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Secretion of antimicrobial peptides (AMP) is a central defense mechanism used by invertebrates to combat infections. In Drosophila, the synthesis of these peptides is a highly regulated process allowing their rapid release in the hemolymph upon contact with pathogens and the arrest of their production after pathogen clearance. We observed that AMP genes have either a transient or sustained expression profile in S2 drosophila cells treated with peptidoglycan. Moreover, AMP genes containing AU-rich elements (ARE) in their 3' untranslated region (UTR) are subject to a post-transcriptional control affecting mRNA stability, thereby contributing to their transient expression profile. Cecropin A1 (CecA1) constitutes the prototype of this latter class of AMPs.
• F.R.S.-FNRS et Fonds associés (hors FRIA)
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