Natural, synthetic and analogues of peptides have shown prospects for application in cancer chemotherapy. Notably, some food protein-derived peptides are known to possess anticancer activities in cultured cancer cells, and also in animal cancer models via different mechanisms including induction of apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, cellular membrane disruption, inhibition of intracellular signalling, topoisomerases and proteases, and antiangiogenic activity. Although the mechanism of several anticancer food peptides is yet to be clearly elucidated, there is potential for practical applications of the peptides as functional food and nutraceutical ingredients, especially in adjuvant cancer therapy. This review describes the aetiological mechanisms of cancers and the production, structures, mechanisms of action, availability, and cellular and physiological anticancer activities of the food peptides.
Keywords: Bioactive peptides, anticancer, apoptosis, cancer, functional foods, nutraceuticals.