Peptidomic Analysis of Skin Secretions of the Caribbean Frogs Leptodactylus insularum and Leptodactylus nesiotus (Leptodactylidae) Identifies an Ocellatin with Broad Spectrum Antimicrobial Activity
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Abstract: Ocellatins are peptides produced in the skins of frogs belonging to the genus Leptodactylus that generally display weak antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative bacteria only. Peptidomic analysis of norepinephrine-stimulated skin secretions from Leptodactylus insularum Barbour 1906 and Leptodactylus nesiotus Heyer 1994, collected in the Icacos Peninsula, Trinidad, led to the purification and structural characterization of five ocellatin-related peptides from L. insularum (ocellatin-1I together with its (1–16) fragment, ocellatin-2I and its (1–16) fragment, and ocellatin-3I) and four ocellatins from L. nesiotus (ocellatin-1N, -2N, -3N, and -4N). While ocellatins-1I, -2I, and -1N showed a typically low antimicrobial potency against Gram-negative bacteria, ocellatin-3N (GIFDVLKNLAKGVITSLAS.NH2) was active against an antibiotic-resistant strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae and reference strains of Escherichia coli, K. pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella typhimurium (minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) in the range 31.25–62.5 _M), and was the only peptide active against Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus (MIC = 31.25 _M) and Enterococcus faecium (MIC = 62.5 _M). The therapeutic potential of ocellatin-3N is limited by its moderate hemolytic activity (LC50 = 98 _M) against mouse erythrocytes. The peptide represents a template for the design of long-acting, non-toxic, and broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents for targeting multidrug-resistant pathogens.