Open Close
Dijkers, P.F., O'Farrell, P.H. (2007). Drosophila calcineurin promotes induction of innate immune responses.  Curr. Biol. 17(23): 2087--2093.
FlyBase ID
Publication Type
Research paper

The sophisticated adaptive immune system of vertebrates overlies an ancient set of innate immune-response pathways, which have been genetically dissected in Drosophila. Although conserved regulatory pathways have been defined, calcineurin, a Ca(2+)-dependent phosphatase, has not been previously implicated in Drosophila immunity. Calcineurin activates mammalian immune responses by activating the nuclear translocation of the vertebrate-specific transcription factors NFAT1-4. In Drosophila, infection with gram-negative bacteria promotes the activation of the Relish transcription factor through the Imd pathway. The activity of this pathway in the larva is modulated by nitric oxide (NO). Here, we show that the input by NO is mediated by calcineurin. Pharmacological inhibition of calcineurin suppressed the Relish-dependent gene expression that occurs in response to gram-negative bacteria or NO. One of the three calcineurin genes in Drosophila, CanA1, mediated NO-induced nuclear translocation of Relish in a cell-culture assay. A CanA1 RNA interference (RNAi) transgene suppressed immune induction in larvae upon infection or upon treatment with NO donors, whereas a gain-of-function CanA1 transgene activated immune responses in untreated larvae. Interestingly, CanA1 RNAi in hemocytes but not the fat body was sufficient to block immune induction in the fat body. Thus, CanA1 provides an additional input into Relish-promoted immune responses and functions in hemocytes to promote a tissue-to-tissue signaling cascade required for robust immune response.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC2180389 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
Associated Information
Associated Files
Other Information
Secondary IDs
    Language of Publication
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Curr. Biol.
    Current Biology
    Publication Year
    Data From Reference
    Alleles (7)
    Genes (13)
    Physical Interactions (2)
    Cell Lines (1)
    Natural transposons (1)
    Experimental Tools (2)
    Transgenic Constructs (7)