[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fighting viral infections is hampered by the scarcity of viral targets and their variability, resulting in devel-opment of resistance. Viruses depend on cellular molecules—which are attractive alternative tar-gets—for their life cycle, provided that they are dispensable for normal cell functions. Using the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, we iden-tify the ribosomal protein RACK1 as a cellular factor required for infection by internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-containing viruses. We further show that RACK1 is an essential determinant for hepatitis C virus translation and infection, indicating that its function is conserved for distantly related human and fly viruses. Inhibition of RACK1 does not affect Drosophila or human cell viability and proliferation, and RACK1-silenced adult flies are viable, indicating that this protein is not essential for general transla-tion. Our findings demonstrate a specific function for RACK1 in selective mRNA translation and un-cover a target for the development of broad antiviral intervention. INTRODUCTION
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drosophila C virus (DCV) is a positive-sense RNA virus belonging to the Dicistroviridae family. This natural pathogen of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster is commonly used to investigate antiviral host-defense in flies, which involves both RNA interference and inducible responses. Although lethality is routinely used as readout for the efficiency of the antiviral immune response in these studies, virus-induced pathologies in flies are still poorly understood. Here, we characterize the pathogenesis associated with systemic DCV infection. Comparison of the transcriptome of flies infected with DCV or two other positive-sense RNA viruses, Flock House virus and Sindbis virus, reveals that DCV infection, unlike those of the other two viruses, represses the expression of a large number of genes. Several of these genes are specifically expressed in the midgut, and are also repressed by starvation. We show that systemic DCV infection triggers a nutritional stress in Drosophila, which result from intestinal obstruction with accumulation of peritrophic matrix at the entry of the midgut, and accumulation of the food ingested in the crop, a blind muscular food storage organ. The related virus Cricket paralysis virus (CrPV), which efficiently grows in Drosophila, does not trigger this pathology. We show that DCV, but not CrPV, infects the smooth muscles surrounding the crop, causing extensive cytopathology and strongly reducing the rate of contractions. We conclude that the pathogenesis associated with systemic DCV infection results from the tropism of the virus for an important organ within the foregut of Dipteran insects, the crop.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcription of inflammatory genes in innate immune cells is coordinately regulated by transcription factors, including NF-κB, and chromatin modifiers. However, it remains unclear how microbial sensing initiates chromatin remodeling. Here, we show that Akirin2, an evolutionarily conserved nuclear protein, bridges NF-κB and the chromatin remodeling SWI/SNF complex by interacting with BRG1-Associated Factor 60 (BAF60) proteins as well as IκB-ζ, which forms a complex with the NF-κB p50 subunit. These interactions are essential for Toll-like receptor-, RIG-I-, and Listeria-mediated expression of proinflammatory genes including Il6 and Il12b in macrophages. Consistently, effective clearance of Listeria infection required Akirin2. Furthermore, Akirin2 and IκB-ζ recruitment to the Il6 promoter depend upon the presence of IκB-ζ and Akirin2, respectively, for regulation of chromatin remodeling. BAF60 proteins were also essential for the induction of Il6 in response to LPS stimulation. Collectively, the IκB-ζ–Akirin2–BAF60 complex physically links the NF-κB and SWI/SNF complexes in innate immune cell activation. By recruiting SWI/SNF chromatin remodellers to IκB-ζ, transcriptional coactivator for NF-κB, the conserved nuclear protein Akirin2 stimulates pro-inflammatory gene promoters in mouse macrophages during innate immune responses to viral or bacterial infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The host defense of the model organism Drosophila is under the control of two major signaling cascades controlling transcription factors of the NF-κB family, the Toll and the IMD pathways. The latter shares extensive similarities with the mammalian TNF-R pathway and was initially discovered for its role in anti-Gram-negative bacterial reactions. A previous interactome study from this laboratory reported that an unexpectedly large number of proteins are binding to the canonical components of the IMD pathway. Here, we focus on DNA methyltransferase associated protein 1 (DMAP1), which this study identified as an interactant of Relish, a Drosophila transcription factor reminiscent of the mammalian p105 NF-κB protein. We show that silencing of DMAP1 expression both in S2 cells and in flies results in a significant reduction of E. coli induced expression of antimicrobial peptides. Epistatic analysis indicates that DMAP1 acts in parallel or downstream of Relish. