Structural diversity and species distribution of host-defense peptides in frog skin secretions

J. Michael Conlon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

149 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cationic peptides that adopt an amphipathic a-helical conformation in a membrane-mimetic environment are synthesized in the skins of many frog species. These peptides often display cytolytic activities against bacteria and fungi consistent with the idea that they play a role in the host's system of defense against pathogenic microorganisms, but their importance in the survival strategy of the animal is not clearly understood. Despite the common misconception that antimicrobial peptides are synthesized in the skins of all anurans, the species distribution is sporadic, suggesting that their production may confer some evolutionary advantage to the organism but is not necessary for survival. The low potency of many frog skin antimicrobial peptides is consistent with the hypothesis that cutaneous symbiotic bacteria may provide the major system of defense against pathogenic microorganisms in the environment with antimicrobial peptides assuming a supplementary role in some species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2303-2315
Number of pages13
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Volume68
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial peptide
  • Archaeobatrachia
  • Frog skin
  • Host defense
  • Neobatrachia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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