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Despite important progress in identifying the molecules that participate in the immune response of Drosophila melanogaster to microbial infections, the involvement of thioester-containing proteins (TEPs) in the antibacterial immunity of the fly is not fully clarified. Previous studies mostly focused on identifying the function of TEP2, TEP3 and TEP6 molecules in the D. melanogaster immune system. Here, we investigated the role of TEP4 in the regulation and function of D. melanogaster host defense against 2 virulent pathogens from the genus Photorhabdus, i.e. the insect pathogenic bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens and the emerging human pathogen P. asymbiotica. We demonstrate that Tep4 is strongly upregulated in adult flies following the injection of Photorhabdus bacteria. We also show that Tep4 loss-of-function mutants are resistant to P. luminescens but not to P. asymbiotica infection. In addition, we find that inactivation of Tep4 results in the upregulation of the Toll and Imd immune pathways, and the downregulation of the Jak/Stat and Jnk pathways upon Photorhabdus infection. We document that loss of Tep4 promotes melanization and phenoloxidase activity in the mutant flies infected with Photorhabdus. Together, these findings generate novel insights into the immune role of TEP4 as a regulator and effector of the D. melanogaster antibacterial immune response. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Upasana Shokal, Ioannis Eleftherianos. Thioester-Containing Protein-4 Regulates the Drosophila Immune Signaling and Function against the Pathogen Photorhabdus. Journal of innate immunity. 2017;9(1):83-93

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PMID: 27771727

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