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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Novel peptide fragments originating from PGLa and the caerulein and xenopsin precursors from Xenopus laevis.

Skin secretions from the South African frog Xenopus laevis have been chromatographed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), fractionated, and analyzed by fast atom bombardment-mass spectrometry (FAB-MS). The HPLC chromatograms showed the secretion to be a complex mixture with over 30 components at similar levels to the four peptides previously isolated from X. laevis skin, i.e. xenopsin, caerulein, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, and PGLa. FAB-MS analysis of the HPLC fractions gave numerous protonated molecular ions ranging from m/z 491 to 2662. Preliminary assignments of these components were made by comparing these experimental molecular weights to those predicted for regions within the xenopsin, caerulein, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, and PGLa precursors. These results suggested that many of these skin secretions were peptides originating from additional processing of the xenopsin, caerulein, and PGLa precursors, primarily involving cleavage at single arginine residues, and a novel cleavage at the NH2-terminal side of single lysines. These assignments were subsequently confirmed by Edman degradation, FAB-MS peptide sequencing, and amino acid analysis. All of these peptides contain one or more lysines and would be expected to have amphiphilic structures. As yet, nothing is known about their activity, although they resemble in composition the mast cell degranulating peptides melittin and the bombolitins. These precursor fragments were also found to have limited sequence homology to bombinin, a hemolytic amphibian peptide isolated from the European Bombina toad.[1]


  1. Novel peptide fragments originating from PGLa and the caerulein and xenopsin precursors from Xenopus laevis. Gibson, B.W., Poulter, L., Williams, D.H., Maggio, J.E. J. Biol. Chem. (1986) [Pubmed]
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