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Tung, T.T., Nagaosa, K., Fujita, Y., Kita, A., Mori, H., Okada, R., Nonaka, S., Nakanishi, Y. (2013). Phosphatidylserine recognition and induction of apoptotic cell clearance by Drosophila engulfment receptor Draper.  J. Biochem., Tokyo 153(5): 483--491.
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The membrane phospholipid phosphatidylserine is exposed on the cell surface during apoptosis and acts as an eat-me signal in the phagocytosis of apoptotic cells in mammals and nematodes. However, whether this is also true in insects was unclear. When milk fat globule-epidermal growth factor 8, a phosphatidylserine-binding protein of mammals, was ectopically expressed in Drosophila, the level of phagocytosis was reduced, whereas this was not the case for the same protein lacking a domain responsible for the binding to phosphatidylserine. We found that the extracellular region of Draper, an engulfment receptor of Drosophila, binds to phosphatidylserine in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-like solid-phase assay and in an assay for surface plasmon resonance. A portion of Draper containing domains EMI and NIM located close to the N-terminus was required for binding to phosphatidylserine, and a Draper protein lacking this region was not active in Drosophila. Finally, the level of tyrosine-phosphorylated Draper, indicative of the activation of Draper, in a hemocyte-derived cell line was increased after treatment with phosphatidylserine-containing liposome. These results indicated that phosphatidylserine serves as an eat-me signal in the phagocytic removal of apoptotic cells in Drosophila and that Draper is a phosphatidylserine-binding receptor for phagocytosis.

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    J. Biochem., Tokyo
    Journal of Biochemistry
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