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Title:
PEPTIDES AND COMPOSITIONS FOR USE IN COSMETICS AND MEDICINE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/166347
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a family of peptides which are able to interfere in the formation of complex Munc18-Syntaxin-1 and, hence, are useful in the prevention and/or treatment of neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorders; and to prevent, reduce and/or eliminate skin aging and/or expression signs.

Inventors:
GRAU-CAMPISTANY, Ariadna (C/ Sabino Arana 60, 2º 2ª, Barcelona, 08028, ES)
SILVIA, Pastor (C/ Músico Vicente Spiteri Galiano 18, 2ºC, Alicante, 03540, ES)
CARULLA, Patricia (C/ Miquel i Badia 8, 4º 1ª, Barcelona, 08024, ES)
ESCUDERO, Juan Carlos (C/Santaló 19-21, 1º 2ª, Barcelona, 08021, ES)
BORAS, Julia A. (Passeig de la Tramuntana 33, Castellefels, 08860, PL)
FERRER MONTIEL, Antonio (C/Periodista Asunción Valdés 3, BLQ Y Esc., 2ºN Alicante, 03540, ES)
DEVESA GINER, Isabel (C/ Jaime Pomares Javaloyes n.47 6º-1, Elche, 03202, ES)
FERNANDEZ BALLESTER, Gregorio (C/ Pintor Juan de Toledo, nº2 3D, Murcia, 30011, ES)
Application Number:
EP2019/054479
Publication Date:
September 06, 2019
Filing Date:
February 22, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LIPOTRUE, S.L. (C/ Imaginació 12, Gavá, 08850, ES)
International Classes:
A61K38/04; A61K8/64; A61P21/00; A61P25/28; A61Q19/08; C07K4/12; C07K5/11; C07K7/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2006050930A22006-05-18
WO1999021879A11999-05-06
WO1997034620A11997-09-25
WO2006047900A22006-05-11
Foreign References:
EP1180524B12006-08-30
EP2123673B12016-12-07
Other References:
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BLANES-MIRA C ET AL: "A SYNTHETIC HEXAPEPTIDE (ARGIRELINE) WITH ANTIWRINKLE ACTIVITY", INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COSMETIC SCIE, KLUWER ACADEMIC PUBLISHERS, DORDRECHT, NL, vol. 24, no. 5, 1 January 2002 (2002-01-01), pages 303 - 310, XP009045291, ISSN: 0142-5463, DOI: 10.1046/J.1467-2494.2002.00153.X
JABBARI B: "Botulinum Toxin Treatment in Clinical Medicine A Disease-Oriented Approach", 2018, SPRINGER
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LUVISETTO S; GAZERANI P; CIANCHETTI C; PAVONE F: "Botulinum Toxin Type A as a Therapeutic Agent against Headache and Related Disorders", TOXINS (BASEL, vol. 7, no. 9, September 2015 (2015-09-01), pages 3818 - 3844
MOLDERINGS GJ; HAENISCH B; BRETTNER S: "Pharmacological treatment options for mast cell activation disease", ARCH PHARMACOL., vol. 389, 2016, pages 671 - 694, XP035976309, DOI: doi:10.1007/s00210-016-1247-1
BA§AR E; ARICI C: "Use of Botulinum Neurotoxin in Ophthalmology", TURK J OPHTHALMOL., vol. 46, no. 6, December 2016 (2016-12-01), pages 282 - 290
SCHLERETH T; DIETERICH M; BIRKLEIN F: "Hyperhidrosis--causes and treatment of enhanced sweating", DTSCH ARZTEBL INT., vol. 106, no. 3, January 2009 (2009-01-01), pages 32 - 7
BLANES-MIRA, C.; CLEMENTE, J.; JODAS, G.; GIL, A.; FERNANDEZ-BALLESTER, G.; PONSATI, B; GUTIERREZ, L.; PEREZ-PAYA, E.; FERRER-MONT: "A synthetic hexapeptide (Argireline) with antiwrinkle activity", INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COSMETIC SCIENCE, vol. 24, 2002, pages 303 - 310, XP009045291, DOI: doi:10.1046/j.1467-2494.2002.00153.x
RIZO, J; SUDHOF, T.C.: "The Membrane Fusion Enigma: SNAREs, Sec1/Munc18 Proteins, and Their Accomplices - Guilty as Charged?", ANNU. REV. CELL DEV. BIOL., vol. 28, 2012, pages 279 - 308
ZHOU, P.: "Syntaxin-1 N-peptide and Habc-domain perform distinct essential functions in synaptic vesicle fusion", THE EMBO JOURNAL, vol. 32, 2013, pages 159 - 171
SCHAGEN, S.K.: "Topical treatments with effective anti-aging results", COSMETICS, vol. 4, 2017, pages 16
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IBANEZ C.; BLANES-MIRA C.; FERNANDEZ-BALLESTER G.; PLANELLS-CASES R.; FERRER-MONTIEL A.: "Modulation of botulinum neurotoxin A catalytic domain stability by tyrosine phosphorylation", FEBS LETTERS, vol. 578, 2004, pages 121 - 127, XP004879144, DOI: doi:10.1016/j.febslet.2004.10.084
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KAISER E. ET AL., ANAL. BIOCHEM., vol. 34, 1970, pages 595598
BLANES-MIRA C.; CLEMENTE J.; JODAS G.: "A synthetic hexapeptide (Argireline) with antiwrinkle activity", INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COSMETIC SCIENCE, vol. 24, 2002, pages 303 - 310, XP009045291, DOI: doi:10.1046/j.1467-2494.2002.00153.x
LODISH H; BERK A; ZIPURSKY SL ET AL.: "Myosin: The Actin Motor Protein", 2000, W. H. FREEMAN, article "Molecular Cell Biology"
KUO, IY; EHRLICH, BE: "Signaling in Muscle Contraction", COLD SPRING HARBOR PERSPECTIVES IN BIOLOGY, vol. 7, no. 2, 2015
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MAHAVADI S; NALLI A; KUMAR D: "Increased expression of caveolin-1 is associated with upregulation of the RhoA/Rho kinase pathway and smooth muscle contraction in diabetes (1110.11)", THE FASEB JOURNAL, vol. 28, no. 1, 2014
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CARVAJAL Y URQUIJO, Isabel et al. (Calle Suero de Quiñones 34-36, Madrid, 28002, ES)
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Claims:
CLAIMS:

1 - Peptide capable of interfering in the Munc18-Syntaxin-1 complex interaction characterized in that it competes with SEQ ID NO: 3 and/or SEQ ID NO: 4, its acceptable isomers, salts, solvates and/or derivatives and/or mixtures thereof.

2- Peptide in accordance with claim 1 , characterized in that its sequence is SEQ ID NO: 3 and/or SEQ ID NO: 4.

3- Peptide in accordance with claim 1 , characterized in that it has a sequence in accordance with formula (I):

R1-AA1 -AA2-AA3-AA4-AA5-AA6-R2

their cosmetically and pharmaceutically acceptable isomers, salts, solvates and/or derivatives and mixtures thereof, wherein:

AAi is selected from the group of amino acids with positively charged side-chain or polar not charged side-chain;

AA2 is selected from the group of amino acids with non-polar hydrophobic side-chain; AA3 is selected from the group of amino acids with non-polar hydrophobic side-chain; AA4 is selected from the group of amino acids with charged side-chain;

AA5 is selected from the group of amino acids with non-polar hydrophobic side-chain or aromatic side-chain;

AA6 is W;

R1 is selected from H, substituted or unsubstituted non-cyclic aliphatic, substituted or unsubstituted alicyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted aryl, substituted or unsubstituted aralkyl and R5-CO- wherein R5 is selected from the group formed by substituted or unsubstituted C1-C24 alkyl radical, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C24 alkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C24 alkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C3- C24 cycloalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C5-C24 cycloalkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C8-C24 cycloalkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C6-C30 aryl, substituted or unsubstituted C7-C24 aralkyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl ring of 3 to 10 members, and substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl of 2 to 24 carbon atoms and 1 to 3 atoms other than carbon and an alkyl chain of 1 to 6 carbon atoms; and

R2 is selected from H, -NR3R4- , -OR3 and -SR3, wherein R3 and R4 are independently selected from H, substituted or unsubstituted non-cyclic aliphatic group, substituted or unsubstituted alicyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted aryl, and substituted or unsubstituted aralkyl.

4- Peptide in accordance with claim 3, characterized in that

AAi is H;

AA2 is selected from the group of amino acids with non-polar hydrophobic side-chain; AA3 is selected from the group of amino acids with non-polar hydrophobic side-chain; AA4 is selected from the group of amino acids with charged side-chain;

AA5 is selected from M or the group of amino acids with aromatic side-chain; and AAQ is T rp.

5- Peptide in accordance with claim 3 or 4, characterized in that

AAi is His;

AA2 is selected from the group of Ala and lie;

AA3 is selected from the group of Leu and Met;

AA4 is selected from the group of Arg and Asp;

AA5 is selected from the group of Met, Phe and Trp; and

AAQ is Trp.

6- Peptide in accordance with any one of claims 3 to 5, characterized in that the peptide of formula (I) is:

Ri-His-lle-Leu-Asp-Met-Trp-R2 (R-i-SEQ ID NO: 5-R2);

Ri-His-lle-Met-Asp-Phe-T rp -R2 (R1-SEQ ID NO: 6-R2);

Ri-His-lle-Leu-Asp-T rp-T rp -R2 (R1-SEQ ID NO: 7-R2);

Ri-His-Ala-Leu-Arg-Phe-Trp -R2 (R-i-SEQ ID NO: 8-R2); and/or

Ri-His-lle-Met-Asp-T rp-T rp-R2 (R1-SEQ ID NO: 9-R2).

7- Peptide in accordance with any one of claims 3 to 6, characterized in that the peptide of formula (I) is:

Ac-His-lle-Leu-Asp-Met-Trp-NH2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 5-NH2);

Ac-His-lle-Met-Asp-Phe-T rp -NH2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 6-NH2);

Ac-His-lle-Leu-Asp-T rp-T rp -NH2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 7-NH2);

Ac-His-Ala-Leu-Arg-Phe-T rp -NH2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH2); and/or

Ac- H i s- 11 e- M et-As p-Trp-Trp- N H 2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 9-NH2). 8- Peptide in accordance with claim 1 , characterized in that it has a sequence in accordance with formula (II):

R 1 - AAi -AA2-AA3-AA4- R2

their cosmetically and pharmaceutically acceptable isomers, salts, solvates and/or derivatives and mixtures thereof, wherein:

AAi is selected from the group of amino acids with positively charged side-chain; AA2 is any amino acid;

AA3 is selected from the group of amino acids with positively charged side-chain; AA4 is selected from the group of amino acids with aromatic side-chain;

R1 is selected from His, substituted or unsubstituted non-cyclic aliphatic, substituted or unsubstituted alicyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted aryl, substituted or unsubstituted aralkyl and R5-CO- wherein R5 is selected from the group formed by substituted or unsubstituted C1-C24 alkyl radical, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C24 alkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C24 alkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C3- C24 cycloalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C5-C24 cycloalkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C8-C24 cycloalkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C6-C30 aryl, substituted or unsubstituted C7-C24 aralkyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl ring of 3 to 10 members, and substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl of 2 to 24 carbon atoms and 1 to 3 atoms other than carbon and an alkyl chain of 1 to 6 carbon atoms; and

R2 is selected from H, -NR3R4- , -OR3 and -SR3, wherein R3 and R4 are independently selected from H, substituted or unsubstituted non-cyclic aliphatic group, substituted or unsubstituted alicyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted aryl, and substituted or unsubstituted aralkyl.

9- Peptide in accordance with claim 8, characterized in that

AAi is selected from the group of Lys, Arg and His;

AA2 is any amino acid;

AA3 is selected from the group of Lys, Arg and His; and

AA4 is selected from the group of Phe, Tyr and Trp.

10- Peptide in accordance with claim 8 or claim 9, characterized in that

AAi is selected from the group of Arg;

AA2 is any amino acid; AA3 is selected from the group of Arg; and

AA4 is selected from the group of Phe.

1 1 - Peptide in accordance with any one of claims 8 to 10, characterized in that the peptide of formula (II) is:

Ri-Arg-Arg-Arg-Phe-R2 (R-i-SEQ ID NO: I O-R2); and/or

Ri-Arg-Met-Arg-Phe-R2 (R1-SEQ ID NO: 1 1 -R2).

12- Peptide in accordance with any one of claims 8 to 1 1 , characterized in that the peptide of formula (II) is:

Ac-Arg-Arg-Arg-Phe-NH2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 10-NH2); and/or

Ac-Arg-Met-Arg-Phe-NH2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 1 1 -NH2).

13- Composition comprising a peptide in accordance with any one of claims 1 to 12.

14- Peptide in accordance with any one of claims 1 to 12 or composition in accordance with claim 13 for use as a medicament.

15- Peptide in accordance with any one of claims 1 to 12 or composition in accordance with claim 13 for use in the prevention and/or treatment of neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorders.

16- Peptide or composition for use in accordance with claim 15, characterized in that the neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorder is senile dementia, Alzheimer's-related dementia, AIDS-related dementia, epilepsy, amiotrophic sclerosis, multiple/lateral sclerosis, mastocytosis, chronic migraine, dystonia and/or anxiety disorders.

17- Peptide or composition for use in accordance with claim 15, characterized in that the muscle contractility disorder is myotonia, myotonic dystrophy, myotonia congenita, Parkinson disease, Secondary Parkinsonism, Huntington disease, spasticity or Tardive Dysinesia (TD).

18- Use as a cosmetic of the peptide in accordance with any one of claims 1 to 12 or of a composition in accordance with claim 13 to prevent, reduce and/or eliminate skin aging and/or expression signs in a subject.

Description:
Peptides and compositions for use in cosmetics and medicine

The present invention relates to the field of molecular biology, more precisely to molecular biology applied to cosmetics and medicine, even more precisely to peptides and compositions comprising said peptides, able to modulate the binding or interaction between Munc18 and Syntaxin-1 and, hence, the binding of the SNARE complex. Due to this activity, the peptides and compositions of the present invention are able to modulate synaptic vesicle fusion and muscle contractility. Therefore, said peptides and compositions are effective in the treatment of conditions related with the modulation of the above-mentioned aspects (for example, muscle relaxation) and are useful both in cosmetics (anti-wrinkling activity and activity against hyperhidrosis) and in medicine (neuronal and/or muscle contraction disorders).

Abnormal modulation of the SNARE complex and of synaptic vesicle fusion leads, among others, to an abnormal muscular contraction-relaxation which is known to be very relevant in both, cosmetics and medicine.

On the one side, wrinkle (for example, facial expression wrinkles) formation basis or mechanism is a tension of muscles dragging the skin inwardly. This muscular tension is the result of an hyperactivity of the nerves enervating the corresponding muscles. Said nervous hyperactivity is, in turn, characterized by an uncontrolled and excessive release of neurotransmitters exciting muscular fibers.

