The Effect of Human Peptide GHK Relevant to
Nervous System Function and Cognitive Decline
Brain Sciences (2017)
New Data of the Cosmeceutical and TriPeptide GHK
SOFW Journal (2015)
GHK-Cu May Prevent Oxidative Stress in Skin
by Regulating Copper and Modifying Expression of
Numerous Antioxidant Genes Cosmetics (2015)
GHK Peptide as a Natural Modulator of
Multiple Cellular Pathways in Skin Regeneration (2015)
GHK, the Human Skin Remodeling Peptide Induces Anti-Cancer
Expression and DNA Repair Analytical Oncology (2014)
GHK and DNA: Resetting the Human Genome to Health
BioMed Research International (2014)
Avoid Buying Fake Copper Peptides Dangerous

GHK, the Human Skin Remodeling Peptide, Induces Anti-Cancer Expression of Numerous Caspase, Growth Regulatory, and DNA Repair Genes

Abstract: GHK (glycyl-L-histidyl-L-lysine) is a human plasma copper-binding peptide that declines during aging. Numerous studies have established many biological actions of GHK: it improves tissue regeneration, possesses anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, increases cellular stemness; increases decorin, angiogenesis, and nerve outgrowth. In recent studies, GHK was found to switch gene expression from a diseased state to a healthier state for certain cancers and for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In studies of aggressive, metastatic human colon cancer, the Broad Institute's Connectivity Map indicated that GHK, out of 1,309 bioactive molecules studied, reversed the expression of 70% of 54 genes over-expressed genes. GHK also reactivates programmed cell death in several cultured human cancer lines.

To determine GHK's potential as a cancer treatment, we analyzed the molecule's effect on the human gene expression using the Connectivity Map. GHK induces a 50% or greater change of expression in 31.2% of human genes. GHK increased gene expression in 6 of the 12 human caspase genes that activate programmed cell death. In 28 other genes, GHK altered the pattern of gene expression in a manner that would be expected to inhibit cancer growth. For DNA repair genes, there was a one-sided increase in the expression of such genes (47 UP, 5 DOWN).

A previous study found that a copper peptide plus ascorbic acid inhibited Ehrlich ascites cancer in mice. Using this method with GHK-copper gave a strong suppression of Sarcoma 180 in mice. These results support the idea that GHK may help to impede or suppress cancer growth.

GHK and DNA Repair Genes

Using NetAffx Analysis Center (http://www., the annotations for each probe set in the GeneChip HT Human Genome U133A Array were retrieved. Searching the Gene Ontology (GO) descriptions for the term DNA Repair resulted in 497 probe sets (313 genes). GHK stimulates many DNA repair genes. Gene expression is increased in 47 genes and decreased in 5 genes see Tables 5 and 6. Cell culture results also suggest that GHK activates DNA repair. Anti-cancer radiation therapy damages cellular DNA and slows cell replication. GHK-Copper at 1 nanomolar restored normal growth rates to radiation damaged cells.

Table 5: GHK is Primarily Stimulatory on DNA Repair Genes

Percent Change in Gene Expression

Genes UP

Genes DOWN

50% - 100%



100% - 150%



150% - 200%



200% - 250%



250% - 300%



Table 6: Most Affected DNA Repair Genes


Gene Title

Percent Change
in Gene Expression


poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase family, member 3, PARP3



polymerase (DNA directed), mu, POLM



MRE11 meiotic recombination 11 homolog A MRE11A



RAD50 homolog (S. cerevisiae), RAD50



eyes absent homolog 3 (Drosophila), EYA3



retinoic acid receptor, alpha, RARA






cholinergic receptor, nicotinic, alpha 4, CHRNA4




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