3D model (JSmol)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
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In laboratory experiments, melittin inhibits protein kinase C, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, myosin light chain kinase, and Na+/K+-ATPase (synaptosomal membrane) and is a cell membrane lytic factor. Melittin is a small peptide with no disulfide bridge; the N-terminal part of the molecule is predominantly hydrophobic and the C-terminal part is hydrophilic and strongly basic.
Melittin is under basic research to describe its possible biological properties associated with negatively charged phospholipids, including potential anticancer effects revealed in laboratory research to involve mitochondria-mediated apoptosis. Mellitin inhibits transport pumps such as the Na+-K+-ATPase and the H+-K+-ATPase. In vitro, melittin increases the permeability of cell membranes to ions, particularly Na+ and indirectly Ca2+, because of the Na+-Ca2+-exchange. This effect results in morphological and functional changes, particularly in excitable tissues.
- Melitten - Compound Summary, PubChem.
- Ma R, Mahadevappa R, Kwok HF (2017). "Venom-based peptide therapy: insights into anti-cancer mechanism". Oncotarget. 8: 100908–100930. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.21740.