On the other side, nervous hyperactivity (characterized, as already noted above, by an uncontrolled and excessive release of neurotransmitters exciting muscular fibers) which leads to an alteration of muscular contraction-relaxation is also at the basis of several known diseases, for example, senile dementia, Alzheimer's-related dementia, AIDS- related dementia, epilepsy, amiotrophic sclerosis or multiple/lateral sclerosis (Jabbari B, (2018) Botulinum Toxin Treatment in Clinical Medicine A Disease-Oriented Approach, Springer, Cham; Jankovic J, (2004) Botulinum toxin in clinical practice, J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 75:951-957)

In a similar way as stated above, abnormalities in the SNARE complex and in synaptic vesicle fusion which leads to a dysregulation of neuronal exocytosis cannot only produce an excessive activation or excitation of muscle but also of other structures or organs such as, for example, glands. Therefore, said conditions also lead to cosmetic and medical alterations (for which the peptides and compositions of the present invention are useful) not related with muscular contraction as, for example, hyperhidrosis (excessive activation or excitation of sweat glands) (Jabbari B, (2018) Botulinum Toxin Treatment in Clinical Medicine A Disease-Oriented Approach, Springer, Cham.] Luvisetto S, Gazerani P, Cianchetti C, Pavone F, (2015) Botulinum Toxin Type A as a Therapeutic Agent against Headache and Related Disorders, Toxins (Basel), Sep; 7(9): 3818-3844.; Molderings GJ, Haenisch B, Brettner S, et.al., (2016) Pharmacological treatment options for mast cell activation disease, Arch Pharmacol. 2016; 389: 671-694.; Ba§ar E, Ariel C, (2016), Use of Botulinum Neurotoxin in Ophthalmology, Turk J Ophthalmol. Dec; 46(6): 282-290.; Schlereth T, Dieterich M, Birklein F (2009), Hyperhidrosis-causes and treatment of enhanced sweating, Dtsch Arztebl Int. Jan;106(3):32-7).

Neurotransmitter release is due to presynaptic vesicle fusion, which, as it is widely known is controlled by complex interactions between different proteins which are in charge of approximating the vesicles with the neurotransmitter to the presynaptic membrane, positioning said vesicle for its secretion, allowing the fusion of the membranes for the secretion and disassembling the generated complex to allow its recycling. All this procedure, including the assembly and disassembly of the participating proteins, needs to be tightly controlled as any type of dysregulation may lead to alterations, with both, aesthetical and/or health effects.

Molecules regulating neuronal exocytosis contribute to relaxing muscular tension and, therefore, to prevent, decrease and/or eliminate wrinkles (preferably, facial wrinkles) and/or prevent, ameliorate or cure diseases related with abnormal or dysregulated neuronal exocytosis.

In this connection, it has traditionally been considered that presynaptic vesicle (loaded with neurotransmitter, preferably, acetylcholine) fusion was driven or controlled by SNARE proteins (this is, syntaxin-1 and SNAP-25 in the membrane of the neurone; and synaptobrevin or VAMP in the membrane of the vesicle). Therefore, it was considered that the SNARE protein complex formed a key target for controlling neurosecretion.

In this connection several therapeutic and cosmetic approaches directed against the SNARE protein complex have been generated, as, for example:

Botulinum toxins: they have been widely used with the aim of reducing and/or eliminating expression wrinkles, especially serotype A (BOTOX ® Cosmetic, Allergan Inc.). Said botulinum toxins are injected locally and their paralytic effects are reversible with an average duration of 6 months requiring, hence, repeated injections. It is known the risk of triggering an immune reaction against the botulinum preparation leading to a loss of the treatment efficacy. Other serotypes of botulinum toxins, such as B, F and E, have also been considered to overcome this problem, however, said serotypes also have the risk of triggering an immune response. At a molecular level, botulinum toxins are proteases degrading neuronal proteins that are involved in the calcium ion-activated exocytosis mechanism. For example, botulinum toxin A, truncates the neuronal SNAP-25 protein.

It is also known in the state of the art that certain peptides derived from the sequences of the proteins forming the SNARE complex can inhibit neuronal exocytosis, such as, for example: peptides derived from the amino and carboxyl domains of the SNAP-25 (see, for example, PCT Patent application WO97/34620, European Patent EP1 180524B1 and European Patent EP2123673B1 ) and peptides derived from synaptobrevin or from syntaxin (see, for example, PCT Patent application WO97/34620; Blanes-Mira, C., Clemente, J., Jodas, G., Gil, A., Fernandez-Ballester, G., Ponsati, B., Gutierrez, L, Perez-Paya, E., Ferrer-Montiel, A. A synthetic hexapeptide (Argireline) with antiwrinkle activity. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, (2002), 24, 303-310).

However, there is still the need to find additional or alternative molecules which interfere in the mechanisms of synaptic neurotransmitter release and allow its inhibition, allowing the inhibition of neuronal exocytosis and, hence, providing for, among other, muscular relaxation or depletion of gland hyperstimulation and the corresponding cosmetic and pharmaceutical effects.

Recent studies have suggested a more complex regulation of synaptic neurotransmitter release in which, in addition to the SNARE protein complex, other proteins, such as Munc13 and Munc18, would have an important role both in the regulation of the procedure and in allowing the fusion of the membranes (Rizo, J and Sudhof, T.C. (2012) The Membrane Fusion Enigma: SNAREs, Sec1/Munc18 Proteins, and Their Accomplices - Guilty as Charged?] Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol., 28:279-308). In this sense, the interaction between Munc18 (SEQ ID NO: 1 ) and Syntaxin-1 (SEQ ID NO: 2) has been described as central and essential, both for the generation of the SNARE complex and for the fusion of the membranes. On the one side, Mund 8 interacts with H abc - domain of Syntaxin-1 allowing stabilization of said Munc18 and its appropriate trafficking. On the other side, the interaction of Munc18 with the N peptide of Syntaxin-1 is necessary for the interaction of Mund 8 with the SNARE complex and for the fusion of the membranes (Zhou, P. et.al. (2013) Syntaxin-1 N-peptide and Habc-domain perform distinct essential functions in synaptic vesicle fusion ; The EMBO Journal, 32:159-171 ; Rizo, J and Stidhof, T.C. (2012) The Membrane Fusion Enigma: SNAREs, Sec1/Munc18 Proteins, and Their Accomplices - Guilty as Charged?, Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol., 28:279-308).

The inventors of the present invention, after extensive and exhaustive research, have surprisingly found that peptides competing with specific sequences located in the surface of interaction between Mund 8 and Syntaxin-1 allow an interference or inhibition of said complex Munc18-Syntaxin-1 and, hence an inhibition of neurotransmitter release (preferably, acetylcholine and CGRP (Calcitonin gene-related peptide)) and an inhibition of muscular contraction (both, indirectly by means of inhibition of neuronal exocytosis, and also by providing an effect directly in muscle cells). It has surprisingly been found that peptides competing with other sequences located in the surface of interaction between Mund 8 and Syntaxin-1 do not provide for the above-mentioned effects. Therefore, the inventors of the present invention have found that peptides competing with SEQ ID NO: 3 (corresponding to positions 46 to 51 of Munc18, this is, of SEQ ID NO: 1 ) and/or SEQ ID NO: 4 (corresponding to positions 63 to 66 of Mund 8, this is, of SEQ ID NO: 1 ), both of Mund 8, are advantageous over other sequences located in the surface of interaction between Mund 8 and Syntaxin-1 for the interference of the interaction between Mund 8 and Syntaxin-1 . Said peptides (the peptides of the present invention) have shown an effective interference of the interaction between Mund 8 and Syntaxin-1. Additionally, these peptides have shown a direct muscle relaxant effect, as they have the ability to act directly on muscle cells, that is, on the post-synaptic side by modulating genes involved in the muscle contraction and modulating calcium mobilization, as seen for other peptides (Schagen, S.K. (2017) Topical treatments with effective anti-aging results, Cosmetics, 4, 16; PCT Patent application W02006047900). Hence, have shown an effect both in the presynaptic side and in the postsynaptic side by allowing an effective inhibition of acetylcholine release in neurons, and a modulation of gene expression and reduction of calcium mobilization on muscle cells. Therefore, the peptides of the present invention solve the above-mentioned problem and are useful for the treatment of both, cosmetic signs and diseases related with dysregulation of neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility. The inventors are not aware of any prior art which provides for molecules interfering in the interaction between Munc18 and Syntaxin-1 to inhibit neurotransmitter release (and, therefore, inhibit neuronal exocytosis) and muscle contractility.

In a first aspect, the present invention refers to a peptide capable of interfering in the Munc18-Syntaxin-1 complex interaction by competing with specific regions of the surface of interaction between Munc18 and Syntaxin-1. More precisely, the peptides of the present invention compete with SEQ ID NO: 3 and/or SEQ ID NO:4, both sequences being located in Munc18, in its surface of interaction with Syntaxin-1 .

In a second aspect, the present invention refers to a composition comprising a peptide of the present invention (one peptide of the present invention or a combination thereof).

In a further aspect, the present invention refers to a composition or peptide of the present invention for use as a medicament, more precisely for use in the prevention, amelioration and/or treatment of neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorders, even more precisely for use in the prevention, amelioration and/or treatment of diseases associated with a dysregulation of SNARE complex formation, dysregulation of striated muscle contraction, dysregulation of acetylcholine and/or CGRP release and/or dysregulation of Ca 2+ channel activation.

In a forth aspect, the present invention refers to a method for the prevention, amelioration and/or treatment of neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorders, even more precisely for the prevention, amelioration and/or treatment of a disease associated with a dysregulation of SNARE complex formation, dysregulation of striated muscle contraction, dysregulation of acetylcholine and/or CGRP release and/or dysregulation of Ca 2+ channel activation, comprising administering a peptide or a composition of the present invention to a subject in need thereof.

Furthermore, the present invention in a fifth aspect refers to the use as a cosmetic of a peptide or a composition of the present invention to prevent, reduce and/or eliminate cosmetic signs related with dysregulation of neuronal exocytosis and/or of muscle contractility in a subject, more specifically, skin aging or expression signs.

In a sixth aspect, the present invention refers to the cosmetic use of a peptide or a composition of the present invention to prevent, reduce and/or eliminate cosmetic signs related with dysregulation of neuronal exocytosis and/or of muscle contractility in a subject, more specifically, skin aging or expression signs.

In a seventh aspect, the present invention refers to a method to prevent, reduce and/or eliminate cosmetic signs related with dysregulation of neuronal exocytosis and/or of muscle contractility (more specifically, skin aging or expression signs) in a subject in need thereof, characterized in that it comprises the use of a peptide or a composition of the present invention.

The term "non-cyclic aliphatic group" and its plural, as used herein, have the common meaning given in the state of the art to said terms. Therefore, these terms refer to, for example and not restricted to, linear or branched alkyl, alkenyl and alkynyl groups.

The term "alkyl group" and its plural, as used herein, refer to a saturated, linear or branched group, which has between 1 and 24, preferably between 1 and 16, more preferably between 1 and 14, even more preferably between 1 and 12, and even more preferably still between 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 carbon atoms and which is bound to the rest of the molecule by a simple bond, including, for example and not restricted to, methyl, ethyl, isopropyl, n-propyl, i-propyl, isobutyl, tert-butyl, n-butyl, sec-butyl, n-pentyl, n-hexyl, heptyl, octyl, decyl, dodecyl, lauryl, hexadecyl, octadecyl, amyl, 2-ethylhexyl, 2- methylbutyl, 5-methylhexyl and similar. The alkyl groups can be optionally substituted by one or more substituents, such as, halo, hydroxy, alkoxy, carboxy, carbonyl, cyano, acyl, alkoxy-carbonyl, amino, nitro, mercapto and alkoxythio.

The term "alkenyl group" and its plural, as used herein, refer to a linear or branched group which has between 2 and 24, preferably between 2 and 16, more preferably between 2 and 14, even more preferably between 2 and 12, even more preferably still 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 carbon atoms, with one or more carbon-carbon double bonds, preferably with 1 , 2 or 3 carbon-carbon double bonds, conjugated or unconjugated, which is bound to the rest of the molecule through a single bond, including, for example and not restricted to, the vinyl, oleyl, linoleyl and similar groups. The alkenyl groups can be optionally substituted by one or more substituents, such as, halo, hydroxy, alkoxy, carboxy, carbonyl, cyano, acyl, alkoxy-carbonyl, amino, nitro, mercapto and alkoxythio.

The term "alkynyl group" and its plural, as used herein, refer to a linear or branched group which has between 2 and 24, preferably between 2 and 16, more preferably between 2 and 14, even more preferably between 2 and 12, even more preferably still 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 carbon atoms, with one or more carbon-carbon triple bonds, preferably with 1 , 2 or 3 carbon-carbon triple bonds, conjugated or unconjugated, which is bound to the rest of the molecule through a single bond, including, for example and not restricted to, the ethinyl group, 1 -propinyl, 2-propinyl, 1 -butinyl, 2-butinyl, 3-butinyl, pentinyl, such as 1 -pentinyl and similar groups. The alkynyl groups can be optionally substituted by one or more substituents, such as, halo, hydroxy, alkoxy, carboxy, carbonyl, cyano, acyl, alkoxy-carbonyl, amino, nitro, mercapto and alkoxythio.

The term "alicyclic group" and its plural, as used herein, have the common meaning given in the state of the art to said terms. Hence, these terms are used to refer to, for example and not restricted to, cycloalkyl or cycloalkenyl or cycloalkynyl groups.

The term "cycloalkyl" and its plural, as used herein, refer to a saturated mono- or polycyclic aliphatic group which has between 3 and 24, preferably between 3 and 16, more preferably between 3 and 14, even more preferably between 3 and 12, even more preferably still 3, 4, 5 or 6 carbon atoms and which is bound to the rest of the molecule through a single bond, including, for example and not limited to, cyclopropyl, cyclobutyl, cyclopentyl, cyclohexyl, cycloheptyl, methyl cyclohexyl, dimethyl cyclohexyl, octahydroindene, decahydronaphthalene, dodecahydro-phenalene, adamantyl and similar, and that can optionally be substituted by one or more groups, such as, alkyl, halo, hydroxy, alkoxy, carboxy, carbonyl, cyano, acyl, alkoxy-carbonyl, amino, nitro, mercapto and alkoxythio.

The term "cycloalkenyl" and its plural, as used herein, refer to a non-aromatic mono- or polycyclic aliphatic group which has between 5 and 24, preferably between 5 and 16, more preferably between 5 and 14, even more preferably between 5 and 12, even more preferably still 5 or 6 carbon atoms, with one or more carbon-carbon double bonds, preferably with 1 , 2 or 3 carbon-carbon double bonds, conjugated or unconjugated, which is bound to the rest of the molecule through a single bond, including, for example and not restricted to, the cyclopent-1 -en-1 -yl group and similar groups, and that can optionally be substituted by one or more groups, such as, alkyl, halo, hydroxy, alkoxy, carboxy, carbonyl, cyano, acyl, alkoxy-carbonyl, amino, nitro, mercapto and alkoxythio.

The term "cycloalkynyl" and its plural, as used herein, refer to a non-aromatic mono- or polycyclic aliphatic group which has between 8 and 24, preferably between 8 and 16, more preferably between 8 and 14, even more preferably between 8 and 12, even more preferably still 8 or 9 carbon atoms, with one or more carbon-carbon triple bonds, preferably with 1 , 2 or 3 carbon-carbon triple bonds, conjugated or unconjugated, which is bound to the rest of the molecule through a single bond, including, for example and not restricted to, the cyclooct-2-yn-1 -yl group and similar, and that can optionally be substituted by one or more groups, such as, alkyl, halo, hydroxy, alkoxy, carboxy, carbonyl, cyano, acyl, alkoxy-carbonyl, amino, nitro, mercapto and alkoxythio.

