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Article

Meta-Analysis of Immune Induced Gene Expression Changes in Diverse Drosophila melanogaster Innate Immune Responses

School of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sourav Roy and Rebecca Spokony
Insects 2022, 13(5), 490; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050490
Received: 17 April 2022 / Revised: 17 May 2022 / Accepted: 19 May 2022 / Published: 23 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Bioinformatics)
Organisms can be infected by a wide range of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Following infection, the host mounts an immune response to attempt to eliminate the pathogen. These responses are often specific to the type of pathogen and mediated by the expression of specialized genes. We have characterized the expression changes induced in host Drosophila fruit flies following infection by multiple types of pathogens, and identified a small number of genes that show expression changes in each infection. This includes genes that are known to be involved in pathogen resistance, and others that have not been previously studied as immune response genes. These findings provide new insight into transcriptional changes that accompany Drosophila immunity. They may suggest possible roles for the differentially expressed genes in innate immune responses to diverse classes of pathogens, and serve to identify candidate genes for further empirical study of these processes.
Organisms are commonly infected by a diverse array of pathogens and mount functionally distinct responses to each of these varied immune challenges. Host immune responses are characterized by the induction of gene expression, however, the extent to which expression changes are shared among responses to distinct pathogens is largely unknown. To examine this, we performed meta-analysis of gene expression data collected from Drosophila melanogaster following infection with a wide array of pathogens. We identified 62 genes that are significantly induced by infection. While many of these infection-induced genes encode known immune response factors, we also identified 21 genes that have not been previously associated with host immunity. Examination of the upstream flanking sequences of the infection-induced genes lead to the identification of two conserved enhancer sites. These sites correspond to conserved binding sites for GATA and nuclear factor κB (NFκB) family transcription factors and are associated with higher levels of transcript induction. We further identified 31 genes with predicted functions in metabolism and organismal development that are significantly downregulated following infection by diverse pathogens. Our study identifies conserved gene expression changes in Drosophila melanogaster following infection with varied pathogens, and transcription factor families that may regulate this immune induction. View Full-Text
Keywords: Drosophila melanogaster; innate immunity; gene expression; transcriptome analysis; pathogen infection Drosophila melanogaster; innate immunity; gene expression; transcriptome analysis; pathogen infection
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MDPI and ACS Style

Waring, A.L.; Hill, J.; Allen, B.M.; Bretz, N.M.; Le, N.; Kr, P.; Fuss, D.; Mortimer, N.T. Meta-Analysis of Immune Induced Gene Expression Changes in Diverse Drosophila melanogaster Innate Immune Responses. Insects 2022, 13, 490. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050490

AMA Style

Waring AL, Hill J, Allen BM, Bretz NM, Le N, Kr P, Fuss D, Mortimer NT. Meta-Analysis of Immune Induced Gene Expression Changes in Diverse Drosophila melanogaster Innate Immune Responses. Insects. 2022; 13(5):490. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050490

Chicago/Turabian Style

Waring, Ashley L., Joshua Hill, Brooke M. Allen, Nicholas M. Bretz, Nguyen Le, Pooja Kr, Dakota Fuss, and Nathan T. Mortimer. 2022. "Meta-Analysis of Immune Induced Gene Expression Changes in Diverse Drosophila melanogaster Innate Immune Responses" Insects 13, no. 5: 490. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13050490

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