Relish regulates expression of antimicrobial peptide genes in the honeybee, Apis mellifera, shown by RNA interference

Insect Mol Biol. 2007 Dec;16(6):753-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2583.2007.00768.x.


Relationships of immune genes in adult honeybees (Apis mellifera) were investigated using RNA interference (RNAi). Quantitative RT-PCR was applied to estimate gene expression and the extent of gene silencing. Relish is a transcription factor and forms an important part of the IMD signalling pathway. The expression of the immune gene Relish was significantly reduced by RNAi (ca. 70%). The proposed regulation of antimicrobial peptide genes by Relish could be established for abaecin and hymenoptaecin. These two genes showed a reduction in gene expression to the same extent as Relish. However, the antimicrobial peptide gene defensin-1 was not affected which suggests defensin-1 is regulated by a different signalling pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Bees / genetics*
  • Bees / immunology*
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Insect Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA Interference
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*


  • Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Insect Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • hymenoptaecin protein, Apis mellifera
  • abaecin protein, Apis mellifera