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments further reveal that, in addition to Relish, DMAP1 also interacts with Akirin and the Brahma associated protein 55 kDa (Bap55). Taken together, these results reveal that DMAP1 is a novel nuclear modulator of the IMD pathway, possibly acting at the level of chromatin remodeling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Drosophila defense against pathogens largely relies on the activation of two signaling pathways: immune deficiency (IMD) and Toll. The IMD pathway is triggered mainly by Gram-negative bacteria, whereas the Toll pathway responds predominantly to Gram-positive bacteria and fungi. The activation of these pathways leads to the rapid induction of numerous NF-κB-induced immune response genes, including antimicrobial peptide genes. The IMD pathway shows significant similarities with the TNF receptor pathway. Recent evidence indicates that the IMD pathway is also activated in response to various noninfectious stimuli (i.e., inflammatory-like reactions). To gain a better understanding of the molecular machinery underlying the pleiotropic functions of this pathway, we first performed a comprehensive proteomics analysis to identify the proteins interacting with the 11 canonical members of the pathway initially identified by genetic studies. We identified 369 interacting proteins (corresponding to 291 genes) in heat-killed Escherichia coli-stimulated Drosophila S2 cells, 92% of which have human orthologs. A comparative analysis of gene ontology from fly or human gene annotation databases points to four significant common categories: (i) the NuA4, nucleosome acetyltransferase of H4, histone acetyltransferase complex, (ii) the switching defective/sucrose nonfermenting-type chromatin remodeling complex, (iii) transcription coactivator activity, and (iv) translation factor activity. Here we demonstrate that sumoylation of the IκB kinase homolog immune response-deficient 5 plays an important role in the induction of antimicrobial peptide genes through a highly conserved sumoylation consensus site during bacterial challenge. Taken together, the proteomics data presented here provide a unique avenue for a comparative functional analysis of proteins involved in innate immune reactions in flies and mammals.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammation of the intestine is detrimental to mammals. Similarly, constant activation of the immune response in the gut by the endogenous flora is suspected to be harmful to Drosophila. Therefore, the innate immune response in the gut of Drosophila melanogaster is tightly balanced to simultaneously prevent infections by pathogenic microorganisms and tolerate the endogenous flora. Here we describe the role of the big bang (bbg) gene, encoding multiple membrane-associated PDZ (PSD-95, Discs-large, ZO-1) domain-containing protein isoforms, in the modulation of the gut immune response. We show that in the adult Drosophila midgut, BBG is present at the level of the septate junctions, on the apical side of the enterocytes. In the absence of BBG, these junctions become loose, enabling the intestinal flora to trigger a constitutive activation of the anterior midgut immune response. This chronic epithelial inflammation leads to a reduced lifespan of bbg mutant flies. Clearing the commensal flora by antibiotics prevents the abnormal activation of the gut immune response and restores a normal lifespan. We now provide genetic evidence that Drosophila septate junctions are part of the gut immune barrier, a function that is evolutionarily conserved in mammals. Collectively, our data suggest that septate junctions are required to maintain the subtle balance between immune tolerance and immune response in the Drosophila gut, which represents a powerful model to study inflammatory bowel diseases.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is a good model to unravel the molecular mechanisms of innate immunity and has led to some important discoveries about the sensing and signaling of microbial infections. The response of Drosophila to virus infections remains poorly characterized and appears to involve two facets. On the one hand, RNA interference involves the recognition and processing of dsRNA into small interfering RNAs by the host RNase Dicer-2 (Dcr-2), whereas, on the other hand, an inducible response controlled by the evolutionarily conserved JAK-STAT pathway contributes to the antiviral host defense. To clarify the contribution of the small interfering RNA and JAK-STAT pathways to the control of viral infections, we have compared the resistance of flies wild-type and mutant for Dcr-2 or the JAK kinase Hopscotch to infections by seven RNA or DNA viruses belonging to different families. Our results reveal a unique susceptibility of hop mutant flies to infection by Drosophila C virus and cricket paralysis virus, two members of the Dicistroviridae family, which contrasts with the susceptibility of Dcr-2 mutant flies to many viruses, including the DNA virus invertebrate iridescent virus 6. Genome-wide microarray analysis confirmed that different sets of genes were induced following infection by Drosophila C virus or by two unrelated RNA viruses, Flock House virus and Sindbis virus. Overall, our data reveal that RNA interference is an efficient antiviral mechanism, operating against a large range of viruses, including a DNA virus. By contrast, the antiviral contribution of the JAK-STAT pathway appears to be virus specific.
