More and more concerns spike around the extensive use of antibiotics. Due to the rise of antibiotic resistance and at the same time the growth of superbugs, scientists are trying to find alternative methods for cancer.
Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs)
Scientists are focusing recently on antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), as an alternative to antibiotics. As scientists declare in ACS Chemical Biology, they used the antimicrobial and anticancer properties of an AMP from a spider. The U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 2 million people got infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria every year. These bacteria are so strong that the doctors can only hope the patient’s immune system will manage to fight back and recover.
Peptides are found in both animals and plants as a protective measure of their immune system.
The Brazilian spider could be the cure
An AMP of the Brazilian spider Acanthoscurria gomesiana (Gomesin) works as an antibiotic and also has anti-cancer activity. Sonia Troeira and her team of researchers are working to further develop peptide’s traits. If an alternative medicine could be synthesized, this could help both doctors and patients. Many times doctors do not know for how long to describe antibiotics due to the antibiotic resistance of many bacteria and many times they recommend their patients to stop their antibiotic treatment once they feel better.
Sonia Troeira and her team discovered during their research that the variation of the cyclic gomesin peptide is 10 times more effective at killing bacteria than its usual recycled form.
Other experiments have shown that the AMP also is able to kill cancer melanoma and leukemia cells. This was not the case for breast, cervical, gastric and epithelial cancer cells. The researchers concluded that the peptides use the same mechanism to kill both bacteria and cancer cells.