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ABSTRACT: Genetic studies have elegantly characterized the innate immune response in Drosophila melanogaster. However, these studies have a limited ability to reveal the biochemical mechanisms underlying the innate immune response. To investigate the biochemical basis of how insects recognize invading microbes and how these recognition signals activate the innate immune response, it is necessary to use insects, from which larger amounts of hemolymph can be extracted. Using the larvae from two species of beetle, Tenebrio molitor and Holotrichia diomphalia, we elucidated the mechanisms underlying pathogenic microbe recognition. In addition, we studied the mechanism of host defense molecule amplification. In particular, we identified several pattern recognition proteins, serine proteases, serpins and antimicrobial peptides and examined how these molecules affect innate immunity.
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 01/2010; 708:163-80. · 2.01 Impact Factor