Caudal is a negative regulator of the Anopheles IMD Pathway that controls resistance to Plasmodium falciparum infection

April M. Clayton, Chris M. Cirimotich, Yuemei Dong, George Dimopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Malaria parasite transmission depends upon the successful development of Plasmodium in its Anopheles mosquito vector. The mosquito's innate immune system constitutes a major bottleneck for parasite population growth. We show here that in Anopheles gambiae, the midgut-specific transcription factor Caudal acts as a negative regulator in the Imd pathway-mediated immune response against the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Caudal also modulates the mosquito midgut bacterial flora. RNAi-mediated silencing of Caudal enhanced the mosquito's resistance to bacterial infections and increased the transcriptional abundance of key immune effector genes. Interestingly, Caudal's silencing resulted in an increased lifespan of the mosquito, while it impaired reproductive fitness with respect to egg laying and hatching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-332
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • Anopheles
  • Caudal
  • Imd pathway
  • Innate immunity
  • Mosquito
  • Plasmodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Developmental Biology

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