We have screened the third chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster for mutations that prevent the normal immune response. We identified mutant lines on the basis of their failure to induce transcription of an antibacterial peptide gene in response to infection or their failure to form melanized clots at the site of wounding. These mutations define 14 genes [immune response deficient (ird) genes] that have distinct roles in the immune response. We have identified the molecular basis of several ird phenotypes. Two genes, scribble and kurtz/modulo, affect the cellular organization of the fat body, the tissue responsible for antimicrobial peptide production. Two ird genes encode components of the signaling pathways that mediate responses to bacterial infection, a Drosophila gene encoding a homolog of IκB kinase (DmIkkβ) and Relish, a Rel-family transcription factor. These genetic studies should provide a basis for a comprehensive understanding of the genetic control of immune responses in Drosophila.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
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