Professor Wen-Hui Lee spoke to CosmeticsDesign.com USA on how his team’s findings can benefit the industry.
“Frogs live in environments with abundant bacteria; their skin secretes antimicrobial peptides to protect them from infection which we feel can be applied to medical and cosmetic industries,” he said.
“In cosmetics, the possible use for AMPs could be in areas like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis; rosacea; inflammatory acne vulgaris and wound healing,” he explained.
According to Lee, peptide agents are regarded as hopeful candidates to solve life-threatening resistance of pathogenic microorganisms to the likes of antibiotics due to their unique action mechanisms.
“Most AMPs have an overall net positive charge which ensures their accumulation on, interaction with, and subsequent penetration of the negatively charged phospholipids in the cell walls of microbials,” he reveals.
To test the theory, 80 AMPs were purified from three different odorous frogs and confirmed by the researchers through peptidomic analysis. “Our results indicated that post-translational modification of AMPs rarely happened in odorous frogs,” says Lee.
“Based on the sequence similarity of deduced mature peptides, 728 AMPs were grouped into 97 different families in which 71 novel families were identified. Out of these 728 AMPs, 662 AMPs were novel and 28 AMPs were reported previously in other frog species,” he explains.
Overall, Lee’s team concluded that identical antimicrobial peptides were widely distributed in odorous frogs in particular. However, he stresses that “The paper does not focus on the application of these peptides but tries to provide evidence to show the extreme diversity of AMPs in odorous frogs.”