Antimicrobial peptide induction in the haemolymph of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides limpidus limpidus in response to septic injury
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Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are essential components of host defences against infectious microrganisms. In chelicerate organisms they have been implicated in three alternative defensive systems: one is defined by the immediate up-regulation of genes encoding AMPs, another is characterized by the inducible systemic release of AMPs from cellular reservoirs and the third alternative is the systemic constitutive production of AMPs. In this work we used a differential high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry approach to show that septic injury elicits an immune response in the haemolymph of the Mexican scorpion Centruroides limpidus limpidus. We isolated several haemolymph components, one of which was characterized extensively (amino acid sequence, disulphide pairing, cDNA and genomic clones) and demonstrated to be a novel member of the invertebrate defensin family and consequently named C. limpidus limpidus defensin-like peptide (Cll-dlp). This peptide accumulates in the haemolymph in response to septic injury, independently of transcriptional regulation.
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