A Lesson from Bombinins H, Mildly Cationic Diastereomeric Antimicrobial Peptides from Bombina Skin

Author(s): Maria Luisa Mangoni .

Journal Name: Current Protein & Peptide Science

Volume 14 , Issue 8 , 2013

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Gene-encoded peptide antibiotics represent fascinating molecules for the development of new antimicrobials with a new mode of action: and one of the richest sources is amphibian skin. In particular, the skin of the fire-bellied toad Bombina genus contains mildly cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), named bombinins H, with attractive properties. Indeed, some members of this peptide family coexist in skin secretions as isomers in which a single D-amino acid (alloisoleucine or leucine) is incorporated as a result of a post-translational modification of the respective gene-encoded Lamino acid. Here, a brief overview of the genes coding for these peptides, their spectrum of antimicrobial activities, mechanism of action and interactions with biological or model membranes is reported. Remarkably, a single D-amino acid substitution represents a unique approach developed by Nature not only to modulate the peptide stability in vivo, but also to confer the all-L peptide and its diastereomer distinctive biological features. Overall, such findings should assist in the generation of new peptide-based anti-infective agents, which are urgently needed because of the growing emergence of microbial strains resistant to conventional antimicrobials.

Keywords: Amphibian skin, antimicrobial peptides, bombinins, D-amino acid, innate immunity, membrane-permeabilization.

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Article Details

Year: 2013
Page: [734 - 743]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/138920371408131227171817
Price: $58

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