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Nucleic acids research

Differential regulation of mRNA stability controls the transient expression of genes encoding Drosophila antimicrobial peptide with distinct immune response characteristics.


PMID 19726583

Abstract

The tight regulation of transiently expressed antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) with a distinct antimicrobial spectrum and different expression kinetics contributes greatly to the properly regulated immune response for resistance to pathogens and for the maintenance of mutualistic microbiota in Drosophila. The important role of differential regulation of AMP expression at the posttranscriptional level needs to be elucidated. It was observed that the highly expressed Cecropin A1 (CecA1) mRNA encoding a broad antimicrobial spectrum AMP against both bacteria and fungi decayed more quickly than did the moderately expressed Diptericin mRNA encoding AMP against Gram negative bacteria. The mRNA stability of AMPs is differentially regulated and is attributed to the specific interaction between cis-acting ARE in 3'-UTR of AMP mRNA and the RNA destabilizing protein transactor Tis11 as shown in co-immunoprecipitation of the Tis11 RNP complex with CecA1 mRNA but not other AMP mRNA. The p38MAPK was further demonstrated to play a crucial role in stabilizing ARE-bearing mRNAs by inhibiting Tis11-mediated degradation in LPS induced AMP expression. This evidence suggests an evolutionarily conserved and functionally important molecular basis for and effective approach to exact control of AMP gene expression. These mechanisms thereby orchestrate a well balanced and dynamic antimicrobial spectrum of innate immunity to resist infection and maintain resident microbiota properly.

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