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Planta Med. 2006 Mar;72(4):324-8.

Asiaticoside induces human collagen I synthesis through TGFbeta receptor I kinase (TbetaRI kinase)-independent Smad signaling.

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Biospectrum Life Science Institute, Gunpo City, Gyunggi Do, Korea.


Skin aging appears to be principally related to a decrease in the levels of type I collagen, the primary component of the skin dermis. Asiaticoside, a saponin component isolated from Centella asiatica, has been shown to induce type I collagen synthesis in human dermal fibroblast cells. However, the mechanism underlying asiaticoside-induced type I collagen synthesis, especially at a molecular level, remains only partially understood. In this study, we have attempted to characterize the action mechanism of asiaticoside in type I collagen synthesis. Asiaticoside was determined to induce the phosphorylation of both Smad 2 and Smad 3. In addition, we detected the asiaticoside-induced binding of Smad 3 and Smad 4. In a consistent result, the nuclear translocation of the Smad 3 and Smad 4 complex was induced via treatment with asiaticoside, pointing to the involvement of asiaticoside in Smad signaling. In addition, SB431542, an inhibitor of the TGFbeta receptor I (TbetaRI) kinase, which is known to be an activator of the Smad pathway, was not found to inhibit both Smad 2 phosphorylation and Type 1 collagen synthesis induced by asiaticoside. Therefore, our results show that asiaticoside can induce type I collagen synthesis via the activation of the TbetaRI kinase-independent Smad pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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