by Loren Pickart, Discoverer of GHK and many of its biological effects
BA Chemistry and Mathematics, University of Minnesota
PhD Biochemistry, University of California, San Francisco

- - - VIEW THE ORIGINAL THESIS ON GHK: "A TriPeptide From Human Serum" (June 1973)

The Broad Gene Institute found GHK induced a significant change in the gene expression, UP or DOWN, in 31.8% of the human genes. At levels of change greater than 50% UP or DOWN, it affected 4,192 human genes, dramatically affecting the following categories of concern:

BREAKING NEWS: Read Dr. Loren Pickart's new paper on the human body's natural control of cancer. The paper focuses on breast cancer and prostate cancer, the major human cancers. Our most important publication yet. Read it HERE!


GHK was first studied for wound healing (1983+) and later for its effects on skin and hair. In many controlled, peer-reviewed published articles, GHK was found to:

Tightened loose skin and thicken older skin

Repaired protective skin barrier proteins

Improved skin firmness, elasticity, and clarity

Reduced fine lines, depth of wrinkles, and overall appearance

Smoothed rough skin

Reduced photodamage, mottled hyperpigmentation, skin spots and lesions

Improved overall appearance

Protected skin cells from UV radiation

Increased hair growth and thickness, enlarge hair follicle size

Accelerated wound healing, but better when used in liposomes due to its sensitivity to carboxypeptidase breakdown effects


Topped 1,309 bioactive compounds as the Broad Institute computer recommended molecule for the treatment of human metastatic colon cancer

GHK, at 1 nanomolar, reset the programmed cell death system in human cancer cells (human neuroblastoma, leukemia, and breast cancer) but did not affect healthy cells

GHK-copper plus ascorbic acid suppressed a sarcoma in mice

GHK inhibited NFKB p65 which is believed to promote cancer growth

Repaired damaged DNA at cellular level at 1 nanomolar (47 genes up, 5 genes down)

GHK-copper induced cell differentiation

Reset 84 genes to growth inhibition or cancer inhibition



Topped 1,309 bioactive compounds as Broad Institute computer recommended molecule for treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Restored healthy function in COPD affected cells at 10 nanomolar

Protected lung cells from damage by both bleomycin and lipopolysaccharide-induced injury

In fetal lung cells, GHK-Cu (at concentrations of 0.1, 1.0, and 10 nanomolar) produced dose-response changes in 329 human fetal lung genes of the extracellular matrix


Increased SOD1 activity. Suppressed toxic products of lipid oxidation alpha,beta-4-hydroxy-trans-2-noneal and acrolein, peroxyl radicals, hydroxyl radicals, p38 MAPK, IL-6, IL-17, TNF alpha, and strongly suppressed NFKB, a molecule which is believed to be a primary cause of many diseases of aging

Completely blocked Cu2+ oxidation of low density lipoproteins while SOD1 gave only 20% blocking

Blocked release of oxidizing iron from ferritin


Altered expression of human genes important in neuron function by 50%, plus or minus, with 408 UP and 230 DOWN

Induced strong anti-anxiety and anti-aggression effects in rats within 12 minutes at a weight equivalent of 35 micrograms in 70 Kg humans

Induced anti-pain activity in rats within 12 minutes

Alleviated neuronal apoptosis due to intracerebral hemorrhage

Now used clinically in humans for the treatment of damaged spinal segments in the neck. Treatment was for 20 days with a daily injection of 0.25 mg GHK-Cu into the skin around the damaged area. The cost of GHK-Cu is about $0.01 a milligram



Caused adult MCS stem cells to produce more growth factors, increased stem cell differentiation

Enhanced activity of alginate hydrogels for human cord blood MCS stem cell osteogenesis


Increased the healing of many tissues (skin, stomach, intestine lining, bone tissue)

Strongly chemo-attracted capillary cells, mast cells, and macrophages

Strongly activated genes of the Ubiquitin Proteasome System used for cell cleansing.
(41 genes up, 1 gene down)

Blocked cortisone's anti-regeneration effects.

Suppressed the insulin and insulin-like system that reduces lifespan in roundworms

Reduced fibrinogen synthesis. Fibrinogen levels are the top predictor of cardiovascular heart disease

Increased myostatin gene expression 9.4 fold. Myostatin inhibits heart failure.

