Exploring the Acne-Fighting Power of Mangosteen Compounds

Jenn Hoskins
31st March, 2024

Exploring the Acne-Fighting Power of Mangosteen Compounds

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at the University of Strathclyde found mangosteen fruit compounds may help treat acne
  • Compounds like garcinoxanthone T showed potential in binding to proteins linked to acne development
  • These compounds also displayed good drug-like properties, suggesting they could effectively reach target areas in the body
Acne vulgaris, commonly known as acne, is not just a rite of passage for teenagers but a persistent issue affecting many adults worldwide. It's a complex skin condition that can have a profound impact on an individual's quality of life, both physically and psychologically[2]. Despite a plethora of treatments available, ranging from antibiotics to hormonal therapy, the global burden of acne remains significant, with the challenge of antimicrobial resistance adding to the complexity of its management[2][3]. Researchers from the University of Strathclyde have recently explored the potential of compounds found in the fruit Garcinia mangostana, commonly known as mangosteen, to treat acne[1]. This study took a computational approach, known as in silico, to predict how certain chemicals within mangosteen might interact with key proteins associated with acne development. This method allows scientists to simulate and analyze interactions at the molecular level before conducting real-world experiments, saving time and resources. Acne involves a variety of factors, including the overproduction of oil, abnormal shedding of skin cells, and the presence of bacteria such as Cutibacterium acnes (formerly known as Propionibacterium acnes)[3]. The Strathclyde study specifically targeted three proteins: human JNK1, a protein involved in inflammation; C. acnes KAS III, an enzyme crucial for the bacterial lipid synthesis; and exo-β-1,4-mannosidase, an enzyme that may influence the bacterial biofilms on the skin[4]. Using a technique called molecular docking, the researchers tested how well certain substances in mangosteen could bind to these proteins. The better the binding, the more likely the substance could be effective in treating acne. The standout compounds were garcinoxanthone T, gentisein/2,4,6,3',5'-pentahydroxybenzophenone, and mangostanaxanthone VI, each showing promise in interacting with one of the target proteins. To further validate their findings, the team conducted molecular dynamics simulations. These simulations predict the behavior of atoms and molecules over time, providing insights into the stability of the compound-protein complexes. Garcinoxanthone T, in particular, formed a stable complex with JNK1, suggesting it could be a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Lastly, the researchers assessed the compounds for their drug-like properties, including absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity (ADMET) using Petra/Osiris/Molinspiration (POM) analysis. Most of the compounds showed good membrane permeability, indicating they could potentially be absorbed into the body and reach the target site effectively. This study is a step forward in the quest to find more effective treatments for acne. While current treatments focus on managing the symptoms and controlling bacterial growth, the Strathclyde research opens the door to new possibilities by targeting specific proteins involved in the disease process[3]. The findings suggest that compounds in mangosteen have the potential to be developed into new acne treatments, offering hope for those who suffer from this burdensome skin condition[2]. The implications of this research are significant. Not only does it offer a potential new avenue for acne treatment, but it also aligns with the growing interest in natural and alternative remedies. Moreover, by addressing the issue of antimicrobial resistance associated with prolonged antibiotic use, these findings could help reduce the economic and societal burden of acne treatment[2]. In conclusion, the University of Strathclyde study has identified natural compounds that could lead to innovative and effective acne treatments. By harnessing the power of mangosteen and the precision of computational biology, researchers are paving the way for future experimental studies that could revolutionize how we approach this all-too-common skin disorder.

MedicineBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) In silico studies on the anti-acne potential of Garcinia mangostana xanthones and benzophenones.

Published 1st April, 2024 (future Journal edition)


Related Studies

2) Reviewing the global burden of acne: how could we improve care to reduce the burden?


3) From pathogenesis of acne vulgaris to anti-acne agents.


4) Cutibacterium acnes (Propionibacterium acnes) and acne vulgaris: a brief look at the latest updates.


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