Frog secretions and hunting magic in the upper Amazon: identification of a peptide that interacts with an adenosine receptor

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Nov 15;89(22):10960-3. doi: 10.1073/pnas.89.22.10960.


A frog used for "hunting magic" by several groups of Panoan-speaking Indians in the borderline between Brazil and Peru is identified as Phyllomedusa bicolor. This frog's skin secretion, which the Indians introduce into the body through fresh burns, is rich in peptides. These include vasoactive peptides, opioid peptides, and a peptide that we have named adenoregulin, with the sequence GLWSKIKEVGKEAAKAAAKAAGKAALGAVSEAV as determined from mass spectrometry and Edman degradation. The natural peptide may contain a D amino acid residue, since it is not identical in chromatographic properties to the synthetic peptide. Adenoregulin enhances binding of agonists to A1 adenosine receptors; it is accompanied in the skin secretion by peptides that inhibit binding. The vasoactive peptide sauvagine, the opioid peptides, and adenoregulin and related peptides affect behavior in mice and presumably contribute to the behavioral sequelae observed in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amphibian Proteins*
  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides*
  • Anura / physiology*
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brazil
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Humans
  • Indians, South American*
  • Magic*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / chemical synthesis
  • Peptides / isolation & purification
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Peru
  • Phenylisopropyladenosine / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Purinergic / drug effects*
  • Receptors, Purinergic / metabolism
  • Skin / metabolism*


  • Amphibian Proteins
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Purinergic
  • dermaseptin B2, Phyllomedusa bicolor
  • Phenylisopropyladenosine