Budgett’s frog

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Overview:

Recently, researchers from the Indian Institute of Science’s (IISc.) molecular biophysics unit in a study have identified that peptides (short protein) produced from Budgett’s frog can combat enzymes of disease-causing pathogens.

About Budgett’s frog

  • Behaviour
    • Budgett’s frogs are highly intelligent and very aggressive.
    • When frightened, they inflate themselves, stand up on their short legs and if this doesn’t deter the potential predator, they lunge at them with an open huge mouth followed up by a shrill shriek.
    • During the dry season, Budgett’s frogs remain in burrows they dig in the bottoms of pools of water.
    • While in the burrow, they will shed several layers of skin from which to form a waterproof cocoon that will keep the frog moist.
  • They use their exceptional night vision and their sensitivity to movement when hunting food.
  • Habitat/range: They are found near or in permanent or seasonal bodies of water in Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia.
  • Conservation Status
    • IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Key findings of the research

  • The peptides (short proteins) produced from the skin of amphibians have long been studied because of their ability to counter unfavourable conditions in the environment, including harmful pathogens.
  • The frog-secreted peptide inhibited two key enzymes called subtilisin carlsberg and proteinase K., produced by pathogens.
  • These enzymes play a pivotal role in promoting infections by degrading specific protective proteins of the infected person.
  • The peptide was shown to act through a slow-tight binding pathway, and was found to be as effective as SSI, a well-known subtilisin inhibitor.
  • The researchers show the formation of a Michaelis complex – a tight, noncovalent complex with the intact inhibitor – during the process. 

Q1) What are peptides?

A peptide is a short string of 2 to 50 amino acids, formed by a condensation reaction, joining together through a covalent bond. Sequential covalent bonds with additional amino acids yield a peptide chain and the building block of proteins.

Source: Protein from Budgett’s frog can block enzymes of disease-causing pathogens: Study