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Prospection of bioactive peptides from epithelial secretions of Dendropsophus microps (Anura, Hylidae)

Grant number: 17/21833-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2018
Effective date (End): December 31, 2018
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Chemistry of Macromolecules
Principal Investigator:Katia da Conceição
Grantee:Andrei Félix de Oliveira
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia (ICT). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São José dos Campos. São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil


The search and prospection for new natural products has become a great source of inspiration for most active drug compounds worldwide. Molecules from amphibians, particularly anurans, represent a major source of pharmacological compounds that can provide tools for academic and applied research. Among the anurans in the Vale do Paraíba region, we can highlight the treefrog Dendropsophus microps. Despite the presence of studies on the ecology and general biology of this specie, such as life cycle, vocalization and reproductive habits of amplex and oviposition, nothing is known about the biochemical composition of epithelial secretions of this anuran. In the present proposal, we will investigate the presence of peptides with antimicrobial action and intend to decipher their primary and molecular structures. To this objective, we will use protein chemistry techniques, such as chromatography and mass spectrometry, and microtiter assays in plates to determine the possible minimum inhibitory concentration for antimicrobials and cancer cells. Therefore, we believe that in the course of the project we will be able to explain some protection mechanisms present in the secretions of anurans, and the prospection may eventually enable the discovery of new molecules that may represent tools of medical, ecological or economic interest. Still, using data on animal behavior and its interaction with the environment and other living beings, the indication of the presence of a particular compound and its probable medical significance, becomes crucial in the knowledge of its adaptation to the light of the evolutionary process. (AU)

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