Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.269, No.3, 803-807, 2000
Trichoplusia ni lebocin, an inducible immune gene with a downstream insertion element
A cDNA clone encoding a lebocin-like protein was obtained from the cabbage looper Trichoplusia ni by using differential display PCR. Northern blot analysis showed that lebocin gene expression was inducible upon bacterial challenge. Transcripts were mainly found in fat body but were also observed in hemocytes. Expression reached its highest level at 20 h and continued at least until 60 h after bacterial injection. The deduced protein is proline-rich and contains 143 amino acid residues. At position 128, a possible O-glycosylation site is observed. The whole protein shows 35% identity to Bombyx mori lebocin. The mature peptide displays an N-terminus similar to that of lebocin and a C-terminus to that of Drosophila metchnikowin, A 39-bp repetitive element is located down-stream of the coding region.