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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Review Article

Insect Peptides – Perspectives in Human Diseases Treatment

Author(s): Szymon Chowanski *, Zbigniew Adamski, Jan Lubawy , Pawel Marciniak , Joanna Pacholska-Bogalska , Malgorzata Slocinska , Marta Spochacz, Monika Szymczak , Arkadiusz Urbanski , Karolina Walkowiak-Nowicka and Grzegorz Rosinski

Volume 24, Issue 29, 2017

Page: [3116 - 3152] Pages: 37

DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666170526120218

Price: $65


Background: Insects are the largest and the most widely distributed group of animals in the world. Their diversity is a source of incredible variety of different mechanisms of life processes regulation. There are many agents that regulate immunology, reproduction, growth and development or metabolism. Hence, it seems that insects may be a source of numerous substances useful in human diseases treatment. Especially important in the regulation of insect physiology are peptides, like neuropeptides, peptide hormones or antimicrobial peptides. There are two main aspects where they can be helpful, 1) Peptides isolated from insects may become potential drugs in therapy of different diseases, 2) A lot of insect peptide hormones show structural or functional homology to mammalian peptide hormones and the comparative studies may give a new look on human disorders. In our review we focused on three group of insect derived peptides: 1) immune-active peptides, 2) peptide hormones and 3) peptides present in venoms.

Conclusion: In our review we try to show the considerable potential of insect peptides in searching for new solutions for mammalian diseases treatment. We summarise the knowledge about properties of insect peptides against different virulent agents, anti-inflammatory or anti-nociceptive properties as well as compare insect and mammalian/vertebrate peptide endocrine system to indicate usefulness of knowledge about insect peptide hormones in drug design. The field of possible using of insect delivered peptide to therapy of various human diseases is still not sufficiently explored. Undoubtedly, more attention should be paid to insects due to searching new drugs.

Keywords: Insects, peptides, peptide hormones, neuropeptides, antiviral, anticancer, antibacterial, drugs.

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