Peptide Synthesis – Introduction and Applications

Peptide synthesis can simply be described as the process of the formation of peptide bonds between two or more amino acids. While this definition is not definitive in any way, it alludes to the fact that the formation of peptide will include the combination of more than two amino acids and sometimes the chains can be as long as 50 amino acids in one peptide.

The discovery that amino acids can come together to form such long bonds was made over one hundred years ago, though the practical application of peptide synthesis has been around for the last sixty years. This is a subtle demonstration of how difficult it is to scientifically synthesize chains of amino acids, but despite the difficulties, great progress has been made such that the process of peptide synthesis has now become a common occurrence in a number of establishments.

One of the benefits of peptide synthesis today is the ability for man to create peptides that are normally found in nature and this has led to great customization of peptides, thus increasing the scope of their applications for various biological processes as well as in medical research.

Since peptide synthesis was invented, different application areas have been discovered and these include the development of epitope-specific antibodies used to fight the effects of pathogenic proteins. Through peptide synthesis, it has also been possible to have detailed studies regarding the functions of proteins as well as the identification and characterization of proteins.

Additionally, the synthetic peptides obtained from peptide synthesis have been immensely useful in the study of enzyme-substrate interactions in living organisms, and this is vital in studies involving enzymes such as protease and kinases, which are very instrumental in cell signaling. These and many other applications wouldn’t have been possible were it not for the advancement in medical technology as well as the great strides made in peptide synthesis.