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Cellular mechanisms

Perrine Viargues

Ubiquitination and endocytic trafficking regulate the immune response in Drosophila.

Published on 8 October 2013

Thesis presented October 08, 2013

Abstract :
The innate immune system relies on the recognition of “non-self” and on the activation of adapted responses, among which NF-
κB signaling pathways play a crucial role. These pathways are tightly regulated, in order to prevent an excessive and sustained immune response, responsible for several pathologies, such as autoimmune and pro-inflammatory diseases. During my PhD thesis, I elucidated some Drosophila regulatory mechanisms of NF-κB pathways, Toll and IMD, which rely on protein ubiquitination and their subsequent degradation by the endocytic pathway or proteasome.
Reversible ubiquitination of proteins is a post-translation​al modification, regulating their activity, their stability and the subcellular localization. In particular, ubiquitination of membrane receptors could trigger their internalization and their subsequent lysosomal degradation. In Drosophila, the PGRP-LC receptor specifically recognizes diaminopimelic acid containing peptidoglycan (PGN) and induces the IMD signaling pathway. I proved that PGRP-LC receptor is ubiquitinated, internalized and degraded by the endocytic pathway. In this process, I identified the major role of the USP8 deubiquitinating enzyme, which controls the degradation of ubiquitinated PGRP-LC. Besides, I showed that the IMD stimulation by PGN enhances the PGRP-LC internalization and its degradation, ensuring receptors elimination once the IMD pathway has been activated. Moreover, I took part to studies, aiming to understand the role of USP2, USP34 and USP36, previously selected by the team as negative regulators of the IMD and/or Toll pathways. In particular, my results showed that USP2 principally acts at the Imd level, allowing for the hydrolysis of its K48 poly-ubiquitin chains and its proteasomal degradation. Finally, I observed that USP2 also interacts with PGRP-LC and favors the hydrolysis of PGRP-LC associated K48 chains, whereas the degradation of K48 poly-ubiquitinated PGRP-LC is independent from the proteasome, but rather depends on the Hrs and Rab5 endocytic proteins and on the USP8 deubiquitinating enzyme.

IMD, PGRP-LC, endocytosis, Ubiquitin Specific Protease (USP), NF-
κB, Drosophila melanogaster

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