The term "aryl group" and its plural, as used herein, refer to an aromatic group which has between 6 and 30, preferably between 6 and 18, more preferably between 6 and 10, even more preferably 6 or 10 carbon atoms, which comprises 1 , 2, 3 or 4 aromatic rings, bound by a carbon-carbon bond or fused, and which is bound to the rest of the molecule through a single bond, including, for example and not restricted to, phenyl, naphthyl, diphenyl, indenyl, phenanthryl or anthranyl among others. The aryl group can be optionally substituted by one or more substituents, such as, halo, hydroxy, alkoxy, carboxy, carbonyl, cyano, acyl, alkoxy-carbonyl, amino, nitro, mercapto and alkoxythio.

The term "aralkyl group" and its plural, as used herein, refer to an alkyl group substituted by an aromatic group, with between 7 and 24 carbon atoms and including, for example and not restricted to, -(CFhjl -6-phenyl, -(CH 2 )1 -6-(1 -naphtyl), -(CH 2 )1 -6-(2-naphtyl), - (CH 2 )1 -6-CH(phenyl) 2 and similar. The aralkyl groups can be optionally substituted by one or more substituents, such as, halo, hydroxy, alkoxy, carboxy, carbonyl, cyano, acyl, alkoxy-carbonyl, amino, nitro, mercapto and alkoxythio.

The term "heterocyclic group" and its plural, as used herein, refer to a 3-10 member heterocycyl or hydrocarbon ring, in which one or more of the ring atoms, preferably 1 , 2 or 3 of the ring atoms, is a different element to carbon, such as nitrogen, oxygen or sulfur and may be saturated or unsaturated. For the purposes of this invention, the heterocyclyl can be a cyclic, monocyclic, bicyclic or tricyclic system which may include fused ring systems; and the nitrogen, carbon or sulfur atoms can be optionally oxidized in the heterocyclyl radical; the nitrogen atom can optionally be quaternized; and the heterocyclyl radical may be partially or completely saturated or may be aromatic. With increasing preference, the term heterocyclic relates to a 5 or 6-member ring. The heterocyclic groups can be optionally substituted by one or more substituents, such as, halo, hydroxy, alkoxy, carboxy, carbonyl, cyano, acyl, alkoxy-carbonyl, amino, nitro, mercapto and alkoxythio.

The term "heteroarylalkyl group" and its plural, as used herein, refer to an alkyl group substituted with a substituted or unsubstituted aromatic heterocyclyl group, the alkyl group having from 1 to 6 carbon atoms and the aromatic heterocyclyl group between 2 and 24 carbon atoms and from 1 to 3 atoms other than carbon and including, for example and not restricted to, -(CH 2 )1 -6-imidazolyl, -(CH 2 )1 -6-triazolyl, -(CH 2 )1 -6-thienyl, - (CH 2 )1 -6-furyl, -(CH 2 )1 -6-pyrrolidinyl and similar. The heteroarylalkyl groups can be optionally substituted by one or more substituents, such as, halo, hydroxy, alkoxy, carboxy, carbonyl, cyano, acyl, alkoxy-carbonyl, amino, nitro, mercapto and alkoxythio.

The terms "halo" or "halogen", as used in the present document, refer to fluorine, chlorine, bromine or iodine, and its anions are referred to as halides.

As used herein, the term "derivative" and its plural, refer both to cosmetically acceptable compounds, this is, derived from the compound of interest that can be used in the preparation of a cosmetic, and to cosmetically unacceptable derivatives since these may be useful in the preparation of cosmetically acceptable derivatives. The term“derivative” and its plural also refer to both, pharmaceutically acceptable compounds, this is, derived from the compound of interest that can be used in the preparation of a medicament, and to pharmaceutically unacceptable derivatives since these may be useful in the preparation of pharmaceutically acceptable derivatives.

As used in the present document, the term "salt" and its plurals refer to any type of salt from among those known in the state of the art, for example, halide salts, hydroxy acid salts (such as oxyacid salts, acid salts, basic salts and double salts), hydroxo salts, mixed salts, oxy salts or other hydrated salts. This term comprises both cosmetically and/or pharmaceutically acceptable salts and cosmetically and/or pharmaceutically unacceptable salts, since the latter may be useful in the preparation of cosmetically and/or pharmaceutically acceptable salts.

As used in the present document, the term "isomer" and its plural refer to optical isomers, enantiomers, stereoisomers or diastereoisomers. The individual enantiomers or diastereoisomers, as well as their mixtures, may be separated by conventional techniques known in the state of the art.

As used herein, the term "solvate" and its plural refer to any solvate known in the state of the art, such as polar, apolar or amphiphilic solvates, and include any cosmetically acceptable solvate which, when administered or applied to the interested subject (directly or indirectly) provides the compound of interest (the peptide or peptides of the present invention). Preferably, the solvate is a hydrate, a solvate with an alcohol such as methanol, ethanol, propanol or isopropanol, a solvate with an ester such as ethyl acetate, a solvate with an ether such as methyl ether, ethyl ether or THF (tetrahydrofuran) or a solvate with DMF (dimethylformamide), and more preferably a hydrate or a solvate with an alcohol such as ethanol.

In addition, as used herein, the term“amino acid” and its plural include the amino acids codified by the genetic code as well as uncodified amino acids, whether they are natural or not and whether they are D- and L-amino acids. Examples of uncodified amino acids are, without restriction, citrulline, ornithine, sarcosine, desmosine, norvaline, 4- aminobutyric acid, 2-aminobutyric acid, 2-aminoisobutyric acid, 6-aminohexanoic acid, 1 -naphthylalanine, 2-naphthylalanine, 2-aminobenzoic acid, 4 aminobenzoic acid, 4- chlorophenylalanine, 2,3-diaminopropionic acid, 2,4 diaminobutyric acid, cycloserine, carnitine, cysteine, penicillamine, pyroglutamic acid, thienylalanine, hydroxyproline, allo- isoleucine, allo-threonine, isonipecotic acid, isoserine, phenylglycine, statin, b-alanine, norleucine, N-methylamino acids, oamino acids and b-amino acids, among others, as well as their derivatives. Nevertheless, further unnatural amino acids are known in the state of the art (see, for example,“Unusual amino acids in peptide synthesis” by D. C. Roberts and F. Vellaccio, The Peptides, Vol. 5 (1983), Chapter VI, Gross E. and Meienhofer J., Eds., Academic Press, New York, USA).

As used herein,“expression wrinkles” are the wrinkles resulting from the stress exerted by the contractions of facial muscles responsible for causing facial expressions on the skin of the face. Said wrinkles are usually located on the forehead, in the space between the eyebrows, around the mouth and/or around the eyes.

As stated previously, in a first aspect, the present invention refers to a peptide capable of interfering in the Munc18-Syntaxin-1 complex interaction characterized in that it competes with SEQ ID NO: 3 and/or SEQ ID NO:4, its acceptable isomers, salts, solvates and/or derivatives and/or mixtures thereof.

It is contemplated that the amino acids used or present in the peptides of the present invention are L-amino acids, D-amino acids or combinations thereof. In a preferred embodiment, the amino acids used or present in the peptides of the present invention are L-amino acids.

Preferably, the isomers mentioned above are stereoisomers. It is contemplated that said stereoisomers are enantiomers or diastereoisomers. Hence, in a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the peptide is a racemic mixture, a diastereomeric mixture, a pure enantiomer or a pure diastereoisomer.

It is contemplated that the peptide of the present invention comprises at least one moiety bound at its N-terminus and/or at its C-terminus. Said at least one moiety may be bound to the peptide by any means known in the state of the art, preferably covalently. In a preferred embodiment, the peptide comprises one moiety bound covalently to its N- terminus and one moiety bound covalently to its C-terminus.

In an embodiment, the at least one N-terminus moiety (preferably, one N-terminus moiety) is selected from H, substituted or unsubstituted non-cyclic aliphatic, substituted or unsubstituted alicyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted aryl, substituted or unsubstituted aralkyl and Rs-CO- wherein R 5 is selected from the group formed by substituted or unsubstituted C1-C24 alkyl radical, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C24 alkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C24 alkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C3-C24 cycloalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C5-C24 cycloalkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C8-C24 cycloalkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C6-C30 aryl, substituted or unsubstituted C7-C24 aralkyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl ring of 3 to 10 members, and substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl of 2 to 24 carbon atoms and 1 to 3 atoms other than carbon and an alkyl chain of 1 to 6 carbon atoms. More preferably, the at least one N-terminus moiety (preferably, one N-terminus moiety) is selected from H or R5-CO-, wherein R 5 is selected from the group formed by substituted or unsubstituted C1-C24 alkyl radical, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C24 alkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C24 alkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C3-C24 cycloalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C5- C24 cycloalkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C8-C24 cycloalkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C6-C30 aryl, substituted or unsubstituted C7-C24 aralkyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl ring of 3 to 10 members, and substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl of 2 to 24 carbon atoms and 1 to 3 atoms other than carbon and an alkyl chain of 1 to 6 carbon atoms. Even more preferably, the at least one N-terminus moiety (preferably, one N-terminus moiety) is selected from H, acetyl (hereinafter, Ac), tert- butanoyl, hexanoyl, 2-methylhexanoyl, cyclohexanecarboxyl, octanoyl, decanoyl, lauroyl myristoyl, palmitoyl (hereinafter, Pal), stearoyl, oleoyl and linoleoyl. In the most preferred embodiment, the at least one N-terminus moiety (preferably, one N-terminus moiety) is Ac.

In an embodiment, the at least one C-terminus moiety (preferably, one C-terminus moiety) is selected from is selected from H, -NR 3 R4- , -OR 3 and -SR 3 , wherein R 3 and R 4 are independently selected from H, substituted or unsubstituted non-cyclic aliphatic group, substituted or unsubstituted alicyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted aryl, and substituted or unsubstituted aralkyl. In the most preferred embodiment, the at least one C-terminus moiety (preferably, one C-terminus moiety) is NH2.

Therefore, more preferably, the peptide of the present invention comprises one moiety bound to the N-terminus and one moiety bound to the C-terminus, wherein the moiety bound to the N-terminus is Ac and the moiety bound to the C-terminus is NH2.

In an embodiment, the sequence of the peptide of the present invention is SEQ ID NO: 3 or SEQ ID NO:4 (as stated above, said peptide can comprise at least one moiety bound to is N-terminus and/or at least one moiety bound to its C-terminus, more preferably it comprises one moiety bound to the N-terminus and one moiety bound to the C-terminus, wherein the moiety bound to the N-terminus is Ac and the moiety bound to the C-terminus is NH2). It is contemplated that a peptide of the present invention has a sequence with at least a 70% identity with SEQ ID NO: 3 or SEQ ID NO:4, even more preferably, an 80% identity with SEQ ID NO: 3 or SEQ ID NO:4, even more preferably, a 90% identity with SEQ ID NO: 3 or SEQ ID NO:4, even more preferably, a 95% identity with SEQ ID NO: 3 or SEQ ID NO:4; and even more preferably, a 99% identity with SEQ ID NO: 3 or SEQ ID NO:4.

In one of the preferred embodiments, the sequence of a peptide of the present invention is in accordance with formula (I):

R1-AA1 -AA2-AA3-AA4-AA5-AA6-R2

(I)

their cosmetically and pharmaceutically acceptable isomers, salts, solvates and/or derivatives and mixtures thereof, wherein:

AAi is selected from the group of amino acids with positively charged side-chain or polar not charged side-chain;

AA2 is selected from the group of amino acids with non-polar hydrophobic side-chain; AA3 is selected from the group of amino acids with non-polar hydrophobic side-chain; AA4 is selected from the group of amino acids with charged side-chain;

AA 5 is selected from the group of amino acids with non-polar hydrophobic side-chain or aromatic side-chain;

AA Q is T rp; Ri is selected from H, substituted or unsubstituted non-cyclic aliphatic, substituted or unsubstituted alicyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted aryl, substituted or unsubstituted aralkyl and Rs-CO- wherein R 5 is selected from the group formed by substituted or unsubstituted C 1 -C 24 alkyl radical, substituted or unsubstituted C 2 -C 24 alkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 2 -C 24 alkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 3 - C 24 cycloalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 5 -C 24 cycloalkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 8 -C 24 cycloalkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 6 -C 30 aryl, substituted or unsubstituted C 7 -C 24 aralkyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl ring of 3 to 10 members, and substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl of 2 to 24 carbon atoms and 1 to 3 atoms other than carbon and an alkyl chain of 1 to 6 carbon atoms; and

R 2 is selected from H, -NR 3 R 4 - , -OR 3 and -SR 3 , wherein R 3 and R 4 are independently selected from H, substituted or unsubstituted non-cyclic aliphatic group, substituted or unsubstituted alicyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted aryl, and substituted or unsubstituted aralkyl.

More preferably, in this preferred embodiment, in formula (I):

AAi is His;

AA 2 is selected from the group of amino acids with non-polar hydrophobic side-chain; AA 3 is selected from the group of amino acids with non-polar hydrophobic side-chain; AA 4 is selected from the group of amino acids with charged side-chain;

AA 5 is selected from Met or the group of amino acids with aromatic side-chain; and AA Q is T rp.

More preferably, in this preferred embodiment, in formula (I):

AAi is His;

AA 2 is selected from the group of Gly, Ala, Val, Leu, Met and lie;

AA 3 is selected from the group of Gly, Ala, Val, Leu, Met and lie;

AA 4 is selected from the group of Lys, Arg, His, Asp and Glu;

AA 5 is selected from the group of Met, Phe, Tyr and Trp; and

AA Q is T rp.

More preferably, in this preferred embodiment, in formula (I):

AAi is His;

AA 2 is selected from the group of Ala and lie; AA3 is selected from the group of Leu and Met;

AA 4 is selected from the group of Arg and Asp;

AA 5 is selected from the group of Met, Phe and Trp; and

AA Q is T rp.

Even more preferably, in this preferred embodiment, the sequence of a peptide in accordance with the present invention is:

Ri-His-lle-Leu-Asp-Met-Trp-R2 (R-i-SEQ ID NO: 5-R 2 );

- Ri-His-lle-Met-Asp-Phe-T rp -R 2 (R1-SEQ ID NO: 6-R 2 );

- Ri-His-lle-Leu-Asp-T rp-T rp -R 2 (R1-SEQ ID NO: 7-R 2 );

Ri-His-Ala-Leu-Arg-Phe-Trp -R 2 (R-i-SEQ ID NO: 8-R 2 ); and/or

- Ri-His-lle-Met-Asp-T rp-T rp-R 2 (R1-SEQ ID NO: 9-R 2 ).

R 1 is preferably selected from H or R 5 -CO-, wherein R 5 is selected from the group formed by substituted or unsubstituted Ci-C 24 alkyl radical, substituted or unsubstituted C 2 -C 24 alkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 2 -C 24 alkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 3 -C 24 cycloalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted Cs-C 24 cycloalkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 8 -C 24 cycloalkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 6 -C 30 aryl, substituted or unsubstituted C 7 -C 24 aralkyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl ring of 3 to 10 members, and substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl of 2 to 24 carbon atoms and 1 to 3 atoms other than carbon and an alkyl chain of 1 to 6 carbon atoms. Even more preferably, R 1 is selected from H, acetyl (hereinafter, Ac), tert-butanoyl, hexanoyl, 2-methylhexanoyl, cyclohexanecarboxyl, octanoyl, decanoyl, lauroyl myristoyl, palmitoyl (hereinafter, Pal), stearoyl, oleoyl and linoleoyl. Even more preferably, R1 is Ac.

Preferably, R 2 is NH 2 .

