Amphibian skin secretions have proven to be rich sources of antimicrobial peptides that are proposed to be fundamental components of the innate immune system. As amphibian skin is a multi-functional organ playing, among other things, a crucial role in respiration, it has been deemed that a core biological role for such peptides is control of microbial flora on this surface. To date, however, antimicrobial efficacy has been universally determined by means of establishing minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) using planktonic organisms rather than those within a biofilm such as would occur on this exposed surface. Here we describe the identification and structural characterisation of a novel 19 amino acid residue antimicrobial peptide of the phylloseptin family, named PSN-1, from the skin secretion of the waxy monkey frog, Phyllomedusa sauvagei. PSN-1 displayed broad-spectrum activity against a range of planktonic organisms with a high potency (MIC 5 µM) against Staphylococcus aureus. In a specific bioassay with the same organism grown as a biofilm, the minimal biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC) was found to be of the same high potency (5 µM). The present data would suggest that evaluation of actions and potency of amphibian skin secretion antimicrobial peptides might best be achieved by evaluating MBEC rather than MIC using planktonic organisms and that data arising from such studies may have more biological relevance in reflecting the purpose for which they have evolved through natural selection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology