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Interactions between mutualist Wigglesworthia and tsetse peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGRP-LB)

Summary: Interactions between mutualist Wigglesworthia and
tsetse peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGRP-LB)
influence trypanosome transmission
Jingwen Wang, Yineng Wu, Guangxiao Yang, and Serap Aksoy1
Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases, Yale School of Public Heath, New Haven, CT 06520
Edited by Barry J. Beaty, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, and approved May 22, 2009 (received for review February 6, 2009)
Tsetse flies, the sole vectors of African trypanosomes, have co-
evolved with mutualistic endosymbiont Wigglesworthia glossin-
idiae. Elimination of Wigglesworthia renders tsetse sterile and
increases their trypanosome infection susceptibility. We show that
a tsetse peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGRP-LB) is crucial for
symbiotic tolerance and trypanosome infection processes. Tsetse
pgrp-lb is expressed in the Wigglesworthia-harboring organ (bac-
teriome) in the midgut, and its level of expression correlates with
symbiont numbers. Adult tsetse cured of Wigglesworthia infec-
tions have significantly lower pgrp-lb levels than corresponding
normal adults. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated depletion of
pgrp-lb results in the activation of the immune deficiency (IMD)
signaling pathway and leads to the synthesis of antimicrobial
peptides (AMPs), which decrease Wigglesworthia density. Deple-


Source: Aksoy, Serap - School of Public Health, Yale University


Collections: Biology and Medicine