Elena A. Levashina

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Anopheles mosquitoes are major vectors of human malaria in Africa. Large variation exists in the ability of mosquitoes to serve as vectors and to transmit malaria parasites, but the molecular mechanisms that determine vectorial capacity remain poorly understood. We report that the hemocyte-specific complement-like protein TEP1 from the mosquito Anopheles(More)
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(More)
Mosquitoes are vectors of parasitic and viral diseases of immense importance for public health. The acquisition of the genome sequence of the yellow fever and Dengue vector, Aedes aegypti (Aa), has enabled a comparative phylogenomic analysis of the insect immune repertoire: in Aa, the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae (Ag), and the fruit fly Drosophila(More)
We characterize a novel hemocyte-specific acute phase glycoprotein from the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae. It shows substantial structural and functional similarities, including the highly conserved thioester motif, to both a central component of mammalian complement system, factor C3, and to a pan-protease inhibitor, alpha2-macroglobulin. Most(More)
The susceptibility of Anopheles mosquitoes to Plasmodium infections relies on complex interactions between the insect vector and the malaria parasite. A number of studies have shown that the mosquito innate immune responses play an important role in controlling the malaria infection and that the strength of parasite clearance is under genetic control, but(More)
Plasmodium development within Anopheles mosquitoes is a vulnerable step in the parasite transmission cycle, and targeting this step represents a promising strategy for malaria control. The thioester-containing complement-like protein TEP1 and two leucine-rich repeat (LRR) proteins, LRIM1 and APL1, have been identified as major mosquito factors that regulate(More)
The antifungal defense of Drosophila is controlled by the spaetzle/Toll/cactus gene cassette. Here, a loss-of-function mutation in the gene encoding a blood serine protease inhibitor, Spn43Ac, was shown to lead to constitutive expression of the antifungal peptide drosomycin, and this effect was mediated by the spaetzle and Toll gene products. Spaetzle was(More)
We show that Drosophila expresses four genes encoding proteins with significant similarities with the thiolester-containing proteins of the complement C3/alpha(2)-macroglobulin superfamily. The genes are transcribed at a low level during all stages of development, and their expression is markedly up-regulated after an immune challenge. For one of these(More)
Anopheles gambiae, the major vector for the protozoan malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, mounts powerful antiparasitic responses that cause marked parasite loss during midgut invasion. Here, we showed that these antiparasitic defenses were composed of pre- and postinvasion phases and that the preinvasion phase was predominantly regulated by Rel1 and(More)
The leucine-rich repeat (LRR) proteins LRIM1 and APL1C control the function of the complement-like protein TEP1 in Anopheles mosquitoes. The molecular structure of LRIM1 and APL1C and the basis of their interaction with TEP1 represent a new type of innate immune complex. The LRIM1/APL1C complex specifically binds and solubilizes a cleaved form of TEP1(More)