The membrane-active antimicrobial peptide from frog skin and scorpion venom
: From mechanistic insight to design

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis examines a range of bioactive peptides from the frog skin secretions and scorpion venoms. In chapter 3, studies focused on a novel brevinin-1 type peptide, brevinin-1GHd, found in frog Hylarana guentheri, skin secretion. Functional screening revealed that brevinin-1GHd exhibited potent antimicrobial, antibiofilm, and anticancer efficacy without inducing obvious haemolysis and cytotoxicity at working concentrations, which made it promising to be further developed as an alternative novel antibiotic agent or used as a template to design some derivatives with improved functions. In chapter 4, a novel phylloxin type peptide, PL-PB1, was identified from the skin secretion of the frog, Phyllomedusa baltea. Besides studying its potential applications, seven derivatives were designed and subjected to a set of experiments to study the structure-activity relationship. In chapter 5, a novel non-disulphide-bridge peptide (NDBP), AaHAP1, was characterised from scorpion Androctonus australis Hector venom. To improve its therapeutic potential, five analogues were designed based on previous modification experience to acquire improved functions. The identification and modification of these naturally-occurring antimicrobial peptide could provide valuable experience for subsequent peptides design. The modified peptides such as 3W, KK and RV5, with obviously improved bioactivity are promising to be further developed as excellent candidates to fight with the fast- growing drug resistance strains.
Date of AwardJul 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorLei Wang (Supervisor), Xiaoling Chen (Supervisor), Tianbao Chen (Supervisor) & Mei Zhou (Supervisor)


  • AMPs
  • peptides
  • frog
  • scorpion
  • "shotgun" cloning
  • modification
  • antimicrobial activity
  • membrane

Cite this