Wound healing is an important issue that influences quality of life, and the need for products associated with wound healing is growing annually. New materials and therapies for skin wounds are being continuously researched and developed in order to increase treatment efficacy. Here, we show that the peptide AES16-2M comprised of five short amino acid sequences (REGRT) demonstrates efficacy in wound healing. AES16-2M exerted more effective healing than the control in an acute wound model, and tissue regeneration was similar to that of normal tissue in AES16-2M-treated skin. We found that the increase in re-epithelialization by AES16-2M early in wound development was due to migration of keratinocytes; a scratch assay using a human keratinocyte cell line (HaCaT) also demonstrated effective wound closure by AES16-2M. The migration of keratinocytes effected by AES16-2M was promoted through ERK phosphorylation and blocked with U0126, an ERK inhibitor. Moreover, AES16-2M treatment stimulated human dermal fibroblast (HDF) migration as well as keratinocyte. Taken together, these results suggest that AES16-2M can be an effective therapeutic agent for wound healing by promoting migration of keratinocytes and fibroblasts via ERK phosphorylation.
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