Where Did GHK Come From? What Does GHK Do?
GHK appears to part of a previously unknown system that adjusts the body to a "state" best suited for certain conditions such a good health, pregnancy, growth, cold weather, starvation, infections, aggression (to fight off animal attacks), etc. GHK is too small to carry any significant information. So the general pattern of gene expression of UP or DOWN must be present in the genes by modifications of proteins and RNA around the gene. Then GHK intensifies the effect. There must be several of such signals in addition to GHK.

GHK probably originated from an ancient marine protective system that protected cells against free, toxic copper and was swept into mammals on the tides of evolution. It predates modern growth factors and cytokines. GHK aids the differentiation of Ascaris suum roundworms. Roundworms are one of the most ancient animals arriving about 1 billon years ago. Barnacles date back 400 million years and GHK promotes their differentiation and settlement on surfaces.

One of the questions people ask is, how can GHK have such diverse actions such as healing, anti-cancer, anti-anxiety, COPD cell repair, etc? The answer is simple—during the course of evolution various genes became associated with various peptides, proteins, and RNA molecules that modulate their expression for optimal animal survival.

The Piano Key Theory of Human Aging:
How to Reduce the Diseases of Human Aging with GHK-Cu
The main cause of human aging appears to be that the genes lose their optimal pattern of UP and DOWN settings (age 20-25). This is like piano keys. When the piano is new, it plays beautiful music, but with time the piano keys lose their proper tuning as the music is imperfect. Likewise, with time human genes lose their youthful settings and the diseases and conditions of aging set in. GHK, which was discovered during biochemical studies of human aging, resets human genes to a younger and healthier condition.

Most current theories and therapies to treat disease tend to target only one biochemical reaction or pathway. But for human aging, our data finds that we must think of simultaneously resetting hundreds or thousands of genes to protect at-risk tissues and organs. GHK may be a major step towards this resetting goal.

GHK, RGD and Copper
Compositions Synergistically
Enhance Angiogenic Potential
Materials Science & Engineering
(October 2020)
Low-methoxyl citrus pectin
& flaxseed hydrogels
with tripeptide Gly-His-Lys
improve healing of cutting wounds in rats
International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
(December 2020)
Using Cell Penetrating
Peptides to Enhance Skin
Permeation of Anti-wrinkle
GHK Peptides
Korean Chemical Engineering Research
(February 2020)
Hydrogels Formulated with
Gly-His-Lys Improve Healing
International Journal of
Biological Macromolecules
(October 2020)
Dopamine and GHK
Tripeptide Nanoparticles
for pH Sensing
(June 2020)
GHK Prevents Sleep-deprived
Learning Impairment in Mice
School of Medicine
Univ. of Washington
(June 2020)
Theoretical Study of
Copper Binding To
GHK Peptide
Computational Biology
And Chemistry

(June 2020)
Enhanced Biological
Properties of Collagen
Scaffold with GHK-Cu Peptide & 58S Bioglass
Progress in Biomaterials
(April 2020)
Oligoarginine Conjugation:
Anti-Wrinkle & Transdermal
GHK Peptide Activity
Journal of Peptide Science
(Dec 2019)
GHK, An Anti-Aging Peptide
Aging Pathobiology
and Therapeutics
School of Medicine
University of Washington

(March 2020)
Hydrogels for Osteochondral
Tissue Engineering
Journal of Biomedical

(March 2020)
Anti-Wrinkle Activity
& Transdermal Delivery
of GHK Peptide
Journal of Peptide Science
(March 2020)
Pulsed Glow Discharge
to GHK-Cu Determination
International Journal
of Mass Spectrometry

