Peptidomic analysis of skin secretions demonstrates that the allopatric populations of Xenopus muelleri (Pipidae) are not conspecific

Milena Mechkarska, Eman Ahmed, Laurent Coquet, Jérôme Leprince, Thierry Jouenne, Hubert Vaudry, Jay D. King, J. Michael Conlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Mueller's clawed frog Xenopus muelleri (Peters 1844) occupies two non-contiguous ranges in east and west Africa. The phylogenetic relationship between the two populations is unclear and it has been proposed that the western population represents a separate species. Peptidomic analysis of norepinephrine-stimulated skin secretions from X. muelleri from the eastern range resulted in the identification of five antimicrobial peptides structurally related to the magainins (magainin-M1 and -M2), xenopsin-precursor fragments (XPF-M1) and caerulein-precursor fragments (CPF-M1 and -M2) previously found in skin secretions of other Xenopus species. A cyclic peptide (WCPPMIPLCSRF.NH 2) containing the RFamide motif was also isolated that shows limited structural similarity to the tigerinins, previously identified only in frogs of the Dicroglossidae family. The components identified in skin secretions from X. muelleri from the western range comprised one magainin (magainin-MW1), one XPF peptide (XPF-MW1), two peptides glycine-leucine amide (PGLa-MW1 and -MW2), and three CPF peptides (CPF-MW1, -MW2 and -MW3). Comparison of the primary structures of these peptides suggest that western population of X. muelleri is more closely related to X. borealis than to X. muelleri consistent with its proposed designation as a separate species. The CPF peptides showed potent, broad-spectrum activity against reference strains of bacteria (MIC 3-25 μM), but were hemolytic against human erythrocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1502-1508
Number of pages7
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial
  • Frog skin
  • Magainin
  • PGLa
  • Polyploidy
  • Procaerulein
  • Proxenopsin
  • Tigerinin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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