DOI: 10.1101/452961Oct 25, 2018Paper

Anti-tumor effects of antimicrobial peptides, targets of the innate immune system, against hematopoietic tumors in Drosophila mxc mutants

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Mayo ArakiYoshihiro Inoue


The innate immune response is the first line of defense against microbial infections. In Drosophila, three immune pathways induce the synthesis of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in the fat body. Recently, it has been reported that certain cationic AMPs exhibit selective cytotoxicity against human cancer cells. However, little is known about their anti-tumor effects. Drosophila mxcmbn1 mutants exhibit malignant hyperplasia in a larval hematopoietic organ called the lymph gland (LG). Here, using RNA-Seq analysis, we found that many immunoresponsive genes, including AMP genes, were up-regulated in the mutants. Down-regulation of these pathways by either a Toll or an imd mutation enhanced the tumor phenotype of the mxc mutants. Conversely, ectopic expression of each of five different AMPs in the fat body significantly suppressed the LG hyperplasia phenotype in the mutants. Thus, we propose that the Drosophila innate immune system can suppress progression of hematopoietic tumors by inducing AMP gene expression. Overexpression of any one of these five AMPs resulted in enhanced apoptosis in the mutant LGs, while no apoptosis signals were detected in controls. We observed that two AMPs, Drosomycin and Defensin, were taken up by circulat...Continue Reading

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