An antioxidant system required for host protection against gut infection in Drosophila

Dev Cell. 2005 Jan;8(1):125-32. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2004.11.007.


A fundamental question that applies to all organisms is how barrier epithelia efficiently manage continuous contact with microorganisms. Here, we show that in Drosophila an extracellular immune-regulated catalase (IRC) mediates a key host defense system that is needed during host-microbe interaction in the gastrointestinal tract. Strikingly, adult flies with severely reduced IRC expression show high mortality rates even after simple ingestion of microbe-contaminated foods. However, despite the central role that the NF-kappaB pathway plays in eliciting antimicrobial responses, NF-kappaB pathway mutant flies are totally resistant to such infections. These results imply that homeostasis of redox balance by IRC is one of the most critical factors affecting host survival during continuous host-microbe interaction in the gastrointestinal tract.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Antioxidants / physiology*
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control*
  • Blotting, Western / methods
  • Catalase / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / physiology
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • NF-kappa B / physiology
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • RNA Interference / physiology
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Transfection / methods


  • Antioxidants
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Catalase