Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are found as important components of the innate immune system (host defense) of all invertebrates. These peptides can be constitutively expressed or induced in response to microbial infections. Indeed, they vary in their amino acid sequences, potency and antimicrobial activity spectra. The smaller AMPs act greatly by disrupting the structure or function of microbial cell membranes. Here, the insect innate immune system with emphasis on inducible antimicrobial peptide properties against microbial invaders has been discussed.
Keywords: Cationic peptides, humoral immune system, inducible antimicrobial peptide, microbial cell membranes, microbial infections, signal transduction pathways.