Hypersensitivity of Vps33B mutant flies to non-pathogenic infections is dictated by aberrant activation of p38b MAP kinase

Jian Zhang, Charles Tracy, Chandrashekhar Pasare, Jinsheng Zeng, Helmut Krämer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Loss of the arthrogryposis-renal dysfunction-cholestasis (ARC) syndrome-linked Vps33B protein results in exaggerated inflammatory responses upon activation of receptors of the innate immune system in both vertebrates and flies. However, little is known about the signaling elements downstream of these receptors that are critical for the hypersensitivity of Vps33B mutants. Here, we show that p38b MAP kinase contributes to the enhanced inflammatory responses in flies lacking Vps33B. Loss of p38b mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) reduces enhanced inflammatory responses and prolongs the survival of infected Vps33B deficient flies. The function of p38 MAPK is not limited to its proinflammatory effects downstream of the PGRP-LC receptor as p38 also modulates endosomal trafficking of PGRP-LC and phagocytosis of bacteria. Expression of constitutively active p38b MAPK, but not dominant negative p38b MAPK enhances accumulation of endocytosed PGRP-LC receptors or phagocytosed bacteria within cells. Moreover, p38 MAPK is required for induction of macropinocytosis, an alternate pathway for the downregulation of immune receptors. Together, our data indicate that p38 MAPK activates multiple pathways that can contribute to the dysregulation of innate immune signaling in ARC syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-589
Number of pages12
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • endosomes
  • innate immune system
  • lysosomal delivery
  • macropinocytosis
  • phagocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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