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Bioactive Peptides from Marine Organisms: A Short Overview

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Marine organisms are an immense source of new biologically active compounds. These compounds are unique because the aqueous environment requires a high demand of specific and potent bioactive molecules. Diverse peptides with a wide range of biological activities have been discovered, including antimicrobial, antitumoral, and antiviral activities and toxins amongst others. These proteins have been isolated from different phyla such as Porifera, Cnidaria, Nemertina, Crustacea, Mollusca, Echinodermata and Craniata. Purification techniques used to isolate these peptides include classical chromatographic methods such as gel filtration, ionic exchange and reverse-phase HPLC. Multiple in vivo and in vitro bioassays are coupled to the purification process to search for the biological activity of interest. The growing interest to study marine natural products results from the discovery of novel pharmacological tools including potent anticancer drugs now in clinical trials. This review presents examples of interesting peptides obtained from different marine organisms that have medical relevance. It also presents some of the common methods used to isolate and characterize them.

Keywords: Marine biodiversity; Marine toxins; anticancer drugs; biologically active; chromatography; gel filtration; micro-organisms; peptides; pharmacological tools; reverse-phase HPLC

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.

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