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Seven new c-type lysozyme genes were found using the Anopheles gambiae genome sequence, increasing to eight the total number of genes in this family identified in this species. The eight lysozymes in An. gambiae have considerable variation in gene structure and expression patterns. Lys c-6 has the most unusual primary amino acid structure as the predicted protein consists of five lysozyme-like domains. Transcript abundance of each c-type lysozyme was determined by semiquantitative RT-PCR. Lys c-1, c-6 and c-7 are expressed constitutively in all developmental stages from egg to adult. Lys c-2 and c-4 also are found in all stages, but with relatively much higher levels in adults. Conversely, Lys c-3 and c-8 transcripts are highest in larvae. Lys c-1, c-6 and c-7 transcripts are found in nearly all the adult tissue samples examined while Lys c-2 and Lys c-4 are more restricted in their expression. Lys c-1 and c-2 transcripts are clearly immune responsive and are increased significantly 6-12 h post challenge with bacteria. The functional adaptive changes that may have evolved during the expansion of this gene family are briefly discussed in terms of the expression patterns, gene and protein structures.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





131 - 139


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Anopheles, Genes, Insect, Molecular Sequence Data, Muramidase, Phylogeny, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid