A novel antimicrobial peptide found in Pelophylax nigromaculatus

Chengyu Lu, Lingling Liu, Chengbang Ma, Liuqing Di, Tianbao Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Downloads (Pure)


Many active peptides have been found in frog skin secretions. In this paper, our research focused on Pelophylax nigromaculatus and found a broad-spectrum antimicrobial peptide Nigrocin-PN based on the molecular cloning technique. Thereafter, the "Rana box" function was briefly studied by two mutated peptides (Nigrocin-M1 and Nigrocin-M2). Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo assays were used to characterize the peptide's biofunctions, and the peptide's function in treating multidrug-resistant pathogens was also studied. Nigrocin-PN not only displayed potent antimicrobial abilities in vitro but also significantly ameliorated pulmonary inflammation induced by Klebsiella pneumoniae in vivo. By comparing, leucine-substituted analogue Nigrocin-M1 only displayed bactericidal abilities towards gram-positive bacteria, while the shorter analogue Nigrocin-M2 lost this function. More strikingly, Nigrocin-PN exhibited synergistic effects with commonly used antibiotics; in vitro evolution experiments revealed that coadministration between Nigrocin-PN and ampicillin could delay Staphylococcus aureus antibiotic resistance acquisition. Kinetics and morphology studies indicate that antibacterial mechanisms involved membrane destruction. Furthermore, toxicities and anticancer abilities of these peptides were also studied; compared to two analogues, Nigrocin-PN showed mild haemolytic activity and indistinctive cytotoxicity towards normal cell lines HMEC-1 and HaCaT. A broad-spectrum antimicrobial peptide Nigrocin-PN was discovered from the skin secretion of Pelophylax nigromaculatus. Structurally, "Rana box" played a crucial role in reducing toxicities without compromising antibacterial abilities, and Nigrocin-PN could be a desired therapeutic candidate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number76
Number of pages13
JournalJournal, genetic engineering & biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2022


  • Antimicrobial peptide
  • Drug resistance
  • Nigrocin


Dive into the research topics of 'A novel antimicrobial peptide found in Pelophylax nigromaculatus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this