Identification and characterization of an antimicrobial peptide, lysozyme, from Suncus murinus

  • Shota Takemi
  • Shiomi Ojima
  • Toru Tanaka
  • Takafumi Sakai
  • Ichiro SakataEmail author
Regular Article


Lysozyme is one of the most prominent antimicrobial peptides and has been identified from many mammalian species. However, this enzyme has not been studied in the order Insectivora, which includes the most primitive placental mammals. Here, we done the lysozyme cDNA from Suncus murinus (referred to as suncus, its laboratory name) and compare the predicted amino acid sequence to those from other mammalian species. Quantitative PCR analysis revealed a relatively higher expression of this gene in the spleen and gastrointestinal tract of suncus. The lysozyme-immunopositive (ip) cells were found mainly in the red pulp of the spleen and in the mucosa of the whole small intestine, including the follicle-associated epithelium and subepithelial dome of Peyer’s patches. The lysozyme-ip cells in the small intestine were mostly distributed in the intestinal crypt, although lysozyme-expressing cells were found not only in the crypt but also in the villi. On the other hand, only a few lysozyme-ip cells were found in the villi and some granules showing intense fluorescence were located toward the lumen. As reported for other mammals, Ki67-ip cells were localized in the crypt and did not co-localize with the lysozyme-ip cells. Moreover, fasting induced a decrease in the mRNA levels of lysozyme in the intestine of suncus. In conclusion, we firstly identified the lysozyme mRNA sequence, clarified expression profile of lysozyme transcripts in suncus and found a unique distribution of lysozyme-producing cells in the suncus intestine.


Lysozyme Suncus Intestine Spleen Peyer’s patch 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shota Takemi
    • 1
  • Shiomi Ojima
    • 1
  • Toru Tanaka
    • 2
  • Takafumi Sakai
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ichiro Sakata
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Area of Regulatory Biology, Division of Life Science, Graduate School of Science and EngineeringSaitama UniversitySaitamaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmaceutical and Health SciencesJosai UniversitySakadoJapan
  3. 3.Area of Life-NanoBio, Division of Strategy Research, Graduate School of Science and EngineeringSaitama UniversitySaitamaJapan

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