Sci. STKE, 9 July 2002
Immunology Breaking the Mold
Drosophila protect themselves against bacterial and fungal infection by secreting antimicrobial peptides from the fat body, the insect equivalent of the liver. One mechanism required for initiating this in response to Gram-positive bacteria and fungi is provided by the Toll pathway, which is activated via binding of a proteolytically cleaved form of its ligand Späetzle. Using mutagenesis screening, Ligoxygakis et al. identified mutants for a serine protease gene named persephone, which suppressed the Toll-dependent antifungal response. Unlike other activators of the Toll pathway, persephone has no inherent microbial recognition domain, which suggests that it depends on an upstream fungal receptor to initiate its cleavage of Späetzle.
Citation: Breaking the Mold. Sci. STKE 2002, tw244 (2002).
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