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Mol Cell. 1999 Nov;4(5):827-37.

Relish, a central factor in the control of humoral but not cellular immunity in Drosophila.

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Umeå Center for Molecular Pathogenesis, Umeå University, Sweden.


The NF-kappa B-like Relish gene is complex, with four transcripts that are all located within an intron of the Nmdmc gene. Using deletion mutants, we show that Relish is specifically required for the induction of the humoral immune response, including both antibacterial and antifungal peptides. As a result, the Relish mutants are very sensitive to infection. A single cell of E. cloacae is sufficient to kill a mutant fly, and the mutants show increased susceptibility to fungal infection. In contrast, the blood cell population, the hematopoietic organs, and the phagocytic, encapsulation, and melanization responses are normal. Our results illustrate the importance of the humoral response in Drosophila immunity and demonstrate that Relish plays a key role in this response.

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