A Bombyx mori cDNA was cloned that hybridized with Hyalophora cecropia attacin probe and its nucleotide sequence was determined. This cDNA consisted of 846 nucleotides and the deduced amino acid sequence showed that the cDNA encodes an attacin precursor protein. The putative mature protein of B. mori attacin had 70.4, 68.3 and 18.8% identity in amino acid sequences with that of H. cecropia acidic and basic attacins and Sarcophaga peregrina sarcotoxin IIA, respectively. B. mori and H. cecropia attacins and S. peregrina sarcotoxin IIA had two subdomains in each G domain, suggesting that common amino acid residues in the subdomains are conserved during evolution and plays an important role in the activity of the antibacterial proteins. Expression of B. mori attacin gene was rapidly induced by the injection of Escherichia coli cells into B. mori larvae and continued at least for 48 h mainly in fat bodies and hemocytes.