmeduni Vienna)
T +43 1 25077-1151
heike.hochhauser@vetmeduni.ac.at

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.vetmeduni.ac.at/en/infoservice/presseinformation/press-releases-2015/...

Heike Hochhauser | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>