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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995 Apr 6;209(1):111-6.

Signals from the IL-1 receptor homolog, Toll, can activate an immune response in a Drosophila hemocyte cell line.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Stockholm University, Sweden.


The Toll gene encodes an interleukin 1 receptor-like protein that mediates dorsoventral polarity in the Drosophila embryo. The possible involvement of Toll or Toll-like proteins also in the Drosophila immune response was investigated by overexpressing Toll10B, a constitutively active mutant protein, in the Drosophila blood cell line mbn-2. Induction of the Cecropin A1 (CecA1) gene, coding for a bactericidal peptide, was used as an indicator for the immune response. Toll10B was found to increase CecA1 transcription, as detected with a cotransfected CecA1-lacZ reporter gene construct. This effect depends on the presence of a kappa B-like site in the CecA1 promoter. The endogenous Toll gene is expressed in mbn-2 cells, indicating that this gene may normally play a role in Drosophila blood cells.

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