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Dev Cell. 2005 Jan;8(1):125-32.

An antioxidant system required for host protection against gut infection in Drosophila.

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Division of Molecular Life Science and Center for Cell Signaling Research, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 120-750, South Korea.


A fundamental question that applies to all organisms is how barrier epithelia efficiently manage continuous contact with microorganisms. Here, we show that in Drosophila an extracellular immune-regulated catalase (IRC) mediates a key host defense system that is needed during host-microbe interaction in the gastrointestinal tract. Strikingly, adult flies with severely reduced IRC expression show high mortality rates even after simple ingestion of microbe-contaminated foods. However, despite the central role that the NF-kappaB pathway plays in eliciting antimicrobial responses, NF-kappaB pathway mutant flies are totally resistant to such infections. These results imply that homeostasis of redox balance by IRC is one of the most critical factors affecting host survival during continuous host-microbe interaction in the gastrointestinal tract.

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