Identification, characterization and expression of cathelicidin in the pouch young of tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii)

Kerry A. Daly, Matthew R. Digby, Christophe Lefévre, Kevin R. Nicholas, Elizabeth M. Deane, Peter Williamson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)


Antimicrobial peptides, such as cathelicidin, are an evolutionarily old defense system. However they have more complex actions than just simply their antimicrobial effects, including immunoregulation and interaction with the adaptive immune system. In this study we have characterized several novel cathelicidin-like peptides from the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii). The tammar cathelicidin-like (MaeuCath) mRNA were isolated based on the conservation of the cathelin-like amino terminus. Mature MaeuCath peptides were positively charged with hydrophobic carboxyl tails, features that are fundamental for antimicrobial function. MaeuCath1 was induced in tammar leukocytes in response to pathogen-associated molecular patterns from both gram positive and negative bacteria. In addition, we also examined the expression of MaeuCath1 in the primary and secondary lymphoid organs of the tammar neonate throughout early pouch life. The results from this study demonstrate the importance that MaeuCath1 may play in innate defense of the marsupial young, especially in the mucosal organs. Such expression of antimicrobial peptides may form part of the immune strategies of marsupials for neonatal survival during their post-partum development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524-533
Number of pages10
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Cathelicidin
  • Marsupials
  • Neonate

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