of the nastiest smelling creatures on Earth have skin that produces the
greatest known variety of anti-bacterial substances that hold promise
for becoming new weapons in the battle against antibiotic-resistant
infections, scientists are reporting. Their research on amphibians so
smelly (like rotten fish, for instance) that scientists term them
“odorous frogs” appears in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research.
Zhang, Wen-Hui Lee and Xinwang Yang explain that scientists long have
recognized frogs’ skin as a rich potential source of new antibiotics.
Frogs live in warm, wet places where bacteria thrive and have adapted
skin that secretes chemicals, known as peptides, to protect themselves
from infections. Zhang’s group wanted to identify the specific
antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), and the most potent to give scientists
clues for developing new antibiotics.
identified more than 700 of these substances from nine species of
odorous frogs and concluded that the AMPs account for almost one-third
of all AMPs found in the world, the greatest known diversity of these
germ-killing chemicals. Interestingly, some of the AMPs have a dual
action, killing bacteria directly and also activating the immune system
to assist in the battle.
authors acknowledge funding from the National Basic Research Program of
China and The National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Extremely Abundant Antimicrobial Peptides Existed in the Skins of Nine Kinds of Chinese Odorous Frogs
Filed Under: Drug Discovery