Amphibians have developed successful defensive strategies for combating predators and invasive microorganisms encountered in their broad range of environments, which involve secretion of complex cocktails of noxious, toxic and diverse bioactive molecules from the skins. In recent years, amphibian skin secretions have been considered as an extraordinary warehouse for the discovery of therapeutic medicines. In this study, through bioactivity screening of the Hylarana latouchii skin secretion-derived fractions, a novel peptide belonging to ranatensin subfamily (ranatensin-HLa) was discovered, and structurally and pharmacologically-characterised. It consists of 15 amino acid residues, pGlu-NGDRAPQWAVGHFM-NH2, and its synthetic replicate was found to exhibit pharmacological activities on increasing the contraction of the in vitro rat bladder and uterus smooth muscles. Corresponding characteristic sigmoidal dose-response curves with EC50 values of 7.1 nM and 5.5 nM were produced, respectively, in bladder and uterus. Moreover, the precursor of ranatensin-HLa showed a high degree of similarity to those of bombesin-like peptides from Odorrana grahami and Odorrana schmackeri. Hylarana latouchii skin continues to serve as a storehouse with diverse lead compounds for the development of therapeutically effective medicines.
- frog; mass spectrometry; molecular cloning; bombesin-related peptide; smooth muscle