GPCRs in invertebrate innate immunity

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Abstract

G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent a privileged point of contact between cells and their surrounding environment. They have been widely adopted in vertebrates as mediators of signals involved in both innate and adaptive immunity. Invertebrates rely on innate immune defences to resist infection. We review here evidence from a number of different species, principally the genetically tractable Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster that points to an important role for GPCRs in modulating innate immunity in invertebrates too. In addition to examples of GPCRs involved in regulating the expression of defence genes, we discuss studies in C. elegans addressing the role of GPCR signalling in pathogen aversive behaviour. Despite the many lacunae in our current knowledge, it is clear that GPCR signalling contributes to host defence across the animal kingdom.

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