Hence, more preferably, R1 is Ac and R 2 is NH 2 .

Therefore, in this preferred embodiment, preferably, the sequence of a peptide in accordance with the present invention is:

- Ac-His-lle-Leu-Asp-Met-Trp-NH 2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 5-NH 2 );

- Ac-His-lle-Met-Asp-Phe-T rp -NH 2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 6-NH 2 );

- Ac-His-lle-Leu-Asp-T rp-T rp -NH 2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 7-NH 2 );

- Ac-His-Ala-Leu-Arg-Phe-T rp -NH 2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 ); and/or Ac- H i s- 11 e- M et-As p-Trp-Trp- N H 2 (Ac-SEQ I D NO: 9-NH 2 ).

In another preferred embodiment, the sequence of a peptide of the present invention is in accordance with formula (II):

R i - AAi -AA 2 -AA 3 -AA 4 - R 2

(II)

their cosmetically and pharmaceutically acceptable isomers, salts, solvates and/or derivatives and mixtures thereof, wherein:

AAi is selected from the group of amino acids with positively charged side-chain; AA 2 is any amino acid;

AA 3 is selected from the group of amino acids with positively charged side-chain; AA 4 is selected from the group of amino acids with aromatic side-chain;

R 1 is selected from H, substituted or unsubstituted non-cyclic aliphatic, substituted or unsubstituted alicyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted aryl, substituted or unsubstituted aralkyl and R 5 -CO- wherein R 5 is selected from the group formed by substituted or unsubstituted C 1 -C 24 alkyl radical, substituted or unsubstituted C 2 -C 24 alkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 2 -C 24 alkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 3 - C 24 cycloalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 5 -C 24 cycloalkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 8 -C 24 cycloalkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 6 -C 30 aryl, substituted or unsubstituted C 7 -C 24 aralkyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl ring of 3 to 10 members, and substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl of 2 to 24 carbon atoms and 1 to 3 atoms other than carbon and an alkyl chain of 1 to 6 carbon atoms; and

R 2 is selected from H, -NR 3 R 4 - , -OR 3 and -SR 3 , wherein R 3 and R 4 are independently selected from H, substituted or unsubstituted non-cyclic aliphatic group, substituted or unsubstituted alicyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl, substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted aryl, and substituted or unsubstituted aralkyl.

More preferably, in this preferred embodiment, in formula (I I):

AAi is selected from the group of Lys, Arg and His;

AA2 is any amino acid;

AA 3 is selected from the group of Lys, Arg and His; and

AA 4 is selected from the group of Phe, Tyr and Trp. More preferably, in this preferred embodiment, in formula (II):

AAi is selected from the group of Arg;

AA2 is any amino acid;

AA 3 is selected from the group of Arg; and

AA4 is selected from the group of Phe.

Even more preferably, in this preferred embodiment, the sequence of a peptide in accordance with the present invention is:

Ri-Arg-Arg-Arg-Phe-R2 (R-i-SEQ ID NO: IO-R2); and/or

Ri-Arg-Met-Arg-Phe-R 2 (R1-SEQ ID NO: 11-R 2 ).

Ri is preferably selected from H or R 5 -CO-, wherein R 5 is selected from the group formed by substituted or unsubstituted C1-C24 alkyl radical, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C24 alkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C24 alkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 3 -C24 cycloalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C 5 -C24 cycloalkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C8-C24 cycloalkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C6-C30 aryl, substituted or unsubstituted C 7 -C24 aralkyl, substituted or unsubstituted heterocyclyl ring of 3 to 10 members, and substituted or unsubstituted heteroarylalkyl of 2 to 24 carbon atoms and 1 to 3 atoms other than carbon and an alkyl chain of 1 to 6 carbon atoms. Even more preferably, R1 is selected from H, acetyl Ac, tert-butanoyl, hexanoyl, 2-methylhexanoyl, cyclohexanecarboxyl, octanoyl, decanoyl, lauroyl myristoyl, Pal, stearoyl, oleoyl and linoleoyl. Even more preferably, R1 is Ac.

Preferably, R2 is NH2.

Hence, more preferably, R1 is Ac and R2 is NH2.

Therefore, in this preferred embodiment, the sequence of a peptide in accordance with the present invention is:

- Ac-Arg-Arg-Arg-Phe-NH 2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 10-NH 2 ); and/or

- Ac-Arg-Met-Arg-Phe-NH 2 (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 1 1-NH 2 ). The peptides of the present invention may be synthesized and produced by any means known in the state of the art. For example, they may be synthesized and produced by chemical synthesis (preferably, by means of solid phase peptide synthesis), expressing said peptides in cell cultures or by means of transgenic production of the peptide in plants or animals. In addition, the peptides of the present invention may be purified by any means known in the state of the art.

As it is apparent from the examples included below, the peptides of the present invention provide for an effective interference of the interaction between Munc18 and Syntaxin-1 , leading, at a presynaptic level, to an inhibition of acetylcholine release and, hence, an inhibition of muscular contraction. Also, as can be derived from the examples included below, the peptides of the present invention have a direct effect at a postsynaptic level by inducing muscle relaxation directly in muscle cells. Therefore, the peptides of the present invention solve the above-mentioned problems and provide for additional or alternative peptides able to treat (prevent, reduce and/or eliminate) aesthetical signs and/or diseases related with dysregulation of neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility.

In a second aspect, the present invention refers to a composition comprising at least one peptide in accordance with the present invention.

It is contemplated that the composition of the present invention comprises one type of peptide of the present invention or a combination or mixture of different peptides of the present invention.

In a preferred embodiment, the composition of the present invention is a cosmetic composition.

The cosmetic composition of the present invention comprises a cosmetically effective amount of the at least one peptide of the present invention. More preferably, the cosmetic composition of the present invention comprises from 0.0001 % to 0.05% (m/v) of at least one peptide of the present invention, more preferably, from 0.0005% to 0.005% (m/v) of at least one peptide of the present invention and, even more preferably from 0.05%- 0.001 % (m/v) of at least one peptide of the present.

The cosmetic composition of the present invention, as a consequence of the activity of the peptides of the present invention (this is, inhibition of the interaction between Munc18 and Syntaxin-1 and, hence, inhibition of the release of neurotransmitters and modulation muscular contraction), provides for the prevention, reduction and/or elimination of skin aging and/or expression signs (preferably, wrinkles). More precisely, the cosmetic composition of the present invention provides for the prevention, reduction and/or elimination of facial expression wrinkles, more preferably, wrinkles in the forehead, wrinkles in the space between the eyebrows and/or wrinkles and fine lines around the mouth and/or around the eyes.

It is contemplated that the cosmetic composition of the present invention also comprises at least one additional cosmetic ingredient. Said additional cosmetic ingredient can be at least one excipient and/or at least one additional cosmetic active ingredient.

The additional cosmetic ingredients comprise those usually used in the state of the art as, for example, adjuvants such as stabilizer, solubilizer, vitamin, colorant and perfumery; carriers; and/or other cosmetic active ingredients.

Said additional cosmetic ingredients, must be physically and chemically compatible with the rest of the components of the composition and, especially, with the peptides of the present invention comprised in the composition of the present invention. Likewise, the nature of said additional cosmetic ingredients must not unacceptably alter the benefits of the peptides and compositions of the present invention. Said additional cosmetic ingredients may be of a synthetic or natural origin, such as, for example, plant extracts, or they can be derived from a biofermentation process (see, for example, CTFA Cosmetic Ingredient Handbook, Eleventh Edition (2006)).

It is contemplated that the additional cosmetic ingredients mentioned above comprise those ingredients commonly used in compositions for caring for;cleaning skin and/or hair; and/or deodorants and/or creams to prevent hyperhidrosis; such as, for example, agents inhibiting melanin synthesis, whitening or depigmenting agents, anti-aging agents, agents inhibiting NO-synthase, antioxidants, anti-atmospheric pollution and/or free radical trapping agents, anti-glycation agents, emulsifying agents, emollients, organic solvents, liquid propellants, skin conditioners such as for example wetting agents, moisture retaining substances, alpha hydroxy acids, moisturizers, vitamins, pigments or colorants, dyes, gelling polymers, thickeners, surfactants, softeners, other anti-wrinkle agents, agents capable of reducing or eliminating bags under the eyes, exfoliating agents, antimicrobial agents, antifungal agents, bactericides, agents stimulating dermal or epidermal macromolecule synthesis and/or capable of preventing or inhibiting their degradation, such as for example agents stimulating collagens synthesis, agents stimulating elastin synthesis, agents stimulating laminin synthesis, agents inhibiting collagen degradation, agents inhibiting elastin degradation, agents stimulating fibroblast proliferation, agents stimulating keratinocyte proliferation, agents stimulating keratinocyte differentiation, agents stimulating lipid synthesis and synthesis of components of the stratum corneum (ceramides, fatty acids, etc.), dermorelaxing agents, agents stimulating glycosaminoglycan synthesis, DNA repairing agents, DNA protecting agents, agents stimulating proteosome activity, anti-pruritus agents, agents for treating sensitive skin, reaffirming agents, astringent agents, sebum production regulating agents, agents stimulating lipolysis, anti-cellulite agents, calming agents, anti- inflammatory agents, agents acting on capillary circulation and/or microcirculation, agents acting on cell mitochondria, agents intended to improve the dermo-epidermal junction, preservatives, perfumes, chelating agents, plant extracts, essential oils, marine extracts, agents derived from a biofermentation process, mineral salts, cell extracts and/or solar filters (organic or mineral photoprotective agents active against ultraviolet A and B rays) among others.

In an embodiment, at least one of the additional cosmetic ingredients is a cosmetic active principle or substance which may exert the same, similar, complementary or different cosmetic activities as those disclosed above for the peptides of the present invention.lt is contemplated that the cosmetic composition of the present invention comprises other anti-wrinkling or anti-aging agents, for example, collagen, elastin, growth factors, hyaluronic acid boosters, barrier function agents, illuminating agents, agents stimulating the expression and/or synthesis of collagen I, III, IV and/or VI and laminin; agents stimulating the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans or hyaluronic acid; agents stimulating the expression and/or synthesis of elastin and other elastic fibers-related proteins; agents inhibiting collagen and/or elastic fibers degradation; agents stimulating the expression and/or synthesis of mitochondria-related proteins (for example, sirtuins and aconitase); agents stimulating the expression and/or synthesis of focal adhesion proteins; agents stimulating keratinocytes and/or fibroblasts proliferation and/or differentiation; antioxidants; anti-atmospheric pollution and/or free radical trapping agents; anti-glycation agents; detoxifying agents; agents decreasing chronological aging, environmental aging and inflammation aging; and agents decreasing melanin production and/or inhibiting tyrosinase and/or agents stimulating lipid synthesis and synthesis of components of the epidermis (keratins) and more specifically the stratum corneum (keratins, ceramides, filaggrin, loricrin and SPRR1 B). More preferably, the at least one of the additional cosmetic ingredients is Argireline ® (Acetyl Hexapeptide-8), Leuphasyl ® (Pentapeptide-3), I nyline ® (Acetyl Hexapeptide-30), Syn-Ake ® (Tri peptide-3) or combinations thereof.

In addition, the cosmetic composition of the present invention (or the peptide of the present invention) can be formulated in any form usually used in the state of the art as, for example, solution, suspension, emulsion, paste, gel, cream, powder, spray, lotion, oil, liniment, serum, mousse, ointment, bar or pencil including“leave on” and“rinse-off” formulations. The cosmetic composition of the present invention can also be incorporated by means of techniques known in the state of the art to different types of solid accessories such as towelettes, hydrogels, adhesive (or non-adhesive) patches or face masks, or it could be incorporated to different make-up line products such as concealers, make-up foundations, lotions or make-up removal lotions, among others.

It is also contemplated that the cosmetic composition of the present invention or a peptide of the present invention, both as disclosed herein, can also be incorporated in cosmetic sustained release systems and/or carriers such as liposomes, milliparticles, microparticles and nanoparticles, as well as in sponges, vesicles, micelles, millispheres, microspheres, nanospheres, lipospheres, millicapsules, microcapsules and nanocapsules, as well as in microemulsions and nanoemulsions, for the purpose of obtaining greater penetration of the active ingredient.

In a preferred embodiment, the cosmetic composition of the present invention is suited or adapted to be applied by means of iontophoresis, more preferably, in the face and/or the body of a subject, more preferably, in the face, neck, hands and/or armpits of a subject, even more preferably in the face and/or neck of a subject (preferably, a human).

In another preferred embodiment, the cosmetic composition of the present invention is suited or adapted to be applied by means of subcutaneous injection, more preferably, in the face and/or the body of a subject, more preferably, in the face, neck, hands and/or armpits of a subject, even more preferably in the face and/or neck of a subject (preferably, a human).

In the most preferred embodiment, the cosmetic composition of the present invention is suited or adapted to be applied topically (more prefereably, in the form of a cream), more preferably, in the face and/or the body of a subject, more preferably, in the face, neck, hands and/or armpits of a subject, even more preferably in the face and/or neck of a subject (preferably, a human). In another preferred embodiment, the composition of the present invention is a pharmaceutical composition.

It is contemplated that the composition of the present invention comprises one type of peptide of the present invention or a combination or mixture of different peptides of the present invention.

The pharmaceutical composition of the present invention comprises a pharmaceutically effective amount of the at least one peptide of the present invention.

The pharmaceutical composition of the present invention, as a consequence of the activity of the peptides of the present invention (this is, inhibition of the release of neurotransmitters and, modulation of muscular contraction), provides for the prevention and/or treatment of diseases associated with neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorder, more precisely for the prevention and/or treatment of diseases associated with a dysregulation of SNARE complex formation, dysregulation of striated muscle contraction, dysregulation of acetylcholine and/or CGRP release and/or dysregulation of Ca 2+ channel activation, preferably, senile dementia, Alzheimer's- related dementia, AIDS-related dementia, epilepsy, amiotrophic sclerosis, multiple/lateral sclerosis, chronic migraine, mastocytosis, dystonia or anxiety disorders.

The pharmaceutical composition of the present invention also provides for the treatment of myotonia, myotonic dystrophy, myotonia congenita, Parkinson disease, Secondary Parkinsonism, Huntington disease, spasticity, Tardive Dysinesia (TD) or dystonia (blepharospasm, Meige syndrome, hand cramps, limb dystonia or strabismus).

The pharmaceutical composition can be in any form known in the state of the art which is suited for the chosen route. It is contemplated that the pharmaceutical composition of the present invention is suited or adapted to be administered by any means and any route known in the state of the art (for example, subcutaneously, intramuscularly, intravenously or orally; in the latter case, for example, in the form of a saline solution and/or of a biodegradable material, such as polymers of polylactic acid (PLA), polyglycolic acid (PGA) polylactic acid-glycolic acid copolymers, polycaprolactones and/or cholesterol). It is contemplated that the pharmaceutical composition of the present invention also comprises at least one additional pharmaceutical ingredient. Said additional pharmaceutical ingredient can be at least one excipient and/or at least one additional pharmaceutical active ingredient. It is contemplated that the at least one additional pharmaceutical active ingredient is a Benzodiazepine, Clonazepam, Lorazepam, Diazepam, Baclofen, an Anticholinergic, Trihexyphenidyl, Benztropine, a Dopamine- depleting agent, Tetrabenazine, Clozapine or combinations thereof.

In a third aspect, as stated above, the present invention refers to a peptide or a composition in accordance with the present invention (this is, in accordance with what has been stated above) for use in medicine.

