Antimicrobial peptides from the skin secretion of the Wuyi Mountain torrent frog, Amolops wuyiensis: An inhabitant of a pristine aquatic environment

Y. Cui, Mei Zhou, Lei Wang, Tianbao Chen, Christopher Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The antimicrobial peptides of amphibian skin secretions are proposed to aid survival in microbe-rich environments. While many amphibians inhabit such environments, other such as the Wuyi Mountain torrent frog, Amolops wuyiensis, live in pristine waters flowing from underground mountain springs. This species thus represents an interesting model in which to study antimicrobial peptides. “Shotgun” cloning of a skin-derived cDNA library from this species identified transcripts encoding a brevinin-1 and a ranatuerin-2. Peptides with coincident molecular masses to both predicted mature peptides were identified in HPLC fractions of skin secretion. Synthetic replicates of both peptides were generated by solid-phase peptide synthesis and tested for activity using Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. The brevinin was found to be broad-spectrum and potent with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 24 µM (Sa), 5 µM (Ec) and 20 µM (Ca). In contrast, the ranatuerin was less effective and of narrower spectrum with an MIC > 200 µM for Sa, 40 µM (Ec) and 120 µM (Ca). Thus this species of amphibian that lives in a pristine environment does indeed possess at least one potent and broad-spectrum antimicrobial peptide in its skin secretion arsenal. This phenomenon could be explained in several ways. Firstly, it may represent an ancestral peptide required when the stem species inhabited microbe-rich environments. However, there is mounting evidence for the second reason, that suggests the function of such peptides is not primarily in antimicrobial defence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-49
Number of pages1
JournalRegulatory Peptides
Volume164
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

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