Peptidomic analysis of the host-defense peptides in skin secretions of the Amazon River frog Lithobates palmipes (Ranidae)
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Abstract: Skin secretions of certain frog species represent a source of host-defense peptides (HDPs) with therapeutic potential and their primary structures provide insight into taxonomic and phylogenetic relationships. Peptidomic analysis was used to characterize the HDPs in norepinephrine-stimulated skin secretions from the Amazon River frog Lithobates palmipes (Ranidae) collected in Trinidad. A total of ten peptides were purified and identified on the basis of amino acid similarity as belonging to the ranatuerin-2 family (ranatuerin-2PMa, -2PMb, -2PMc, and2PMd), the brevinin-1 family (brevinin-1PMa, -1PMb, -1PMc and des(8–14)brevinin-1PMa) and the temporin family (temporin-PMa in C-terminally amidated and non-amidated forms). Deletion of the sequence VAAKVLP from brevinin-1PMa (FLPLIAGVAAKVLPKIFCAISKKC) in des[(8–14)brevinin-1PMa resulted in a 10-fold decrease in potency against Staphylococcus aureus (MIC = 31 μM compared with 3 μM) and a > 50-fold decrease in hemolytic activity but potency against Echerichia coli was maintained (MIC = 62.5 μM compared with 50 μM). Temporin-PMa (FLPFLGKLLSGIF.NH2) inhibited growth of S. aureus (MIC = 16 μM) but the non-amidated form of the peptide lacked antimicrobial activity. Cladistic analysis based upon the primary structures of ranaturerin-2 peptides supports the division of New World frogs of the family Ranidae into the genera Lithobates and Rana. A sister-group relationship between L. palmipes and Warszewitsch's frog Lithobates warszewitschii is indicated within a clade that includes the Tarahumara frog Lithobates tarahumarae. The study has provided further evidence that peptidomic analysis of HDPs in frog skin secretions is a valuable approach to elucidation of the evolutionary history of species within a particular genus.