PROSITE documentation PDOC00206
Chitin-binding type R&R domain signature and profile


Insect cuticle is composed of proteins and chitin. The cuticular proteins seem to be specific to the type of cuticle (flexible or stiff) that occur at stages of the insect development. The proteins found in the flexible cuticle of larva and pupa of different insects share a conserved C-terminal section [1]; such a region is also found in the soft endocuticle of adults insects [2] as well as in other cuticular proteins including in arachnids [3]. This conserved motif of 35-36 amino acids is known as the R&R consensus since it was first recognized by Rebers and Riddiford. N-terminal to the consensus is a region of hydrophilic amino acids. The two regions together have been called the extended R&R consensus and form an about 70 amino acids chitin-binding domain [4,5].

The R&R chitin-binding domain has been proposed to constitute antiparallel β-pleaated sheets [6].

Some proteins known to contain a R&R chitin-binding domain are listed below:

  • Locust cuticle proteins 7 (LM-7), 8 (LM-8), 19 (LM-19) and endocuticle structural glycoprotein ABD-4.
  • Hyalophora cecropia cuticle proteins 12 and 66.
  • Drosophila larval cuticles proteins I, II, III and IV (LCP1 to LCP4).
  • Drosophila pupal cuticle protein (PCP).
  • Drosophila pupal cuticle proteins EDG-78E and EDG-84E.
  • Manduca sexta cuticle protein LCP-14.
  • Tenebrio molitor cuticle proteins ACP-20, A1A, A2B and A3A.
  • Araneus diadematus (spider) cuticle proteins ACP 11.9, ACP 12.4, ACP 12.6, ACP 15.5 and ACP 15.7.

We have developed both a pattern and a profile for the R&R chitin-binding domain. The pattern covers the R&R consensus, whereas the profile covers the entire R&R chitin-binding domain.

Last update:

April 2006 / Pattern revised.


Technical section

PROSITE methods (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

CHIT_BIND_RR_2, PS51155; Chitin-binding type R&R domain profile  (MATRIX)

CHIT_BIND_RR_1, PS00233; Chitin-binding type R&R domain signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsRebers J.E. Riddiford L.M.
TitleStructure and expression of a Manduca sexta larval cuticle gene homologous to Drosophila cuticle genes.
SourceJ. Mol. Biol. 203:411-423(1988).
PubMed ID2462055

2AuthorsTalbo G. Hoejrup P. Rahbek-Nielsen H. Andersen S.O. Roepstorff P.
TitleDetermination of the covalent structure of an N- and C-terminally blocked glycoprotein from endocuticle of Locusta migratoria. Combined use of plasma desorption mass spectrometry and Edman degradation to study post-translationally modified proteins.
SourceEur. J. Biochem. 195:495-504(1991).
PubMed ID1997327

3AuthorsNorup T. Berg T. Stenholm H. Andersen S.O. Hoejrup P.
TitlePurification and characterization of five cuticular proteins from the spider Araneus diadematus.
SourceInsect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 26:907-915(1996).
PubMed ID9014336

4AuthorsRebers J.E. Willis J.H.
TitleA conserved domain in arthropod cuticular proteins binds chitin.
SourceInsect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 31:1083-1093(2001).
PubMed ID11520687

5AuthorsTogawa T. Nakato H. Izumi S.
TitleAnalysis of the chitin recognition mechanism of cuticle proteins from the soft cuticle of the silkworm, Bombyx mori.
SourceInsect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 34:1059-1067(2004).
PubMed ID15475300

6AuthorsHamodrakas S.J. Willis J.H. Iconomidou V.A.
TitleA structural model of the chitin-binding domain of cuticle proteins.
SourceInsect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 32:1577-1583(2002).
PubMed ID12530225

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