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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2009 Aug;1788(8):1537-50. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2008.09.006. Epub 2008 Sep 26.

The dermaseptin superfamily: a gene-based combinatorial library of antimicrobial peptides.

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  • 1Equipe peptidome de la Peau des Amphibiens, FRE 2852 Universit√© Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6, Tour 43, 2, Place Jussieu 75252 Paris cedex 05, France.


Skin secretions of hylid frogs show amazing levels of interspecific and intraspecific diversity and are comprised of a cocktail of genetically-related, but markedly diverse antimicrobial peptides that are grouped into a superfamily, termed the dermaseptins, comprising several families: dermaseptins (sensu stricto), phylloseptins, plasticins, dermatoxins, phylloxins, hyposins, caerins, and aureins. Dermaseptin gene superfamily evolution is characterized by repeated gene duplications and focal hypermutations of the mature peptide coding sequence, followed by positive (diversifying) selection. We review here molecular mechanisms leading to these vast combinatorial peptide libraries, and structural and functional properties of antimicrobial peptides of the dermaseptin and plasticin families, as well as those of dermaseptin S9, an amyloidogenic peptide with antimicrobial and chemoattractant activities.

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