Innate immune genes including a mucin-like gene, mul-1, induced by ionizing radiation in caenorhabditis elegans

Takafumi Kimura, Takako Takanami, Tetsuya Sakashita, Seiichi Wada, Yasuhiko Kobayashi, Atsushi Higashitani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of radiation on the intestine has been studied for more than one hundred years. It remains unclear, however, whether this organ uses specific defensive mechanisms against ionizing radiation. The infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA14) in Caenorhabditis elegans induces up-regulation of innate immune response genes. Here, we found that exposure to ionizing radiation also induces certain innate immune response genes such as F49F1.6 (termed mul-1), clec-4, clec-67, lys-1 and lys-2 in the intestine. Moreover, pre-treatment with ionizing radiation before seeding on PA14 lawn plate significantly increased survival rate in the nematode. We also studied transcription pathway of the mul-1 in response to ionizing radiation. Induction of mul-1 gene was highly dependent on the ELT-2 transcription factor and p38 MAPK. Moreover, the insulin/IGF-1 signal pathway works to enhance induction of this gene. The mul-1 gene showed a different induction pattern from the DNA damage response gene, ced-13, which implies that the expression of this gene might be triggered as an indirect effect of radiation. Silencing of the mul-1 gene led to growth retardation after treatment with ionizing radiation. We describe the cross-tolerance between the response to radiation exposure and the innate immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-320
Number of pages8
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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