Stefan M. Kanzok

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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)
We show that, in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, expression of Cecropin 1 is regulated by REL2, an NF-kappaB-like transcription factor orthologous to Drosophila Relish. Through alternative splicing, REL2 produces a full-length (REL2-F) and a shorter (REL2-S) protein isoform lacking the inhibitory ankyrin repeats and death domain. RNA interference(More)
The disulfide reducing enzymes glutathione reductase and thioredoxin reductase are highly conserved among bacteria, fungi, worms, and mammals. These proteins maintain intracellular redox homeostasis to protect the organism from oxidative damage. Here we demonstrate the absence of glutathione reductase in Drosophila melanogaster, identify a new type of(More)
Malaria parasites must undergo development within mosquitoes to be transmitted to a new host. Antivector transmission-blocking vaccines inhibit parasite development by preventing ookinete interaction with mosquito midgut ligands. Therefore, the discovery of novel midgut antigen targets is paramount. Jacalin (a lectin) inhibits ookinete attachment by masking(More)
As Drosophila melanogaster does not contain glutathione reductase, the thioredoxin system has a key function for glutathione disulfide reduction in insects (Kanzok, S. M., Fechner, A., Bauer, H., Ulschmid, J. K., Müller, H. M., Botella-Munoz, J., Schneuwly, S., Schirmer, R. H., and Becker, K. (2001) Science 291, 643-646). In view of these unique conditions,(More)
In most living cells, redox homeostasis is based both on the glutathione and the thioredoxin system. In the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum antioxidative proteins represent promising targets for the development of antiparasitic drugs. We cloned and expressed a thioredoxin of P. falciparum (pftrx), and we improved the stable expression of the(More)
Malaria infection results in increased expression of immune responsive genes, including those encoding antimicrobial peptides such as Gambicin (Gam1) and Cecropin A (Cec1). Understanding how these genes are regulated will provide insights how the mosquito immune system is activated by Plasmodium. We previously have shown that Cec1 was primarily regulated by(More)
Diseases caused by protozoan parasites have a dramatic impact on world health. Emerging drug resistance and a general lack of experimental understanding has created a void in the medicine cabinet used to treat these widespread infections. A novel therapeutic idea that is receiving more attention is centred on targeting the microbe's response to the(More)
Plasmodium ookinete invasion of the mosquito midgut is a crucial step of the parasite life cycle but little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved. Previously, a phage display peptide library screen identified SM1, a peptide that binds to the mosquito midgut epithelium and inhibits ookinete invasion. SM1 was characterized as a mimotope of an(More)
Gametocytes are essential for Plasmodium transmission, but little is known about the mechanisms that lead to their formation. Using piggyBac transposon-mediated insertional mutagenesis, we screened for parasites that no longer form mature gametocytes, which led to the isolation of 29 clones (insertional gametocyte-deficient mutants) that fail to form mature(More)