Islet hormones from the African bullfrog Pyxicephalus adspersus (Anura:Ranidae): Structural characterization and phylogenetic implications

J. Michael Conlon, Amber M. White, James E. Platz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The African bullfrog Pyxicephalus adspersus is generally classified along with frogs of the genus Rana in the subfamily Raninae of the family Ranidae but precise phylogenetic relationships between species are unclear. Pancreatic polypeptide (PP), insulin, and glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) were isolated from an extract of P. adspersus pancreas and characterized structurally. A comparison of the amino acid sequence of Pyxicephalus PP (APSEPQ-HPGG10QATPEQLAQY20YSDLYQYITF30ITRPRF · NH2) with those of the known amphibian PP molecules in a maximum parsimony analysis generates a single phylogenetic tree in which Pyxicephalus is the sister to the clade comprising the members of the genus Rana. The three orders of living amphibians form discrete clades with the representative of the Gymnophiona appearing as sister to the Caudata-Anura. In contrast, Pyxicephalus insulin (A chain, GIVEQCCHSA10CSLYDLENYC20N; B-chain, LANQHLCGSH10-LVEALYMVCG20ERGFFYYPKS30) and and GLP-1 (HAEG-TFTSDM10TSYLEEKAAK20EFVDWLIKGR30PK) resemble more closely the corresponding peptides from the cane toad Bufo marinus than the peptides from any species of Rana. Cladistic analysis based upon the amino acid sequences of insulin produced a polyphyletic assemblage with the Gymnophiona nesting within an unresolved clade containing the non-ranid frogs. The data support the assertion that the amino acid sequence of PP, but not those of the other islet hormones, is of value as a molecular marker for inferring phylogenetic relationships between early tetrapod species. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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