Like proteins, peptides are the building blocks of cells. Peptides are similar to proteins in shape and function, but they are smaller because they are made up of fewer amino acids than proteins. A peptide microarray can be used in both research and medical fields to help advance human health.
What are the Types of Peptides in Humans?
Peptides are broken down into classes and families based on structure and function within the body. A majority of peptides produced within the body have hormonal activity. When these peptides are released from the cells, they signal to and activate other cells in the bloodstream. The family of peptides includes:
- Heart-related Peptides
- Kidney-related Peptides
- Inflammatory Peptides
- Antimicrobial Peptides
How can Peptide Arrays be Used in Research?
Peptide arrays can be used in the development of new drug therapies. Typically, when drugs are being developed, researchers are looking to see how they bind to proteins within a patient. The binding of the drug molecules to the protein gives the desired therapeutic effect. Researchers use peptide arrays to create drug molecules that can effectively block or improve protein function by properly binding to the protein when other molecules cannot. Epitome binding works in a similar way as it identifies the binding sites of specific antibodies, helping in the creation of new vaccines.
Peptide arrays can also be used as a screening tool for diseases. Certain peptides can be used as biomarkers. A biomarker is a biological molecule that can be found in the blood. It is an indicator that can be measured to evaluate normal processes within the body, exposure to certain drugs and disease processes within the body. When certain peptide biomarkers are recognized, it can be an indicator of an underlining disease process.
Peptides and proteins are natural within the human body, and research has found a way to use these cellular components to help improve medicine.