Lynn, David J. and Higgs, Rowan and Gaines, Susan and Tierney, Joanna and James, Tharappel and Lloyd, Andrew T. and Fares, Mario A. and Mulcahy, Grace and O'Farrelly, Cliona
Bioinformatic discovery and initial characterisation of nine novel antimicrobial peptide genes in the chicken.
Immunogenetics, 56 (3).
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are essential
components of innate immunity in a range of species
fromDrosophila to humans and are generally thought to
act by disrupting the membrane integrity of microbes. In
order to discover novel AMPs in the chicken, we have
implemented a bioinformatic approach that involves the
clustering of more than 420,000 chicken expressed
sequence tags (ESTs). Similarity searching of proteins'
predicted to be encoded by these EST clusters for
homology to known AMPs has resulted in the in silico
identification of full-length sequences for seven novel
gallinacins (Gal-4 to Gal-10), a novel cathelicidin and a
novel liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2 (LEAP-2) in
the chicken. Differential gene expression of these novel
genes has been demonstrated across a panel of chicken
tissues. An evolutionary analysis of the gallinacin family
has detected sites primarily in the mature AMP that are
under positive selection in these molecules. The functional
implications of these results are discussed.
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