Extracellular and intracellular pathogen recognition by Drosophila PGRP-LE and PGRP-LC

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Despite lacking the adaptive immunity that is found in higher vertebrates, insects are able to defend themselves from a large battery of pathogens by multiple innate immune responses using molecular mechanisms that are strikingly similar to the innate immune responses of other multicellular organisms, including humans. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is therefore an excellent model organism for studying the basic principles of innate immunity using genetic and molecular biology techniques. In Drosophila, invading pathogens that pass through the epithelial barriers (a first line of self-defense) can encounter humoral and cellular responses that utilize pattern-recognition receptors to identify pathogen-associated molecular patterns in the hemolymph or on the immune cell surface. Some pathogens escape recognition and elimination in the hemolymph by invading the host cytoplasm. Some intracellular pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes are, nevertheless, eliminated by immune reactions such as autophagy through intracellular identification by pattern-recognition receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdxp128
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan 20


  • Autophagy
  • Drosophila
  • Innate immunity
  • Pathogen sensor
  • Peptidoglycan


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