As noted above and as it is directly derivable from the examples included below, the peptides of the present invention (and, hence, the compositions comprising them), are able to inhibit the release of acetylcholine and muscular contraction and, therefore, due to said activities they are useful as medicaments.

In a preferred embodiment, the peptides or compositions of the present invention are for use in the prevention and/or treatment (preferably, treatment) of a neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorder.

The muscle contractility disorder is, preferably, muscle hypercontractility.

Preferably, the neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorder is a disease associated with a dysregulation of SNARE complex formation, striated muscle contraction, acetylcholine and/or CGRP release, and/or Ca 2+ channel activation.

More preferably, the neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorder is selected from senile dementia, Alzheimer's-related dementia, AIDS-related dementia, epilepsy, amiotrophic sclerosis, multiple/lateral sclerosis, mastocytosis, chronic migraine, dystonia or anxiety disorders.

Therefore, in a preferred embodiment, the peptides or compositions of the present invention are for use in the prevention and/or treatment of senile dementia, Alzheimer's- related dementia, AIDS-related dementia, epilepsy, amiotrophic sclerosis, multiple/lateral sclerosis, mastocytosis, chronic migraine, dystonia or anxiety disorders. Regarding said diseases, senile dementia, Alzheimer's-related dementia, AIDS-related dementia, epilepsy, amiotrophic sclerosis, multiple/lateral sclerosis, chronic migraine and anxiety disorders are neuronal exocytosis disorders. On the other side, dystonia is a muscle contractility disorder.

Preferably, the dystonia is selected from blepharospasm, Meige syndrome, hand cramps, limb dystonia or strabismus.

In another preferred embodiment, the peptides or compositions of the present invention are for use in the prevention and/or treatment of myotonia, myotonic dystrophy, myotonia congenita, Parkinson disease, Secondary Parkinsonism, Huntington disease, spasticity or Tardive Dysinesia (TD). Said diseases are muscle contractility disorders.

Preferably, the peptide or composition of the present invention is used in a therapeutically effective amount.

In a preferred embodiment, the peptides and compositions of the present invention are for use in a mammal, more preferably in a human.

In a preferred embodiment, the composition is a pharmaceutical composition in accordance with what has been stated above.

The peptide or composition of the present invention can be used by any means or through any route known in the state of the art. In any case, the peptide or composition will be adapted to the chosen means and/or route (for example, subcutaneously, intramuscularly, intravenously or orally; in the latter case, for example, in the form of a saline solution and/or of a biodegradable material, such as polymers of polylactic acid (PLA), polyglycolic acid (PGA) polylactic acid-glycolic acid copolymers, polycaprolactones and/or cholesterol).

In a fourth aspect, the present invention refers to a method for the prevention and/or treatment (preferably, treatment) of neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorders, comprising administering a peptide or a composition of the present invention to a subject in need thereof.

The muscle contractility disorder is, preferably, muscle hypercontractility. Preferably, the neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorder is a disease associated with a dysregulation of SNARE complex formation, dysregulation of striated muscle contraction, dysregulation of acetylcholine and/or CGRP release and/or dysregulation of Ca 2+ channel activation.

More preferably, the neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorder is selected from senile dementia, Alzheimer's-related dementia, AIDS-related dementia, epilepsy, amiotrophic sclerosis, multiple/lateral sclerosis, mastocytosis, chronic migraine, dystonia or anxiety disorders.

Regarding said diseases, senile dementia, Alzheimer's-related dementia, AIDS-related dementia, epilepsy, amiotrophic sclerosis, multiple/lateral sclerosis, chronic migraine and anxiety disorders are neuronal exocytosis disorders. On the other side, dystonia is a muscle contractility disorder.

Preferably, the dystonia is selected from blepharospasm, Meige syndrome, hand cramps, limb dystonia or strabismus.

In another preferred embodiment, the neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle contractility disorder is a muscle contractility disorder selected from myotonia, myotonic dystrophy, myotonia congenita, Parkinson disease, Secondary Parkinsonism, Huntington disease, spasticity or Tardive Dysinesia (TD).

Preferably, the peptide or composition of the present invention is used in a therapeutically effective amount.

In a preferred embodiment, the subject in need of the method of treatment of the present invention is a mammal, more preferably, a human.

In a preferred embodiment, the composition is a pharmaceutical composition in accordance with what has been stated above.

The peptide or composition of the present invention can be used by any means or through any route known in the state of the art. In any case, the peptide or composition will be adapted to the chosen means and/or route (for example, subcutaneously, intramuscularly, intravenously or orally; in the latter case, for example, in the form of a saline solution and/or of a biodegradable material, such as polymers of polylactic acid (PLA), polyglycolic acid (PGA) polylactic acid-glycolic acid copolymers, polycaprolactones and/or cholesterol).

As already stated above, in a fifth aspect, the present invention refers to the use as a cosmetic of the peptide or cosmetic composition of the present invention to prevent, reduce and/or eliminate signs related with dysregulation of neuronal exocytosis and/or of muscle contractility in a subject.

As it is evident, the signs mentioned above are cosmetic signs.

Dysregulation of muscle contractility is, preferably muscle hypercontractility.

Preferably, the cosmetic signs related with dysregulation of neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle hypercontractility are skin aging and/or expression signs.

The cosmetic signs of skin aging are, preferably, wrinkles.

In the most preferred embodiment, the skin aging and/or expression signs are facial wrinkles (preferably, expression signs) and/or facial asymmetry.

In a preferred embodiment, the peptide or the cosmetic composition of the present invention is applied by means of iontophoresis, more preferably, in the face and/or the body of the subject, more preferably, in the face, neck, hands and/or armpits of the subject, even more preferably in the face and/or neck of the subject (preferably, a human).

In another preferred embodiment, the peptide or the cosmetic composition of the present invention is applied by means of subcutaneous injection, more preferably, in the face and/or the body of the subject, more preferably, in the face, neck, hands and/or armpits of the subject, even more preferably in the face and/or neck of the subject (preferably, a human).

In the most preferred embodiment, the peptide or the cosmetic composition of the present invention is applied topically (more preferably in the form of a cream), more preferably, in the face and/or the body of the subject, more preferably, in the face, neck, hands and/or armpits of the subject, even more preferably in the face and/or neck of the subject (preferably, a human). Preferably, the subject is a mammal, even more preferably, a human.

In addition, in the use as a cosmetic of the present invention, the peptide or the cosmetic composition of the present invention are used in a cosmetically effective amount. More preferably, the peptide of the present invention is used at a concentration of 0.0001 % to 0.05% (m/v), more preferably, from 0.0005% to 0.005% (m/v) and, even more preferably from 0.05%-0.001 % (m/v).

It is contemplated that the cosmetic composition of the present invention, as already stated above, also comprises at least one additional cosmetic ingredient. Said additional cosmetic ingredient can be at least one excipient and/or at least one additional cosmetic active ingredient, which can be as explained above. It is also contemplated that the peptide of the present invention is used in combination with at least one additional cosmetic ingredient which is in accordance with what has been stated above.

In addition, the peptide of the present invention and the cosmetic composition of the present invention can be formulated in any form usually used in the state of the art as, for example, solution, suspension, emulsion, paste, gel, cream, powder, spray, lotion, oil, liniment, serum, mousse, ointment, bar or pencil including“leave on” and“rinse-off” formulations. The peptide and the cosmetic composition of the present invention can also be incorporated by means of techniques known in the state of the art to different types of solid accessories such as towelettes, hydrogels, adhesive (or non-adhesive) patches or face masks, or it could be incorporated to different make-up line products such as concealers, make-up foundations, lotions or make-up removal lotions, among others.

It is also contemplated that the cosmetic composition of the present invention or a peptide of the present invention, both as disclosed herein, can also be incorporated in cosmetic sustained release systems and/or carriers such as liposomes, milliparticles, microparticles and nanoparticles, as well as in sponges, vesicles, micelles, millispheres, microspheres, nanospheres, lipospheres, millicapsules, microcapsules and nanocapsules, as well as in microemulsions and nanoemulsions, for the purpose of obtaining greater penetration of the active ingredient.

In a sixth aspect, the present invention refers to the cosmetic use of a peptide or a cosmetic composition of the present invention (this is, as explained above) to prevent, reduce and/or eliminate signs related with dysregulation of neuronal exocytosis and/or of muscle contractility in a subject.

As it is evident, the signs mentioned above are cosmetic signs.

Dysregulation of muscle contractility is, preferably muscle hypercontractility

Preferably, the cosmetic signs related with dysregulation of neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle hypercontractility are skin aging and/or expression signs.

The cosmetic signs of skin aging are, preferably, wrinkles.

In the most preferred embodiment, the skin aging and/or expression signs are expression facial wrinkles (preferably, expression wrinkles) and/or facial asymmetry.

In a preferred embodiment, the peptide or the cosmetic composition of the present invention is applied by means of iontophoresis, more preferably, in the face and/or the body of the subject, more preferably, in the face, neck, hands and/or armpits of the subject, even more preferably in the face and/or neck of the subject.

In another preferred embodiment, the peptide or the cosmetic composition of the present invention is applied by means of subcutaneous injection, more preferably, in the face and/or the body of the subject, more preferably, in the face, neck, hands and/or armpits of the subject, even more preferably in the face and/or neck of the subject.

In the most embodiment, the peptide or the cosmetic composition of the present invention is applied topically (more preferably in the form of a cream), more preferably, in the face and/or the body of the subject, more preferably, in the face, neck, hands and/or armpits of the subject, even more preferably in the face and/or neck of the subject (preferably, a human).

Preferably, the subject is a mammal, even more preferably a human.

In addition, in the cosmetic use of the present invention, the peptide or the cosmetic composition of the present invention are used in a cosmetically effective amount. More preferably, the peptide of the present invention is used at a concentration of 0.0001 % to 0.05% (m/v), more preferably, from 0.0005% to 0.005% (m/v) and, even more preferably from 0.05%-0.001 % (m/v).

It is contemplated that the cosmetic composition of the present invention, as already stated above, also comprises at least one additional cosmetic ingredient. Said additional cosmetic ingredient can be at least one excipient and/or at least one additional cosmetic active ingredient, which can be as explained above. It is also contemplated that the peptide of the present invention is used in combination with at least one additional cosmetic ingredient which is in accordance with what has been stated above.

In addition, the peptide of the present invention and the cosmetic composition of the present invention can be formulated in any form usually used in the state of the art as, for example, solution, suspension, emulsion, paste, gel, cream, powder, spray, lotion, oil, liniment, serum, mousse, ointment, bar or pencil including“leave on” and“rinse-off” formulations. The peptide and the cosmetic composition of the present invention can also be incorporated by means of techniques known in the state of the art to different types of solid accessories such as towelettes, hydrogels, adhesive (or non-adhesive) patches or face masks, or it could be incorporated to different make-up line products such as concealers, make-up foundations, lotions or make-up removal lotions, among others.

It is also contemplated that the cosmetic composition of the present invention or a peptide of the present invention, both as disclosed herein, can also be incorporated in cosmetic sustained release systems and/or carriers such as liposomes, milliparticles, microparticles and nanoparticles, as well as in sponges, vesicles, micelles, millispheres, microspheres, nanospheres, lipospheres, millicapsules, microcapsules and nanocapsules, as well as in microemulsions and nanoemulsions, for the purpose of obtaining greater penetration of the active ingredient.

As stated above, in a seventh aspect, the present invention refers to a method to prevent and/or reduce signs related with dysregulation of neuronal exocytosis and/or of muscle contractility in a subject in need thereof, characterized in that it comprises the use of a peptide or a cosmetic composition in accordance with the present invention.

The signs mentioned above are cosmetic signs.

Dysregulation of muscle contractility is, preferably muscle hypercontractility Preferably, the cosmetic signs related with dysregulation of neuronal exocytosis and/or muscle hypercontractility are skin aging and/or expression signs.

Preferably, the cosmetic signs of skin aging are wrinkles.

In the most preferred embodiment, the skin aging and/or expression signs are facial wrinkles (preferably, expression wrinkles) and/or facial asymmetry.

In a preferred embodiment, the peptide or the cosmetic composition of the present invention is applied by means of iontophoresis, more preferably, in the face and/or the body of the subject, more preferably, in the face, neck, hands and/or armpits of the subject, even more preferably in the face and/or neck of the subject (preferably, a human).

In another preferred embodiment, the peptide or the cosmetic composition of the present invention is applied by means of subcutaneous injection, more preferably, in the face and/or the body of the subject, more preferably, in the face, neck, hands and/or armpits of the subject, even more preferably in the face and/or neck of the subject (preferably, a human).

In the most preferred embodiment, the peptide or the cosmetic composition of the present invention is applied topically (more preferably in the form of a cream), more preferably, in the face and/or the body of the subject, more preferably, in the face, neck, hands and/or armpits of the subject, even more preferably in the face and/or neck of the subject (preferably, a human).

Preferably, the subject is a mammal, even more preferably a human.

In addition, in the method of the present invention, the peptide or the cosmetic composition of the present invention are used in a cosmetically effective amount. More preferably, the peptide of the present invention is used at a concentration of 0.0001 % to 0.05% (m/v), more preferably, from 0.0005% to 0.005% (m/v) and, even more preferably from 0.05%-0.001 % (m/v).

It is contemplated that the cosmetic composition of the present invention, as already stated above, also comprises at least one additional cosmetic ingredient. Said additional cosmetic ingredient can be at least one excipient and/or at least one additional cosmetic active ingredient, which can be as explained above. It is also contemplated that the peptide of the present invention is used in combination with at least one additional cosmetic ingredient which is in accordance with what has been stated above.

In addition, the peptide of the present invention and the cosmetic composition of the present invention can be formulated in any form usually used in the state of the art as, for example, solution, suspension, emulsion, paste, gel, cream, powder, spray, lotion, oil, liniment, serum, mousse, ointment, bar or pencil including“leave on” and“rinse-off” formulations. The peptide and the cosmetic composition of the present invention can also be incorporated by means of techniques known in the state of the art to different types of solid accessories such as towelettes, hydrogels, adhesive (or non-adhesive) patches or face masks, or it could be incorporated to different make-up line products such as concealers, make-up foundations, lotions or make-up removal lotions, among others.

It is also contemplated that the cosmetic composition of the present invention or a peptide of the present invention, both as disclosed herein, can also be incorporated in cosmetic sustained release systems and/or carriers such as liposomes, milliparticles, microparticles and nanoparticles, as well as in sponges, vesicles, micelles, millispheres, microspheres, nanospheres, lipospheres, millicapsules, microcapsules and nanocapsules, as well as in microemulsions and nanoemulsions, for the purpose of obtaining greater penetration of the active ingredient.

To allow a better understanding, the present invention is described in more detail below with reference to the enclosed drawings, which are presented by way of example, and with reference to illustrative and non-limitative examples.

