FSHR-1 and Innate Immunity

Polek, James
Innate immunity is critical for all organisms against microbial pathogens. It is the first line of defense that organisms possess and is used in the activation of adaptive immune response in mammalian vertebrates. Many pathways have been identified as being key to innate immunity regulation. Recently a G protein coupled receptor, FSHR-1, was identified as being important to the function of innate immunity of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Over expression of FSHR-1 makes organisms hyper resistant to killing by pathogenic bacteria while under expression makes organisms hypersensitive to killing by pathogenic bacteria. The project I undertook was to elucidate more about the molecular function of FSHR-1 by exposing various strains of FSHR-1 mutants to pathogenic bacteria and then scoring them for death. The results gained from this experiment were inconclusive due to limitations of the mutated strains and further experimentation is needed to provide conclusive results. However in a separate line of experimentation FSHR-1 gain of function and loss of function strains were used to show that Verrucomicrobium spinosum, a recently discovered free-living soil bacterium, is pathogenic against C. elegans.
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