Proteins are considered supremely important for the organization, survival, and functioning of living organisms. They were considered stable and static molecules until the early 1940s, when RudolphSchoenheimer demonstrated that proteins exist in a constant dynamic process of synthesis and degradation (proteostasis), absolutely essential for life. Since then, general and limited protein degradation became some of the most fascinating aspects of biological sciences. This book is focused on a particular aspect of protein degradation, namely, limited proteolysis, which gives rise to bioactive peptides as a result of the enzymatic action of proteinases and peptidases, which are enzymes that hydrolyze specific peptide bonds of proteins and peptides, respectively. In a broad sense, bioactive peptides are any fragment of endogenous or exogenous proteins able to elicit either physiological or pathological activities. Here, we aim at presenting to the readers that bioactive peptides are not merely produced through random processes during protein degradation, but rather through a well-organized enzymatic process that is deeply integrated in the homeostatic processes of living organisms.
Table of Contents
Overview and Historical Background
Bioactive Peptides Produced by Extracellular Proteolysis
Bioactive Peptides Generated by Intracellular Proteolysis
About the Author(s)Antonio C. M. Camargo
, Laboratory of Applied Toxinology, Butantan Institute, S
Antonio C. M. Camargo received his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1964 and 1969, respectively, having been a graduate student of Mauricio Rocha e Silva, the discoverer of bradykinin. Camargo was a postdoctoral fellow at the Brookhaven National Laboratories, NY (1970-1972), and a visiting researcher at the MRC, Neuropharmacology Unit, New Addenbrooks, Cambridge, UK (1982-1984), Wellcome Foundation Fellowship); at the CNRS at Gif-sur-Yvette, France (1985-1989, INSERM Fellowship); at the University of Kobe-Gakuin, Japan (1990, JICA Fellowship). His academic career was at the University of Sao Paulo (1965â€“-1995). He was the Scientific Director of the Butantan Institute (1997) and founder and director of the Center for Applied Toxinology at the Butantan Institute, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2000-2009). He discovered the first oligopeptidases of the CNS (1979), coining this designation. He has published more than 160 papers on oligopeptidases and bioactive peptides. Beatriz L. Fernandes
, Biotechnology Program, Biomedical Science Institute, University of S
Beatriz Lieblich Fernandes received a Biology diploma from the University of Freiburg, Germany, and a PhD in Genetics from Cornell University (1988). She was a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Sao Paulo (1989-2006) and the Coordinator of Institutional Relations and of Intellectual Property Affairs of the Center for Applied Toxinology at the Butantan Institute, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2002-2009). Lilian Cruz
, Department of Cell Biology and Development, Biomedical Science Institute, University of S
Lilian Cruz received an undergraduate degree in Biomedicine from the Federal University of Uberlandia, MG, Brazil, in 2011. During this period, she received several young investigator awards for her work on the mechanism of invasion and intracellular traffic of Trypanosoma cruzi. In 2011, she entered the Cell Biology program of the University of Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil, working on the metabolism and function of intracellular peptides.