Unexpected role of the IMD pathway in Drosophila gut defense against Staphylococcus aureus

Aki Hori, Shoichiro Kurata, Takayuki Kuraishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, fruit fly of the genus Drosophila is utilized as a suitable model animal to investigate the molecular mechanisms of innate immunity. To combat orally transmitted pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria, the Drosophila gut is armed with the peritrophic matrix, which is a physical barrier composed of chitin and glycoproteins: the Duox system that produces reactive oxygen species (ROS), which in turn sterilize infected microbes, and the IMD pathway that regulates the expression of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), which in turn control ROS-resistant pathogens. However, little is known about the defense mechanisms against Gram-positive bacteria in the fly gut. Here, we show that the peritrophic matrix protects Drosophila against Gram-positive bacteria S. aureus. We also define the few roles of ROS in response to the infection and show that the IMD pathway is required for the clearance of ingested microbes, possibly independently from AMP expression. These findings provide a new aspect of the gut defense system of Drosophila, and helps to elucidate the processes of gut-microbe symbiosis and pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-400
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 1


  • Drosophila melanogaster/ gut immunity
  • Innate immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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