Vladimir A. Kokoza

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We report efficient germ-line transformation in the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti accomplished using the piggyBac transposable element vector pBac[3xP3-EGFP afm]. Two transgenic lines were established and characterized; each contained the Vg-Defensin A transgene with strong eye-specific expression of the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)(More)
The mosquito (Aedes aegypti) vitellogenin receptor (AaVgR) is a large membrane-bound protein (214 kDa when linearized) that mediates internalization of vitellogenin, the major yolk-protein precursor, by oocytes during egg development. We have cloned and sequenced two cDNA fragments encompassing the entire coding region of AaVgR mRNA, to our knowledge the(More)
Signaling by Drosophila Toll pathway activates two Rel/NF-kappaB transcription factors, Dorsal (Dl) and Dorsal-related immune factor (Dif). Dl plays a central role in the establishment of dorsoventral polarity during early embryogenesis, whereas Dif mediates the Toll receptor-dependent antifungal immune response in adult Drosophila. The absence of a Dif(More)
In anautogenous mosquitoes, a blood meal is required for activation of genes encoding yolk protein precursors (YPP). Vitellogenin (Vg), the major YPP gene, is transcribed at a very high level following blood meal activation. It is expressed exclusively in the female fat body, the tissue producing most of mosquito hemolymph and immune proteins. In this(More)
The mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus poses a substantial threat to human and veterinary health as a primary vector of West Nile virus (WNV), the filarial worm Wuchereria bancrofti, and an avian malaria parasite. Comparative phylogenomics revealed an expanded canonical C. quinquefasciatus immune gene repertoire compared with those of Aedes aegypti and(More)
Progress in molecular genetics makes possible the development of alternative disease control strategies that target the competence of mosquitoes to transmit pathogens. We tested the regulatory region of the vitellogenin (Vg) gene of Aedes aegypti for its ability to express potential antipathogen factors in transgenic mosquitoes. Hermes-mediated(More)
Serine protease cascades are involved in blood coagulation and immunity. In arthropods, they regulate melanization, which plays an important role in immune defense and wound healing. However, the mechanisms underlying melanization pathways are not completely characterized. We found that in the mosquito Aedes aegypti, there are two distinct melanization(More)
Elucidation of molecular mechanisms underlying stage- and tissue-specific expression of genes activated by a blood meal is of great importance for current efforts directed towards utilizing molecular genetics to develop novel strategies of mosquito and pathogen control. Regulatory regions of such genes can be used to express anti-pathogen effector molecules(More)
The Rel/NF-kappa B transcription factor Relish performs a central role in the acute-phase response to microbial challenge by activating immune antibacterial peptides. We cloned and molecularly characterized the gene homologous to Drosophila Relish from the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Unlike Drosophila Relish, Aedes Relish has three alternatively spliced(More)
Vitellogenin receptor (VgR) is responsible for the receptor-mediated endocytosis of vitellogenin (Vg) in the egg formation of an oviparous animal, including insects. Little is known about regulation of VgR gene expression. We analyzed the upstream region of the VgR gene from Aedes aegypti (AaVgR) to identify regulatory elements responsible for its(More)