The drosomycin multigene family: three-disulfide variants from Drosophila takahashii possess antibacterial activity
Drosomycin (DRS) is a strictly antifungal peptide in Drosophila melanogaster, which contains four disulfide bridges (DBs) with three buried in molecular interior and one exposed on molecular surface to tie the amino- and carboxyl-termini of the molecule together (called wrapper disulfide bridge, WDB). Based on computational analysis of genomes of Drosophila species belonging to the Oriental lineage, we identified a new multigene family of DRS in Drosphila takahashii that includes a total of 11 DRS-encoding genes (termed DtDRS-1 to DtDRS-11) and a pseudogene. Phylogenetic tree and synteny analyses reveal orthologous relationship between DtDRSs and DRSs, indicating that orthologous genes of DRS-1, DRS-2, DRS-3 and DRS-6 have undergone duplication in D. takahashii and three amplifications (DtDRS-9 to DtDRS-11) of DRS-3 have lost WDB. Among the 11 genes, five are transcriptionally active in adult fruitflies. The ortholog of DRS (DtDRS-1) shows high structural and functional similarity to DRS while two WDB-deficient members display antibacterial activity accompanying complete loss or remarkable reduction of antifungal activity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the presence of three-disulfide antibacterial DRSs in a specific Drosophila species, suggesting a potential role of DB loss in neofunctionalization of a protein via structural adjustment.
[…] DRS and its homologous protein sequences were aligned by ClustalX (http://www.clustal.org/clustal2/) and the aligned sequences were then used to construct a neighbor-joining (NJ) tree on the basis of the Poisson substitution model with pairwise deletion of gaps (MEGA5). The phylogeny of Drosophila RP49 was constructed based on their nucleotide sequences by the NJ method with Tajima-Nei substitution model. […]
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