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Skin anti-aging potential of Launaea procumbens extract: Antioxidant and enzyme inhibition activities supported by ADMET and molecular docking studies.

Aging is a natural process that occurs in all living organisms. Particularly, the skin embodies aging since it serves as a barrier between the body and its surroundings. Previously, we reported the wound healing effect of Launaea procumbens and identified compounds therein. The study aims to explore the skin anti-aging properties of the plant extract. To that effect, the antioxidant potential of L. procumbens methanolic extract (LPM) was assessed using two complementary DPPH and FRAP assays. The enzyme inhibitory effect of the extract on collagenase, elastase, hyaluronidase, and tyrosinase was evaluated to assess the direct skin anti-aging effects. Similarly, the anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated to explore the indirect anti-aging effects via the assessment of extract inhibitory effects on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX). In addition, ADMET and molecular docking studies were performed to explore the interaction mechanisms of identified compounds in LPM with target enzymes. LPM demonstrated significant antioxidant activity in DPPH (IC50  = 29.08 µg/mL) and FRAP (1214.67 µM FeSO4/g extract) assays. Plant extract showed significant inhibition of collagenase, elastase, hyaluronidase, and tyrosinase (IC50  = 52.68, 43.76, 31.031, and 37.13 µg/mL, respectively). The extract demonstrated significant COX-2 and 5-LOX inhibition capacity with IC50 values of 8.635 and 10.851 µg/mL, respectively. The molecular docking study revealed the high potential of the identified compounds to bind to the active sites of enzymes crucially involved in the skin aging process. ADMET analysis of the compounds revealed their good absorption, distribution, and metabolism profiles, and they were found to be safe as well. Study findings suggest L. procumbens as a promising source for the development of natural skin anti-aging and antioxidant compounds. This, in turn, may facilitate its incorporation into cosmetic formulations after further investigation.

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