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Abstract

A new tryptophyllin-like peptide family was found in the skin secretion of the tree frog Hyla savignyi. Peptides were characterized by database-independent sequencing strategies and specific ion fragmentation features were investigated. Skin secretions from specimens of Hyla savignyi were collected by mild electrical stimulation. Peptides were separated by reversed-phase nano-high-performance liquid chromatography (nanoHPLC) and mass spectra were acquired online by electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FTICR-MS). Peptides were characterized by manual de novo sequencing and by composition-based sequencing (CBS), appearing mostly as C-terminal free acids and as their acid amide analogs. Amide peptides yielded lower intensities of y-type ions after collision-induced dissociation (CID) than their acid analogs. A mechanism of internal b-ion formation (positive ion mode) and of CO2 elimination (negative ion mode) is proposed. We also exemplified phenomena such as the proline effect and formation of non-direct sequence ions after sequence rearrangements. The occurrence of rearrangement products, of internal ions and of the proline effect made the CID spectra highly complex. CBS analysis nevertheless resulted in successful and highly reliable sequence analysis. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.