• Broderick S, Wang X, Simms N, Page-McCaw A. Drosophila Ninjurin A induces nonapoptotic cell death. PloS One. 2012 Sep;7(9). e44567. PMID: 23028562 [PubMed]. PMCID: PMC3460944.

Abstract 

Ninjurins are conserved transmembrane proteins that are upregulated across species in response to injury and stress. Their biological functions are not understood, in part because there have been few in vivo studies of their function. We analyzed the expression and function of one of three Drosophila Ninjurins, NijA. We found that NijA protein is redistributed to the cell surface in larval immune tissues after septic injury and is upregulated by the Toll pathway. We generated a null mutant of NijA, which displayed no detectable phenotype. In ectopic expression studies, NijA induced cell death, as evidenced by cell loss and acridine orange staining. These dying cells did not display hallmarks of apoptotic cells including TUNEL staining and inhibition by p35, indicating that NijA induced nonapoptotic cell death. In cell culture, NijA also induced cell death, which appeared to be cell autonomous. These in vivo studies identify a new role for the Ninjurin family in inducing nonapoptotic cell death.