Components of microbial cell walls are potent activators of innate immune responses in animals. For example, the mammalian TLR4 signaling pathway is activated by bacterial lipopolysaccharide and is required for resistance to infection by Gram-negative bacteria. Other components of microbial surfaces, such as peptidoglycan, are also potent activators of innate immune responses, but less is known about how those components activate host defense. Here we show that a peptidoglycan recognition protein, PGRP-LC, is absolutely required for the induction of antibacterial peptide genes in response to infection in Drosophila and acts by controlling activation of the NF-κB family transcription factor Relish.
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