Skin secretions from frogs belonging to the genera Xenopus, Silurana, Hymenochirus, and Pseudhymenochirus in the family Pipidae are a rich source of host-defense peptides with varying degrees of antimicrobial activities and cytotoxicities to mammalian cells. Magainin, peptide glycine-leucine-amide (PGLa), caerulein-precursor fragment (CPF), and xenopsin-precursor fragment (XPF) peptides have been isolated from norepinephrine-stimulated skin secretions from several species of Xenopus and Silurana. Hymenochirins and pseudhymenochirins have been isolated from Hymenochirus boettgeri and Pseudhymenochirus merlini. A major obstacle to the development of these peptides as anti-infective agents is their hemolytic activities against human erythrocytes. Analogs of the magainins, CPF peptides and hymenochirin-1B with increased antimicrobial potencies and low cytotoxicities have been developed that are active (MIC < 5 μM) against multidrug-resistant clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Despite this, the therapeutic potential of frog skin peptides as anti-infective agents has not been realized so that alternative clinical applications as anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-diabetic, or immunomodulatory drugs are being explored.
- Caerulein-precursor fragment
- Frog skin