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Li, D., Luan, Y., Wang, L., Qi, M., Wang, J., Xu, J., Arefin, B., Li, M. (2018). Expression of the Shrimp wap gene in Drosophila elicits defense responses and protease inhibitory activity.  Sci. Rep. 8(1): 8779.
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Research paper

The wap gene encodes a single whey acidic protein (WAP) domain-containing peptide from Chinese white shrimp (Fenneropenaeus chinensis), which shows broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities and proteinase inhibitory activities in vitro. To explore the medical applications of the WAP peptide, a wap gene transgenic Drosophila melanogaster was constructed. In wap-expressing flies, high expression levels of wap gene (>100 times) were achieved, in contrast to those of control flies, by qRT-PCR analysis. The wap gene expression was associated with increased resistance to microbial infection and decreased bacterial numbers in the flies. In addition, the WAP protein extract from wap-expressing flies, compared with control protein extract from control flies, showed improved antimicrobial activities against broad Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including the clinical drug resistant bacterium of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), improved protease inhibitor activities against crude proteinases and commercial proteinases, including elastase, subtilis proteinase A, and proteinase K in vitro, and improved growth rate and microbial resistance, as well as wound-healing in loach and mouse models. These results suggest that wap-expressing flies could be used as a food additive in aquaculture to prevent infections and a potential antibacterial for fighting drug-resistant bacteria.

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PMC5993750 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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