Properties and mechanisms of action of naturally occurring antifungal peptides
Gomesin is a cationic anti-microbial peptide of 18 amino acid residues isolated from the hemocytes of unchallenged tarantula spider Acanthoscurria gomesiana. This paper reports the first study of the processing and cellular location of an anti-microbial peptide (AMP) in spiders. Gomesin cDNA sequence analysis indicated that it is processed from a precursor containing a signal peptide (23 amino acid residues) and a negative C-terminal region (43 amino acid residues). The gomesin gene was constitutively transcribed in hemocytes and the gene product localized in hemocyte granules. The constitutive production of gomesin by a spider is discussed in the context of an ancient mechanism of AMP regulation and storage.