Innate Immunity Pathways
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important defense molecules against microbes with unique structural properties that allow the permeation and disruption of target membranes. Production of antimicrobial peptides are an important means of host defense in eukaryotes. Some antimicrobial peptides are produced constitutively; others are induced in response to infection or inflammation. Antimicrobial peptides are diverse and ubiquitous. They tend to be small molecules (<30 kDa) specialized at attacking particular microbial classes. While some antimicrobial peptides are found in only a single insect group, others are widely dispersed across eukaryotes. Genomics, coupled with proteomics, has revealed that all sequenced insects, and many other insects, have multiple types of antimicrobial peptides.