Variations in the expressed antimicrobial peptide repertoire of northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) populations suggest intraspecies differences in resistance to pathogens.
ABSTRACT: The northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens or Lithobates pipiens) is historically found in most of the provinces of Canada and the northern and southwest states of the United States. In the last 50 years, populations have suffered significant losses, especially in the western regions of the species range. Using a peptidomics approach, we show that the pattern of expressed antimicrobial skin peptides of frogs from three geographically separated populations are distinct, and we report the presence of four peptides (brevinin-1Pg, brevinin-1Pl, ranatuerin-2Pb, and ranatuerin-2Pc) that have not previously been found in skin secretions. The differences in expressed peptides reflect differences in the distribution of alleles for the newly described Brevinin1.1 locus in the three populations. When enriched peptide mixtures were tested for their ability to inhibit growth of the pathogenic amphibian chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), peptides from Minnesota or Vermont frogs were more effective that peptides from Michigan frogs. Four of the purified peptides were tested for their ability to inhibit growth of two bacterial pathogens (Aeromonas hydrophila and Staphylococcus epidermidis) and B. dendrobatidis. Three of the four were effective inhibitors of B. dendrobatidis and S. epidermidis, but none inhibited A. hydrophila. We interpret these differences in expression and activity of antimicrobial peptides as evidence to suggest that each population may have been selected to express a suite of peptides that reflects current and past encounters with skin microbes.
Project description:Many species of frogs secrete cutaneous antimicrobial peptides that are capable of killing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Some of these species are nonetheless susceptible to chytridiomycosis, suggesting that host factors causing dysregulation of this innate immune response may be important in pathogenesis. Since stresses, such as from environmental perturbations, are a potential cause of such dysregulation, this study investigated the effect of glucocorticoid on cutaneous gene expression of these antimicrobial peptides.Northern leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens) were injected with either the corticosteroid methylprednisolone or saline every 48 h. Norepinephrine-elicited cutaneous secretions were collected every 8 days for 40 days. Gene expression of antimicrobial peptides (brevinin-1P and ranatuerin-2P) in the cutaneous secretions was measured relative to the reference genes EF1-? and RPL8 using quantitative RT-PCR. Corticosteroid treatment was associated with a significant increase in brevinin-1P gene expression, which was most notable at 24-40 days of corticosteroid administration. Ranatuerin-2P expression followed a similar but non-significant trend.This treatment protocol, including corticosteroid-administration and frequent norepinephrine-induced secretion, increased AMP gene expression in the skin of L. pipiens under these experimental conditions. The findings do not support the hypothesis that environmental stress predisposes frogs to chytridiomycosis by causing glucocorticoid-induced suppression of antimicrobial peptide defences.
Project description:Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are considered as a promising agent to overcome the drug-resistance of bacteria. Large numbers of AMPs have been identified from the skin secretion of Rana pipiens, including brevinins, ranatuerins, temporins and esculentins. In this study, the cDNA precursor of a broad-spectrum antimicrobial peptide, ranatuerin-2Pb, was cloned and identified. Additionally, two truncated analogues, RPa and RPb, were synthesised to investigate the structure-activity relationship of ranatuerin-2Pb. RPa lost antimicrobial activity against Candida albicans, MRSA, Enterococcus faecalis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, while RPb retained its broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. Additionally, ranatuerin-2Pb, RPa and RPb demonstrated inhibition and eradication effects against Staphylococcus aureus biofilm. RPb showed a rapid bacterial killing manner via membrane permeabilization without damaging the cell membrane of erythrocytes. Moreover, RPb decreased the mortality of S. aureus infected Galleria mellonella larvae. Collectively, our results suggested that RPb may pave a novel way for natural antimicrobial drug design.
Project description:The Sado wrinkled frog Glandirana susurra has recently been classified as a new frog species endemic to Sado Island, Japan. In this study, we cloned 12 cDNAs encoding the biosynthetic precursors for brevinin-2SSa-2SSd, esculentin-2SSa, ranatuerin-2SSa, brevinin-1SSa-1SSd, granuliberin-SSa, and bradykinin-SSa from the skin of G. susurra. Among these antimicrobial peptides, we focused on brevinin-2SSb, ranatuerin-2SSa, and granuliberin-SSa, using their synthetic replicates to examine their activities against different reference strains of pathogenic microorganisms that infect animals and plants. In broth microdilution assays, brevinin-2SSb displayed antimicrobial activities against animal pathogens Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans and plant pathogens Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, and Pyricularia oryzae. Ranatuerin-2SSa and granuliberin-SSa were active against C. albicans and C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, and granuliberin-SSa also was active against the other plant pathogenic microbes. Scanning electron microscopic observations demonstrated that brevinin-2SSb, ranatuerin-2SSa, and granuliberin-SSa induced morphological abnormalities on the cell surface in a wide range of the reference pathogens. To assess the bacterial-endotoxin-binding ability of the peptides, we developed an enzyme-linked endotoxin-binding assay system and demonstrated that brevinin-2SSb and ranatuerin-2SSa both exhibited high affinity to lipopolysaccharide and moderate affinity to lipoteichoic acid.
