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J Insect Physiol. 2008 Mar;54(3):586-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2007.12.008. Epub 2007 Dec 23.

Fondue and transglutaminase in the Drosophila larval clot.

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Department of Life Sciences, Södertörns högskola, 141 89 Huddinge, Sweden.


Hemolymph coagulation is vital for larval hemostasis and important in immunity, yet the molecular basis of coagulation is not well understood in insects. Of the larval clotting factors identified in Drosophila, Fondue is not conserved in other insects, but is notable for its effects on the clot's physical properties, a possible function in the cuticle, and for being a substrate of transglutaminase. Transglutaminase is the only mammalian clotting factor found in Drosophila, and as it acts in coagulation in other invertebrates, it is also likely to be important in clotting in Drosophila. Here we describe a Fondue-GFP fusion construct that labels the cuticle and clot, and show that chemical inhibition and RNAi knockdown of the Drosophila transglutaminase gene affect clot properties and composition in ways similar to knockdown of the fon gene. Thus, Fondue appears to be incorporated into the cuticle and is a key transglutaminase substrate in the clot. This is also the first direct functional confirmation that transglutaminase acts in coagulation in Drosophila.

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