Structures of antifreeze peptides from the antarctic eel pout, Austrolycicthys brachycephalus

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The antarctic eel pout, Austrolycicthys brachycephalus, synthesizes two predominant antifreeze peptides (AFPs) which, based on purification yields, make up about 94 and 6%, respectively, of the antifreezes in its serum. The amino acid sequences of these two AFPs, AB1 and AB2, were determined using automated sequencing, and compositional analyses of peptide fragments from enzymatic digests, and verified by molecular masses obtained with Fast Atom Bombardment Mass spectrometry. Substantial homologies in amino acid sequence exist between the AFPs of Austrolycicthys and those of other Southern and Northern eel pouts. 72% of the residues of AB1, and 84% of AB2, are identical to those of an AFP from another antarctic eel pout, Rhigophila dearborni. Between AB1 and AB2, 83% of the residues are identical. Secondary structure data based on circular dichroism studies indicated AB1 to be a random chain, but a sharp thermal transition of CD spectra around 30°C suggested the presence of definite secondary or tertiary structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)/Protein Structure and Molecular
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 27 1989


  • (A. brachycephalus)
  • Amino acid sequence
  • Antifreeze peptide
  • Ice growth inhibition
  • Peptide structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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