Proteins are molecules composed of linear chains of amino acids. The word protein comes from the French word “protéine” and this from the Greek “πρωτεῖος (proteios)”, meaning: “prominent, premium”. Proteins fold into three-dimensional structures, which performs thousands of functions.
Peptides (from the Greek “πεπτός”, peptós digested) are a class of molecules formed by the union of several amino acids through peptide bonds.
Peptides, as well as proteins, are present in nature and are responsible for a large number of functions. The union of a small number of amino acids results in a peptide, and when there is a union of more than 100 amino acids it results in a protein.
• Peptide: between 10 and 100 amino acids.
• Protein: more than 100 amino acids.
Growth Factors, Neurotrophic factors, and Fibroblast Growth Factors are naturally occurring, regulatory molecules.
Growth factors are proteins that bind to receptors on the cell surface with the primary result of activating cellular proliferation and / or differentiation. Many growth factors are quite versatile , stimulating cellular division in numerous different cell types , while others are specific to a particular cell type.
Fibroblast Growth Factors
Members of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family play important roles in defining and regulating the development and function of endocrine tissues as well as modulating various metabolic processes. FGFs modulate cellular activity via five distinct high-affinity FGF receptors.
Recently, there has been increasing evidence that alterations in the brain’s neurotrophic support, specifically the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and signaling, might contribute to neurodegeneration, leading to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The BDNF is a member of the neurotrophin family of proteins that is not only important for the normal development of the peripheral and central nervous system, but also plays a key role in neuronal survival and synaptic plasticity in the adult brain. Altered functionality of BDNF has been observed in different neurodegenerative diseases.
Neurological disorders can stem from an over abundance or deficiency of neurotrophic factors. The specific neurotrophic factors RCT is using have the ability to regulate the neurons and support normal brain function, regenerate and create new neurons and neurotransmitters and improve synaptogenesis. Synaptogenesis is the formation of synapses between neurons in the nervous system.
Polyphenols are a group of chemicals found in plants. They are characterized by the presence of more than one phenol group per molecule (ring shaped chemical closed structure). They are mostly found in red wine, green tea, coffee and chocolate. Some of its main functions are reducing the risk of chronic and degenerative diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, because they inhibit the oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL). Additionally they are potential agents that reduce the risk of cataract formation in diabetic patients.
Polyphenols are the most important antioxidant phytochemicals found in vegetables and fruits due to bio-physicochemical properties. They are potentially beneficial to health because they are molecules with antimutagenic, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-tumor activity. Some reports indicate that they also inhibit HIV. Polyphenols are currently studied for their diverse pharmacological actions on the treatment of various diseases (phytochemical therapies) and are currently considered as “life extenders”.
Flavonoids are in the family of polyphenols and are characterized chemically by two benzene rings joined by a linear carbon chain. Flavonoids are commonly defined as dietary antioxidants for inflammation, however many of the biological effects of flavonoids appear to be related to their ability to modulate cell-signaling pathways. Evidence from studies indicates that regular consumption of foods containing flavonoids may reduce the risk several chronic conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases, atherosclerosis, and certain forms of cancer. The considerable results prompted further research into flavonoids’ ability to affect chronic disease by regulating numerous cell processes through signal transduction pathways.
Effective signal transduction requires proteins known as kinases, as mentioned earlier, which catalyze the phosphorylation of target proteins at specific sites. Flavonoids can selectively inhibit kinases that initiate cell-signaling cascades by binding to specific receptors in cell membranes, helping to regulate cell proliferation, inflammation, invasion, metastasis, and activation of apoptosis.
Flavonoids are an addition to the protocol when RCT treats patients with autoimmune disorders, such as Diabetes and Rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other conditions where inflammation is an issue.
In the last decades, the indiscriminate use of conventional antibiotics has generated high rates of microbial resistance. This situation has increased the need for obtaining new antimicrobial compounds against infectious diseases. Among these, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have proven to be effective against various pathogenic microbes. Additionally, AMPs are usually produced by a non-specific innate immune response and play a critical role by directly combating susceptible pathogens and by recruiting and activating leukocytes at sites of infection.
These antimicrobial peptides are involved in the inhibition of cell growth and in the killing of several microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, enveloped viruses, protozoans and other parasites. These therapeutic agents can be isolated from different organisms, being widespread in nature and synthesized by microorganisms, plants and animals (both invertebrates and vertebrates). They have many properties similar to antibiotics, such as relatively small sizes (below 25-30 kDa), amphipathic structures, cationic nature, and offer low probability for the generation of microbial resistance.
In recent years, many novel AMPs, with very promising therapeutic properties, have been discovered. These peptides have been the base for the production of chemical analogs, which have been designed, chemically synthesized and tested in vitro for their antimicrobial activity.