Insulin-releasing and cytotoxic properties of the frog skin peptide, tigerinin-1R: A structure-activity study

Dinesh Srinivasan, Opeolu O. Ojo, Yasser H.A. Abdel-Wahab, Peter R. Flatt, Laure Guilhaudis, J. Michael Conlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The frog skin host-defense peptide tigerinin-1R (RVCSAIPLPICH.NH 2) is insulinotropic both in vitro and in vivo. This study investigates the effects on insulin release and cytotoxicity of changes in cationicity and hydrophobicity produced by selected substitutions of amino acids by l-arginine, l-lysine and l-tryptophan. The [A5W], [L8W] and [I10W] analogs produced a significant (P < 0.01) increase in the rate of insulin release from BRIN-BD11 rat clonal β cells at concentration of 0.01 nM compared with 0.1 nM for tigerinin-1R. The increase in the rate of insulin release produced by a 3 μM concentration of the [S4R], [H12K], and [I10W] analogs from both BRIN-BD11 cells and mouse islets was significantly greater (P < 0.05) than that produced by tigerinin-1R. No peptide stimulated the release of lactate dehydrogenase at concentrations up to 3 μM indicating that plasma membrane integrity had been preserved. [A5W] tigerinin-1R was the only analog tested that showed cytotoxic activity against human erythrocytes (LC50 = 265 ± 16 μM) and inhibited growth of Escherichia coli (MIC = 500 μM) and Staphylococcus aureus (MIC = 250 μM). The circular dichroism spectra of tigerinin-1R and [A5W] tigerinin-1R indicate that the peptides adopt a mixture of β-sheet, random coil and reverse β-turn conformations in 50% trifluoroethanol/water and methanol/water. Administration of [S4R] tigerinin-1R (75 nmol/kg body weight) to high-fat fed mice with insulin resistance significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced insulin release and improved glucose tolerance over a 60 min period following an intraperitoneal glucose load. The study supports the claim that tigerinin-1R shows potential for development into novel therapeutic agents for treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytotoxicity, Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Frog skin peptide
  • Incretin
  • Tigerinin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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