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Gene Review

CecB  -  Cecropin B

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: CG1878, Cec, Cec B, Cecropin-B, Dmel\CG1878, ...
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Disease relevance of CecB

  • The cecropin genes were also induced when the flies were kept on food with the Drosophila pathogenic bacterium Serratia marcescens Db10 or its non-pathogenic derivative Db1140 [1].

High impact information on CecB

  • CecA1 and A2 are most active in larvae and adults; CecB is preferentially active in early pupae [2].
  • The genes are strongly expressed in fat body and hemocytes after injection of bacteria, the CecA genes being much more active than CecB in the fat body [2].
  • The cecropin locus in Drosophila; a compact gene cluster involved in the response to infection [1].
  • A small peak of constitutive cecropin expression in early pupae appears to be caused by bacteria in the food [2].
  • A useful in vitro system to study the immune response has been found in Schneider's line 2 cells which respond to lipopolysaccharide and laminarin by cecropin expression [2].

Biological context of CecB


Anatomical context of CecB

  • An antimicrobial peptide belonging to the cecropin family was isolated from the hemolymph of bacteria-challenged adult Aedes aegypti [7].
  • Through GmmRel knock-down, we could successfully block the induction of attacin and cecropin expression in the immune responsive tissues fat body and proventriculus (cardia) following microbial challenge [8].
  • Cloning and expression of three cecropin cDNAs from a mosquito cell line [5].
  • In vitro induction of cecropin genes--an immune response in a Drosophila blood cell line [9].
  • Of the four putative novel defence proteins (DFPs) annotated by PSI-BLAST three showed similarity to extracellular matrix proteins from vertebrates implicated in innate immunity, while the fourth was similar to, yet distinct from, the anti-microbial protein cecropin [10].

Other interactions of CecB

  • Andropin is less fungicidal than the cecropins, and Drosophila cecropin A is somewhat more potent than cecropin B [11].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of CecB

  • A. aegypti cecropin mRNA expression was not detected by Northern blot or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis in any immature stage of the mosquito, nor in naïve adults, but it was observed in challenged adults 6 h after bacteria inoculation, and it continued over 7-10 days [7].
  • The chromosomal regions encompassing the Cec genes were subsequently sequenced and mapped by in situ hybridization [4].
  • The existence of two cecropin isoforms that differed from the previously described AalCecA was predicted by mass spectrometry and amino acid sequence analysis of peptides that eluted from reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography as a single peak just behind the previously described cecropin, AalCecA [5].


  1. The cecropin locus in Drosophila; a compact gene cluster involved in the response to infection. Kylsten, P., Samakovlis, C., Hultmark, D. EMBO J. (1990) [Pubmed]
  2. The immune response in Drosophila: pattern of cecropin expression and biological activity. Samakovlis, C., Kimbrell, D.A., Kylsten, P., Engström, A., Hultmark, D. EMBO J. (1990) [Pubmed]
  3. Molecular evolution of the Cecropin multigene family in Drosophila. functional genes vs. pseudogenes. Ramos-Onsins, S., Aguadé, M. Genetics (1998) [Pubmed]
  4. Birth-and-death evolution of the Cecropin multigene family in Drosophila. Quesada, H., Ramos-Onsins, S.E., Aguadé, M. J. Mol. Evol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  5. Cloning and expression of three cecropin cDNAs from a mosquito cell line. Sun, D., Eccleston, E.D., Fallon, A.M. FEBS Lett. (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. cDNA cloning, characterization and gene expression of nitric oxide synthase from the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Imamura, M., Yang, J., Yamakawa, M. Insect Mol. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  7. Antimicrobial activity spectrum, cDNA cloning, and mRNA expression of a newly isolated member of the cecropin family from the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti. Lowenberger, C., Charlet, M., Vizioli, J., Kamal, S., Richman, A., Christensen, B.M., Bulet, P. J. Biol. Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
  8. Innate immune responses regulate trypanosome parasite infection of the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans morsitans. Hu, C., Aksoy, S. Mol. Microbiol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  9. In vitro induction of cecropin genes--an immune response in a Drosophila blood cell line. Samakovlis, C., Asling, B., Boman, H.G., Gateff, E., Hultmark, D. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (1992) [Pubmed]
  10. Analysis of bacteria-challenged wild silkmoth, Antheraea mylitta (lepidoptera) transcriptome reveals potential immune genes. Gandhe, A.S., Arunkumar, K.P., John, S.H., Nagaraju, J. BMC Genomics (2006) [Pubmed]
  11. Drosophila cecropin as an antifungal agent. Ekengren, S., Hultmark, D. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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