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The Rho-Family GTPase Rac1 Regulates Integrin Localization in Drosophila Immunosurveillance Cells

Public Library of Science
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019504
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Genetics
  • Immunology
  • Immunity
  • Innate Immunity
  • Model Organisms
  • Animal Models
  • Drosophila Melanogaster
  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Integrins
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Zoology
  • Parasitology
  • Biology


Background When the parasitoid wasp Leptopilina boulardi lays an egg in a Drosophila larva, phagocytic cells called plasmatocytes and specialized cells known as lamellocytes encapsulate the egg. The Drosophila β-integrin Myospheroid (Mys) is necessary for lamellocytes to adhere to the cellular capsule surrounding L. boulardi eggs. Integrins are heterodimeric adhesion receptors consisting of α and β subunits, and similar to other plasma membrane receptors undergo ligand-dependent endocytosis. In mammalian cells it is known that integrin binding to the extracellular matrix induces the activation of Rac GTPases, and we have previously shown that Rac1 and Rac2 are necessary for a proper encapsulation response in Drosophila larvae. We wanted to test the possibility that Myospheroid and Rac GTPases interact during the Drosophila anti-parasitoid immune response. Results In the current study we demonstrate that Rac1 is required for the proper localization of Myospheroid to the cell periphery of haemocytes after parasitization. Interestingly, the mislocalization of Myospheroid in Rac1 mutants is rescued by hyperthermia, involving the heat shock protein Hsp83. From these results we conclude that Rac1 and Hsp83 are required for the proper localization of Mys after parasitization. Significance We show for the first time that the small GTPase Rac1 is required for Mysopheroid localization. Interestingly, the necessity of Rac1 in Mys localization was negated by hyperthermia. This presents a problem, in Drosophila we quite often raise larvae at 29°C when using the GAL4/UAS misexpression system. If hyperthermia rescues receptor endosomal recycling defects, raising larvae in hyperthermic conditions may mask potentially interesting phenotypes.

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