Biologically active peptides are short protein fragments (2-20 amino acids in length) that influence a multitude of bodily functions. These small protein fragments can be used in functional foods, nutraceuticals, and pharmaceuticals to provide various pharmacological effects.
Bioactive peptides can be produced by a variety of methods, including chemical, recombinant, and in vitro expression systems. However, there are some environmental hazards involved in these processes, such as dimethylformamide (DMF) and dichloromethane.
Food proteins, such as wheat germ, soybean, rapeseed, and hemp seeds, are a rich source of bioactive peptides that possess antioxidative properties. Antioxidant peptides bind free radicals, scavenge lipid peroxyls, and inhibit metal-induced cell damage to protect cells from cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Antimicrobial peptides are produced by multicellular organisms to combat pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeasts, and protozoans. They have hydrophobic motifs and are typically amphipathic in nature, which allows them to enter bacterial membranes through transmembrane pores.
They can modify the function of the cellular membrane, including altering apoptosis and cell cycle regulation. They also impede nutrient absorption, change gene expression, and promote angiogenesis.
Biologically active peptides are highly concentrated in animal and plant sources, and their production is an important part of global food production, processing, and nutritional research. The selection of a suitable host is crucial for the successful production of the desired peptide.