Prokineticins are small (8 kDa), biologically active secretory proteins whose primary structures have been highly conserved throughout the Animal Kingdom. Representatives have been identified in the defensive skin secretions of several amphibians reflecting the immense structural/functional diversity of polypeptides in such. Here we describe the identification of a prokineticin homolog (designated Bo8) from the skin secretion of the Oriental fire-bellied toad (Bombina orientalis). Full primary structural characterization was achieved using a combination of direct Edman microsequencing, mass spectrometry and cloning of encoding skin cDNA. The latter approach employed a recently described technique that we developed for the cloning of secretory peptide cDNAs from lyophilized skin secretion, and this was further extended to employ lyophilized skin as the starting material for cDNA library construction. The Bo8 precursor was found to consist of an open-reading frame of 96 amino acid residues consisting of a putative 19-residue signal peptide followed by a single 77-residue prokineticin (Mr = 7990 Da). Amino acid substitutions in skin prokineticins from the skin secretions of bombinid toads are confined to discrete sites affording the necessary information for structure/activity studies and analog design.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience