NM> Vol.4 No.4, December 2013

A New Generation of Drugs: Synthetic Peptides Based on Natural Regulatory Peptides

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ABSTRACT

Natural regulatory peptides are biologically active compounds that are produced by various cells and provide a link among the main regulatory systems of the body. The field of research into the biologic activity of endogenous regulatory peptides is extremely vast. These peptides affect the cardiovascular, immune, reproductive, endocrine, digestive, and other systems, alter energy metabolism, and are especially effective in the regulation of the central nervous system. Despite of the wide range of preventive and therapeutic effects of natural regulatory peptides and proteins, their application in clinical practice is difficult. This is primarily because of their extreme instability, as they are rapidly degraded by proteases of the gastrointestinal tract, blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and other biologic media. Compounds with higher stability (i.e., a considerably longer half-life compared with that of natural molecules) and the ability to provide a directional effect on the various body systems were obtained from modifications of endogenous regulatory peptides. Synthetic analogs of regulatory peptides, as a rule, contain only natural amino acids in their composition, and their biodegradation does not lead to the formation of toxic products; thus, they have fewer side effects. This review focuses on the consideration of two synthetic regulatory peptides, Semax and Selank, which were the bases for the creation of new drugs that are used effectively in the treatment of various diseases of the nervous system. The synthetic analog of an adrenocorticotropic hormone 4-10 fragment (ACTH4-10) Semax is a powerful neuroprotective agent that is particularly effective as a therapy for stroke. Selank was synthesized on the basis of the natural immunomodulator tuftsin. Selank is a powerful anxiolytic that is used as a therapy for generalized anxiety disorder and neurasthenia without sedative and muscle-relaxant effects. This review presents the results of research aimed at studying the influence of these peptides on the transcriptome of brain cells. The problems of drugs developed based on the clinical activities of Semax and Selank are discussed separately.

Cite this paper

T. Kolomin, M. Shadrina, P. Slominsky, S. Limborska and N. Myasoedov, "A New Generation of Drugs: Synthetic Peptides Based on Natural Regulatory Peptides," Neuroscience & Medicine, Vol. 4 No. 4, 2013, pp. 223-252. doi: 10.4236/nm.2013.44035.

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