Bombesin-related peptides are a family of peptides whose prototype was discovered in amphibian skin and which exhibit a wide range of biological activities. Since the initial isolation of bombesin from Bombina bombina skin, diverse forms of bombesin-related peptides have been found in the skins across Anura. In this study, a novel bombesin-related peptide of the ranatensin subfamily, named ranatensin-HL, was structurally-characterised from the skin secretion of the broad-folded frog, Hylarana latouchii, through combination of molecular cloning and mass spectrometric methodologies. It is composed of 13 amino acid residues, pGlu-RAGNQWAIGHFM-NH2, and resembles an N-terminally extended form of Xenopus neuromedin B. Ranatensin-HL and its C-terminal decapeptide (ranatensin-HL-10) were chemically synthesised and subjected to in vitro smooth muscle assays in which they were found to display moderate stimulatory effects on rat urinary bladder and uterus smooth muscles with EC50 values in the range of 1–10 nM. The prepro-ranatensin-HL was highly homological to a bombesin-like peptide from Rana catesbeiana at both nucleotide and amino acid levels, which might provide a clue for the taxonomic classification of ranid frogs in the future.
- amphibian; peptides; mass spectrometry; molecular cloning; bombesin; smooth muscle