Peptides are central to the regulation and modulation of the chemical reactions and biological responses that occur in nature. Many physiological processes are affected by the interactions of these peptides, including cell proliferation and migration, inflammation, melanogenesis, angiogenesis and innate immunity. Thus, biologically active peptides offer a great potential medically and therapeutically. Moreover, the ability to generate synthetic peptides with attention to specifically modulating their pharmacokinetics and properties for increased potency, delivery and stability has spurred much interest in this rapidly growing field of research. In this review, we focus on the therapeutic uses of bioactive peptides as antimicrobials and effectors of neurotransmitter release. We also highlight the advantages and challenges associated with this new technology and discuss methods for improving oligopeptide transdermal delivery.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.