Collagen, a predominant structural protein in extracellular matrix (ECM), is now considered
to have probable roles in many biological activities and hence, in different forms have found application
as nutraceutical or pharmaceutical therapy option. Many of the biological properties are believed
to be due to small hidden peptide residues in the collagen molecules, which come into play after
the biodegradation or biosorption of the parent molecule. These peptide regions are called cryptic peptides
or by some, as cryptides. The proteolytic hydrolysis of the ECM protein releases the cryptic peptides
with many novel biological activities not exhibited directly by the parental protein which include
angiogenic, antimicrobial, mitogenic and chemotactic properties. The research for understanding the role of these cryptic
peptide regions and making use of them in medical field is very active. Such an understanding could lead to the development
of peptide supplements for many biomedical applications. The prolific research in this area is reviewed in this paper.
Keywords: Collagen peptides, cryptic peptides, ECM peptides, bioactive peptides.
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