J Biol Chem 2002 Feb 5;277(7):5030-9. Epub 2001 Dec 5.
Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla, California 92093-0830, USA.
We isolated a novel 22-residue, C-terminally amidated antimicrobial peptide, moronecidin, from the skin and gill of hybrid striped bass. Two isoforms, differing by only one amino acid, are derived from each parental species, white bass (Morone chrysops) and striped bass (Morone saxatilis). Molecular masses (2543 and 2571 Da), amino acid sequences (FFHHIFRGIVHVGKTIH(K/R)LVTGT), cDNA, and genomic DNA sequences were determined for each isoform. A predicted 79-residue moronecidin prepropeptide consists of three domains: a signal peptide (22 amino acids), a mature peptide (22 amino acids), and a C-terminal prodomain (35 amino acids). The synthetic, amidated white bass moronecidin exhibited broad spectrum antimicrobial activity that was retained at high salt concentration. An alpha-helical structure was confirmed by circular dichroism spectroscopy. The moronecidin gene consists of three introns and four exons. Peptide sequence and gene organization were similar to pleurocidin, an antimicrobial peptide from winter flounder. A TATA box and several consensus-binding motifs for transcription factors were found in the region 5' to the transcriptional start site. Moronecidin gene expression was detected in gill, skin, intestine, spleen, anterior kidney, and blood cells by kinetic reverse transcription (RT)-PCR. Thus, moronecidin is a new alpha-helical, broad spectrum antimicrobial peptide isolated from the skin and gills of hybrid striped bass.