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About Arazine™


Arazine™ (N-acetyl-farnesylcysteine or AFC) is a naturally occurring, endogenous small molecule which modulates key mediators of dermal inflammation. Arazine™ has the ability to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and prevent the oxidative damage associated with chronic inflammation and stress. Arazine™ activity was initially discovered at Princeton University by Dr. Jeffry B. Stock, who found that AFC and other isoprenylcysteine (IPC) compounds possessed anti-inflammatory activity. Arazine™ was Signum’s first IPC molecule and was launched in 2010 with our partner Rohto Pharmaceutical, Inc. Arazine™ is utilized as the main cosmetic functional ingredient in DRx AFC Medirepair, as well as in Rohto’s Obagi C line of skin care products. Moreover, Arazine™ is included in several of Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage® skin care products as well as the Elizabeth Arden Rx line. Arazine™ has been clinically proven to be safe and effective in protecting the skin from chronic inflammation and reduce the appearance of redness.


  1. Anti-Aging Properties
    • Protects against UVB damage
    • Protects against reactive oxygen species (ROS) production
  2. Anti-inflammatory properties
    • Protects against chemical induced pro-inflammatory cytokine release
    • Protects against bacterial induced (TLR2) pro-inflammatory cytokine release
    • Protects against ATP/GPCR induced pro-inflammatory cytokine release
    • Protects against induced LPS and nickel-TLR4 induced pro-inflammatory cytokine release
    • Protects against UVB induced pro-inflammatory cytokine release
    • Blocks neutrophil infiltration
    • PPARγ activator
  3. Clinically proven to reduce the appearance of redness
  4. Inhibit release of three key pro-inflammatory mediators (IL-8, GRO-α, MCP-1) associated with rosacea and acne

INCI Name and Chemical Structure



Publications / Presentations

  1. N-acetyl-S-farnesyl-l-cysteine suppresses chemokine production by human dermal microvascular endothelial cells.
    Adhami K, Lee J, Levin L, Moquete R, Stohl LL, Ding W, Wong J, Schierl M, Zhou XK, Gordon JS, Perez E, Stock MB, Granstein RD.
    Exp Dermatol. 2012 Sep;21(9):700-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2012.01562.x.
    PMID: 22897577 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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  2. N-Acetylfarnesylcysteine is a novel class of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ ligand with partial and full agonist activity in vitro and in vivo.
    Bhalla K, Hwang BJ, Choi JH, Dewi R, Ou L, Mclenithan J, Twaddel W, Pozharski E, Stock J, Girnun GD.
    J Biol Chem. 2011 Dec 2;286(48):41626-35. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.257915. Epub 2011 Oct 6.
    PMID: 21979952 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article
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  3. Topical N-acetyl-S-farnesyl-L-cysteine inhibits mouse skin inflammation, and unlike dexamethasone, its effects are restricted to the application site.
    Gordon JS, Wolanin PM, Gonzalez AV, Fela DA, Sarngadharan G, Rouzard K, Perez E, Stock JB, Stock MB.
    J Invest Dermatol. 2008 Mar;128(3):643-54. Epub 2007 Sep 20.
    PMID: 17882268 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free Article
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  4. Carboxyl methylation of Ras regulates membrane targeting and effector engagement.
    Chiu VK, Silletti J, Dinsell V, Wiener H, Loukeris K, Ou G, Philips MR, Pillinger MH.
    J Biol Chem. 2004 Feb 20;279(8):7346-52. Epub 2003 Dec 2.
    PMID: 14660603 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free Article
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  5. Studies on G-protein alpha.betagamma heterotrimer formation reveal a putative S-prenyl-binding site in the alpha subunit.
    Dietrich A, Scheer A, Illenberger D, Kloog Y, Henis YI, Gierschik P.
    Biochem J. 2003 Dec 1;376(Pt 2):449-56.
    PMID: 12952523 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article
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  6. Role of isoprenylcysteine carboxyl methyltransferase in tumor necrosis factor-alpha stimulation of expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 in endothelial cells.
    Ahmad M, Zhang Y, Zhang Y, Papharalambus C, Alexander RW.
    Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2002 May 1;22(5):759-64.
    PMID: 12006387 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free Article
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  7. Modulation of Rho and cytoskeletal protein attachment to membranes by a prenylcysteine analog.
    Desrosiers RR, Gauthier F, Lanthier J, Bèliveau R.
    J Biol Chem. 2000 May 19;275(20):14949-57.
    PMID: 10809740 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free Article
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  8. S-prenylated cysteine analogues inhibit receptor-mediated G protein activation in native human granulocyte and reconstituted bovine retinal rod outer segment membranes.
    Scheer A, Gierschik P.
    Biochemistry. 1995 Apr 18;34(15):4952-61.
    PMID: 7711017
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  9. Protein prenylcysteine analog inhibits agonist-receptor-mediated signal transduction in human platelets.
    Huzoor-Akbar, Wang W, Kornhauser R, Volker C, Stock JB.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Feb 1;90(3):868-72.
    PMID: 8430099 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE] Free PMC Article
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  10. Role of protein methylation in agonist-induced signal transduction in human platelets.
    SAAS Bull Biochem Biotechnol. 1992 Jan;5:7-12.
    PMID: 1368183 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
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Licensing Partners


Rohto is a Japan-based company that manufactures and sells a wide range of products including skincare, eye care, and oral medicines. Headquartered in Osaka, Rohto has 20 subsidiaries and five associated companies, giving them broad reach in the Japanese markets. We jointly develop new applications and products with Rohto’s RVK (Research Village Kyoto) facility. Our partnership includes a semi-exclusive license for Arazine™ in Japan only. In addition Rohto has made a significant investment into Signum and have a seat on our Board of Directors. We will continue to contribute to Rohto’s strategic goals, while enhancing the commercial, business development and market focus of Signum’s technologies.

Signum Biosciences announced that its partner, Rohto Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., has launched AFC Medirepair™ with Signum’s compound Arazine™ (N-acetyl-S-farnsylcysteine or AFC) in Japan. Arazine™ is the first compound from Signum’s novel Isoprenylcysteine (IPC) platform to be commercialized.

Elizabeth Arden

We have partnered with Elizabeth Arden, Inc., on an exclusive global license for the cosmetic functional ingredient Arazine™ (N-acetyl-S-farnesyl-cysteine) as well as developing new screening methodologies to measure the anti-oxidant potential of other product ingredients. Arazine™ was recently launched as a key ingredient in Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage™ Anti-aging + Intensive Repair Daily Serum product. We look forward to collaborating with Elizabeth Arden’s efforts in producing innovative, high quality skin care products supported with robust scientific data.

Signum Dermalogix partners with Elizabeth Arden, launching Prevage Anti-aging + Intensive Repair Daily Serum containing cosmetic functional ingredient Arazine™. View press release.

Signum Dermalogix in collaboration with Elizabeth Arden presents a poster titled, “Idebenone, Arazine™ and Ergothioneine protect against UV-induced inflammation and photo damage (poster)”, at the 2012 European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR) conference in Venice, Italy, highlighting a new cosmetic blend with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.

Signum Dermalogix in collaboration with Elizabeth Arden presents a poster titled, “Prevage™ blend of cosmetic functional ingredients counteracts skin aging by providing anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory protection (poster)”, at the 2013 International Investigative Dermatology (IID) Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, highlighting the superior anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties of the Prevage™ blend.