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Gene Review

SP  -  Sex Peptide

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: ACP, Accessory gland-specific peptide 70A, Acp-70A, Acp70, Acp70A, ...
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Disease relevance of Acp70A

  • We found that in adult females radiolabeled SP and DUP99B bind to peripheral nerves, the subesophageal ganglion, the cervical connective, to discrete parts of the thoracic ganglion, and to the genital tract [1].
  • During the immune response, Spz is thought to be processed by secreted serine proteases (SPs) present in the hemolymph that are activated by the recognition of gram-positive bacteria or fungi . In the present study, we have used an in vivo RNAi strategy to inactivate 75 distinct Drosophila SP genes [2].

Psychiatry related information on Acp70A


High impact information on Acp70A

  • Three seminal fluid peptides elicit postmating responses: ovulin, sex-peptide (SP), and DUP99B [5].
  • Using the technique of targeted mutagenesis by homologous recombination, we have produced males with mutant SP genes [5].
  • CONCLUSION: Together with the former finding of SP binding to afferent nerves , these results suggest that SP-mediated modification of sensory input switches female sexual behavior from the virgin to the mated state [6].
  • In viable egghead alleles, these ascending interneurons, three per abdominal and seven per thoracic hemisegment, fail to innervate the central brain. egghead expression in apterous neurons rescues neuronal targeting and the response to SP [6].
  • Both pathways are needed for Mtk induction by SP [3].

Biological context of Acp70A

  • Molecular evolution of a duplication: the sex-peptide (Acp70A) gene region of Drosophila subobscura and Drosophila madeirensis [7].
  • Sex-Peptide (SP) and the peptide DUP99B elicit two postmating responses in Drosophila melanogaster females: receptivity is reduced and oviposition is increased [8].
  • Neuronal binding is dependent on an intact C-terminal sequence of SP, binding in the genital tract is less demanding in terms of amino acid sequence requirement [8].
  • The presence of high-affinity SP and DUP99B binding sites in the female were investigated by incubation of cryostat tissue sections with (125)I-iodinated peptides and subsequent autoradiography [1].
  • We conclude that juvenile hormone is a downstream component in the Sex-Peptide response cascade and acts by stimulating vitellogenic oocyte progression and inhibiting apoptosis [9].

Anatomical context of Acp70A

  • Longer sperm tails may transfer more SP and thus increase the reproductive fitness of the male [10].
  • On affinity blots the AP-SP probe binds to membrane proteins extracted from abdomen and head plus thorax, respectively [8].
  • SP also increases in vitro juvenile hormone (JH) biosynthesis in excised corpora allata (CA) of D. melanogaster and Helicoverpa armigera [11].
  • Here we show that application of the juvenile hormone analogue methoprene mimics the Sex-Peptide-mediated stimulation of vitellogenic oocyte progression in sexually mature virgin females [9].
  • Based on our results, we conclude that mating and SP injection into virgin females stimulate yp gene transcription in the fat body only moderately above the background level [12].

Associations of Acp70A with chemical compounds

  • Synthesis of JHB3 stimulated by SP in vitro persists for at least 4 h after removal of the peptide [13].

Regulatory relationships of Acp70A

  • Even more extreme shortening of life spans were observed when the sex peptide gene (Acp70A) was expressed in homozygous otu females, though they were virgin, indicating that the shortening in life span is due to seminal factors [14].

Other interactions of Acp70A

  • Acp62F and Acp70A are also present, although they are located in nonsyntenic regions [15].
  • Unlike in D. melanogaster and D. simulans, levels of variation at the y gene region of D. subobscura are not reduced relative to those found at other genomic regions in the same species (rp49, Acp70A, and Acph-1) [16].
  • Two Acps that modulate egg production are Acp26Aa (ovulin) and Acp70A (the sex peptide) [17].
  • Dup99B, with no appreciable homology to SP in the N-terminal region, similarly lacks an effect on JH production by H. armigera CA [11].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Acp70A


  1. Binding sites of Drosophila melanogaster sex peptide pheromones. Ottiger, M., Soller, M., Stocker, R.F., Kubli, E. J. Neurobiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  2. Drosophila immunity: a large-scale in vivo RNAi screen identifies five serine proteases required for Toll activation. Kambris, Z., Brun, S., Jang, I.H., Nam, H.J., Romeo, Y., Takahashi, K., Lee, W.J., Ueda, R., Lemaitre, B. Curr. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. Drosophila sex-peptide stimulates female innate immune system after mating via the Toll and Imd pathways. Peng, J., Zipperlen, P., Kubli, E. Curr. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. Allocrine modulation of feeding behavior by the Sex Peptide of Drosophila. Carvalho, G.B., Kapahi, P., Anderson, D.J., Benzer, S. Curr. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  5. Sex-peptide is the molecular basis of the sperm effect in Drosophila melanogaster. Liu, H., Kubli, E. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2003) [Pubmed]
  6. Sex-Peptide-regulated female sexual behavior requires a subset of ascending ventral nerve cord neurons. Soller, M., Haussmann, I.U., Hollmann, M., Choffat, Y., White, K., Kubli, E., Schäfer, M.A. Curr. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. Molecular evolution of a duplication: the sex-peptide (Acp70A) gene region of Drosophila subobscura and Drosophila madeirensis. Cirera, S., Aguadé, M. Mol. Biol. Evol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  8. Sex-peptides bind to two molecularly different targets in Drosophila melanogaster females. Ding, Z., Haussmann, I., Ottiger, M., Kubli, E. J. Neurobiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  9. Control of oocyte maturation in sexually mature Drosophila females. Soller, M., Bownes, M., Kubli, E. Dev. Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  10. Gradual release of sperm bound sex-peptide controls female postmating behavior in Drosophila. Peng, J., Chen, S., Büsser, S., Liu, H., Honegger, T., Kubli, E. Curr. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  11. Common functional elements of Drosophila melanogaster seminal peptides involved in reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster and Helicoverpa armigera females. Fan, Y., Rafaeli, A., Moshitzky, P., Kubli, E., Choffat, Y., Applebaum, S.W. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  12. Mating and sex peptide stimulate the accumulation of yolk in oocytes of Drosophila melanogaster. Soller, M., Bownes, M., Kubli, E. Eur. J. Biochem. (1997) [Pubmed]
  13. Sex-peptide activates juvenile hormone biosynthesis in the Drosophila melanogaster corpus allatum. Moshitzky, P., Fleischmann, I., Chaimov, N., Saudan, P., Klauser, S., Kubli, E., Applebaum, S.W. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  14. Enhanced cost of mating in female sterile mutants of Drosophila melanogaster. Ueyama, M., Fuyama, Y. Genes Genet. Syst. (2003) [Pubmed]
  15. Comparative genomics of accessory gland protein genes in Drosophila melanogaster and D. pseudoobscura. Wagstaff, B.J., Begun, D.J. Mol. Biol. Evol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  16. Nucleotide variation at the yellow gene region is not reduced in Drosophila subobscura: a study in relation to chromosomal polymorphism. Munté, A., Aguadé, M., Segarra, C. Mol. Biol. Evol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  17. The Acp26Aa seminal fluid protein is a modulator of early egg hatchability in Drosophila melanogaster. Chapman, T., Herndon, L.A., Heifetz, Y., Partridge, L., Wolfner, M.F. Proc. Biol. Sci. (2001) [Pubmed]
  18. Drosophila suzukii contains a peptide homologous to the Drosophila melanogaster sex-peptide and functional in both species. Schmidt, T., Choffat, Y., Schneider, M., Hunziker, P., Fuyama, Y., Kubli, E. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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