The Journal of Immunology 12/2012; · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cytokine-induced activation cascade of NF-kappaB in mammals and the activation of the morphogen dorsal in Drosophila embryos show striking structural and functional similarities (Toll/IL-1, Cactus/I-kappaB, and dorsal/NF-kappaB). Here we demonstrate that these parallels extend to the immune response of Drosophila. In particular, the intracellular components of the dorsoventral signaling pathway (except for dorsal) and the extracellular Toll ligand, spätzle regulatory gene cassette, control expression of the antifungal peptide gene drosomycin in adults. We also show that mutations in the Toll signaling pathway dramatically reduce survival after fungal infection. Antibacterial genes are induced either by a distinct pathway involving the immune deficiency gene (imd) or by combined activation of both imd and dorsoventral pathways.
The Journal of Immunology 06/2012; 188(11):5210-20. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: When a tritiated ecdysone precursor, 2,22,25-trideoxyecdysone (5β-ketodiol) was injected into larvae and pupae of Calliphora vicina, it was efficiently converted into 20-hydroxyecdysone. Injections into the anterior and posterior compartments of neck-ligated larvae have shown that both parts can hydroxylate the 5β-ketodiol at C-25, C-22 and C-2 to form ecdysone which was readily hydroxylated at C-20 to form 20-hydroxyecdysone. When incubated with larval brain-ring gland complexes, 5β-ketodiol was converted to ecdysone as well as to other metabolites, such as 22,25-dideoxyecdysone and 2-deoxyecdysone. Other larval tissues, namely the fat body, Malpighian tubules, gut and carcass are also able to transform 5β-ketodiol into ecdysone in vitro, which explains the conversion of the 5β-ketodiol injected into the abdominal portions of neck-ligated larvae. The large tissue distribution of the enzyme systems involved in the terminal hydroxylations of ecdysteroid biosy[ndot]thesis in discussed in view of the results obtained in this and other insect orders.
International Journal of Invertebrate Reproduction and Development. 05/2012; 12(1).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aims to characterize the immune response against bacteria in Drosophila melanogaster. Obtaining a description of the in vivo state of protein complexes requires their isolation as a snapshot of physiological conditions before their identification. Affinity purification with streptavidin-biotin system is widely used to address this issue. However, because of the extraordinary stability of the interaction between streptavidin and biotin, the release of biotin-labeled bait remains a challenge. We transfected Drosophila cells with a DNA construct encoding a biotin-tagged Dredd protein (ortholog of caspase 8). After affinity purification, different strategies were evaluated, and proteins analyzed by LC-MS/MS mass spectrometry. The on-bead digestion allowed the identification of more proteins associated to the Dredd complex than different protocols using competitive or acid elution. A functional assay showed that a large part of the proteins specifically identified in the Dredd sample are functionally involved in the activation of the Imd pathway. These proteins are immune response proteins (BG4, Q9VP57), stress response proteins (HSP7C, Q9VXQ5), structural proteins (TBB1, CP190), a protein biosynthesis protein (Q9W1B9) and an antioxidant system protein (SODC). Our results clearly show that on-bead digestion of proteins is an attractive procedure for the study of protein complexes by mass spectrometry. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Translational Proteomics.
