Amphibian skin secretion has great potential for drug discovery and contributes hundreds of bioactive peptides including bradykinin-related peptides (BRPs). More than 50 BRPs have been reported in the last two decades arising from the skin secretion of amphibian species. They belong to the families Ascaphidae (1 species), Bombinatoridae (3 species), Hylidae (9 speices) and Ranidae (25 species). This paper presents the diversity of structural characteristics of BRPs with N-terminal, C-terminal extension and amino acid substitution. The further comparison of cDNA-encoded prepropeptides between the different species and families demonstrated that there are various forms of kininogen precursors to release BRPs and they constitute important evidence in amphibian evolution. The pharmacological activities of isolated BRPs exhibited unclear structure–function relationships, and therefore the scope for drug discovery and development is limited. However, their diversity shows new insights into biotechnological applications and, as a result, comprehensive and systematic studies of the physiological and pharmacological activities of BRPs from amphibian skin secretion are needed in the future.
- amphibian; bradykinin-related peptide; biosynthetic kininogen; bradykinin agonist and antagonist