Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências
Print version ISSN 0001-3765
RODRIGUES, Elaine G.; DOBROFF, Andrey S.; TABORDA, Carlos P. and TRAVASSOS, Luiz R.. Antifungal and antitumor models of bioactive protective peptides. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2009, vol.81, n.3, pp. 503-520. ISSN 0001-3765. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0001-37652009000300015.
Peptides are remarkably reactive molecules produced by a great variety of species and able to display a number of functions in uni-and multicellular organisms as mediators, agonists and regulating substances. Some of them exert cytotoxic effects on cells other than those that produced them, and may have a role in controlling subpopulations and protecting certain species or cell types. Presently, we focus on antifungal and antitumor peptides and discuss a few models in which specific sequences and structures exerted direct inhibitory effects or stimulated a protective immune response. The killer peptide, deduced from an antiidiotypic antibody, with several antimicrobial activities and other Ig-derived peptides with cytotoxic activities including antitumor effects, are models studied in vitro and in vivo. Peptide 10 from gp43 of P. brasiliensis (P10) and the vaccine perspective against paracoccidioidomycosis is another topic illustrating the protective effect in vivo against a pathogenic fungus. The cationic antimicrobial peptides with antitumor activities are mostly reviewed here. Local treatment of murine melanoma by the peptide gomesin is another model studied at the Experimental Oncology Unit of UNIFESP.
Keywords : bioactive peptides; Paracoccidioides brasiliensis; tumor cells; killer peptide; melanoma; apoptosis.