Author(s): Mader JS, Hoskin DW
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Abstract Cancer treatment by conventional chemotherapy is hindered by toxic side effects and the frequent development of multi-drug resistance by cancer cells. Cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAPs) are a promising new class of natural-source drugs that may avoid the shortcomings of conventional chemotherapy because certain CAPs exhibit selective cytotoxicity against a broad spectrum of human cancer cells, including neoplastic cells that have acquired a multi-drug-resistant phenotype. Tumour cell killing by CAPs is usually by a cell membrane-lytic effect, although some CAPs can trigger apoptosis in cancer cells via mitochondrial membrane disruption. Furthermore, certain CAPs are potent inhibitors of blood vessel development (angiogenesis) that is associated with tumour progression. This article reviews the mechanisms by which CAPs exert anticancer activity and discusses the potential application of selected CAPs as therapeutic agents for the treatment of human cancers.
This article was published in Expert Opin Investig Drugs
and referenced in Biological Systems: Open Access