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Drosophila Imd Pathway

Our group investigates how Drosophila melanogaster respond to bacterial infection. In particular, we focus on the Imd pathway, where DAP-type peptidoglycan (PGN), from the cell wall of gram-negative bacteria, is a potent agonist. PGN triggers a robust and rapid transcriptional response through activation of the NF-κB precursor Relish. We continue to explore the molecular mechanism by which PGN recognition, via the receptors PGRP-LC and PGRP-LE, signals the cleavage and activation of Relish, and subsequent transcriptional responses. We are currently investigating the role and regulation of functional amyloids, which are formed by these receptors and the Imd protein in the context of immune-induced signal transduction. We are also examining the ubiquitin dynamics, including both K48 and K63 Ub-chains, that regulate Imd signaling.