Project description:Global amphibian decline linked to fungal pathogens has galvanized research on applied amphibian conservation. Skin-associated bacterial communities of amphibians have been shown to mediate fungal skin infections and the development of probiotic treatments with antifungal bacteria has become an emergent area of research. While exploring the role of protective bacteria has been a primary focus for amphibian conservation, we aim to expand and study the other microbes present in amphibian skin communities including fungi and other micro-eukaryotes. Here, we characterize skin-associated bacteria and micro-eukaryotic diversity found across life stages of Cascades frog (Rana cascadae) and their associated aquatic environments using culture independent 16S and 18S rRNA marker-gene sequencing. Individuals of various life stages of Cascades frogs were sampled from a population located in the Trinity Alps in Northern California during an epidemic of the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. We filtered the bacterial sequences against a published database of bacteria known to inhibit B. dendrobatidis in co-culture to estimate the proportion of the skin bacterial community that is likely to provide defense against B. dendrobatidis. Tadpoles had a significantly higher proportion of B. dendrobatidis-inhibitory bacterial sequence matches relative to subadult and adult Cascades frogs. We applied a network analysis to examine patterns of correlation between bacterial taxa and B. dendrobatidis, as well as micro-eukaryotic taxa and B. dendrobatidis. Combined with the published database of bacteria known to inhibit B. dendrobatidis, we used the network analysis to identify bacteria that negatively correlated with B. dendrobatidis and thus could be good probiotic candidates in the Cascades frog system.
Project description:Balancing selection is common on many defense genes, but it has rarely been reported for immune effector proteins such as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). We describe genetic diversity at a brevinin-1 AMP locus in three species of leopard frogs (Rana pipiens, Rana blairi, and Rana palustris). Several highly divergent allelic lineages are segregating at this locus. That this unusual pattern results from balancing selection is demonstrated by multiple lines of evidence, including a ratio of nonsynonymous/synonymous polymorphism significantly higher than 1, the ZnS test, incongruence between the number of segregating sites and haplotype diversity, and significant Tajima's D values. Our data are more consistent with a model of fluctuating selection in which alleles change frequencies over time than with a model of stable balancing selection such as overdominance. Evidence for fluctuating selection includes skewed allele frequencies, low levels of synonymous variation, nonneutral values of Tajima's D within allelic lineages, an inverse relationship between the frequency of an allelic lineage and its degree of polymorphism, and divergent allele frequencies among populations. AMP loci could be important sites of adaptive genetic diversity, with consequences for host-pathogen coevolution and the ability of species to resist disease epidemics.
Project description:Amphibians possess innate immune defences, including antimicrobial peptides and symbiotic bacterial communities, that can protect them from infectious diseases, including chytridiomycosis. On-going research is attempting to use amphibian symbiotic bacteria to develop probiotic treatments that can protect hosts from the causative agent of chytridiomycosis, the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Events that cause disruption of symbiotic bacterial communities or deplete peptide stores could increase the susceptibility of individuals to disease and may have implications for amphibians involved in probiotic trials or time course studies that investigate symbiotic bacterial communities. It has previously been shown that passive integrated transponder tagging of frogs causes a rapid (within 24?h) and major proliferation of micro-organisms on the skin. Here, we show that marking of red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas) with visible elastomer has no effect on adrenal response (represented by faecal glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations) or peptide production, although there was evidence of a slightly greater microbial abundance associated with the skin of marked frogs 2?weeks after tagging. The results indicate that visible elastomer may be a preferable marking technique to passive integrated transponder tagging, particularly in the context of probiotic trials or time course studies that investigate symbiotic bacterial communities. More work is required to determine the effects of different marking techniques on physiological responses of amphibians, whether these physiological responses are consistent across host species and whether such 'non-invasive' marking methods affect the susceptibility of amphibians to infectious pathogens, such as B.?dendrobatidis.
