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Stinky frogs are a treasure trove of antibiotic substances

Date:
December 8, 2011
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Some of the nastiest smelling creatures on Earth have skin that produces the greatest known variety of antibacterial substances that hold promise for becoming new weapons in the battle against antibiotic-resistant infections, scientists are reporting. Their research is on amphibians so smelly (like rotten fish, for instance) that scientists term them "odorous frogs."

Some of the nastiest smelling creatures on Earth have skin that produces the greatest known variety of anti-bacterial substances that hold promise for becoming new weapons in the battle against antibiotic-resistant infections.
Credit: Image courtesy of American Chemical Society

Some of the nastiest smelling creatures on Earth have skin that produces the greatest known variety of anti-bacterial substances that hold promise for becoming new weapons in the battle against antibiotic-resistant infections, scientists are reporting. Their research on amphibians so smelly (like rotten fish, for instance) that scientists term them "odorous frogs" appears in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research.

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Yun Zhang, Wen-Hui Lee and Xinwang Yang explain that scientists long have recognized frogs' skin as a rich potential source of new antibiotics. Frogs live in warm, wet places where bacteria thrive and have adapted skin that secretes chemicals, known as peptides, to protect themselves from infections. Zhang's group wanted to identify the specific antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), and the most potent to give scientists clues for developing new antibiotics.

They identified more than 700 of these substances from nine species of odorous frogs and concluded that the AMPs account for almost one-third of all AMPs found in the world, the greatest known diversity of these germ-killing chemicals. Interestingly, some of the AMPs have a dual action, killing bacteria directly and also activating the immune system to assist in the battle.

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Basic Research Program of China and The National Natural Science Foundation of China.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xinwang Yang, Wen-Hui Lee, Yun Zhang. Extremely Abundant Antimicrobial Peptides Existed in the Skins of Nine Kinds of Chinese Odorous Frogs. Journal of Proteome Research, 2011; 111118134814004 DOI: 10.1021/pr200782u

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Stinky frogs are a treasure trove of antibiotic substances." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130100449.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2011, December 8). Stinky frogs are a treasure trove of antibiotic substances. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130100449.htm
American Chemical Society. "Stinky frogs are a treasure trove of antibiotic substances." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111130100449.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

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