Expression and evolution of the Drosophila attacin/diptericin gene family

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Dec 20;279(2):574-81. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.2000.3988.


We describe the genes for three new glycine-rich antimicrobial peptides in Drosophila, two attacins (AttC and AttD) and one diptericin (DptB). Their structures support the proposal that these glycine-rich antimicrobial peptides evolved from a common ancestor and are probably also related to proline-rich peptides such as drosocin. AttC is similar to the nearby AttA and AttB genes. AttD is more divergent and located on a different chromosome. Intriguingly, AttD may encode an intracellular attacin. DptB is linked in tandem to the closely related Diptericin. However, the DptB gene product contains a furin-like cleavage site and may be processed in an attacin-like fashion. All attacin and diptericin genes are induced after bacterial challenge. This induction is reduced in imd mutants, and unexpectedly also in Tl(-) mutants. The 18w mutation particularly affects the induction of AttC, which may be a useful marker for 18w signaling.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Drosophila / classification
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Insect Proteins / chemistry
  • Insect Proteins / genetics*
  • Insecta / classification
  • Insecta / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family*
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • AttA protein, Drosophila
  • AttB protein, Drosophila
  • AttC protein, Drosophila
  • DptA protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • attacin antibacterial protein, insect

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF322250
  • GENBANK/AF334181
  • GENBANK/AF334182