EXPLORING THE ROLE OF NFκB HOMOLOGS IN AUTOPHAGIC CELL DEATH IN THE DROSOPHILA SALIVARY GLAND
Wu, Louisa P
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The innate immune response is an ancient, highly conserved means of defense against pathogens. An important mediator of innate immunity is the NF-κB (Nuclear Factor-Kappa B) family of transcription factors. Activation of immune-signaling pathways leads to the nuclear translocation of NFκB proteins which initiate the transcription of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that circulate and destroy microbes. In Drosophila, these AMPs are up-regulated during the destruction of larval salivary glands. Salivary gland cells are destroyed via autophagy during metamorphosis. This project sought to determine what, if any, role the NFκB transcription factors have in autophagic cell death. Using the Drosophila model, it was determined that a loss of AMP activity during metamorphosis results in a failure to completely degrade larval salivary glands, and this defect appears to be due to an inability to remove autophagic vacuoles. It is suggested that AMPs may serve to degrade the membranes of autophagic vacuoles.