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Title: Morintides: cargo-free chitin-binding peptides from Moringa oleifera
Authors: Kini, Shruthi G.
Wong, Ka Ho
Tan, Wei Liang
Xiao, Tianshu
Tam, James Pingkwan
Keywords: Cysteine-rich peptides
Issue Date: 2017
Source: Kini, S. G., Wong, K. H., Tan, W. L., Xiao, T., & Tam, J. P. (2017). Morintides: cargo-free chitin-binding peptides from Moringa oleifera. BMC Plant Biology, 17, 68-.
Series/Report no.: BMC Plant Biology
Abstract: Background: Hevein-like peptides are a family of cysteine-rich and chitin-binding peptides consisting of 29–45 amino acids. Their chitin-binding property is essential for plant defense against fungi. Based on the number of cysteine residues in their sequences, they are divided into three sub-families: 6C-, 8C- and 10C-hevein-like peptides. All three subfamilies contain a three-domain precursor comprising a signal peptide, a mature hevein-like peptide and a C-terminal domain comprising a hinge region with protein cargo in 8C- and 10C-hevein-like peptides. Results: Here we report the isolation and characterization of two novel 8C-hevein-like peptides, designated morintides (mO1 and mO2), from the drumstick tree Moringa oleifera, a drought-resistant tree belonging to the Moringaceae family. Proteomic analysis revealed that morintides comprise 44 amino acid residues and are rich in cysteine, glycine and hydrophilic amino acid residues such as asparagine and glutamine. Morintides are resistant to thermal and enzymatic degradation, able to bind to chitin and inhibit the growth of phyto-pathogenic fungi. Transcriptomic analysis showed that they contain a three-domain precursor comprising an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) signal sequence, a mature peptide domain and a C-terminal domain. A striking feature distinguishing morintides from other 8C-hevein-like peptides is a short and protein-cargo-free C-terminal domain. Previously, a similar protein-cargo-free C-terminal domain has been observed only in ginkgotides, the 8C-hevein-like peptides from a gymnosperm Ginkgo biloba. Thus, morintides, with a cargo-free C-terminal domain, are a stand-alone class of 8C-hevein-like peptides from angiosperms. Conclusions: Our results expand the existing library of hevein-like peptides and shed light on molecular diversity within the hevein-like peptide family. Our work also sheds light on the anti-fungal activity and stability of 8C-hevein-like peptides.
DOI: 10.1186/s12870-017-1014-6
Schools: School of Biological Sciences 
Rights: © 2017 The Author(s). Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SBS Journal Articles

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