Anti-cancer peptides (ACPs) are short, linear chains of amino acids that can inhibit the growth of tumour cells. They are usually about 50 AA long and are stabilized by disulfide bonds. They are designed rationally and with high specificity. They are known to inhibit specific oncogenic proteins.
These peptides play a central role in inhibiting the growth of tumours. These compounds have been developed through structural modification of peptides found in biological tissues. By optimizing their structure for clinical use, they can become important tools in the oncological clinic. Further studies will be necessary to understand the mechanism of action of anti-cancer peptides.
Anti-cancer peptides work by disrupting the function of mitochondria in cancer cells. They may also act through a membranous mechanism. Their selectivity is determined by the net negative charge of the cancer membrane, which is more hydrophobic than the membrane of non-cancerous cells. Peptides that act in this manner have been shown to kill breast cancer cells and human mammaryo cells.