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1 November 2010 Purification and Characterization of an Antimicrobial Peptide, Insect Defensin, from Immunized House Fly (Diptera: Muscidae)
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The house fly, Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae), is involved in phoretic movement of pathogenic agents, but it has a very efficient defense mechanism against infection. It is believed that antimicrobial peptides play a significant role in the defense system of the house fly. Here, we isolated a peptide from the immunized house fly pupae, measured its molecular mass (3987.6 Da) by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization/ time of flight-mass spectrometry, and determined its amino acid sequence by using the Procise Protein Sequencing System (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA). The peptide was confirmed as a member of the insect defensin family. It displayed high activity against gram-positive bacteria but lower activity against gram-negative bacteria and fungi. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction showed that the house fly defensin gene was constitutively expressed in naive pupae and strongly up-regulated after immunization. House fly defensin is an amphiphilic peptide with a structure similar to that of the CSαβ scaffold of insect defensin A from the flesh fly, Phormia terraenovae Robineau-Desvoidy. To our knowledge, this is the first isolated and characterized house fly antimicrobial peptide, and our work may provide useful information for developing pharmacologically active antimicrobial agents.

© 2010 Entomological Society of America
X. L. Dang, Y. S. Wang, Y. D. Huang, X. Q. Yu, and W. Q. Zhang "Purification and Characterization of an Antimicrobial Peptide, Insect Defensin, from Immunized House Fly (Diptera: Muscidae)," Journal of Medical Entomology 47(6), 1141-1145, (1 November 2010).
Received: 28 January 2010; Accepted: 1 July 2010; Published: 1 November 2010

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