Project description:In animals and plants, symbiotic bacteria can play an important role in disease resistance of host and are the focus of much current research. Globally, amphibian population declines and extinctions have occurred due to chytridiomycosis, a skin disease caused by the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Currently amphibian skin bacteria are increasingly recognized as important symbiont communities with a relevant role in the defense against pathogens, as some bacteria can inhibit the growth of B. dendrobatidis. This study aims to document the B. dendrobatidis infection status of wild populations of a terrestrial cryptic frog (Philoria loveridgei), and to determine whether infection status is correlated with changes in the skin microbial communities. Skin samples of P. loveridgei were collected along an altitudinal range within the species distribution in subtropical rainforests in southeast Australia. Sampling was conducted in two years during two breeding seasons with the first classified as a "La Niña" year. We used Taqman real-time PCR to determine B. dendrobatidis infection status and 16S amplicon sequencing techniques to describe the skin community structure. We found B. dendrobatidis-positive frogs only in the second sampling year with low infection intensities, and no correlation between B. dendrobatidis infection status and altitude, frog sex or size. Skin bacterial diversity was significantly higher in P. loveridgei frogs sampled in the 1st year than in the 2nd year. In addition, 7.4% of the total OTUs were significantly more abundant in the 1st year compared to the 2nd year. We identified 67 bacterial OTUs with a significant positive correlation between infection intensity and an OTU's relative abundance. Forty-five percent of these OTUs belonged to the family Enterobacteriaceae. Overall, temporal variation was strongly associated with changes in B. dendrobatidis infection status and bacterial community structure of wild populations of P. loveridgei.
Project description:Many antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been identified from the skin secretion of the frog Hylarana guentheri (H.guentheri), including Temporin, Brevinin-1, and Brevinin-2. In this study, an antimicrobial peptide named Brevinin-1GHa was identified for the first time by using 'shotgun' cloning. The primary structure was also confirmed through mass spectral analysis of the skin secretion purified by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). There was a Rana-box (CKISKKC) in the C-terminal of Brevinin-1GHa, which formed an intra-disulfide bridge. To detect the significance of Rana-box and reduce the hemolytic activity, we chemically synthesized Brevinin-1GHb (without Rana-box) and Brevinin-1GHc (Rana-box in central position). Brevinin-1GHa exhibited a strong and broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against seven microorganisms, while Brevinin-1GHb only inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), which indicates Rana-box was necessary for the antimicrobial activity of Brevinin-1GHa. The results of Brevinin-1GHc suggested transferring Rana-box to the central position could reduce the hemolytic activity, but the antimicrobial activity also declined. Additionally, Brevinin-1GHa demonstrated the capability of permeating cell membrane and eliminating biofilm of S. aureus, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Candida albicans (C. albicans). The discovery of this research may provide some novel insights into natural antimicrobial drug design.
Project description:BACKGROUND:While there is evidence of both purifying and balancing selection in immune defense genes, large-scale genetic diversity in antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), an important part of the innate immune system released from dermal glands in the skin, has remained uninvestigated. Here we describe genetic diversity at three AMP loci (Temporin, Brevinin and Palustrin) in two ranid frogs (Rana arvalis and R. temporaria) along a 2000?km latitudinal gradient. We amplified and sequenced part of the Acidic Propiece domain and the hypervariable Mature Peptide domain (~?150-200?bp) in the three genes using Illumina Miseq and expected to find decreased AMP genetic variation towards the northern distribution limit of the species similarly to studies on MHC genetic patterns. RESULTS:We found multiple loci for each AMP and relatively high gene diversity, but no clear pattern of geographic genetic structure along the latitudinal gradient. We found evidence of trans-specific polymorphism in the two species, indicating a common evolutionary origin of the alleles. Temporin and Brevinin did not form monophyletic clades suggesting that they belong to the same gene family. By implementing codon evolution models we found evidence of strong positive selection acting on the Mature Peptide. We also found evidence of diversifying selection as indicated by divergent allele frequencies among populations and high Theta k values. CONCLUSION:Our results suggest that AMPs are an important source of adaptive diversity, minimizing the chance of microorganisms developing resistance to individual peptides.
Project description:Brevinins are an important antimicrobial peptide (AMP) family discovered in the skin secretions of Ranidae frogs. The members demonstrate a typical C-terminal ranabox, as well as a diverse range of other structural characteristics. In this study, we identified a novel brevinin-2 peptide from the skin secretion of Sylvirana guentheri, via cloning transcripts, and identifying the expressed mature peptide, in the skin secretion. The confirmed amino acid sequence of the mature peptide was designated brevinin-2GHk (BR2GK). Moreover, as a previous study had demonstrated that the N-terminus of brevinin-2 is responsible for exerting antimicrobial activity, we also designed a series of truncated derivatives of BR2GK. The results show that the truncated derivatives exhibit significantly improved antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity compared to the parent peptide, except a Pro14 substituted analog. The circular dichroism (CD) analysis of this analog revealed that it did not fold into a helical conformation in the presence of either lipopolysaccharides (LPS) or TFE, indicating that position 14 is involved in the formation of the ?-helix. Furthermore, three more analogs with the substitutions of Ala, Lys and Arg at the position 14, respectively, revealed the influence on the membrane disruption potency on bacteria and mammalian cells by the structural changes at this position. Overall, the N-terminal 25-mer truncates demonstrated the potent antimicrobial activity with low cytotoxicity.