Bug Versus Bug Humoral Immune Responses in Drosophila melanogaster

Deniz Erturk-Hasdemir, Nicholas Paquette, Kamna Aggarwal, and Neal Silverman(*)

1 Introduction 44

1.1 A Brief History 44

1.2 Overview of the Drosophila Immune Response 45

2 Microbial Recognition - the Peptidoglycan Recognition Proteins 45

2.1 Peptidoglycan 47

2.2 NF-kB Proteins 48

3 The Toll Pathway 49

4 The IMD Pathway 55

5 Down-Regulation of the IMD Pathway by PGRP Amidases 60

6 JAK/STAT Pathway 61

7 Concluding Remarks 62

References 63

Abstract Insects mount a robust innate immune response against a wide array of microbial pathogens. For example, the fruit fly Drosphila melanogaster uses both cellular and humoral innate immune responses to combat pathogens. The hallmark of the Drosophila humoral immune response is the rapid induction of antimicrobial peptide genes in the fat body, the homolog of the mammalian liver. Expression of these antimicrobial peptide genes is rapidly induced by two immune signaling pathways, which respond to distinct microorganisms. The Toll pathway is activated by fungal and Gram-positive bacterial infections, whereas the IMD pathway responds to Gram-negative bacteria. In this chapter, we discuss recent advances in understanding the mechanisms involved in microbial recognition, signal transduction, and immune protection mediated by these pathways, highlighting similarities and differences between Drosophila immune responses and mammalian innate immunity.

Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA, [email protected]

H. Heine (ed.), Innate Immunity of Plants, Animals, and Humans. Nucleic Acids and Molecular Biology 21. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

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