Amphibian skin secretions contain a plethora of bioactive compounds, many of which are understood to act to deter ingestion by predators. Bradykinins in particular are constitutively expressed in many amphibian skin secretions, mediating a variety of effects including hyperalgesia and contraction of gastric smooth muscle. Using a variety of proteomic techniques (high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) separation, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS), and quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (Q-TOF-MS/MS)) the current study identified 13 bradykinin-like peptides in the skin secretions of Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis azurea, including several new C-terminally extended isoforms (VPPGFTPFRLT, VHypPGFTPFRQT) and a novel phyllokinin-like peptide (RPPGFTPFRVY). Identification of the cDNA sequences encoding these peptides led to the deduction that the peptides were derived from differential post-translational processing and modification of five different precursors. Such an event emphasises the metabolic efficiency of peptide production in amphibian venom, with multiple products perhaps selective to different receptors in a variety of predators generated from a single precursor. An unusual modification was also recognised in the present study, with several bradykinin-like peptides featuring hydroxyprolination of the first proline residue rather than the commonly targeted second. This alteration may be mediated by the structural organisation of N-terminal amino acids prior to precursor processing. Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Thompson, A. H., Bjourson, AJ., Shaw, C., & McClean, S. (2006). Bradykinin-related peptides from Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis azurea: mass spectrometric structural characterisation and cloning of precursor cDNAs. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 20(24), 3780-3788. https://doi.org/10.1002/rcm.2791