Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2006 Sep 22;281(38):28097-104. Epub 2006 Jul 21.

Two proteases defining a melanization cascade in the immune system of Drosophila.

Author information

  • 1Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


The melanization reaction is used as an immune mechanism in arthropods to encapsulate and kill microbial pathogens. In Drosophila, the serpin Spn27A regulates melanization apparently by inhibiting the protease that activates phenoloxidase, the key enzyme in melanin synthesis. Here, we have described the genetic characterization of two immune inducible serine proteases, MP1 and MP2, which act in a melanization cascade regulated by Spn27A. MP1 is required to activate melanization in response to both bacterial and fungal infection, whereas MP2 is mainly involved during fungal infection. Pathogenic bacteria and fungi may therefore trigger two different melanization cascades that use MP1 as a common downstream protease to activate phenoloxidase. We have also shown that the melanization reaction activated by MP1 and MP2 plays an important role in augmenting the effectiveness of other immune reactions, thereby promoting resistance of Drosophila to microbial infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

Molecular Biology Databases

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk