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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 671362, 8 pages
Research Article

Feleucins: Novel Bombinin Precursor-Encoded Nonapeptide Amides from the Skin Secretion of Bombina variegata

1Natural Drug Discovery Group, School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK
2Centre for Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s University, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK
3Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Formulae Research, Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing 210046, China

Received 6 February 2014; Revised 30 April 2014; Accepted 5 May 2014; Published 9 June 2014

Academic Editor: Wuyuan Lu

Copyright © 2014 Bing Bai et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The first amphibian skin antimicrobial peptide (AMP) to be identified was named bombinin, reflecting its origin from the skin of the European yellow-bellied toad (Bombina variegata). Bombinins and their related peptides, the bombinin Hs, were subsequently reported from other bombinid toads. Molecular cloning of bombinin-encoding cDNAs from skin found that bombinins and bombinin Hs were coencoded on the same precursor proteins. Here, we report the molecular cloning of two novel cDNAs from a skin secretion-derived cDNA library of B. variegata whose open-reading frames each encode a novel bombinin (GIGGALLNVGKVALKGLAKGLAEHFANamide) and a C-terminally located single copy of a novel nonapeptide (FLGLLGGLLamide or FLGLIGSLLamide). These novel nonapeptides were named feleucin-BV1 and feleucin-BV2, respectively. The novel bombinin exhibited 89% identity to homologues from the toads, B. microdeladigitora and B. maxima. The feleucins exhibited no identity with any amphibian AMP archived in databases. Synthetic feleucins exhibited a weak activity against Staphylococcus aureus (128–256 mg/L) but feleucin-BV1 exhibited a synergistic action with the novel bombinin. The present report clearly demonstrates that the skin secretions of bombinid toads continue to represent a source of peptides of novel structure that could provide templates for the design of therapeutics.