• Platypus venom;
  • Peptide isomerase;
  • Mouse heart;
  • D-Amino acids


Male platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) venom has a peptidyl aminoacyl L/D-isomerase (hereafter called peptide isomerase) that converts the second amino acid residue in from the N-terminus from the L- to the D-form, and vice versa. A reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) assay has been developed to monitor the interconversion using synthetic hexapeptides derived from defensin-like peptide-2 (DLP-2) and DLP-4 as substrates. It was hypothesised that animals other than the platypus would have peptide isomerase with the same substrate specificity. Accordingly, eight mouse tissues were tested and heart was shown to have the activity. This is notable for being the first evidence of a peptide isomerase being present in a higher mammal and heralds finding the activity in man.