Cyanobacteria of the genus Nostoc
are widespread in all kinds of habitats. They occur in a free-living state or in association with other organisms. Members of this genus belong to prolific producers of bioactive metabolites, some of which have been recognized as potential therapeutic agents. Of these, peptides and peptide-like structures show the most promising properties and are of a particular interest for both research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies. Nostoc
is a sole source of some lead compounds such as cytotoxic cryptophycins, antiviral cyanovirin-N, or the antitoxic nostocyclopeptides. Nostoc
also produces the same bioactive peptides as other cyanobacterial genera, but they frequently have some unique modifications in the structure. This includes hepatotoxic microcystins and potent proteases inhibitors such as cyanopeptolins, anabaenopeptins, and microginins. In this review, we described the most studied peptides produced by Nostoc
, focusing especially on the structure, the activity, and a potential application of the compounds.
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