This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Use Of Melittin As An Anti Cancer Drug

1615 words - 6 pages

Over the centuries, the venom of animals has had its range of uses, from cosmetics to the treatment of various illnesses. Quite some years ago, there was a mortality study conducted on beekeepers, which showed that there was a slightly lower mortality incidence of cancer in beekeepers than in normal people [1]. This sparked and interest into the venom of honeybees (Apis meliffera) [2] and its effects on cancerous cells. Bee venom is used to treat a variety of conditions. One condition that seems to be most popular in all the research is cancer. Cancer is a condition widely known as the rapid and uncontrolled division of cells. The venom of bees contains a peptide called Melittin (MEL), a major constituent of bee venom [1] that has potential to work as an anti-cancer drug. It is unknown what is the major pathway in which this peptide works; however, scientists are discovering multiple pathways in which the peptide works. The main effects that MEL has on tumor cells are that it: causes cell cycle alterations, effects growth and proliferation and it also induces apoptosis [1]. This essay aims to review and evaluate the different pathways through which MEL targets and kills cancer cells.

Bee venom, like most venom, contains a very complex mixture of peptides. Aside from peptides, bee venom also contains enzymes such as phospholipase A2, lipids, carbohydrates and other biological amines [1]. Studies show that the majority of the bee venom is composed of MEL, phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and other small amino acids [1]. MEL is composed of 26 amino acids (NH2-Gly-Ile-Gly-Ala-Val-Leu-Lys-Val-Leu-Thr-Th-Gly-Leu-Pro-Ala-Leu-Ile-Ser-Trp-Ile-Lys-Arg-Lys-Arg-Gln-Gln-CONH2) [1] [3] forming two alpha helices creating an overall “bent-rod” shape [3]. The molecule is amphipathic and amphoteric with 20 hydrophobic, non-polar and neutral amino acids on the N-terminal, and the remaining 6 amino acids, which are polar and basic are located on the C-terminal [1].


Figure 1: Molecular structure of Melittin [1]

MEL, itself, has direct action on cells. The main way in which MEL kills cells is by forming pores with in the cell membrane, causing a disruption in the cell’s electrochemical potential gradient, causing the cell to lyse. The transient pores are formed due to the aggregation of 3-5 MEL peptides [4], and it is the assembly of the peptides, which form a wedge shape, which actually splits the lipid bilayer [4]. The peptides are adsorbed onto the bilayer surface and because of the high peptide to lipid ratio [4]; the peptides are able to penetrate the surface forming the pore. Formation of the pore is also due to the amphipathic nature of MEL [1]. What is great about this mechanism is the fact that, most cancer cells don’t develop a mechanism by which they are resistant to pore forming agents [1]. Tumor cells have a high membrane potential compared to normal cells [1], and due to the amphipathic structure of MEL, it preferentially likes to bind to cell membranes that...

Find Another Essay On The Use of Melittin As An Anti-cancer Drug

Richard as an Anti-hero Essay

1181 words - 5 pages Richard as an Anti-hero: To what extent does Richard embody this archetype? In William Shakespeare’s play, Richard III, Richard is portrayed as physically deformed and psychologically affected. It is believed that his inner soul is a reflection of his physical deformities. Richard is considered as the protagonist of this play, however this is highly contradictive. A protagonist is the hero of the story who exhibits characteristics of courage

The Impact of Illegal Drug Use

1133 words - 5 pages The future of the world rests upon teenagers who are coincidently using illegal narcotics, which contain harmful psychological and physical side effects. Young adults do not deal with their problems in a healthy way; instead they turn to drugs as an easy outlet. Drug addictions result in negative surroundings, hurting their loved ones and the people who care the most about them. Narcotics can majorly affect the brain and dull the senses

Nanotechnology and Natural Products as Novel Anti-cancer Therapy

3896 words - 16 pages drug innovations. The three natural products I will focus on are derived from plants that have anti-cancer effects are as follows: Currcumin, thymoquinone and genistein. CURCUMIN: Curcumin is a natural chemo preventive agent that has been extensively studied for its antitumor mechanism of action against pancreatic cancer. Diferuloylmethane, known as curcumin is a polyphenol which is an active principle of the perennial herb Curcuma longa

Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986

2101 words - 9 pages actual motives behind this policy are seen as controversial, the statistics above are telling. The PE theory not only explains how policies like these get enacted but also why dramatic changes to the norm are possible. All the factors discussed above show how a powerful minority can frame a key event and gain support quickly. Given what we know now, the PE theory seems to be the best indicator of policy changes enacted in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act

