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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2008 Sep 15;477(2):411-6. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 May 28.

Pilosulin 5, a novel histamine-releasing peptide of the Australian ant, Myrmecia pilosula (Jack Jumper Ant).

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Neuroscience Research Institute, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8566, Japan.


Venom of the Australian ant species Myrmecia pilosula contains a number of allergenic peptides including pilosulins. To obtain novel cDNA clones that encode the pilosulin-related bioactive peptides, mRNA of M. pilosula species complex was subjected to RT-PCR in which the forward primer corresponds to a nucleotide sequence in the leader sequences of pilosulins. We isolated a cDNA clone encoding the novel bioactive peptide pilosulin 5. Tandem mass analysis was entirely consistent with the cDNA derived sequence, and indicated that pilosulin 5 is connected by a single disulfide bridge to create a dimmer peptide of 8546Da. Synthetic pilosulin 5 peptide caused a significant histamine release in a dose-dependent manner, and the mastoparan homologous region of pilosulin 5 was responsible for the activity.

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