Mosquito Immune Mediation

Science Signaling  14 Apr 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 66, pp. ec132
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.266ec132

Mosquitoes are vectors of numerous human and animal diseases, including malaria. Approaches that enhance or otherwise alter the natural defense mechanisms of mosquitoes could help to reduce or eliminate their competence as vectors of disease. Proteins containing leucine-rich repeats (LRIM1 and APL1C) are known to mediate immune responses in the mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, against the malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei. Povelones et al. used gene silencing to show that these proteins produce an immune cascade together with a complement-like protein, binding to the surface of the parasite targeting it for destruction. LRIM1 and APL1C are members of an extensive family of secreted leucine-rich repeats containing proteins that are unique to mosquitoes.

M. Povelones, R. M. Waterhouse, F. C. Kafatos, G. K. Christophides, Leucine-rich repeat protein complex activates mosquito complement in defense against Plasmodium parasites. Science 324, 258–261 (2009). [Abstract] [Full Text]