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Peptides. 2002 Mar;23(3):427-35.

Antimicrobial peptides from skin secretions of Chinese red belly toad Bombina maxima.

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Department of Animal Toxinology, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650223, People's Republic of, Yunnan, China.


Two groups of antimicrobial peptides have been isolated from skin secretions of Bombina maxima. Peptides in the first group, named maximins 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, are structurally related to bombinin-like peptides (BLPs). Unlike BLPs, sequence variations in maximins occurred all through the molecules. In addition to the potent antimicrobial activity, cytotoxicity against tumor cells and spermicidal action of maximins, maximin 3 possessed a significant anti-HIV activity. Maximins 1 and 3 were toxic to mice with LD(50) values of 8.2 and 4.3 mg/kg, respectively. Peptides in the second group, termed maximins H1, H2, H3 and H4, are homologous with bombinin H peptides. cDNA sequences revealed that one maximin peptide plus one maximin H peptide derived from a common larger protein.

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