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Melittin is the principal toxic component of honey bee venom from Apis mellifera, making up 50% of its dry weight. It is a 26 residue long antimicrobial peptide has an α-helical conformation, and associates strongly with membranes. It has demonstrated antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory activities. It has also undergone research as a cancer treatment for its aparent cell growth inhibition and apoptosis promoting activities.

Melittin is water soluble.

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    Leandro, L. F., Mendes, C. A., Casemiro, L. A., Vinholis, A. H., Cunha, W. R., Almeida, R. D., & Martins, C. H. (2015). Antimicrobial activity of apitoxin, melittin and phospholipase A2 of honey bee (Apis mellifera) venom against oral pathogens. Anais Da Academia Brasileira De Ciências, 87(1), 147-155. doi:10.1590/0001-3765201520130511

    Raghuraman, H., & Chattopadhyay, A. (2006). Melittin: A Membrane-active Peptide with Diverse Functions. Bioscience Reports, 27(4-5), 189-223. doi:10.1007/s10540-006-9030-z

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