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J Biol Chem. 2003 Jul 18;278(29):26319-22. Epub 2003 May 30.

Functional diversity of the Drosophila PGRP-LC gene cluster in the response to lipopolysaccharide and peptidoglycan.

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  • 1Umeå Centre for Molecular Pathogenesis, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden.


The peptidoglycan recognition protein PGRP-LC is a major activator of the imd/Relish pathway in the Drosophila immune response. Three transcripts are generated by alternative splicing of the complex PGRP-LC gene. The encoded transmembrane proteins share an identical intracellular part, but each has a separate extracellular PGRP-domain: x, y, or a. Here we show that two of these isoforms play unique roles in the response to different microorganisms. Using RNA interference in Drosophila mbn-2 cells, we found that PGRP-LCx is the only isoform required to mediate signals from Gram-positive bacteria and purified bacterial peptidoglycan. By contrast, the recognition of Gram-negative bacteria and bacterial lipopolysaccharide requires both PGRP-LCa and LCx. The third isoform, LCy, is expressed at lower levels and may be partially redundant. Two additional PGRP domains in the gene cluster, z and w, are both included in a single transcript of a separate gene, PGRP-LF. Suppression of this transcript does not block the response to any of the microorganisms tested.

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