This macromolecule is secreted by the fibrocytes of the connective tissues into the intercellular network.
In the dermal connective tissue, the elastin fibers are thin and sinuous. Elastin contained in the dermis represents 5% of its dry weight. In the arteries around the heart is represents 35 ro 40%.
Elastin is a large fibrous protein which is formed by spiral filaments than can be compared to springs.
The spiral filaments consist of peptidic chains that can stretch out.
The peptidic chains are connected to each other by very specific amino-acids: desmosin and isodesmosin, which builds between them, giving the molecule a reticular aspect.
After stretching out, the molecules resume their original shape due to this cross linking which is essential to molecular elasticity.
The biosynthesis of Elastin begins with the embryonic period and continues till we reach adulthood. Our body stops producing Elastin around that time in our lives.
Our natural Elastin is no longer renewed.
With aging, the elastic fibers progressively degenerate and separate into fragments. The skin progressively loses its elasticity and lines and wrinkles start appearing.
This damage to our elastic tissue cannot be avoided and is part of our natural (physiological) aging process. This process begins relatively early but accelerates considerably after age of 40.
Elastin owes its properties to its thin structure which resembles that of rubber.
Professor Ladislas ROBERT defines it as the rubber of the organism.
Elastin is the protein responsible for our skin’s essential elasticity and tonicity. Its decrease means aging and it can be said that ‘we are as old as our elastic fibers’.
As we we age, we stop producing elastin for our skin. The skin starts sagging, allowing lines, folds and wrinkles to appear and grow.
This is the reason why Elastin is of the utmost importance in dermo-cosmetology as it can compensate for the loss of elastic matter in the derm.
Only KappaElastin biopeptides are soluble and small enough were proven clinically to regenerate and replenish our level elastin in our skin, and thus make it look much younger.