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Science 335 (6070): 856-859

Copyright © 2012 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Epithelial Nitration by a Peroxidase/NOX5 System Mediates Mosquito Antiplasmodial Immunity

Giselle de Almeida Oliveira, Joshua Lieberman, Carolina Barillas-Mury*

Abstract: Plasmodium ookinetes traverse midgut epithelial cells before they encounter the complement system in the mosquito hemolymph. We identified a heme peroxidase (HPX2) and NADPH oxidase 5 (NOX5) as critical mediators of midgut epithelial nitration and antiplasmodial immunity that enhance nitric oxide toxicity in Anopheles gambiae. We show that the two immune mechanisms that target ookinetes—epithelial nitration and thioester-containing protein 1 (TEP1)–mediated lysis—work sequentially, and we propose that epithelial nitration works as an opsonization-like system that promotes activation of the mosquito complement cascade.

Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Rockville, MD 20892, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: cbarillas{at}

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