Amphibian venom-derived peptides have high potential in the field of anticancer drug discovery. We have isolated a novel Bowman-Birk proteinase inhibitor (BBI)-type peptide from the skin secretion of Pelophylax esculentus (PE) named PE-BBI, and evaluated its bio-functions and anti-cancer activity in vitro. PE-BBI is a heptadecapeptide with C-terminal amidation. The mRNA sequence and primary structure of PE-BBI were identified using RT-PCR and LC/MS, respectively. A trypsin inhibitory assay was used to characterize the serine proteinase inhibitory activity of synthetic PE-BBI. PE-BBI’s myotropic activity was analyzed using isolated rat bladder and rat-tail artery smooth muscle tissues, and the anti-cancer ability of PE-BBI using human colorectal cancer cells. PE-BBI’s mechanism of action was investigated using Discovery studio software. PE-BBI showed trypsin inhibitory activity (Ki = 310 ± 72 nM), strong myotropic activity, and cytotoxicity that were specific to cancer cells, and no side effect to normal epithelial cells. The docking stimulation showed that PE-BBI had high affinity to several members of human kallikrein related peptidase (KLK) family. This finding helps to enrich our understanding of BBI peptides’ mode of action. Moreover, the data presented here validates frog secretions as sources of potential novel proteinase inhibitors for cancer treatment.
Lyu, P., Ge, L., Ma, R., Wei, R., McCrudden, C., Chen, T., Shaw, C., & Kwok, H. F. (2018). Identification and pharmaceutical evaluation of novel frog skin-derived serine proteinase inhibitor peptide–PE-BBI (Pelophylax esculentus Bowman-Birk inhibitor) for the potential treatment of cancer. Scientific Reports, 8, . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-32947-5