Epithalon (Epitalon) Research
Epithalon (a.k.a. epitalon) is a short peptide, just four amino acids long, that has received a great deal of attention through scientific animal test studies for its ability to fend off the effects of aging. Derived from the naturally occurring epithalamin, epithalon has been found to regulate brain function, control various hormone levels, mitigate stress, and even act as an antioxidant. Epithalon was discovered in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until recently that its exact mechanism of action was elucidated. How epithalon really works is startling.
Epithalon Crosses the Cell Membrane
Cells are protected by fatty coatings called cell membranes (lipid bilayers). For the most part, anything that enters or exits the cell has to go through special protein channels in the cell membrane because passing directly through the bilayer is impossible. The lipid bilayer is a highly effective way to protect a cell and allow it to regulate its internal environment, but it is also a major impediment to the delivery of medication.
A particular issue with the lipid bilayer has been the delivery of gene therapy. Molecules designed to regulated DNA and change its function are notoriously difficult to deliver, intact, to DNA, which sits not just inside the cell membrane, but inside a second lipid bilayer called the nuclear membrane. Epithalon, it turns out, easily cross both membranes to directly affect DNA activity.
Epithalon and DNA
Scientific studies based on animal test subjects has been able to determine that Epithalon is a promoter peptide, which means it binds to very specific sections of DNA and turns on certain genes. In particular, epithalon interacts with CD5, IL-2, MMP2, and Tram1 signaling molecules . CD5 is found on the surface of cells in the immune system, particularly T-cells. It plays a role in protecting the body against autoimmune diseases. IL-2 is also associated with the immune system and works to regulate white blood cells, again mostly T-cells, by preventing autoimmune responses and by promoting T-cell development.
Though the effects of epithalon appear both diverse and complicated, they explain one of the reasons that the peptide is so effective at warding off aging. By activating CD5 and IL-2 genes, epithalon both reduces the risk of autoimmune dysfunction and increases the ability of the immune system to respond to disease. This means better immune responses to everything from cancer to bacterial infections, but it also means less tissue damage from aberrant immune cells attacking the very body they should protect.
 V. K. Khavinson, S. I. Tarnovskaya, N. S. Linkova, V. E. Pronyaeva, L. K. Shataeva, and P. P. Yakutseni, “Short cell-penetrating peptides: a model of interactions with gene promoter sites,” Bull. Exp. Biol. Med., vol. 154, no. 3, pp. 403-410, Jan. 2013.