The malarial parasite Plasmodium must complete a complex lifecycle in its Anopheles mosquito host, the main vector for Plasmodium. The mosquito resists infection with the human malarial parasite P. falciparum by engaging the NF-κB immune signaling pathway, IMD. Here we show that the conserved transcriptional mediators Kto and Skd are involved in the regulation of the mosquito IMD pathway. RNAi-mediated depletion of Kto and Skd in the Anopheles gambiae cell line L5-3 resulted in a decrease in the transcript abundance of Cec1, which is controlled by the IMD pathway. Silencing the two genes also resulted in an increased susceptibility of the mosquito to bacterial and Plasmodium falciparum infection, but not to infection with the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei. We also showed that Kto and Skd are not transcriptional co-activators of Rel2 or other key factors of the IMD pathway; however, they participate in the regulation of the IMD pathway, which is crucial for the mosquito's defense against P. falciparum.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)