(March 2020)
Protective Effects of GHK-Cu
in Pulmonary Fibrosis
Life Sciences
(January 2020)
Anti-Wrinkle Benefits
of GHK-Cu Stimulating
Skin Basement Membrane
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
(January 2020)
Structural Analysis
Molecular Dynamics of
Skin Protective
TriPeptide GHK
Journal of Molecular Structure
(January 2020)
In Vitro / In Vivo Studies
pH-sensitive GHK-Cu in
Superabsorbent Polymer
GHK Enhances
Stem Cells Osteogenesis
Acta Biomaterialia
Antibacterial GHK-Cu
Nanoparticles for
Wound Healing
Particle & Particle (2019)
Effect of GHK-Cu
on Stem Cells and
Relevant Genes
OBM Geriatrics
GHK Alleviates
Neuronal Apoptosis Due
to Brain Hemorrhage
Frontiers in Neuroscience
Endogenous Antioxidant
International Journal of Pathophysiology and Pharmacology (2018)
Regenerative and
Protective Actions of
GHK-Cu Peptide
International Journal of
Molecular Sciences
Skin Regenerative and
Anti-Cancer Actions
of Copper Peptides
GHK-Cu Accelerates
Scald Wound Healing
Promoting Angiogenesis
Wound Repair and

GHK Peptide Inhibits
Pulmonary Fibrosis
by Suppressing TGF-β1
Frontiers in Pharmacology
Skin Cancer Therapy
with Copper Peptides
The Effect of Human
Peptide GHK Relevant to
Nervous System Function
and Cognitive Decline
Brain Sciences (2017)
Effects of Tripeptide
GHK in Pain-Induced
Aggressive Behavior
Bulletin of Experimental
Biology & Medicine
GHK-Cu Elicits
In Vitro Alterations
in Extracellular Matrix
Am Journal of Respiratory
and Critical Care Medicine

Selected Biomarkers &
Copper Compounds
Scientific Reports

GHK-Cu on Collagen,
Elastin, and Facial Wrinkles
Journal of Aging Science
Tri-Peptide GHK-Cu
and Acute Lung Injury

Effect of GHK Peptide
on Pain Sensitivity
Experimental Pharmacology

New Data of the
Cosmeceutical and
TriPeptide GHK
SOFW Journal
GHK Peptide as a
Natural Modulator of
Multiple Cellular Pathways
in Skin Regeneration
BioMed Research (2015)
Resetting Skin Genome
Back to Health
Naturally with GHK
Textbook of Aging Skin
GHK-Cu May Prevent
Oxidative Stress in Skin
by Regulating Copper and
Modifying Expression of
Numerous Antioxidant Genes Cosmetics (2015)
GHK Increases
TGF-β1 in
Human Fibroblasts

Acta Poloniae

The Human Skin Remodeling Peptide Induces Anti-Cancer
Expression and DNA Repair Analytical Oncology
Resetting the
Human Genome to Health
BioMed Research
Enhanced Tropic Factor Secretion of Mesenchymal
Stem Cells with GHK
Acta Biomater
Anxiolytic (Anti-Anxiety)
Effects of GHK Peptide
Bulletin of Experimental
Biology & Medicine
Lung Destruction and
its Reversal by GHK
Genome Medicine
TriPeptide GHK Induces
Programmed Cell Death
of Neuroblastoma
Journal of Biotechnology
Stem Cell
Recovering Effect
of GHK in Skin
Peptide Science
Skin Penetration of
Copper Tripeptide in Vitro
Journal of International
Inflammation Research
Possible Therapeutics
for Colorectal Cancer
Journal of Clinical and
Experimental Metastasis
Methods of Controlling
Differentiation and
Proliferation of Stem Cells
Effects of
Copper Tripeptide
on Irradiated Fibroblasts
American Medical Association
Avoid Buying Fake Copper Peptides Dangerous

By Loren Pickart, PhD


This information is for the use of medical researchers and persons interested in health sciences. It must be emphasized that GHK and other copper binding peptides have not been tested and approved for the treatment of human diseases.

The primary cause of human aging and its attendant diseases are changes in the activity of the human genome. During aging there is an increase in the activity of inflammatory, cancer promoting, and tissue destructive genes plus a decrease in the activity of regenerative and reparative genes.

Regenerative copper peptides appear to help maintain wellness and youth. The human peptide GHK induces a plethora of health associated actions such as tissue repair, anti-inflammatory actions, anti-cancer effects, anti-infection, stem cell activation, increasing protein P63, and so on. Gene data from the Broad Institute indicates that GHK controls or strongly influences 31.8% of the human genes - increasing the output in 59%, and reducing it in 41%, of the genes.

