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Dev Comp Immunol. 1999 Jun-Jul;23(4-5):345-58.

Induction and regulation of antimicrobial peptides in Drosophila.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Stockholm University, Sweden.


Activation of the innate immune response involves recognition of the infectious agent and the subsequent activation of cellular and humoral reactions. In insects, a number of immunity genes are activated at the level of transcription leading to the synthesis of antimicrobial peptides. Genetic analyses in Drosophila have identified several signal transduction pathways that promote activation of these immunity genes. Recent data suggest that the insect immune system is able to discriminate between a bacterial and a fungal infection, and responds by higher levels of activation of the appropriate peptides to repel the infection. These and other recent data on transcription factors and regulation of antimicrobial genes are integrated into a model to suggest how differential activation of antifungal and antibacterial peptides can occur in response to fungal and bacterial infection.

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