PROSITE documentation PDOC00241
Cecropin family signature


Cecropins [1,2,3] are potent antibacterial proteins that constitute a main part of the cell-free immunity of insects. Cecropins are small proteins of about 35 amino acid residues active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. They seem to exert a lytic action on bacterial membranes.

Cecropins isolated from insects other than Cecropia have been given various names: bactericidin, lepidopteran, sarcotoxin, etc. All of these peptides are structurally related. Cecropin P1, an intestinal antibacterial peptide from pig, also belongs to this family.

As a signature pattern for this family of active peptides, we selected a conserved region in the N-terminal section of cecropins.

Last update:

April 2006 / Pattern revised.


Technical section

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

CECROPIN, PS00268; Cecropin family signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsBoman H.G. Hultmark D.
TitleCell-free immunity in insects.
SourceAnnu. Rev. Microbiol. 41:103-126(1987).
PubMed ID3318666

2AuthorsBoman H.G.
TitleAntibacterial peptides: key components needed in immunity.
SourceCell 65:205-207(1991).
PubMed ID2015623

3AuthorsBoman H.G. Faye I. Gudmundsson G.H. Lee J.-Y. Lidholm D.A.
TitleCell-free immunity in Cecropia. A model system for antibacterial proteins.
SourceEur. J. Biochem. 201:23-31(1991).
PubMed ID1915368

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