Tobacco peptides may be useful in medicine

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An unusual study today was presented by biologists from the University of La Trobe, dedicated to some of the special properties and capabilities of the nicotine plant of the Nicotiana alata family – in particular, the focus of the study mainly focused on the fight against so-called superbacteria. Superbacteria are a class of bacterial organisms that most often has a high degree of resistance to antibiotics and other types of medications, which significantly complicates the treatment of various diseases that they start or fight the superbacteria themselves. However, the tobacco of this family does an excellent job of this!

Experts have found that certain peptides inherent in this nicotine plant family, called NaD1, have excellent properties to effectively fight infection of super bacteria. This is done quite simply, but despite the simplicity of the chemical process of killing cells, the consequences and internal processes have some very complex mechanisms.

These peptides actually destroy the outer layer of the superbacterial cell, which causes their irreversible cell death, accelerated by the chemical properties of the plant itself. The first tests were for a fungal infection called Candida albicans and showed excellent results even with a small amount of peptides. An article with the results of researchers has already been published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Nature.

It is worth noting that similar experimental sessions were also used previously for many other plant species, in particular nicotinic ones – some preliminary tests also previously demonstrated that they can be used as the basis for new, more effective anti-cancer therapies. However, with regard to the Nicotiana alata family specifically, specialists have yet to conduct many experiments and tests in order to identify various side features.

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