Journal of proteomics 03/2012; 75(15):4610-9. · 5.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Innate immune responses against DNA are essential to counter both pathogen infections and tissue damages. Mammalian EYAs were recently shown to play a role in regulating the innate immune responses against DNA. Here, we demonstrate that the unique Drosophila eya gene is also involved in the response specific to DNA. Haploinsufficiency of eya in mutants deficient for lysosomal DNase activity (DNaseII) reduces antimicrobial peptide gene expression, a hallmark for immune responses in flies. Like the mammalian orthologues, Drosophila EYA features a N-terminal threonine and C-terminal tyrosine phosphatase domain. Through the generation of a series of mutant EYA fly strains, we show that the threonine phosphatase domain, but not the tyrosine phosphatase domain, is responsible for the innate immune response against DNA. A similar role for the threonine phosphatase domain in mammalian EYA4 had been surmised on the basis of in vitro studies. Furthermore EYA associates with IKKβ and full-length RELISH, and the induction of the IMD pathway-dependent antimicrobial peptide gene is independent of SO. Our data provide the first in vivo demonstration for the immune function of EYA and point to their conserved immune function in response to endogenous DNA, throughout evolution.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e42725. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of the cellular environment on innate immunity remain poorly characterized. Here, we show that in Drosophila ATP-sensitive potassium channels (K(ATP)) mediate resistance to a cardiotropic RNA virus, Flock House virus (FHV). FHV viral load in the heart rapidly increases in K(ATP) mutant flies, leading to increased viremia and accelerated death. The effect of K(ATP) channels is dependent on the RNA interference genes Dcr-2, AGO2, and r2d2, indicating that an activity associated with this potassium channel participates in this antiviral pathway in Drosophila. Flies treated with the K(ATP) agonist drug pinacidil are protected against FHV infection, thus demonstrating the importance of this regulation of innate immunity by the cellular environment in the heart. In mice, the Coxsackievirus B3 replicates to higher titers in the hearts of mayday mutant animals, which are deficient in the Kir6.1 subunit of K(ATP) channels, than in controls. Together, our data suggest that K(ATP) channel deregulation can have a critical impact on innate antiviral immunity in the heart.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2011; 108(29):12024-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of innate antiviral responses in multicellular organisms relies on the recognition of structural differences between viral and cellular RNAs. Double-stranded (ds)RNA, produced during viral replication, is a well-known activator of antiviral defenses and triggers interferon production in vertebrates and RNAi in invertebrates and plants. Previous work in mammalian cells indicates that negative-strand RNA viruses do not appear to generate dsRNA, and that activation of innate immunity is triggered by the recognition of the uncapped 5' ends of viral RNA. This finding raises the question whether antiviral RNAi, which is triggered by the presence of dsRNA in insects, represents an effective host-defense mechanism against negative-strand RNA viruses. Here, we show that the negative-strand RNA virus vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) does not produce easily detectable amounts of dsRNA in Drosophila cells. Nevertheless, RNAi represents a potent response to VSV infection, as illustrated by the high susceptibility of RNAi-defective mutant flies to this virus. VSV-derived small RNAs produced in infected cells or flies uniformly cover the viral genome, and equally map the genome and antigenome RNAs, indicating that they derive from dsRNA. Our findings reveal that RNAi is not restricted to the defense against positive-strand or dsRNA viruses but can also be highly efficient against a negative-strand RNA virus. This result is of particular interest in view of the frequent transmission of medically relevant negative-strand RNA viruses to humans by insect vectors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2010; 107(45):19390-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) pathways play a major role in Drosophila host defense. Two recognition and signaling cascades control this immune response. The Toll pathway is activated by Gram-positive bacteria and by fungi, whereas the immune deficiency (Imd) pathway responds to Gram-negative bacterial infection. The basic mechanisms of recognition of these various types of microbial infections by the adult fly are now globally understood. Even though some elements are missing in the intracellular pathways, numerous proteins and interactions have been identified. In this article, we present a general picture of the immune functions of NF-kappaB in Drosophila with all the partners involved in recognition and in the signaling cascades.