The Newberg Youth Anti-Drug Campaign

1048 words - 5 pages such as Facebook and Twitter. The program gives the teen options to see the classifications of drugs, such as marijuana, methamphetamines, synthetics, and alcohol, and the harm drug use does to teens. Building on the campaign, recognized through the nation, will allow students to correlate what they are learning in school to the resources in social media. An article by Christopher Carpenter, states that eighth grade girls showed a drop in

The Newberg Anti-Drug Youth Campaign

946 words - 4 pages , 2.9% of 11th graders are using marijuana 20-39 times in 30 days, compared to only 1.8% average in the state (Oregon Healthy 54). At this time the Chehalem Valley Middle School, located in Newberg, Oregon has no formal anti-drug awareness program. The school utilizes a two-week program focusing on overall health wellness, eating healthy, and some effects of drug use. The program is usually in the spring. Although other programs failed, Newberg

Summarise the use of ethanol as an alternative fuel source, evaluating the success of current usage and assess its potential use as an alternative fuel

1335 words - 5 pages country economically because the high concentration use of ethanol has replaced expensive oil imports with locally produced fuels.Australia has previously avoided E10 as an alternative fuel. Many people choose to not use ethanol to avoid the possible damage it can do to engines not designed for it. That is; the deterioration of rubber and plastic components in the fuel system. Also redesigning car engines are expensive, however newer cars are E10

An Overview of Cancer

547 words - 2 pages themselves from this incurable disease.According to www.kidshealth.com, cancer is actually a group of many related diseases that all have to do with cells. Cells are the very small units that make up all living things, including the human body. There are billions of cells in each person's body. Robert Buckman, writer of the book title "Cancer, Contemporary Issues, Companion" , he defines cancer as "Normal cells divide and when they become old or

My Understanding of individuals and societies by the use of Literature as an International Baccalaureate Student

1772 words - 8 pages As an International Baccalaureate student studying Theory of Knowledge I have learned about the four ways of knowing which are emotion, reason, perception, and language. The question I have chosen to answer is how my learning of literature and the four ways of knowing has contributed to the understanding of individuals and society? The definition of an individual is simplistic since it a single human being; while society encompasses a large

The Use of Hydrogen as an Energy Source in the Future

1662 words - 7 pages The Use of Hydrogen as an Energy Source in the Future There have been many stories in the newspapers, on TV and on the radio about the state that our planet is in, and most of the time they are not too positive. We hear about pollution, and global warming most frequently, which are both caused mainly by the burning of fossil fuels. Because of this, organizations and governments have started to invest money in researching alternate forms of

The Use of Coal as an Energy Source in the United States

1361 words - 5 pages hydrogen acts as an energy carrier for the gasified coal. Methanation is also a part of the gasification process that distributes coal’s energy to consumers by converting the coal into a clean natural gas, approximately 98% methane gas. Liquefaction is the process where the solid coal is processed into an alternative source of fuel for cars, leading to a more environmentally friendly world. With the use of this method, the United States could lower

Similar Essays

The Anti Drug Abuse Act Of 1986

1311 words - 5 pages The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 [the Act] was enacted for several reasons. One of the provisions of the act was to introduce mandatory minimum sentences for individuals who are convicted of possessing a particular amount of crack cocaine and powder cocaine. Individuals convicted with possession of 5 grams of crack would receive a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison. Individuals convicted with possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine would

The Elevation Of Drug Use Essay

1276 words - 6 pages It’s been nearly 20 years since my high school graduation. Just as time has passed, technology has advanced, and so has the elevation of drug use. As I reflect back in regards to the drug taking behavior I can recall that there was a stereotype of those who were labeled drug users. Several factors contributed to using drugs, but the one factor that was and still prevalent was peer pressure. This is a time in the adolescent’s life when peer

The Use And Abuse Of Anti Biotics

1311 words - 5 pages amount used as human medicine. Drug-resistant infections, some of which are fatal, have been increasing in the U.S. population. Many scientists attribute the problem to the misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals. Although it is not the only source of the problem, the use of antibiotics to promote livestock growth is a major contributor to antibiotic resistance. Plus the fact that as livestock are injected with antibiotics, the meat that we

The Applications Of Meloxicam: A Nonsteroidal Anti Flammatory Drug

1764 words - 8 pages INTRODUCTION Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-flammatory drug (NSAIDs) which are a group of drugs to treat pain and/or inflammation. It is an only prescription drug and is available for individuals who have tenderness, swelling and pain caused by the inflammation of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis. Meloxicam functions by inhibiting the effect of chemicals called cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzymes which are used to make