Pore-forming members of the membrane attack complex/perforin-like (MACPF) protein superfamily perform well-characterized roles as mammalian immune effectors. For example, complement component 9 and perforin function to directly form pores in the membrane of Gram-negative pathogens or virally infected/transformed cells, respectively. In contrast, the only known MACPF protein in Drosophila melanogaster, Torso-like, plays crucial roles during development in embryo patterning and larval growth. Here, we report that in addition to these functions, Torso-like plays an important role in Drosophila immunity. However, in contrast to a hypothesized effector function in, for example, elimination of Gram-negative pathogens, we find that torso-like null mutants instead show increased susceptibility to certain Gram-positive pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis. We further show that this deficit is due to a severely reduced number of circulating immune cells and, as a consequence, an impaired ability to phagocytose bacterial particles. Together these data suggest that Torso-like plays an important role in controlling the development of the Drosophila cellular immune system.
- Cellular immunity
- Drosophila melanogaster
- Genetics of immunity
- Membrane attack complex/perforin-like proteins
Ian Harper (Manager), Stephen Firth (Manager), Alex Fulcher (Operator), Oleks Chernyavskiy (Operator), Margaret Rzeszutek (Other), David Potter (Manager), Volker Hilsenstein (Operator), Juan Nunez-Iglesias (Other), Stephen Cody (Manager), Irena Carmichael (Operator), Betty Kouskousis (Other), Chad Johnson (Operator), Sarah Creed (Manager) & Giulia Ballerin (Operator)Office of the Vice-Provost (Research and Research Infrastructure)