Alvaro Molina-Cruz

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Plasmodium falciparum lines differ in their ability to infect mosquitoes. The Anopheles gambiae L3-5 refractory (R) line melanizes most Plasmodium species, including the Brazilian P. falciparum 7G8 line, but it is highly susceptible to some African P. falciparum strains such as 3D7, NF54, and GB4. We investigated whether these lines differ in their ability(More)
Extracellular matrices in diverse biological systems are cross-linked by dityrosine covalent bonds catalyzed by the peroxidase/oxidase system. We show that a peroxidase, secreted by the Anopheles gambiae midgut, and dual oxidase form a dityrosine network that decreases gut permeability to immune elicitors. This network protects the microbiota by preventing(More)
Plasmodium falciparum transmission by Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes is remarkably efficient, resulting in a very high prevalence of human malaria infection in sub-Saharan Africa. A combination of genetic mapping, linkage group selection, and functional genomics was used to identify Pfs47 as a P. falciparum gene that allows the parasite to infect A. gambiae(More)
BACKGROUND It has been shown that nearly a quarter of the initial predicted gene models in the Plasmodium falciparum genome contain errors. Although there have been efforts to obtain complete cDNA sequences to correct the errors, the coverage of cDNA sequences on the predicted genes is still incomplete, and many gene models for those expressed in sexual or(More)
The effect of mosquito midgut trypsins in dengue serotype 2 flavivirus (DENV-2) infectivity to Aedes aegypti was studied. Addition of soybean trypsin inhibitor (STI) in a DENV-2 infectious blood meal resulted in a 91-97% decrease in midgut DENV-2 RNA copies (qRT-PCR analysis). STI treatment also resulted in slower DENV-2 replication in the midgut, less(More)
BACKGROUND Functional screens based on dsRNA-mediated gene silencing identified several Anopheles gambiae genes that limit Plasmodium berghei infection. However, some of the genes identified in these screens have no effect on the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum; raising the question of whether different mosquito effector genes mediate(More)
Dengue virus-2 (DENV-2) RNA was quantified from the midgut and legs of individual Aedes aegypti at each of 14 days postinfectious blood meal (dpi) in a DENV-2 susceptible strain from Chetumal, Mexico. A SYBR Green I based strand-specific, quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay was developed. The lower detection(More)
BACKGROUND OXR1 is an ancient gene, present in all eukaryotes examined so far that confers protection from oxidative stress by an unknown mechanism. The most highly conserved region of the gene is the carboxyl-terminal TLDc domain, which has been shown to be sufficient to prevent oxidative damage. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS OXR1 has a complex genomic(More)
Genome sequencing of Anopheles gambiae was completed more than ten years ago and has accelerated research on malaria transmission. However, annotation needs to be refined and verified experimentally, as most predicted transcripts have been identified by comparative analysis with genomes from other species. The mosquito midgut—the first organ to interact(More)
BACKGROUND Plasmodium parasites need to cross the midgut and salivary gland epithelia to complete their life cycle in the mosquito. However, our understanding of the molecular mechanism and the mosquito genes that participate in this process is still very limited. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS We identified an Anopheles gambiae epithelial serine protease(More)