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Recently, researchers from the Institute of Advanced Studies in Science and Technology (IASST), Guwahati, revealed that peptides derived from snake venom nerve growth factors can impede the progression of Parkinson's disease.

Why in news?

  • Researchers have developed two novel custom peptides (commercially produced peptides for use in biomedical laboratories) ---TNP and HNP inspired by snake venom neurotrophin that regulate the development, maintenance, and function of vertebrate nervous systems.
  • These peptides show selective binding to the human TrkA receptor of nerve cells and hence can improve the selectivity and specificity of drug molecules toward the receptor, thereby enhancing the therapeutic potency of those drug molecules.

Key facts about Peptides

  • Peptides are naturally occurring short chains of amino acid monomers connected by amide bonds.
  • They include many antibiotics, hormones and other substances that involve in the biological functions of living beings.
  • Peptides are separated from proteins based on size. Proteins are comprised of multiple polypeptides that are placed in a biologically functional way.

Types of Peptides:

  • Milk Peptides: Formed when the digestive system breaks down a milk protein called Casein. They are also formed from proteinases arising from lactobacilli during the fermentation of milk.
  • Peptones: These are produced during the proteolysis of animal milk or meat. Sometimes it also can be formed from vitamins, fats, metals and some salts.
  • Ribosomal Peptides: These are produced by translation (a process in which cellular ribosomes create proteins) of mRNA. To achieve a mature form, they are often subjected to proteolysis.

Applications of Peptides:

  • It is used in many anti-ageing creams. The most commonly used peptides are those that are obtained from ocean plants like sea jasmine, sea fennel and sea beet.
  • It is used in treating the skin that is affected by injury, sun damage or acne lesions.
  • Aspartame  which is a synthesized peptide used as an artificial sweetener with zero calories found in many diet foods is  produced in labs and is 200 times sweeter than sugar.


Q1) What is amino acids?

Amino acids are organic compounds composed mainly of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

Source: Peptides derived from snake venom nerve growth factors can impede the progression of Parkinson's disease