Host-defense peptides AC12, DK16 and RC11 with immunomodulatory activity isolated from Hypsiboas raniceps skin secretion

Cláudia S.F.C. Popov, Beatriz Simas Magalhães, Brian James Goodfellow, Anamélia Lorenzetti Bocca, David M. Pereira, Paula B. Andrade, Patrícia Valentão, Pedro José Barbosa Pereira, João Eduardo Rodrigues, Paulo H. de Holanda Veloso, Taia M.B. Rezende*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Inflammation is a natural defense mechanism of the immune system; however, when unregulated, it can lead to chronic illness. Glucocorticoids are the most commonly used agents to effectively treat inflammatory conditions, including autoimmune diseases, however these substances can trigger a number of side effects. Thus, viable alternatives to the use of these drugs would be advantageous. In this study, we have analyzed the anti-inflammatory profile of three synthetic peptides first identified in skin secretion of the tree frog Hypsiboas raniceps. Structural characterization was performed using NMR spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry, and the peptides were tested in vitro in RAW 264.7 cells and in vivo in Balb/c mice for their functional properties. The samples did not show a significant antimicrobial profile. NMR spectroscopy indicated that AC12 (ACFLTRLGTYVC) has a disulfide bond between C2 and C11 and a β-sheet-turn-β-sheet conformation in aqueous solution. This peptide showed no cytotoxic effect in mammalian cells and it was the most effective in reducing anti-inflammatory markers, such as NO, TNF-α and IL-12. Peptide DK16 (DKERPICSNTFRGRKC) demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties in vitro, while RC11 (RCFRRRGKLTC) significantly altered the cell viability in RAW 264.7 but was shown to be safe in Balb/c erythrocytes. Our results indicate that, of the three peptides studied, AC12 is the most efficient in reducing anti-inflammatory markers, and it could be a potential agent for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anura
  • Immunomodulatory
  • NMR
  • Peptide


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