In 2010, The Broad's Connectivity Map predicted that GHK, at a low and non-toxic level, would reverse the effects of aggressive, metastatic human colon cancer on 38 critical cancer-spreading genes. Specifically, it found that the cancer was suppressing genes used to kill cancer cells; the programmed cell death apoptosis system. Cells have "checkpoints" to determine if DNA is made properly and if it is not, the programmed cell death system terminates the cell. Recently, it was found that GHK did not harm certain normal cells, but acted reset the programmed cell death in human cancer cells and inhibit their growth. GHK-Cancer

In 2012, the Connectivity Map indicated that GHK would shift the gene output in severe emphysema in chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) and shut down tissue destructive genes while increasing the output of genes associated with tissue healing and remodeling. This prediction was confirmed when tested on cells from patients with the disease where GHK, at a very low and non-toxic level, shifted the cellular genes patterns from tissue destruction to tissue repair. GHK-Emphysema

The Holy Grail of genome research is resetting the genes for health. GHK appears to do this on a wide range of tissues and diseases. Since GHK was originally isolated as a factor high in young persons but that declines with age, it is also possible that the molecule might restore humans to a biologically younger state.

Featured Topics

About Dr. Pickart

how THE STORY OF MY LIFe affects you and your family

Combined Topics

1. Published Studies on Tissue and Skin Remodeling Copper Peptides

2. General Biology of Human Skin

Copper Peptide Experiments and References

2.1 Background Work on Copper Peptides

2.2 published articles & presentations

2.3 In the Human Body

2.4 Aging Reversal Experiments

2.5 The Copper Switch

2.5.1 Similarities & receptors for albumin-cu, GHK-Cu, and dips-Salicylate-cu

2.6 Skin Renewal Cycle

2.6.1 GHK's control of stem cells

2.7 Cosmetic Skin Remodeling

2.71 Copper Peptide Aging Reversal Clinical Studies

2.8 With Laser and LED Lights

2.9 Wound Healing

2.9.1 Wound Healing in horses and dogs



2.9.4 GHK and Bacterial Infection Protection

2.9.41 GHK-Cu Suppresses Shingles Virus Infection

2.9.5 GHK and dna repair

2.10 Skin and Hair Transplantation

2.11 Copper Peptides: Anti-oxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activities

2.12 Hair Growth

2.13 Hair follicles and skin remodeling

2.14 Stopping Hair Loss After Chemotherapy

2.15 Bone Healing

2.16 Suppression of Cancer Tumors and Cancer Metastasis Genes

2.161 Longer Telomeres Increase Cancer in Humans

2.17 Stomach and Intestinal Healing

2.18 Liver Regeneration

2.19 Nerve Regeneration

2.191 Combined Wound Healing, Anti-PAIN, AND ANTI-ANXIETY EFFECTS

2.192 GHK and ups (Ubiquitin Proteasome system)

2.20 Blocking of UV damage to Skin Cells

2.21 Fingernail Growth

2.22 Organ Regeneration

2.23 Tissue Regeneration Biochemistry

2.24 Chemistry

2.25 Need for Improved Copper Peptides

2.26 Future Uses

3. A Possible Mechanism Whereby Skin Remodeling May Suppress Cancer Metastasis Genes - Wound Healing Society - 2011

4. Breakdown Resistant Copper Peptides with Improved Healing Actions - Wound Healing Society - 2009

5. GHK Defines the Biochemical Reactions of Tissue Remodeling - Wound Healing Society 2008

6. Improving Hair Growth with Skin Remodeling Copper Peptides - Cosmetics & Medicine (Russia) 2004 and Body Language Dermatology (United Kingdom) 2004

7. Skin Remodeling with Copper Peptides - Cosmetics & Medicine (Russia) 2004

8. nutrients that turn back the clock - Bypassing confusion and food wars

9. methods and compositions for increasing skin remodeling US paten 8,184,204

10. THE ESSENTIALS OF COPPER: Your Body’s Protective and Anti-Aging Metal

11. Science references

We will be loading many more articles over the next few weeks.

Questions or Advice?

Email Dr. Loren Pickart:

Call us at 1-800-405-1912 Monday through Friday (8 am to 6 pm) PST

1994 - 2020

No Reproduction without Explicit Permission by Loren Pickart, PhD
GHK & DNA: Reducing the Diseases of Human Aging is a trademark of Skin Biology