Immunity-related genes and gene families in Anopheles gambiae

George K. Christophides, Evgeny Zdobnov, Carolina Barillas-Mury, Ewan Birney, Stephanie Blandin, Claudia Blass, Paul T. Brey, Frank H. Collins, Alberto Danielli, George Dimopoulos, Charles Hetru, Ngo T. Hoa, Jules A. Hoffmann, Stefan M. Kanzok, Ivica Letunic, Elena A. Levashina, Thanasis G. Loukeris, Gareth Lycett, Stephan Meister, Kristin MichelLuis F. Moita, Hans Michael Müller, Mike A. Osta, Susan M. Paskewitz, Jean Marc Reichhart, Andrey Rzhetsky, Laurent Troxler, Kenneth D. Vernick, Dina Vlachou, Jennifer Volz, Christian Von Mering, Jiannong Xu, Liangbiao Zheng, Peer Bork, Fotis C. Kafatos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have identified 242 Anopheles gambiae genes from 18 gene families implicated in innate immunity and have detected marked diversification relative to Drosophila melanogaster. Immune-related gene families involved in recognition, signal modulation, and effector systems show a marked deficit of orthologs and excessive gene expansions, possibly reflecting selection pressures from different pathogens encountered in these insects' very different life-styles. In contrast, the multifunctional Toll signal transduction pathway is substantially conserved, presumably because of counterselection for developmental stability. Representative expression profiles confirm that sequence diversification is accompanied by specific responses to different immune challenges. Alternative RNA splicing may also contribute to expansion of the immune repertoire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
Issue number5591
StatePublished - Oct 4 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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