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Sampson, C.J., Valanne, S., Fauvarque, M.O., Hultmark, D., Rämet, M., Williams, M.J. (2012). The RhoGEF Zizimin-related acts in the Drosophila cellular immune response via the Rho GTPases Rac2 and Cdc42.  Dev. Comp. Immunol. 38(1): 160--168.
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Zizimin-related (Zir), a Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RhoGEF) homologous to the mammalian Dock-C/Zizimin-related family, was identified in a screen to find new genes involved in the Drosophila melanogaster cellular immune response against eggs from the parasitoid wasp Leptopilina boulardi. RhoGEFs activate Rho-family GTPases, which are known to be central regulators of cell migration, spreading and polarity. When a parasitoid wasp is recognized as foreign, multiple layers of circulating immunosurveillance cells (haemocytes) should attach to the egg. In Zir mutants this process is disrupted and lamellocytes, a haemocyte subtype, fail to properly encapsulate the wasp egg. Furthermore, macrophage-like plasmatocytes exhibit a strong reduction in their ability to phagocytise Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. During encapsulation and phagocytosis Zir genetically interacts with two Rho-family GTPases, Rac2 and Cdc42. Finally, Zir is dispensable for the humoral immune response against bacteria. We propose that Zir is necessary to activate the Rho-family GTPases Rac2 and Cdc42 during the Drosophila cellular immune response.

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    Dev. Comp. Immunol.
    Developmental and Comparative Immunology
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    Alleles (10)
    Gene Groups (1)
    Genes (13)
    Insertions (2)
    Transgenic Constructs (4)