Hong SM, Kusakabe T, Lee JM, Tatsuke T, Kawaguchi Y, Kang MW, Kang SW, Kim KA, Nho SK.
Cecropins belong to the antibacterial peptides family and are induced after injection of bacteria or their cell-wall components. By silkworm cDNA microarray analysis, a novel type of Cecropin family gene was identified as a cDNA up-regulated in early embryo, 1 day after oviposition. The cDNA isolated was 394 bp with 198 ORF translating 65 amino acids, encoding BmCecropin-E (BmCec-E). Using Southern hybridization and genome search analysis, the number of BmCec-E gene was estimated to be at least two per haploid, which consisted of two exons, as in other Cecropin family members. BmCec-E mRNA was expressed transiently 1 day after egg-laying (AEL, germ-band formation stage), and was specifically expressed in the degenerating intestine during the pre-pupal and pupal stages, unlike other Cecropin family genes. Immune challenge analysis showed that BmCec-E gene expression was more strongly induced by Escherichia coli (gram-negative) than by Micrococus luteus (gram-positive), and not by virus injection. By bacterial challenge, expression of BmCec-E mRNA was induced 12 h after injection, and was maintained for 24 h. Expression of BmCec-E after immune challenge was observed strongly in excretory organs, such as hindgut and malphigian, slightly in fat body, skin, and midgut.