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Apitoxin and Its Components against Cancer, Neurodegeneration and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Limitations and Possibilities

Authors
  • Aufschnaiter, Andreas
  • Kohler, Verena1
  • Khalifa, Shaden1
  • Abd El-Wahed, Aida2, 3
  • Du, Ming
  • El-Seedi, Hesham2, 3, 4
  • Büttner, Sabrina1, 5
  • 1 (S.K.)
  • 2 Pharmacognosy Group, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Uppsala University, Biomedical Centre, Box 574, 751 23 Uppsala, Sweden
  • 3 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Menoufia University, 32512 Shebin El-Kom, Egypt
  • 4 International Research Center for Food nutrition and safety, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China
  • 5 Institute of Molecular Biosciences, University of Graz, Humboldtstraße 50, 8010 Graz, Austria
Type
Published Article
Journal
Toxins
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Jan 21, 2020
Volume
12
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/toxins12020066
PMID: 31973181
PMCID: PMC7076873
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Natural products represent important sources for the discovery and design of novel drugs. Bee venom and its isolated components have been intensively studied with respect to their potential to counteract or ameliorate diverse human diseases. Despite extensive research and significant advances in recent years, multifactorial diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and neurodegenerative diseases remain major healthcare issues at present. Although pure bee venom, apitoxin, is mostly described to mediate anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and neuroprotective effects, its primary component melittin may represent an anticancer therapeutic. In this review, we approach the possibilities and limitations of apitoxin and its components in the treatment of these multifactorial diseases. We further discuss the observed unspecific cytotoxicity of melittin that strongly restricts its therapeutic use and review interesting possibilities of a beneficial use by selectively targeting melittin to cancer cells.

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