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Immunity. 2009 Apr 17;30(4):521-32. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2009.03.007.

Protein kinase D is an essential regulator of C. elegans innate immunity.

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Department of Molecular Pharmacology, Atran Laboratories, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


Protein kinase D (PKD) mediates signal transduction downstream from phospholipase C and diacylglycerol (DAG). PKDs are activated by hormones and stress in cell lines, but little is known about PKD functions and regulation in vivo. Here, we show that DKF-2, a C. elegans PKD, regulates innate immunity. Animals lacking DKF-2 were hypersensitive to killing by bacteria that are pathogens of C. elegans and humans. DKF-2 induced 85 mRNAs, which encode antimicrobial peptides and proteins that sustain intestinal epithelium. Induction of immune effector mRNAs by DKF-2 proceeded via PMK-1 (p38 Map-kinase)-dependent and -independent pathways. TPA-1, a PKCdelta homolog, regulated activation and functions of DKF-2 in vivo. Therefore, DKF-2 provides a molecular link that couples DAG signaling to regulation of immunity. This intersection between DAG-TPA-1-DKF-2 and PMK-1 pathways enables integrated immune responses to multiple stimuli. Thus, a PKD mobilizes activation of host immune defenses against pathogens by previously unappreciated signaling pathways and mechanisms.

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