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FEBS Lett. 1996 Oct 14;395(1):6-10.

Determination of the disulfide array of the first inducible antifungal peptide from insects: drosomycin from Drosophila melanogaster.

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Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Réponse Immunitaire et Développement chezles Insectes, Strasbourg, France.


Drosomycin is a 44-residue antifungal peptide with four intramolecular disulfide bridges which have been isolated from immune-challenged Drosophila. To produce adequate amounts of this peptide for 3D-structure analysis, studies on the mode of action and activity spectrum, we expressed a synthetic cDNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. For this purpose, we used the mating factor alpha gene and concomitantly overexpressed the KEX2 gene to increase the yield of fully processed drosomycin. Using a combination of Edman degradation and mass spectrometry, we show that drosomycin shares the same array of intramolecular disulfide bridges than plant defensins, in addition to their sequence similarities.

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