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Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2018 Jan;215:19-30. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2017.10.002. Epub 2017 Oct 21.

Molecular cloning and analysis of PGRP-L1 and IMD from silkworm Bombyx mori.

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School of Plant Protection, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei, Anhui 230036, China.
School of Plant Protection, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei, Anhui 230036, China. Electronic address:


Peptidoglycan is one of the major components of bacterial cell wall. The innate immune system of insects utilizes a group of peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) for the recognition of specific peptidoglycans and activating immune signaling pathways. In Drosophila melanogaster, PGRP-LC and IMD (immune deficiency) are two important signaling molecules of the IMD pathway. Here we cloned and characterized PGRP-L1 and IMD from the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori (BmPGRP-L1 and BmIMD). BmPGRP-L1 gene consists of five exons that encodes a polypeptide of 304 amino acids with a transmembrane region and an extracellular PGRP domain. The PGRP domain lacks key residues for the amidase activity. BmIMD cDNA encodes a polypeptide of 250 amino acids with a death domain. BmPGRP-L1 and BmIMD were expressed in various tissues and induced by bacterial challenges. In addition, in vivo blocking of the PGRP domain by the antiserum or purified antibody significantly reduced the expression of some antimicrobial peptide genes. The extracellular region of BmPGRP-L1 bound to diaminopimelic acid-type and lysine-type peptidoglycans. Overexpression of full-length BmIMD in Drosophila Schneider 2 cells significantly induced three antimicrobial peptide genes. These results suggest that BmPGRP-L1 and BmIMD may be players in the IMD pathway of B. mori. This study provides a foundation for further studies on the functions of silkworm IMD pathway.


IMD; Insect immunity; PGRP; Silkworm

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