Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Dissecting Microbial Discrimination

Science's STKE  06 Jan 2004:
Vol. 2004, Issue 214, pp. tw12
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2142004tw12

Resistance to infection with Gram-positive bacteria in Drosophila depends on the induction of antimicrobial peptides by the Toll pattern recognition pathway. Toll receptor activation follows the proteolytic cleavage of its putative ligand precursor, Spaetzle, through mechanisms that are incompletely defined. In a genetic mutant screen, Gobert et al. identified the Gram-negative binding protein 1 as critical in the survival of flies after infection with Gram-positives, but not after infection with fungi or Gram-negative bacteria. A similar role is already established for peptidoglycan recognition protein-SA. The two proteins may cooperate in the activation of the proteolytic cascade that activates Spaetzle. The pattern-sensing response of invertebrates is thus more complex than has been appreciated.

V. Gobert, M. Gottar, A. A. Matskevich, S. Rutschmann, J. Royet, M. Belvin, J. A. Hoffmann, D. Ferrandon, Dual activation of the Drosophila Toll pathway by two pattern recognition receptors. Science 302, 2126-2130 (2003). [Abstract] [Full Text]