Antimicrobial peptides in frog poisons constitute a molecular toxin delivery system against predators. IF 12.353

Constantijn Raaymakers, Elin Verbrugghe, Sophie Hernot, Tom Hellebuyck, Cecilia Betti, Cindy Peleman, Myriam Claeys, Wim Bert, Vicky Caveliers, Steven Ballet, An Martel, Frank Pasmans, Kim Roelants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Animals using toxic peptides and proteins for predation or defense typically depend on specialized morphological structures, like fangs, spines, or a stinger, for effective intoxication. Here we show that amphibian poisons instead incorporate their own molecular system for toxin delivery to attacking predators. Skin-secreted peptides, generally considered part of the amphibian immune system, permeabilize oral epithelial tissue and enable fast access of cosecreted toxins to the predator's bloodstream and organs. This absorption-enhancing system exists in at least three distantly related frog lineages and is likely to be a widespread adaptation, determining the outcome of predator-prey encounters in hundreds of species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1495
Pages (from-to)1495
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2017

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