Peptides Bond Structure

Peptides are short polymers of amino acids linked by peptide (amide) bond.

The Peptide bond

  • Formed by reaction of the carboxyl group of one amino acid with the amine group of another amino acid.
  • 1 molecule of water is released as a result

This leads to creation of multiple flat areas (not all in the same plane) in the peptides molecule, hence the structure becomes stable.

Peptide Structure can be classified into 4 levels:-

  • Primary Structure
  • Secondary Structure
  • Tertiary Structure
  • Quaternary Structure

Primary Structure

Amino acids are bonded from N-terminus to C-terminus in the primary sequence

Secondary Structure

Intramolecular Hydrogen bonds leads to 3 different motifs:

  • α-Helix
  • It is spiral down clockwise
  • Hydrogen Bonds are formed between the carboxyl oxygen and the amine hydrogen.
  • Side chains point away from the coil
  • β-Sheet
  • Hydrogen may or may not be parallel
  • Side chains stick out above and below
  • More rigid but less elastic than α-Helix


  • Coil

Complicated structure but not random

Ternary Structure

  • The 3D positions of atoms in space is determined by side chain and its interaction with the environment.


  • Hydrophilic side chain: It points outside in polar environment and points inside in non-polar
  • Hydrophobic side chain: It points inside in polar environment and points outside in non-polar


  • Disulphide bonds present also affect the 3D structure

Quaternary Structure

It is an assortment of subunits by non-covalent molecular bonds like Hydrogen bonds

Pharmaceutical industry is among the top most industries in the world today which works with over billions of dollars. There are various companies that aids to helping by researching and manufacturing the best medications for better and affordable rates across the world. Peptides production is also manufactured by companies across the world for betterment of the world population.



Industrial peptide synthesis

Even though the structure of peptides was discovered a century ago, it wasn’t until Du Vigneaud’s synthesis of oxytocin some 50 years later that the peptide field was truly propelled and pharmaceutical usage of peptides began

Since then, this field has taken some giant leaps, and production of peptides of any size and complexity is now possible. Perhaps the most significant of all techniques was Merrifield’s publication of the solid-phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) method, which entirely revolutionized the peptide production, not only from the viewpoint of research but also because of its present widespread use for the manufacture of peptides which are used as active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Three basic strategies adopted in preparation of peptides are:-


  • Solution-Phase Methods
  • Solid-Phase Methods
  • Hybrid Approaches

Solution-Phase Methods

Most of the peptide pharmaceuticals presently are manufactured using solution-phase methodology. While the method can be useful for the production of longer peptides and even some small proteins, but the technique is mostly used to produce small or medium-length peptides. Products include angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, Aspartame, the dipeptides sweetener, oxytocin, HIV protease inhibitors and LH-RH analogues.


Solid-Phase Methods

This technique is highly useful because it could be automated, leading to rapid production of quite complex sequences. Initially as the technique was proposed there were some doubts regarding to purification methods however, since increasingly powerful analytical methods and purification techniques have become available, the technique has been increasingly used for manufacturing a number of commercial products, such as LH-RH and, Somatostatin and salmon calcitonin

Hybrid Approaches

While both the solution-phase and solid-phase approaches have proven to be effective for the production of a relatively extensive variety of products, both strategies have their own limitations. With the introduction of newer resins. This has unlocked the possibility of a “hybrid” approach, in which the manufacture of complex sequences is approached through the solid-phase synthesis of large fragments, that are then assembled.



Commercial applications of peptides

Peptides are naturally synthesized assemblies constructed from amino acids into chains

The body generates peptides to perform various biological functions such as curing, fight infection and inflammation and reconstruct tissues. Because of the many possible structural combinations of the constituent amino acids, peptides are extensively used in medicine and cosmetic industry

  • Anti-Aging Creams

Products marketed as anti-aging creams encompass a variation of peptides. A protein known as Collagen, gives skin its elasticity. Although the skin contains plenty of collagen but the production diminutions with age.  They produce more collagen hence more elasticity and fewer wrinkles. These are the best anti aging creams that are helping millions of people to fight aging and to remain younger  for longer years with these creams.

  • Imaging

Body scans work by sending dyes through the bloodstream when they interact with certain tissues they produce fluorescence. Peptides, are drawn to acidic and hypoxic tissues, which characterize tumor and inflammation sites. Specific peptides in the fluorescing material, produce magnitudes five times superior than in control experiments lacking peptides. Thus, peptide synthesis incorporated dyes provide physicians a new weapon for the detection of cancer even at early stages.

  • Aspartame

The 0-calorie sweetener found in many beverages is a manufactured peptide. Aspartame is formed when aspartic acid and phenylalanine are fused together, forming a dipeptide bond that is 200 times sweeter than sugar.

  • Anti-Microbial Treatments

Body produces antibodies to fight the ambient microbes corresponding to sun damage, injury or acne lesions on the skin. Lesions provide an opening for such an invasion. The body recognizes the lesions and overflows the area with white blood cells and antimicrobial peptides. So, topical application of externally produced specific peptides are efficient as fast-acting antibiotics, even against drug-resistant bacteria, because they actually damage the cell wall of the invading pathogen.


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Application of peptides in Skin Care

In present scenario people who are looking for the best skin-care products and cosmetic manufacturers have peptides as an ingredient at the top of their list

The skin comprises of natural peptides, that contribute to the structural strength of the skin and keep it elastic. But peptides used in skin care which are lab-created work in exactly opposite way i.e. inside out. The strands of amino acids infiltrate the skin to address common skin-care problems, including wrinkles and loosening of skin.  The effectiveness of peptides in skin care product quite remarkable and hence they tend to be really expensive.

Types of peptides used in skin care products:

  • Pentapeptides

PalmitoylPentapeptide, also named as Matrixyl, and MyristoylPentapeptidearespecific pentapeptides found in skin care products. Collagen and hyaluronic acid are the two natural components of skin that helps to support the skin structure and helps to keep the elasticity of the skin intact loss of which results in wrinkles and sagging skin, the pentapeptide works by stimulating these two natural compounds in skin.

  • Copper Peptides

Copper peptides catch up with molecules of copper to carry out their function. The amalgamation of peptide molecule and copper molecules make their way into the deeper layers of the skin. Once they reach inside the epidermal layer of the skin they start stimulating collagen growth and promote skin healing. Since the size of the copper peptide is really small, they are able to penetrate several skin layers inducing extremely high effects, which is why the demand for copper peptide in skin care industry has been on the rise

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  • Neuropeptides

Neuropeptides perform by successful stimulation of neurotransmitters in the skin, due to which nerve cells in the skin stop interaction and relax. When the skin cells stop communicating it results in smoother and wrinkle free skin.