Special Issue "Understanding the Potential of Host Defense Peptides in Treating Cancer"

A special issue of Biomolecules (ISSN 2218-273X). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Melanie R. Power Coombs
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Guest Editor
Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, Canada; and Pathology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
Interests: cancer; immunology; host defense peptides; phytochemicals; natural products; microbiology
Dr. David W. Hoskin
Website
Guest Editor
Departments of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, and Surgery, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
Interests: cancer biology; immunology; inflammation; host defense peptides; phytochemicals; iron metabolism; natural products

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. The need is urgent to discover novel treatments for cancer that are curative and not associated with considerable toxicity. Identification of suitable drug targets is a major obstacle in cancer treatment strategies. Host defense peptides (HDPs) are biomolecules typically containing several cationic and hydrophobic amino acids that interact with the cell membrane, resulting in anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and immune modulatory activities. Anti-cancer peptides (ACPs) exhibit increased toxicity toward cancer cells compared to normal cells. The structure of ACPs impacts their mechanism of action, so better understanding ACPs will have clinical relevance.

It is my pleasure to invite you and your teams, as experts from diverse backgrounds (medicine, pathology, immunology, molecular biology, and biochemistry), as well as those working in cancer research, to contribute original research or review articles to this Special Issue. We are especially interested in articles that cover studies on the identification, roles, and molecular mechanisms of action of ACPs, and translational approaches to the use of ACPs of clinical relevance in cancer.

Dr. Melanie R. Power Coombs
Dr. David W. Hoskin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Biomolecules is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • host defense peptides
  • cancer
  • anti-cancer peptides
  • apoptosis
  • cytolysis
  • peptide delivery

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
MDA-MB-231 Breast Cancer Cells Resistant to Pleurocidin-Family Lytic Peptides Are Chemosensitive and Exhibit Reduced Tumor-Forming Capacity
Biomolecules 2020, 10(9), 1220; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10091220 - 22 Aug 2020
Abstract
Direct-acting anticancer (DAA) peptides are cytolytic peptides that show promise as novel anticancer agents. DAA peptides bind to anionic molecules that are abundant on cancer cells relative to normal healthy cells, which results in preferential killing of cancer cells. Due to the mechanism [...] Read more.
Direct-acting anticancer (DAA) peptides are cytolytic peptides that show promise as novel anticancer agents. DAA peptides bind to anionic molecules that are abundant on cancer cells relative to normal healthy cells, which results in preferential killing of cancer cells. Due to the mechanism by which DAA peptides kill cancer cells, it was thought that resistance would be difficult to achieve. Here, we describe the generation and characterization of two MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell-line variants with reduced susceptibility to pleurocidin-family and mastoparan DAA peptides. Peptide resistance correlated with deficiencies in peptide binding to cell-surface structures, suggesting that resistance was due to altered composition of the cell membrane. Peptide-resistant MDA-MB-231 cells were phenotypically distinct yet remained susceptible to chemotherapy. Surprisingly, neither of the peptide-resistant breast cancer cell lines was able to establish tumors in immune-deficient mice. Histological analysis and RNA sequencing suggested that tumorigenicity was impacted by alternations in angiogenesis and extracellular matrix composition in the peptide-resistant MDA-MB-231 variants. Collectively, these data further support the therapeutic potential of DAA peptides as adjunctive treatments for cancer. Full article
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