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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 735087, 11 pages
Review Article

Plant Antimicrobial Peptides as Potential Anticancer Agents

1Centro Multidisciplinario de Estudios en Biotecnología, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Km 9.5 Carretera Morelia-Zinapécuaro, Posta Veterinaria, 58893 Morelia, MICH, Mexico
2Instituto de Investigaciones Químico Biológicas, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, Edif. B1, Ciudad Universitaria, 58030 Morelia, MICH, Mexico

Received 1 August 2014; Revised 25 September 2014; Accepted 26 September 2014

Academic Editor: Dennis K. Bideshi

Copyright © 2015 Jaquelina Julia Guzmán-Rodríguez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are part of the innate immune defense mechanism of many organisms and are promising candidates to treat infections caused by pathogenic bacteria to animals and humans. AMPs also display anticancer activities because of their ability to inactivate a wide range of cancer cells. Cancer remains a cause of high morbidity and mortality worldwide. Therefore, the development of methods for its control is desirable. Attractive alternatives include plant AMP thionins, defensins, and cyclotides, which have anticancer activities. Here, we provide an overview of plant AMPs anticancer activities, with an emphasis on their mode of action, their selectivity, and their efficacy.