Medical Future: Peptides

Research on peptides indicates that these tiny proteins may have answers to many of the health problems of mankind. According to American Science Labs, all proteins are amino acids. Several amino acids are linked together to form the protein. There are many types of proteins. In turn, there are many types of amino acids forming these proteins. Amino acids usually differ from one protein to another. At times, the difference is merely in the sequences in which these amino acids are linked. At other times, the difference is in the ratios of different amino acids forming the protein. Some proteins may exhibit differences in ratios as well as sequences of amino acids. A few of these sequences may also be common in two different proteins. Effectively, there are innumerable permutations and combinations of such amino acids forming the proteins.

Peptide Bond

The links or bonds these amino acids form with the molecules of adjacent amino acids in the protein are strong, but not unbreakable. Each protein, rather each sequence within the protein, therefore, reacts in specific way with other compounds and radicals, organic or inorganic, floating in the vicinity, to fulfill some physiological function. Viruses are therefore, able to react with parts of such amino acids forming the protein. Contemporary medications are usually inorganic chemical compounds that act as blocking agents either on the amino acid in the protein or on amino acid in the nucleic acids of the virus.

Having understood what proteins are made up of, it becomes necessary to remember that proteins do not exist in isolation. All tissues in the body have proteins in them and this includes blood and various components in blood. Proteins also differ from person to person, though majority of proteins in human beings are alike. Because of variations in composition of proteins, reactions to drugs vary from person to person. Therefore, same drug may induce adverse reactions in some individuals, whereas it may prove to be extremely effective treatment in other individuals. Consequently, drug research on cohorts may not expose any adverse reaction, simply because none of the members in the cohort have protein with amino acids linked in a different sequence.

Another problem with contemporary medicines is that most of the drugs are inorganic compounds. Therefore, they are like guests in the body, who need to leave after their designated function is over. If they remain in the body, they can hamper some other reactions or cause other undesirable reactions. Because of such understanding about drugs, researchers are now turning towards peptides for curing ailments. The theory is that peptides can be targeted towards specific molecules of amino acids or other molecules in the body be it carbohydrate or lipids. The reaction of the molecule with the designed peptide can prevent such molecules from reacting in specific way. Alternately, the reaction with the peptide may prompt the molecule to react in desirable way. Since the body recognizes peptides, which incidentally are smaller proteins usually consisting of 2 to 10 linked amino acids, it has a built in mechanism for dismantling the peptide if it is found to be in excess of the required level. Effectively, the body itself removes the peptide when the desired function is over. Therefore, peptides hold the answer to customized health treatments.

The major advantage of peptides is that these tiny protein chains can be engineered, designed, and sent to the specific location of the truant molecule in the body. Like drug administration methods, researchers also need to investigate effective ways to administer peptides. The potential of peptides as medicines is enormous. American Science Labs states that the future peptide based treatments will be more effective because the analysis and design will be done by computers, because of which, there will be little or no scope of human error. Peptide disribution is already made available online as laboratories buy peptides online. Moreover, new technologies will make it easier for computer linked machines to produce customized medications. Effectively, cost of medications will also come down drastically, and there will be fewer instances of adverse side effects from drugs and medications. Researchers are already investigating and using different peptides for treating narcolepsy, glutathione deficiency, and organ rejections. Not many know that antibiotics such as cyclosporin are in fact peptides. Viruses are also being used as vehicles for transporting some of these peptides into the body. Such techniques need fine tuning to prevent mishaps. For now, it is enough to know that possibility of affordable and reliable medication in not so distant future exists thanks to peptides.