Research Summary

Uncovering the mechanisms of the systemic and gut immune response in Drosophila

In recent years, Drosophila melanogaster has emerged as a critical model system for deciphering molecular mechanisms on how signaling pathways respond to external stimuli. One such important pathway is the JAK/STAT pathway that is conserved from flies to mammals. This pathway plays important roles in both immunity and repair, where its dysfunction can lead to diseases such as blood cancers and severe compromised immunodeficiency. Studies on the precise function of this pathway have been hampered due to its extreme complexity, which stems from multiple genes being involved at each step. Drosophila on the other hand, has a simplified JAK/STAT pathway with a single receptor (Domeless), one Janus Kinase (JAK), and one STAT transcription factor, making this an ideal model to work mechanisms on how JAK/STAT signaling contributes towards wound healing, immunity and host survival.

Figure Legend: Figure. 1 Model on how haemocytes regulate the immune response in the fat body and intestinal epithelium proliferation in response to a systemic infection. Figure.2 Visualization of gut-associated haemocytes (hemolectinGAL4>UAS-RFP) fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde and stained visceral muscles with FITC-phalloidin, and nuclei with DAPI