Cyclic peptide scaffolds are key components of signal transduction pathways in both prokaryotic
and eukaryotic organisms since they act as chemical messengers that activate or inhibit specific
cognate receptors. In prokaryotic organisms these peptides are utilized in non-essential pathways, such
as quorum sensing, that are responsible for virulence and pathogenicity. In the more evolved eukaryotic
systems, cyclic peptide hormones play a key role in the regulation of the overall function of multicellular
organisms, mainly through the endocrine system. This review will highlight several prokaryote and
eukaryote systems that use cyclic peptides as their primary signals and the potential associated with utilizing
these scaffolds for the discovery of novel therapeutics for a wide range of diseases and illnesses.
Keywords: Cyclic peptides, signal transduction, quorum sensing, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, hormones, autoinducers.
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