Host-defense peptides in skin secretions of the tetraploid frog Silurana epitropicalis with potent activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

PMID 22800690


A putative genome duplication event within the Silurana lineage has given rise to the tetraploid Cameroon clawed frog Silurana epitropicalis (Fischberg, Colombelli, and Picard, 1982). Peptidomic analysis of norepinephrine-stimulated skin secretions of S. epitropicalis led to identification of 10 peptides with varying degrees of growth-inhibitory activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Structural characterization identified the peptides as belonging to the magainin family (magainin-SE1), the caerulein-precursor fragment family (CPF-SE1, -SE2 and -SE3), the xenopsin-precursor fragment family (XPF-SE1, SE-2, SE-3 and -SE4), and the peptide glycine-leucine-amide family (PGLa-SE1 and -SE2). In addition, peptide phenylalanine-glutamine-amide (FLGALLGPLMNLLQ·NH(2)) was isolated from the secretions that lacked antimicrobial activity. Comparison of the multiplicity of orthologous peptides in S. epitropicalis and the diploid Silurana tropicalis indicates that extensive nonfunctionalization (deletion or silencing) of antimicrobial peptide genes has occurred after polyploidization in the Silurana lineage, as in the Xenopus lineage. CPF-SE2 (GFLGPLLKLGLKGAAKLLPQLLPSRQQ; MIC=2.5μM) and CPF-SE3 (GFLGSLLKTGLKVGSNLL·NH(2); MIC=5μM) showed potent growth-inhibitory activity against a range of clinical isolates of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Their utility as systemic anti-infective drugs is limited by significant hemolytic activity against human erythrocytes (LC(50)=50μM for CPF-SE2 and 220μM for CPF-SE3) but the peptides may find application as topical agents in treatment of MRSA skin infections and decolonization of MRSA carriers.