Figure 1 shows the percentage acetylcholine release in vitro by LAN cells treated with the analyzed peptides in comparison with the positive control (this is, stablishing the percentage of acetylcholine release of the positive control sample as 100% and then performing the comparison with the rest of the samples). Figure 1 shows the results obtained for peptides: Ac-SEQ ID NO: 5-NH 2 (A), Ac-SEQ ID NO: 6-NH 2 (B), Ac-SEQ ID NO: 7-NH 2 (C), AC-SEQ ID NO: 8 -NH 2 (D), Ac-SEQ ID NO: 9-NH 2 (E), Ac-SEQ ID NO: 10-NH 2 (F), AC-SEQ ID NO: 11-NH 2 (G), Ac-SEQ ID NO: 13-NH 2 (H) and Ac-SEQ ID NO:14-NH 2 (I). All peptides, except Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 (D), were tested at concentrations of 0.001 mg/mL, 0.005 mg/mL and 0.01 mg/mL; and peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 (D) was tested at 0.005 mg/mL and 0.05 mg/mL. For figures 1 (D) columns from left to right in the x-axis correspond to: basal state (cells without treatment), positive control (cells treated with 50 mM of KCI), cells treated with 100 nM of toxin (Botulinum neurotoxin A light chain (BoNT A LC) produced in accordance with Ibanez C., Blanes- Mira C., Fernandez-Ballester G., Planells-Cases R., and Ferrer-Montiel A., (2004) Modulation of botulinum neurotoxin A catalytic domain stability by tyrosine phosphorylation, FEBS Letters 578, 121-127), cells treated with 0.1 mM Palmitoyl- Argireline ® (palmitoyl-acetyl hexapeptide-8 ® ) and cells treated with 0.005 mg/mL and 0.05 mg/mL of the corresponding peptide. On its side, for figure 1 (A) to 1 (C) and 1 (E) to 1 (1), columns from left to right in the x-axis correspond to: basal state (cells without treatment), positive control (cells treated with 50 mM of KCI), cells treated with 100 nM of toxin (BoNT A LC) and cells treated with 0.001 mg/mL, 0.005 mg/mL and 0.01 mg/mL of the corresponding peptide. For figures 1 (A) to 1 (I) the y axis shows the percentage of acetylcholine release (with regard to the positive control).

Figure 2 shows the percentage of binding of the complex Munc18-Syntaxin-1 with respect to the control (no treatment), which represents 100% of binding. In Figure 2 the capacity of peptides Ac-SEQ ID NO:8-NH 2 (A) and Ac-SEQ ID NO: 5-NH 2 (B) to inhibit the formation of the complex Munc18-Syntaxin-1 can be observed. Columns from left to right in the x-axis of both, figures 2(A) and 2(B), correspond to: control and 0.1 , 0.5 and 1 mM concentration of the corresponding peptide at a ratio Munc18 100 nM:Syntaxin-1 10 nM for the first group of columns (left group of columns) and, for the second group of columns, control and 0.1 , 0.5 and 1 mM concentration of the corresponding peptide at a ratio Munc18 100 nM:Syntaxin-1 5 nM (right group of columns). For both figures the y axis shows the percentage of formation of the complex, being 100% the signal obtained without any treatment.

Figure 3 shows the modulation in gene expression profile of human skeletal myocytes induced by the treatment with the peptides of the present invention. Figure 3(A) shows the results obtained for the treatment with Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 (at a concentration of 0.05 and 0.5 mg/mL, during 6 hours), wherein bars, from top to bottom refer to the following genes: SCN3A (Sodium Voltage-Gated Channel Alpha Subunit 3), UTRN (Utrophin), ACTA1 (Actin alpha 1 ), TNNC1 (Troponin C1 ), CALM3 (Calmodulina 3), CAV1 (Caveolin 1 ), CACNB1 (Calcium Voltage-Gated Channel Auxiliary Subunit Beta 1 ), LRP4 (LDL Receptor Related Protein 4) and MYH1 (Myosin Heavy Chain 1 ). In figure 3(A) the results shown for genes MHY1 , LRP4, CACNB1 and UTRN correspond to a treatment with 0.05 mg/mL, while the rest correspond to a 0.5 mg/mL treatment. Figure 3(B) shows the results obtained for the treatment with Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 at a concentration of 0.5 mg/ml_ during 24 hours, wherein bars, from top to bottom refer to the following genes: RAPSN (Receptor Associated Protein of The Synapse) and ATP2A (ATPase Sarcoplasmic/Endoplasmic Reticulum Ca 2+ Transporting). Figure 3(C) shows the results obtained for the treatment with Ac-SEQ ID NO: 5-NH 2 (at a concentration of 0.05 mg/ml_ and during 24 hours), wherein bars, from top to bottom refer to the following genes: UTRN (Utrophin), ACTA1 (Actin alpha 1 ), TNNC1 (Troponin C1 ), RAPSN (Receptor Associated Protein of The Synapse), SCN3A (Sodium Voltage-Gated Channel Alpha Subunit 3) and MYH1 . Figure 3(D) shows the results obtained for the treatment with Ac-SEQ ID NO: 10 -NH 2 (at a concentration of 0.1 mg/ml_ and during 24 hours), wherein bars, from top to bottom refer to the following genes: UTRN (Utrophin), TNNC1 (Troponin C1 ), SCN3A (Sodium Voltage-Gated Channel Alpha Subunit 3), CHRNA1 (Cholinergic Receptor Nicotinic Alpha 1 Subunit) and CACNB1 (Calcium Voltage-Gated Channel Auxiliary Subunit Beta 1 ). In the four cases, x-axis refers to the fold change with regard to the basal state. A negative fold change refers to downregulation of gene expression while a positive fold change refers to upregulation.

Figure 4 shows the decrease in calcium influx on human skeletal muscle myocytes after treatment with peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 and stimulation with 60 mM KCI with regard to the control (untreated sample stimulated with 60 mM KCI) which is stablished as 100%. Columns from left to right in the x-axis correspond to: control and 0.01 , 0.05 and 0.1 mg/ml_ of peptide concentration. The y axis shows the percentage of decrease in calcium signal with regard to the control, stablished as 100% signal.

Figure 5 shows representative images of the expression levels of myosin heavy chain protein, on non-treated primary human skeletal muscle cells (Figure 5(A)) and on primary human skeletal muscle cells treated with 0.05 mg/ml_ of peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 (Figure 5(B)). A reduction of myosin heavy chain protein levels is observed in the primary human skeletal muscle cells treated with 0.05 mg/ml_ of peptide with regard to the non- treated cells, which can be seen as a loss of staining or signal in Figure 5B in comparison with Figure 5(A).

Figure 6 shows the decrease of myosin heavy chain protein levels on primary human skeletal muscle cells after treatment with the peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 with regard to the basal control (non-treated cells) which is stablished as 100%. Columns from left to right in the X-axis correspond to non-treated cells and 0.05 and 0.5 mg/ml of peptide concentration. The Y-axis shows the levels of myosin heavy chain protein with regard to the basal control, stablished as 100% signal (on the basis of the fluorescence signal observed for myosin heavy chain protein in each of the treatment groups, as measured by means of mean cell fluorescence).

Figure 7 shows the modulation in the contraction frequency observed on human motor neurons and human skeletal myocytes co-cultures after treatment with either peptide Ac- SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 , acetyl hexapepitde-8, as a benchmark control, or obungarotoxin, as a positive control of inhibition, with regard to the basal control (non-treated cells) which is stablished as 100%. The line with squares represents the contraction frequency of the non-treated cells (basal control). The line with crosses represents the contraction frequency by the positive control of contraction inhibition, obungarotoxin. The line with diamonds represents the contraction frequency by the benchmark acetyl hexapeptide-8 at 0.5 mg/ml. The line with circles represents the contraction frequency by peptide Ac- SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 at 0.1 mg/ml; and the line with triangles represents the contraction frequency by peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: e-NFh at 0.05 mg/ml. The X-axis corresponds to the length of the treatment by the different actives and it points out different time points: TO, T30 min, T2 h, T24 h and recovery. TO corresponds to the contractions before the treatment with the above-mentioned compounds; T30 min corresponds to the 30 min- treatment; T2 h corresponds to the 2h-treatment; T24h corresponds to the 24h-treatment and Recovery corresponds to the 24h incubation after removal of all compounds. The Y- axis shows the percentage of contraction frequency with regard to the basal control (non- treated cells), stablished as 100% signal.

Figure 8 shows the decrease of exocytosis on a human neuroblastoma cell line after treatment with the peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 or the benchmark acetyl hexapeptide- 8 with regard to the basal control of non-treated cells which is stablished as 100%. Columns from left to right in the X-axis correspond to non-treated cells, cells treated with 1 mg/ml of acetyl hexapeptide-8 and cells treated with 0.01 mg/ml of peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 . The Y-axis shows the percentage of the fluorescence signal corresponding to the level of exocytosis with regard to the basal control, stablished as 100% level.

Figure 9 shows the delay in time of exocytosis on a human neuroblastoma cell line after treatment with the peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 or the benchmark acetyl hexapeptide- 8 with regard to the basal control of non-treated cells which is stablished as 100%. Columns from left to right in the X-axis correspond to non-treated cells, 1 mg/ml of acetyl hexapeptide-8 and 0.01 mg/ml of peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 . The Y-axis shows the percentage of the response time corresponding to the delay of exocytosis with regard to the basal control, stablished at 100% level. Figure 10 shows the collagen type I production by primary human dermal fibroblasts after treatment with Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 with regard to the basal control (non-treated cells) which is stablished as 100%, at 24h after the beginning of the treatment (Figure 10(A)) and at 48h after the beginning of the treatment (Figure 10(B)). Columns from left to right in the X-axis correspond to: basal control (non-treated cells) and cells treated with 0.01 , 0.05 or 0.1 mg/ml of peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 , respectively. The Y-axis shows the percentage of increase of collagen type I protein synthesis with regard to the control, stablished at 100% level.

EXAMPLES

Abbreviations:

The abbreviations used for amino acids follow the 1983 IUPAC-IUB Joint Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature recommendations outlined in Eur. J. Biochem. (1984) 138:937.

Ac, acetyl; Ala, alanine; Arg, arginine;Asn, Asparagine; Asp, Aspartic acic; Boc, tert- butyloxycarbonyl; C-terminal, carboxy-terminal; DCM, dichloromethane; DIEA, N,N'- diisopropylethylamine; DIPCDI, N,N'-diisopropylcarbodiimide; DMF, N,N- dimethylformamide; equiv, equivalent; ESI-MS, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry; Fmoc, 9-fluorenylmethyloxycarbonyl; Glu, Glutamic acid; hiPSC, human induced pluripotent stem cells; His, histidine; HOBt, 1 -hydroxybenzotriazole; HPLC, high performance liquid chromatography; HRP, Horseradish peroxidase; lie, Isoleucine; I NCI, International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients; MBHA, p-methylbenzhydrylamine; Leu, leucine; Lys, lysine; Me, methyl; MeCN, acetonitrile; MeOH, methanol; Met, Methionine; N-terminal, amino-terminal; Palm, palmitoyl; Pbf, 2, 2, 4,6,7- pentamethyldihydrobenzofuran-5-sulfonyl; PFA, paraformaldehyde; PMA, phorbol 12- myristate 13-acetate; Phe, Phenylalanine; PMSF, Phenylmethanesulfonyl; RT, room temperature; tBu, tert- butyl; Thr, Threonine; TFA, trifluoroacetic acid; TIS, triisopropylsilane; TMB, Tetramethylbenzidine; Trt, triphenylmethyl or trityl; Trp, Tryptophan; Tyr, Tyrosine.

Regarding the chemical synthesis procedures included in the examples, it is noted that all synthetic processes were carried out in polypropylene syringes fitted with porous polyethylene discs or Pyrex ® reactors fitted with porous plates. All the reagents and solvents were synthesis quality and were used without any additional treatment. The solvents and soluble reagents were removed by suction. The Fmoc group was removed with piperidine-DMF (2:8, v/v) (at least 1 x1 min, 2x10 min, 5 mL/g resin) (Lloyd Williams P. et al., Chemical Approaches to the Synthesis of Peptides and Proteins, CRC, 1997, Boca Raton (Fla., USA)). Washes between stages of deprotection, coupling, and, again, deprotection, were carried out with DMF (3x1 min) and DCM (3x1 min) each time using 10 ml solvent/g resin. Coupling reactions were performed with 3 ml solvent/g resin. The control of the couplings was performed by carrying out the ninhydrin test (Kaiser E. et al., Anal. Biochem., 1970, 34: 595598). All synthetic reactions and washes were carried out at RT.

Example 1. In silico determination of peptides interfering in the interaction of Mync18- Syntaxin-1

In this experiment, the objective was to generate in silico peptides with affinity and/or specificity for the interaction regions of Munc18 and Syntaxin-1 and, hence, that could be able to compete, interfere and disrupt the interaction and/or binding between said two proteins.

Since the structure of Munc18-Syntaxin-1 complex was known and available at 2.6 A resolution (Protein Data Bank reference number 3C98), a three-dimensional structure model of this interaction was generated and the interaction fragments of Munc18 included in table 1 were selected.

Table 1 . Interaction fragments of Munc18 with Syntaxin-1 selected by means of the in silico study.

On the basis of said target fragments, as a first step of design, the wild type peptide (considered as the 100% binder peptide) was mutated to poly-Ala (considered as the non-binder peptide 0%), and all the positions were treated as independent. Each individual position was mutated to the 20 natural amino acids, while the other positions remained as Ala. The theoretical binding energy between the fragment and the rest of the complex was determined to assess the improvement of the interaction with the mutagenesis in the different positions. The tabulation and the normalization of the binding energies produced scoring matrices which showed how well an amino acid residue fitted in a given position of the peptide. These matrices were used to propose and build a ranked list of peptides that putatively inhibit the Munc18-Syntaxin-1 complex formation.

In a second step of the experiment, the list of peptides was modelled on the complex, but mutating all positions in the peptide at the same time. In this way it was ensured that interactions or incompatibilities between neighbouring positions in the peptides were taken into account. The bonding energy of peptide-complex interaction was evaluated again, and the peptides were re-ranked according to this energy. The binding energies, which could be higher than 100% or lower than 0%, were then compared to the 100% binder (wild type) and the 0% binder (poly Ala peptide). The best peptides were selected and proposed for further study and verification (see table 2).

Table 2. peptides of the in silico study selected for further study and verification.

Example 2. Synthesis and preparation of the peptides.

- Obtaining Fmoc-AAi-AAp-AAa-AA^AAs-AA fi -Rink-MBHA-resin, wherein AAi is L-His; AA? is L-lle or L-Ala; AA is L-Leu or L-Met; AA 4 is L-Asp or L-Arq; AA5 is L-Met, L-Trp or L-Phe; and AAs is L-Trp.

Weights were normalized. 4.8 g (2.5 mmol) of the Fmoc-Rink-MBHA resin with a functionalization of 0.52 mmol/g were treated with piperidine-DMF according to the described general protocol known in the state of the art in order to remove the Fmoc group. 3.94 g of Fmoc-L-Trp(Boc)-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) were incorporated onto the deprotected resin in the presence of DIPCDI (1 .17 ml_; 7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) and HOBt (1 .01 g; 7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) using DMF as a solvent for one hour.

The resin was then washed as described in the general methods known in the state of the art and the deprotection treatment of the Fmoc group was repeated to couple the next amino acid. Following the previously described protocols 2.90 g of Fmoc-Phe-OH, 2.78 g of Fmoc-L-Met-OH or 3.94 g of Fmoc-L-Trp(Boc)-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv); subsequently 4.86 g of Fmoc-L-Arg(Pbf)-OH or 3.08 g of Fmoc-L-Asp(tBu)-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv); subsequently 2.65 g of Fmoc-L-Leu-OH or 2.78 g of Fmoc-L-Met-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv); subsequently 2.33 g Fmoc-L-Ala-OH or 2.65 g Fmoc-L-lle-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) and subsequently 4.64 g of Fmoc-L-His(Trt)-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) were coupled, sequentially, each coupling in the presence of 1.01 g of HOBt (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) and 1.17 mL of DIPCDI (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv). As already noted above, between each amino acid addition step, a deprotection treatment of the Fmoc group was performed.

