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JAK/STAT signaling pathway-mediated immune response in silkworm (Bombyx mori) challenged by Beauveria bassiana

Innate immunity was critical in insects defensive system and able to be induced by Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription cascade transduction (JAK/STAT) signaling pathway. Currently, it had been identified many JAK/STAT signaling pathway-related genes in silkworm, but little function was known on insect innate immunity. To explore the roles of JAK/STAT pathway in antifungal immune response in silkworm (Bombyx mori) against Beauveria bassiana infection, the expression patterns of B. mori C-type lectin 5 (BmCTL5) and genes encoding 6 components of JAK/STAT signaling pathway in silkworm challenged by B. bassiana were analyzed using quantitative real time PCR. Meanwhile the activation of JAK/STAT signaling pathway by various pathogenic micro-organisms and the affect of JAK/STAT signaling pathway inhibitors on antifungal activity in silkworm hemolymph was also detected. Moreover, RNAi assay of BmCTL5 and the affect on expression levels of signaling factors were also analyzed. We found that JAK/STAT pathway could be obviously activated in silkworm challenged with B. bassiana and had no response to bacteria and B. mori cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus (BmCPV). However, the temporal expression patterns of JAK/STAT signaling pathway related genes were significantly different. B. mori downstream receptor kinase (BmDRK) might be a positive regulator of JAK/STAT signaling pathway in silkworm against B. bassiana infection. Moreover, antifungal activity assay showed that the suppression of JAK/STAT signaling pathway by inhibitors could significantly inhibit the antifungal activity in hemolymph and resulted in increased sensitivity of silkworm to B. bassiana infection, indicating that JAK/STAT signaling pathway might be involved in the synthesis and secretion of antifungal substances. The results of RNAi assays suggested that BmCTL5 might be one pattern recognition receptors for JAK/STAT signaling pathway in silkworm. These findings yield insights for better understand the molecular mechanisms of JAK/STAT signaling pathway in antifungal immune response in silkworm.

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