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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003 Mar 21;1646(1-2):207-15.

Hipposin, a histone-derived antimicrobial peptide in Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus L.).

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Oslo, Norway.


A novel 51-residue antimicrobial peptide (AMP) from the skin mucus of Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus L.) was isolated using acid extraction, and cationic exchange and reversed phase chromatography. The complete amino acid sequence of the AMP, termed hipposin, was determined by automated Edman degradation and mass spectrometry to be SGRGKTGGKARAKAKTRSSRAGLQFPVGRVHRLLRKGNYAHRVGAGAPVYL. The N-terminal amino group was acetylated. The theoretical mass of hipposin was calculated to be 5458.4 Da, which was in good agreement with the mass of 5459 Da determined by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). Hipposin was shown to be derived from histone H2A by PCR amplifying the encoding sequences from Atlantic halibut genomic DNA. The peptide showed sequence similarity with the 39-mer AMP buforin I of Asian toad and the 19-mer AMP parasin I of catfish. Fifty of the fifty-one residues in hipposin were identical to the N-terminal region of histone H2A from rainbow trout. Hipposin showed strong antimicrobial activity against several Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and activity could be detected down to hipposin concentrations of 0.3 microM (1.6 microg/ml). Hipposin without N-terminal acetylation was prepared by solid-phase peptide synthesis and shown to have the same antimicrobial activity as the natural acetylated peptide. Thus, hipposin is a new broad-spectrum histone-derived AMP found in the skin mucus of Atlantic halibut.

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