Interaction and specificity of Rel-related proteins in regulating Drosophila immunity gene expression

UMMS Affiliation

Program in Molecular Medicine; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


NF-kappaB/Rel family proteins regulate genes that are critical for many cellular processes including apoptosis, inflammation, immune response, and development. NF-kappaB/Rel proteins function as homodimers or heterodimers, which recognize specific DNA sequences within target promoters. We examined the activity of different Drosophila Rel-related proteins in modulating Drosophila immunity genes by expressing the Rel proteins in stably transfected cell lines. We also compared how different combinations of these transcriptional regulators control the activity of various immunity genes. The results show that Rel proteins are directly involved in regulating the Drosophila antimicrobial response. Furthermore, the drosomycin and defensin expression is best induced by the Relish/Dif and the Relish/Dorsal heterodimers, respectively, whereas the attacin activity can be efficiently up-regulated by the Relish homodimer and heterodimers. These results illustrate how the formation of Rel protein dimers differentially regulate target gene expression.


J Biol Chem. 1999 Jul 23;274(30):21355-61.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of biological chemistry

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID