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Gene Review

CecC  -  Cecropin C

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: BcDNA:RH33561, CG1373, Cec, Cec-C, Cecropin-C, ...
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High impact information on CecC

  • The dorsal-related immunity factor, Dif, is a sequence-specific trans-activator of Drosophila Cecropin gene expression [1].
  • 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 [2].
  • Here we present a comparative analysis of the transactivating capacities of these proteins on reporter genes fused to either the diptericin or the cecropin kappaB-related motifs [3].
  • The upstream sequences of the diptericin and cecropin Al genes, which have been investigated in detail, contain two, respectively one sequence element homologous to the binding site of the mammalian nuclear factor kappaB [3].
  • Andropin, which encodes an antibacterial protein, is closely linked to the Cecropin gene cluster of D. melanogaster [4].

Biological context of CecC

  • In situ hybridization to immunized pupae show that CecC is induced in the anterior end of the larval hindgut and in other larval tissues that are undergoing histolysis [5].
  • Delineation of cecropin-like antimicrobial peptides in a protochordate supports the antiquity of this family as effectors of innate immunity in animals and it increases the likelihood that additional cecropin-like peptides will be found among other evolutionary descendants of protochordates--vertebrates [6].
  • The cloned region totals approximately 25 kb, within which a 9-kb fragment contains four cecropin genes and one pseudogene [7].
  • All four genes have a high level of sequence homology to D. melanogaster Cecropin, about 80% identity in the coding regions, and the intron positions are conserved [7].
  • As a first step in studying the molecular evolution of the cecropin and andropin genes among Drosophila species, we have isolated genomic clones that cover the Cecropin locus in Drosophila virilis [7].

Anatomical context of CecC

  • We have identified a 35-amino acid antibiotic cecropin secreted by an established mosquito cell line [8].
  • The cecropin type of linear peptides without cysteine were found first in insects, whilst the defensin type with three disulphide bridges were found in rabbit granulocytes [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].


  1. The dorsal-related immunity factor, Dif, is a sequence-specific trans-activator of Drosophila Cecropin gene expression. Petersen, U.M., Björklund, G., Ip, Y.T., Engström, Y. EMBO J. (1995) [Pubmed]
  2. Innate immune responses regulate trypanosome parasite infection of the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans morsitans. Hu, C., Aksoy, S. Mol. Microbiol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. Drosophila immunity: a comparative analysis of the Rel proteins dorsal and Dif in the induction of the genes encoding diptericin and cecropin. Gross, I., Georgel, P., Kappler, C., Reichhart, J.M., Hoffmann, J.A. Nucleic Acids Res. (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. Rapid evolution of the male-specific antibacterial protein andropin gene in Drosophila. Date-Ito, A., Kasahara, K., Sawai, H., Chigusa, S.I. J. Mol. Evol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  5. CecC, a cecropin gene expressed during metamorphosis in Drosophila pupae. Tryselius, Y., Samakovlis, C., Kimbrell, D.A., Hultmark, D. Eur. J. Biochem. (1992) [Pubmed]
  6. cDNA cloning of three cecropin-like antimicrobial peptides (Styelins) from the tunicate, Styela clava. Zhao, C., Liaw, L., Lee, I.H., Lehrer, R.I. FEBS Lett. (1997) [Pubmed]
  7. Identification and characterization of the Cecropin antibacterial protein gene locus in Drosophila virilis. Zhou, X., Nguyen, T., Kimbrell, D.A. J. Mol. Evol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  8. Peptide sequence of an antibiotic cecropin from the vector mosquito, Aedes albopictus. Sun, D., Eccleston, E.D., Fallon, A.M. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (1998) [Pubmed]
  9. Antibacterial peptides: basic facts and emerging concepts. Boman, H.G. J. Intern. Med. (2003) [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]
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