A 6.7 kDa antimicrobial peptide was isolated from trout skin secretions using acid extraction followed by cation-exchange chromatography, tC18 solid-phase extraction, and C18 reversed-phase HPLC. The molecular mass of this peptide, which is tentatively named oncorhyncin III, is 6671 Da, as determined by matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization MS. N-terminal amino acid sequencing revealed that the first 13 residues of oncorhyncin III are identical with those of the non-histone chromosomal protein H6 from rainbow trout. Hence these data combined with the MS results indicate that oncorhyncin III is likely to be a cleavage product of the non-histone chromosomal protein H6 (residues 1–66) and that it probably contains two methylated residues or one double methylation. The purified peptide exhibits potent antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, with minimal inhibitory concentrations in the submicromolar range. The peptide is sensitive to NaCl, and displays no haemolytic activity towards trout erythrocytes at concentrations below 1 μM. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that oncorhyncin III does not cause direct disruption of bacterial cells. Reconstitution of the peptide in planar lipid bilayers strongly disturbs the membranes, but does not induce the formation of stable ion channels. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that oncorhyncin III plays a role in mucosal innate host defence.
- antimicrobial peptide
- mucosal immunity
- oncorhyncin III
The partial N-terminal amino acid sequence of the antimicrobial peptide reported in the present paper has been submitted to the TrEMBL database under the accession number P83338.
Abbreviations used: HMG, high-mobility group; MALDI-TOF MS, matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization–time-of-flight MS; MIC, minimal inhibitory concentration; SEM, scanning electron microscopy; TFA, trifluoroacetic acid.
- The Biochemical Society, London ©2003