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Mode of action of anticancer peptides (ACPs) from amphibian origin

: Oelkrug, Christopher; Hartke, Martin; Schubert, Andreas

Anticancer research 35 (2015), No.2, pp.635-643
ISSN: 0250-7005
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IZI ()
anticancer peptides; cancer; cytotoxicity; Temporin

Although cancer belongs to one of the leading causes of death around the world, fortunately studies have shown that tumor cells have various targets that are susceptible to attack. Interestingly, tumor cells are comprised of cellular membranes, which are altered in chemical composition relative to non-neoplastic cells, giving them an increased net negative charge. These altered membranes are ideal targets for antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) shown to have additional tumoricidal properties and, hence, named anticancer peptides (ACPs). Several hundred ACPs have been explored in vitro and in vivo on various types of cancer. Novel anticancer agents are supposed not to cause serious side effects and the formation of multidrug-resistant tumor cells. During the quest for potent ACPs, promising candidates were isolated from skin secretions of amphibians, such as the granular glands of the Chinese brown frog, Rana chensinensis. ACPs have to be selective to cancer cells and should not induce strong immune responses or be cleared from the body rapidly. Several modifications can improve ACPs either by optimizing the primary structure rationally or randomly or even by introducing other chemical modifications.