Identification and characterization of a peptide from the stony coral Heliofungia actiniformis

Schmidt, Casey A., Wilson, David T., Cooke, Ira, Potriquet, Jeremy, Tungatt, Katie, Muruganandah, Visai, Boote, Chloe, Kuek, Felicity, Miles, John J., Kupz, Andreas, Ryan, Stephanie, Loukas, Alex, Bansal, Paramjit S., Takjoo, Rozita, Miller, David J., Peigneur, Steve, Tytgat, Jan, and Daly, Norelle (2020) Identification and characterization of a peptide from the stony coral Heliofungia actiniformis. Journal of Natural Products, 83 (11). pp. 3454-3463.

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Marine organisms produce a diverse range of toxins and bioactive peptides to support predation, competition, and defense. The peptide repertoires of stony corals (order Scleractinia) remain relatively understudied despite the presence of tentacles used for predation and defense that are likely to contain a range of bioactive compounds. Here, we show that a tentacle extract from the mushroom coral, Heliofungia actiniformis, contains numerous peptides with a range of molecular weights analogous to venom profiles from species such as cone snails. Using NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry we characterized a 12-residue peptide (Hact-1) with a new sequence (GCHYTPFGLICF) and well-defined β-hairpin structure stabilized by a single disulfide bond. The sequence is encoded within the genome of the coral and expressed in the polyp body tissue. The structure present is common among toxins and venom peptides, but Hact-1 does not show activity against select examples of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria or a range of ion channels, common properties of such peptides. Instead, it appears to have a limited effect on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, but the ecological function of the peptide remains unknown. The discovery of this peptide from H. actiniformis is likely to be the first of many from this and related species.

Item ID: 66037
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1520-6025
Copyright Information: © 2020 American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy
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Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC), Australian Research Council (ARC), Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC APP1131732, ARC LE120200015, ARC LE160100218, FWO-Vlaanderen G0E7120N, FWO-Vlaanderen GOC2319N, FWO-Vlaanderen GOA4919N, KU Leuven PDM/19/164
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2021 01:44
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310702 Infectious agents @ 40%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320211 Infectious diseases @ 40%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3204 Immunology > 320407 Innate immunity @ 20%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 65%
20 HEALTH > 2001 Clinical health > 200104 Prevention of human diseases and conditions @ 35%
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