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology 12/2009; 1(6):a000232. · 9.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasmodium development within Anopheles mosquitoes is a vulnerable step in the parasite transmission cycle, and targeting this step represents a promising strategy for malaria control. The thioester-containing complement-like protein TEP1 and two leucine-rich repeat (LRR) proteins, LRIM1 and APL1, have been identified as major mosquito factors that regulate parasite loads. Here, we show that LRIM1 and APL1 are required for binding of TEP1 to parasites. RNAi silencing of the LRR-encoding genes results in deposition of TEP1 on Anopheles tissues, thereby depleting TEP1 from circulation in the hemolymph and impeding its binding to Plasmodium. LRIM1 and APL1 not only stabilize circulating TEP1, they also stabilize each other prior to their interaction with TEP1. Our results indicate that three major antiparasitic factors in mosquitoes jointly function as a complement-like system in parasite killing, and they reveal a role for LRR proteins as complement control factors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drosophila, like other invertebrates and plants, relies mainly on RNA interference for its defense against viruses. In flies, viral infection also triggers the expression of many genes. One of the genes induced, Vago, encodes a 18-kilodalton cysteine-rich polypeptide. Here we provide genetic evidence that the Vago gene product controlled viral load in the fat body after infection with drosophila C virus. Induction of Vago was dependent on the helicase Dicer-2. Dicer-2 belongs to the same DExD/H-box helicase family as do the RIG-I-like receptors, which sense viral infection and mediate interferon induction in mammals. We propose that this family represents an evolutionary conserved set of sensors that detect viral nucleic acids and direct antiviral responses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) are related to bacterial amidases. In Drosophila, PGRPs bind peptidoglycan and function as central sensors and regulators of the innate immune response. PGRP-LC/PGRP-LE constitute the receptor complex in the immune deficiency (IMD) pathway, which is an innate immune cascade triggered upon Gram-negative bacterial infection. Here, we present the functional analysis of the nonamidase, membrane-associated PGRP-LF. We show that PGRP-LF acts as a specific negative regulator of the IMD pathway. Reduction of PGRP-LF levels, in the absence of infection, is sufficient to trigger IMD pathway activation. Furthermore, normal development is impaired in the absence of functional PGRP-LF, a phenotype mediated by the JNK pathway. Thus, PGRP-LF prevents constitutive activation of both the JNK and the IMD pathways. We propose a model in which PGRP-LF keeps the Drosophila IMD pathway silent by sequestering circulating peptidoglycan.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During a genome-wide screen with RNA-mediated interference, we isolated CG8580 as a gene involved in the innate immune response of Drosophila melanogaster. CG8580, which we called Akirin, encoded a protein that acted in parallel with the NF-kappaB transcription factor downstream of the Imd pathway and was required for defense against Gram-negative bacteria. Akirin is highly conserved, and the human genome contains two homologs, one of which was able to rescue the loss-of-function phenotype in drosophila cells. Akirins were strictly localized to the nucleus. Knockout of both Akirin homologs in mice showed that one had an essential function downstream of the Toll-like receptor, tumor necrosis factor and interleukin (IL)-1beta signaling pathways leading to the production of IL-6. Thus, Akirin is a conserved nuclear factor required for innate immune responses.