After the synthesis, the peptide resins were washed with DCM (5 times for 3 minutes each one) and dried under vacuum.

- Obtaining Fmoc-AAi-AA?-AA3-AA4-Rink-MBHA-resin, wherein AA1 is L-Arq; AA? is L- Arq or L-Met; AA3 is L-Arq and AA4 is L-Phe.

Weights were normalized. 4.8 g (2.5 mmol) of the Fmoc-Rink-MBHA resin with a functionalization of 0.52 mmol/g were treated with piperidine-DMF according to the described general protocol of the state of the art in order to remove the Fmoc group. 2.90 g of Fmoc-L-Phe-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) were incorporated onto the deprotected resin in the presence of DIPCDI (1 .17 ml_; 7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) and HOBt (1 .01 g; 7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) using DMF as a solvent for one hour.

The resin was then washed as described in the general methods and the deprotection treatment of the Fmoc group was repeated to couple the next amino acid. Following the previously described protocols, 4.86 g of Fmoc-L-Arg(Pbf)-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv); subsequently 4.86 g of Fmoc-L-Arg(Pbf)-OH or 2.78 g of Fmoc-L-Met-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) and subsequently 4.86 g of Fmoc-L-Arg(Pbf)-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) were coupled, sequentially, each coupling in the presence of 1.01 g of HOBt (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) and 1.17 ml. of DIPCDI (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv). As already noted above, between each amino acid addition step, a deprotection treatment of the Fmoc group was performed.

After the synthesis, the peptide resins were washed with DCM (5 times for 3 minutes each one) and dried under vacuum.

- Obtaining F m oc- A A 1 - A A ? - A A- ¾ - A A 4 - A As- A A R - A A 7 - A A»- Rink-MBHA-resin, wherein AAi is L-Glu; AA? is L-Arq; AA is L-lle; AA 4 is L-Asn; L5 is L-Lys; AAs is L-Arq or L-Met; AA 7 is L-Arq and AA» is L-Trp or L-Tyr.

Weights were normalized. 4.8 g (2.5 mmol) of the Fmoc-Rink-MBHA resin with a functionalization of 0.52 mmol/g were treated with piperidine-DMF according to the described general protocol known in the state of the art in order to remove the Fmoc group. 3.94 g of Fmoc-L-Trp(Boc)-OH or 3.44 g of Fmoc-L-Tyr(tBu)-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) were incorporated onto the deprotected resin in the presence of DIPCDI (1.17 ml_; 7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) and HOBt (1.01 g; 7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) using DMF as a solvent for one hour.

The resin was then washed as described in the general methods and the deprotection treatment of the Fmoc group was repeated to couple the next amino acid. Following the previously described protocols, 4.86 g of Fmoc-Arg(Pbf)-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv); subsequently 4.86 g of Fmoc-L-Arg(Pbf)-OH or 2.78 g of Fmoc-L-Met-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv); subsequently 3.51 g of Fmoc-L-Lys(Boc)-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv); subsequently 4.45 g Fmoc-L-Asn(Trt)-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv); subsequently 2.65 g Fmoc-L-lle-OH; subsequently 4.86 g Fmoc-L-Arg(Pbf)-OH and subsequently 3.19 g of Fmoc-L- Glu(OtBu)-OH (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) were coupled, sequentially, each coupling in the presence of 1 .01 g of HOBt (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv) and 1 .17 ml. of DIPCDI (7.5 mmol; 3 equiv). As already noted above, between each amino acid addition step, a deprotection treatment of the Fmoc group was performed.

After the synthesis, the peptide resins were washed with DCM (5 times for 3 minutes each one) and dried under vacuum.

Using the synthesis procedures mentioned above, with the required selection of amino acids, the following sequences were synthesized:

His-lle-Leu-Asp-Met-Trp (SEQ ID NO: 5);

His-lle-Met-Asp-Phe-T rp (SEQ ID NO: 6);

His-lle-Leu-Asp-T rp-T rp (SEQ ID NO: 7);

His-Ala-Leu-Arg-Phe-T rp (SEQ ID NO: 8);

His-lle-Met-Asp-T rp-T rp (SEQ ID NO: 9);

Arg-Arg-Arg-Phe (SEQ ID NO: 10);

Arg-Met-Arg-Phe (SEQ ID NO: 1 1 );

Glu-Arg-lle-Asn-Lys-Arg-Arg-Trp (SEQ ID NO: 13); and

Glu-Arg-lle-Asn-Lys-Met-Arg-Tyr (SEQ ID NO: 14).

Example 3. Removal of Fmoc N-Terminal protective group of the peptides synthesized in accordance with Example 2.

The N-terminal Fmoc group of the peptidyl resins was deprotected with 20% piperidine in DMF (1 x1 min+2x10 min) (Lloyd Williams P. et al. (1997)“Chemical Approaches to the Synthesis of Peptides and Proteins" CRC, Boca Raton (Fla., USA)). The peptidyl resins were washed with DMF (5x1 min), DCM (4x1 min), and dried under vacuum.

Example 4. Process for introducing the Ri Acetyl group onto the peptidyl resins obtained in accordance with Example 3.

1 mmol (1 equiv) of the peptidyl resins obtained in accordance with Example 2 was treated with 25 equivalents of acetic anhydride in the presence of 25 equivalents of DIEA using 5 mL of DMF as a solvent. They were left to react for 30 minutes, after which the peptidyl resins were washed with DMF (5x1 min), DCM (4x1 min), and were dried under vacuum.

Example 5. Cleavage process from the polymeric support of the peptidyl resins obtained in accordance with Example 3 and 4.

Weights were normalized. 200 mg of the dried peptidyl resin obtained in any of Examples 2, 3 or 4 were treated with 5 mL of TFA/TIS/H2O (90:5:5) for 2 hours at room temperature under stirring. The filtrates were collected and precipitated using 50 mL (8 to 10-fold) of cold diethyl ether. The ethereal solutions were evaporated to dryness at reduced pressure and room temperature, the precipitates were redissolved in 50% MeCN in H2O and lyophilized.

Example 6. Characterization of the peptides synthesized and prepared in accordance with example 5.

HPLC analysis of the peptides obtained in accordance with example 5 was carried out with a Shimadzu equipment (Kyoto, Japan) using a reverse-phase column (150x4.6 mm, XBridge Peptide BEH C18, 3.5 pm, Waters, USA) in gradients of MeCN (+0.036% TFA) in H2O (+0.045% TFA) at a flow rate of 1.25 mL/min and detection was carried out at 220 nm. All peptides showed a purity exceeding 80%. The identity of the peptides obtained was confirmed by ESI-MS in a Water ZQ 4000 detector using MeOH as the mobile phase and a flow rate of 0.2 mL/min. Results obtained demonstrated that the peptides included in table 3 were effectively synthesized. Table 3. Final peptides synthesized.

Example 7. Measurement of acetylcholine release.

The peptides included in the above table 3 were synthesized in accordance with examples 2 to 6.

Said peptides were tested for their ability to modulate acetylcholine release in vitro. To that end, LAN cells were seeded on 48-well culture plates and allowed to reach the appropriate confluence under controlled conditions (37°C, 5% CO 2 ) before inducing differentiation by replacing the culture media with Neurobasal ® A media, supplemented with N-2 Supplement, GlutaMAX™, choline chloride and Leukemia Inhibition factor (GIBCO, Life technologies, MA, USA). Once the cells acquired its differentiated morphology, they were treated with the peptides mentioned above at the following concentrations for 1 hour: all peptides, except Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 , at 0.001 mg/mL, 0.005 mg/mL and 0.01 mg/mL; and peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 at 0.005 mg/mL and 0.05 mg/mL. Cells were then washed with HEPES, before stimulation of acetylcholine release by depolarization with external 50mM KCI solution. Non-stimulated cells were incubated with non-depolarizing 4mM KCI solution. After 30 minutes of incubation with the corresponding depolarizing or non-depolarizing KCI solution, cell supernatants were collected and used to measure acetylcholine levels with Amplex Red Acetylcholine Assay Kit (ThermoFisher Scientific, MA, USA). Cell pellets were used to determine protein content by BCA Protein Test Assay (Pierce BCA Protein Assay kit, ThermoFisher Scientific, MA, USA) (for data normalization purposes).

Percentage of acetylcholine release inhibition was calculated considering 100% release for the positive control (non-treated stimulated with KCI cells).

The results obtained appear summarized in table 4:

Table 4. Summary of the results obtained in Example 7.

The results of this experiment also appear summarized in Figure 1 (A) to (I). As can be directly derived from said figures, the peptides marked as active in the modulation of acetylcholine in table 4, show a significant decrease in the release of acetylcholine in all the concentrations tested. On the other side, peptides marked as non-active in table 4 show a moderate-to-low inhibition at the lowest concentrations and complete loss of inhibition at the highest concentration. Said peptides did not show a statistical decrease in the release of acetylcholine in any of the concentrations tested. The fact that at low concentrations a slight inhibition was observed was expected due to the technical complication of this type of cells and the inherent variability of the test, but the complete loss of activity at the highest concentration clearly shows these peptides (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 13-NH 2 and Ac-SEQ ID NO: I4-NH 2 ) were not able to inhibit the release of acethylcholine.

As seen from prior art (Blanes-Mira C., Clemente J., Jodas G., et.al. (2002), A synthetic hexapeptide (Argireline) with antiwrinkle activity, International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 24, 303-310), the inhibition of exocytosis from permeabilized chromaffin cells reached maximum values of 50% when using BoNT A or 40% when using Argireline ® . Therefore, the results obtained in this example prove the high activity of the peptides of the present invention as when testing the inhibition of acetylcholine release directly on LAN cells, not even permeabilized, values of 20-30% of inhibition were obtained

Example 8. Binding assay The following peptides were synthesized based on the in silico study of example 1 and in accordance with examples 2 to 6:

Ac-SEQ ID NO: 5-NH 2

Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2

The capacity of the peptides to inhibit Munc18 protein-protein interaction with Syntaxin- 1 , a SNARE complex protein, was functionally evaluated by means of an ELISA-based in vitro Munc18/Syntaxin-1 binding assay. Briefly, the above-mentioned peptides at 0.1 , 0.5 and 1 mM were preincubated with their target protein Syntaxin-1 (GST-tagged) at 10 and 5 nM in buffer (20 mM Hepes, 150 mM NaCI, 2 mM MgCI 2 , 2 mM DTT, 0.5% Triton- X100 and 0.5% non-fat milk) for 3 hours at RT. Meanwhile, His-tagged Munc18 was bound to a Nickel-coated 96-well plate at 100 nM and incubated at RT for 1 .5 hours. Non-bound protein was subsequently washed away before blocking wells with non-fat milk in wash buffer (PBS+0.02% Triton-X100) for additional 30 minutes. GST-tagged Syntaxin-1 preincubated with the peptides was then added at 10 and 5 nM to the plate and incubated for 2h at RT. Wells were washed three times with wash buffer before incubation with the primary antibody (GST tag polyclonal antibody - Thermofisher Scientific, Massachusetts, USA) for 45 minutes. Finally, after washing again, HRP- conjugated secondary antibody (Anti-Rabbit-lgG-HRP - Sigma, Missouri, USA) was added and incubated at RT. TMB substrate (3,3’,5,5’-Tetramethylbenzidine) was used to develop signal. Reaction was stopped by addition of Stop Reagent. Amount of binding of Syntaxin-1 protein to Munc18 protein was analysed by measuring absorbance at 450 nm.

The results obtained in this experiment appear summarized in Figure 2. Figure 2 evidences that both peptides tested (Ac-SEQ ID NO: 5-NH 2 to an even surprinsingly higher degree), were able to significantly block protein-protein interactions between Munc18 and Syntaxin-1 , showing even a dose-response manner. Maximum inhibition reached 37% and 67% for Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 and Ac-SEQ ID NO: 5-NH 2 peptides, respectively. Based in these results, it can be seen that the peptides of the present invention are able to disrupt the protein-protein interaction required for regulated exocytosis and consequent neurotransmitter release.

Example 9. Gene expression modulation in skeletal muscle human myocytes. The following peptides were synthesized based on the in silico study of example 1 and in accordance with examples 2 to 6:

Ac-SEQ ID NO: 5-NH 2

Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2

Ac-SEQ ID NO: 10-NH 2

Said peptides were tested to evaluate their capacity to modulate the expression of several genes related with muscle contraction and relaxation in human skeletal muscle myocytes (Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. (2000), Molecular Cell Biology, 4th edition; Section 18.3 Myosin: The Actin Motor Protein, Nueva York, W. H. Freeman; Kuo, IY, & Ehrlich, BE (2015), Signaling in Muscle Contraction, Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology, 7(2); RAPSN receptor associated protein of the synapse [ Homo sapiens (human) ], Gene ID in NCBI 5913; Blake DJ, Tinsley JM, Davies KE (1996), Utrophin: a structural and functional comparison to dystrophin, Brain Pathol., 6(1 ):37-47; Barik A, Lu Y, Sathyamurthy A, et.al. (2014), LRP4 Is Critical for Neuromuscular Junction Maintenance, The Journal of Neuroscience, 34(42), 13892-13905; Kim N, Stiegler AL, Cameron TO, Hallock PT, et.al. (2008), Lrp4 is a Receptor for Agrin and Forms a Complex with MuSK, Cell, 135(2), 334-342; Mahavadi S, Nalli A, Kumar D, et.al. (2014), Increased expression of caveolin-1 is associated with upregulation of the RhoA/Rho kinase pathway and smooth muscle contraction in diabetes (1110.11), The FASEB Journal, 28:1_supplement)). To that end, a contractility smart data gene panel was designed. Said contractility smart data gene panel analyses the expression of the genes related with muscular contraction and relaxation included in table 5.

Table 5. Genes analyzed in example 9.

Briefly, human skeletal muscle myoblasts were seeded in duplicate in 12-well culture plates at a density of 1 x 10 5 cells/well and maintained at standard culture conditions (37°C, 95% humidity, 5% CO2) for 48-72h. Myoblast differentiation to myocyte was then induced with specific differentiation media (SKM-D medium + 1 % Antibiotic-Antimycotic) and monitored for 7 more days. Differentiated cells were treated with 0.05 mg/ml_ of peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 5-NH2; or with 0.1 mg/ml_ of peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: l O-Nhh for 24 hours; or with 0.05 and 0.5 mg/ml_ of peptide Ac-SEQ I D NO: 8-NH2 for 6h; or with 0.5 mg/ml_ of peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH2 for 24h. Untreated cells were used as basal control. Cells were then lysed for RNA extraction with a RNA purification commercial kit following manufacturer instructions (RNeasy mini kit, Qiagen, Netherlands). RNA was then quantified by nanodrop, adjusted in concentration and processed for retrotranscription to cDNA using a commercially available kit (High-Capacity cDNA Reverse Transcription kit, Thermofisher Scientific, USA). Resulting cDNA was used to perform a RTqPCR (Real Time Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction) using taqman technology and a panel of probes designed to target the specific genes related to muscle contractility mentioned in table 4.

