Everything there is to know about peptides.
What are peptides? Peptides are organic compounds that include two or more amino acids that are bonded together by the carboxyl group of one amino acid and the amino group of another. Peptides may be found in both natural and manufactured forms. Peptide molecules are structurally similar to proteins, although they are smaller in size. Peptides are a large family of chemicals that contain numerous hormones, antibiotics, and other substances that are involved in the metabolic processes of living organisms. In the case of proteins, partial hydrolysis may result in the formation of peptides. Solid-phase peptide synthesis and solution phase peptide synthesis are two techniques of synthesizing peptides for use in drug discovery.
An amino-acid peptide’s prefix indicates the number of amino-acid molecules it includes: a dipeptide has two amino acids, an octapeptide contains eight, an oligopeptide contains a few, and a polypeptide contains many. The difference between a polypeptide and a protein is unclear and mainly academic; some authors have set a molecular weight limit of 10,000 for polypeptides as an upper limit on their molecular weight range (that of a peptide composed of about 100 amino acids).
Peptide uses and functions
Uses in the Medical Field
Peptides have a variety of beneficial benefits, including antioxidant, antibacterial, and antithrombotic (anti-clotting) properties. At the time of this writing, more than 60 peptide medicines have been authorized in the United States and other countries across the globe. The peptides that are utilized in pharmaceutical formulations are either naturally occurring or synthesized.
Diabetes insipidus is treated with the use of peptides such as vasopressin. They are also used in the treatment of antidiuretic hormone deficiency.
In addition to the heart, kidneys, stomach, skin, brain, and muscles, carnosine may be found in the liver and kidneys as well as the brain and muscles. Studies have shown that it may be beneficial in the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, brain ischemia, autism, Down syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, schistosomiasis, and epilepsy, among other things. The use of this supplement may also be beneficial in the prevention of cataract development in the eyes. 2 Defensins are peptides that have antibacterial activity over a wide range. The efficacy and safety of synthetic defensins as potential HIV-1.2 treatments are presently being investigated. Hepcidin is a peptide hormone that has a role in the regulation of iron absorption in the body—the determination of its levels in the body aids in the diagnosis of anemia, among other things.
Chromofungin is a peptide that has the potential to aid in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
There are a variety of antimicrobial peptides in use to treat diseases such as hepatitis C, pneumonia, HIV, and some bacterial infections. These peptides are given topically, orally, or intravenously (IV) via injections into the vein.
Chemotherapy in the Treatment of Cancer
A large number of peptides are presently being investigated for their potential use in the treatment of various types of cancer. For example, research has shown that atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) may be helpful in the treatment of colorectal cancer if administered at the right time.
Several peptide-based cancer therapies have already been authorized and are being used to treat cancer patients in the United States. For example, luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonist medicines (also known as GnRH agonist pharmaceuticals) are used to treat ovarian and prostate cancer, among other conditions.