Hemolin: an insect-immune protein belonging to the immunoglobulin superfamily

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Science  21 Dec 1990:
Vol. 250, Issue 4988, pp. 1729-1732
DOI: 10.1126/science.2270488


Insects have an efficient defense system against infections. Their antibacterial immune proteins have been well characterized. However, the molecular mechanisms by which insects recognize foreignness are not yet known. Data are presented showing that hemolin (previously named P4), a bacteria-inducible hemolymph protein of the giant silk moth Hyalophora cecropia, belongs to the immunoglobulin superfamily. Functional analyses indicate that hemolin is one of the first hemolymph components to bind to the bacterial surface, taking part in a protein complex formation that is likely to initiate the immune response.

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