Report

Extensive Diversity of Ig-Superfamily Proteins in the Immune System of Insects

Science  16 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5742, pp. 1874-1878
DOI: 10.1126/science.1116887

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Abstract

The extensive somatic diversification of immune receptors is a hallmark of higher vertebrates. However, whether molecular diversity contributes to immune protection in invertebrates is unknown. We present evidence that Drosophila immune-competent cells have the potential to express more than 18,000 isoforms of the immunoglobulin (Ig)-superfamily receptor Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam). Secreted protein isoforms of Dscam were detected in the hemolymph, and hemocyte-specific loss of Dscam impaired the efficiency of phagocytic uptake of bacteria, possibly due to reduced bacterial binding. Importantly, the molecular diversity of Dscam transcripts generated through a mechanism of alternative splicing is highly conserved across major insect orders, suggesting an unsuspected molecular complexity of the innate immune system of insects.

    View Full Text

    Cited By...