The results of this experiment appear summarized in Figure 3(A) to (D). In said figures it can be seen that when human myocytes were treated with peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 5- NH 2 a down regulation of UTRN, ACTA1 , TNNC1 , RAPSN, SCN3A and MYH1 was observed. Treatment of myocytes with peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH2 resulted in a down regulation of SCN3A, UTRN, ACTA1 , TNNC1 , CALM3, CAV1 , CACNB1 , LRP4, and MYH1 for the 6-hour treatment, together with a downregulation of RAPSN and an upregulation of ATP2A for the 24-hour treatment. Finally, treatment of myocytes with peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: I O-NH2 resulted in a downregulation of UTRN, TNNC1 , SCN3A CHRNA1 and CACNB1.

Downregulation of the above-mentioned genes may affect normal muscle contractility function in different ways: RAPSN, CHRNA1 , UTRN and LRP4, required for the binding of acetylcholine on the surface of the muscle cell, may affect neurotransmitter-induced membrane depolarization and cytoskeleton stability; SCN3A and CACNB1 , as voltage- gated channels, may affect membrane potential an excitation transmission; SLN, involved in Ca 2+ transportation, may affect intracellular calcium accumulation; and MYH1 , TNNC1 and ACTA1 may affect cytoskeleton integrity and the power strike that drives contraction. Therefore, the results obtained in this example and shown in Figure 3, demonstrate the ability of the peptides of the present invention to modulate muscular contraction-relaxation, contributing to an increase in the relaxation of muscles.

Example 10. Calcium mobilization assay

Peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 was synthesized in accordance with examples 2 to 6.

The potential of said peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 to reduce calcium mobilization on human skeletal muscle cells was evaluated in vitro with Fluo-4 NW Calcium Assay Kit (ThermoFisher Scientific, MA USA). Briefly, human skeletal muscle myoblasts were seeded in quintuplicates in a black 96-well plate, clear bottom, at a density of 1 x 10 4 cells/well and maintained at standard culture conditions (37°C, 95% humidity, 5% CO 2 ) for 48-72h. Myoblast differentiation to myocyte was then induced with specific differentiation medium (SKM-D medium + 1 % a/a) and monitored for 7 more days. Differentiated cells were treated with non-cytotoxic concentrations of peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 (0.01 mg/ml_, 0.05 mg/ml_ and 0.1 mg/ml_) for additional 48 hours.

Once incubation was finished, cell culture medium was replaced by 100 pi of Dye loading solution and the plate was kept on the incubator for 30 minutes. Dye solution was then replaced by assay buffer prior to calcium measurement using FLUOstar Omega instrument (BMG Labtech, Germany). For appropriate kinetic measurement, a pre- stimulus phase of 10 seconds was set to determine the baseline signal before induction of calcium influx by addition of 60mM KOI. Post-stimulus phase was set at 90 seconds, with readings every 0.1 seconds at 494/516nm (excitation/emission).

The following steps were performed for data analysis: 1 ) Calculation of a mean kinetic curve for each condition; 2) determination of maximum fluorescent signal for each curve after stimulation with KCI; 3) calculation of the fold change increase versus baseline; 4) normalization of results obtained for each condition (each peptide concentration) versus the one obtained for the control (untreated cells). The results obtained in this experiment appear summarized in Figure 4 and reflect the potential of the peptides of the present invention (as exemplified by Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8- NH 2 ) to reduce calcium influx in a dose dependent manner (-6%, -20% and -30% at 0.01 mg/ml_, 0.05mg/ml_ and 0.1 mg/ml_ respectively). This reduction in calcium influx has an impact on cell contractility favoring muscle relaxation.

As can be directly derived from the above examples, the peptides of the present invention effectively interfere or inhibit the formation of the complex Mund 8-Syntaxin-1 , hence, allowing a regulation (inhibition) of neuronal exocytosis. In addition, said peptides provide a direct effect on muscle cells inducing or contributing to their relaxation (muscle relaxation). Therefore, the peptides of the present invention solve the above-mentioned problems present in the state of the art.

Example 1 1. Myosin heavy chain protein decrease

The potential of said peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 to decrease the expression of the protein myosin heavy chain in human skeletal muscle cells was evaluated in vitro by immunofluorescence using a specific antibody against this protein (Biotechne, USA) followed by a secondary fluorescent antibody (Thermofisher, USA). Briefly, human skeletal muscle myoblasts were seeded onto coverslips in SKM-M medium (Tebu-Bio, France) at a density of 3 x 10 4 cells/cm 2 and incubated overnight at standard culture conditions (37°C, 95% humidity, 5% CO 2 ). Myoblast differentiation to myocyte was then induced with specific differentiation medium (Skeletal Muscle Cell Differentiation Medium, SKM-D medium) and monitored for 7 more days. Differentiated cells were treated with non-cytotoxic concentrations of peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 (0.05 mg/ml_ and 0.5 mg/ml_) for additional 48 hours.

Once incubation was finished, cells were fixed with 4% PFA and permeabilized using 0.1 % (v/v) Triton (Sigma, USA). Myosin was then stained with 0.5 mg/ml myosin heavy chain antibody during 2h at room temperature. After proper washing, actin protein was labelled with 50 pg/ml Phalloidin (red) (Sigma, USA) for 1 h and, after washing, cells were stained with 4 pg/ml of the secondary antibody Goat anti-Mouse igG for 1 h. Finally, nuclei were stained with 3.5 pg/ml Hoescht marker for 10 min (Sigma, USA).

Microscopic images were acquired using the 5x and 10x objectives. Three replicates were used for each condition and images of three to four fields of each coverslip were acquired using the same settings. Images were analyzed using Image J software. Shortly, threshold was adjusted to select myosin and mean fluorescent was measured. The number of positive cells was counted using DAPI staining. Myosin mean fluorescent intensity was divided by the number of myosin-positive cells. Finally, all data was normalized as follows to obtain the % of myosin compared to non-treated cells: % vs. control = (fluorescence per cell in treated wells/fluorescence per cell in non-treated wells) x100.

The results obtained in this experiment appear summarized in Figures 5(A), 5(B) and 6 and reflect the potential of the peptides of the present invention (as exemplified by Ac- SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 ) to reduce myosin heavy chain protein levels in a dose dependent manner (-26% and -38% at 0.05 mg/ml_ and 0.5 mg/ml_ in Figure 6, respectively). This reduction in myosin heavy chain protein levels has an impact on cell contractility favoring muscle relaxation.

As can be directly derived from the above example, the peptides of the present invention effectively provide a direct effect on muscle cells inducing or contributing to their relaxation (muscle relaxation).

Example 12. Contraction frequency

The potential of said peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 to modulate the contraction frequency was evaluated in vitro using human muscle cells and motor neurons derived from hiPSC co-cultures, by means of live-imaging video of localized contractile muscle fibers recorded with an InCell 2200 automated microscope during 60 seconds, before and after treatment (after treatment, at each of the stablished timepoints).

Human muscle cells were cultivated at a density of 1 x 10 6 cells in T75 cm 2 flasks and then transferred to 96 well plates for differentiation. Motor neurons derived from hiPSC were transferred onto the 96 well plates containing the muscle cells in a differentiation medium. Co-cultures were maintained for 10 days in order to generate neurons junctions with muscle fibers. Spontaneous contractions were observed within 5 days.

Co-cultures were then treated with control medium (basal), 1 mM obungarotoxin, 0.5 mg/ml_ of acetyl hexapeptide-8 as a benchmark reference and 0.05 or 0.1 mg/ml_ of peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 . Movies of co-cultures were recorded during 60 seconds before treatment and, after 30 minutes of incubation, movies were recorded again during 60 seconds. The culture plate was incubated again for 1 h30min with compounds (2h of total incubation), and movies of co-cultures were recorded again during 60 seconds. The culture plate was incubated again for a total of 24h with compounds and at the end of the incubation movies were recorded again during 60 seconds. Finally, compounds were washed out and a last recording after 24h from said washed out of the compounds was done to assess an eventual recovery of muscle contractions (recovery).

Frequencies of contraction were calculated before and after each incubation. For each culture condition, 6 wells were analyzed.

The results obtained in this experiment appear summarized in Figure 7 and reflect the potential of the peptides of the present invention (as exemplified by Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8- NH 2 ) to induce and important dose-dependent decrease of muscles contraction frequency after only 30 min (25% and 18% of muscle contraction frequency with regard to the basal non-treated cells, at 0.05 and 0.1 mg/ml_, respectively) which is maintained during the 24h incubation period (23% and 10% at 0.05 and 0.1 mg/ml_, respectively). The washout of this compound allows a partial recovery of the muscle contraction frequency which is better at 0.05 mg/ml_ concentration (65% and 35% at 0.05 and 0.1 mg/ml_, respectively).

The benchmark (acetyl hexapeptide-8) used at 0.5 mg/ml_ induced a partial inhibition of muscle contraction frequency after 30 min (18% muscle contraction frequency) but this effect was attenuated with longer incubations (45% after 24h) and after a washout, the frequency was totally restored (100%).

As can be directly derived from the above example, the peptides of the present invention effectively provide a direct effect on muscle contraction during neurons junctions formation with muscle fibers, contributing to their relaxation (muscle relaxation).

Example 13. Exocytosis levels and delay

The potential of said peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 to modulate the exocytosis of vesicles containing neurotransmitters from a neuroblastoma cell line was evaluated in vitro using SH-SY5Y cells, by fluorescence imaging using a Zeiss axiovert 200 inverted epifluorescence microscope with a 20x objective and a Xenon lamp. SH-SY5Y cells (Sigma, USA) were cultured in T25 flasks in supplemented medium (DMEM/F12, Gibco, USA). Above 90% confluence, cells were trypsinized with 1 ml of 0.5% (v/v) Trypsin-EDTA. Next, 5 ml. of said supplemented medium was added and cell concentration determined. Cells were seeded onto polyLysine-coated 12mm-treated coverslips in 24 well-plates at 15 x 10 4 cells/well in supplemented medium (Gibco, USA) and incubated at regular conditions (37°C, 5% CO 2 ). After 24h cell seeding, cells were transfected with exocytosis reporter using lipofectamineTM 3000 (Invitrogen, USA) following manufacturer ' s instructions. Reporter construct contained fusion protein made up of intraluminal-specific proteins and a pH-sensitive fluorescent protein.

For exocytosis monitorization, after 48h of protein expression, cells were incubated with 0.01 mg/ml_ of Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 peptide or 1 mg/ml_ of the benchmark acetyl hexapeptide-8 for 1 h at 37°C and 5% CO 2 . Non-treated cells were used as basal control. Then, cells were pre-treated with 100nM PM A for 15 min and stimulated with 12.5 mM ionomycin together with PMA (100nM) for 5 minutes (total stimulation: 20 min). Fluorescence imaging was done for the last 10 min of the stimulation protocol. Fluorescence signal of exocytosis reporter was monitored employing 483-512 nm excitation-filter and 525-530 nm emission-filter. Images were captured with ORCA-ER CCD camera every 5 seconds for 10 min using Aquacosmos software.

Non-treated cells were assayed in N=4 independent experiments with n=16 coverslips (483 cells measured), acetyl hexapeptide-8-treated cells in N=3 independent experiments with n=10 coverslips (328 cells measured) and Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 - treated cells in N=3 independent experiments with n=8 coverslips (240 cells measured). Cells were selected to individually monitor fluorescence intensity and time-course. Fluorescence peak evoked by ionomycin addition was used to quantify exocytosis by calculating the Area under the curve (AUC) using GraphPad software. Two parameters were defined and analyzed:

Exocytosis levels: For individual cells, total peak area was obtained from AUC analysis and was normalized by the baseline that was defined as fluorescence intensity 3-cycles before Ionomycin injection.

Exocytosis delay: For individual cells, response time (min) was obtained from AUC analysis as time frame between Ionomycin injection (Y) and initiation of peak (firstX). Fluorescence values were further normalized as percentage change to non-treated cells on each experiment as: (exocytosis level of treated cells/exocytosis levels non-treated cells) x 100 and (response time of treated cells/response time of non-treated cells) x 100.

For analysis of exocytosis monitorization parameters: Data represent percentages normalized to non-treated cells for exocytosis levels and exocytosis delay. Data are expressed as mean ± SEM; Data was obtained from N=4 independent experiments, n=16 replicates (483 cells measured) for non-treated cells; N=3 independent experiments, n=10 replicates for acetyl-hexapeptide-8 (328 cells measured); N=3 independent experiments, n=8 replicates (240 cells measured) for Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8- NH 2 .

The results obtained in this experiment appear summarized in Figures 8 and 9 and reflect the potential of the peptides of the present invention (as exemplified by Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 ) to reduce (Figure 8) and delay (Figure 9) the exocytosis of vesicles containing acetylcholine released by neurons that activate muscle contractions through specific acetylcholine receptors.

Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 incubated for 1 hour at 0.01 mg/ml_ significantly delayed exocytosis response time (24% delay) and decreased exocytosis levels (-14%), while acetyl hexapeptide-8 incubated for 1 hour at 1 mg/ml_ significantly delayed exocytosis response (67% delay) without altering exocytosis level (7%) in human neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y.

As can be directly derived from the above example, the peptides of the present invention effectively provide an indirect effect on muscle contraction by reducing the level of acetylcholine vesicles released by neurons to the synaptic space for muscle contraction and delaying said exocytosis.

Example 14. Collagen production

The potential of said peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 to modulate the production of collagen type I as a potential improver of skin firming was evaluated in vitro using human skin fibroblasts.

Cell were seeded in 96-well plates at 1 x 10 4 cells/well and maintained for 24h at standard culture conditions (37°C, 95% humidity, 5% CO 2 ). After 24h incubation, medium was removed and new medium containing the peptide Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 at 0.01 , 0.05 or 0.1 mg/ml_ was added to the wells concentration. Treatment lasted 24 hours or 48 hours and at the end of the assay cell culture media were collected. Cells treated only with culture medium were used as basal control (non-treated cells).

After 24 and 48 hours of treatment the amount of collagen type I produced and released by the cells (ex-novo collagen type I synthesis) was measured in cell culture medium by means of ELISA assay. The results of the test item were compared to basal control condition (non-treated cells). The treatments were performed in triplicate in three different experimental sessions.

The determination of collagen type I synthesis was carried out by means of a competitive ELISA method. Samples were added to enzyme wells which were pre-coated with antibodies, then the recognition antigen labeled with Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was added; after being incubated 1 hour at 37°C, both compete with solid phase antigen and form immune complex. After washing with phosphate buffer solution, the combined HRP catalyzes Tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) into blue, and turns into yellow by the action of acid; it has an absorption peak under 450 nm wavelength and its absorbance is negatively correlated with antigen density of sample. The plates were read by microplate reader.

The quantitative determination uses a calibration curve made-up of known and growing concentrations of standard collagen type I. The results are expressed as collagen type I concentration (pg/ml) in 50 pL cell culture medium.

Three trials were performed for each determination in three different experimental sessions. The % variation in collagen type I content between negative controls and samples was calculated and a direct index of the efficacy of the peptide to increase collagen I synthesis was obtained.

The results obtained in this experiment appear summarized in Figures 10(A) and 10(B) and reflect the potential of the peptides of the present invention (as exemplified by Ac- SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 ) to induce the production of collagen type I by human dermal fibroblasts. Ac-SEQ ID NO: 8-NH 2 peptide significantly boosted collagen type I production by fibroblasts after 24h by 9%, 31 % and 37.5% at 0.01 , 0.05 and 0.1 mg/mL, respectively and after 48h by 16%, 29.5% and 56.5% at 0.01 , 0.05 and 0.1 mg/mL, respectively. As can be directly derived from the above example, the peptides of the present invention effectively provide a strong effect and improving the firmness and the quality of the skin.




 
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