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Keywords:

  • mosquito;
  • Anopheles;
  • immunity;
  • defensin;
  • promoter

Abstract

The defensin gene from the mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, is present as a single copy per haploid genome. Two exons, encoding a 102 residue preprodefensin, are separated by a 105 bp intron bounded by consensus splice sites. The upstream regulatory sequence includes a TATA box, arthropod initiator and numerous motifs homologous to insect and mammalian immune response elements. This promoter is capable of upregulation by immune challenge in cultured cells and activity is further stimulated by Gambif1, a mosquito Rel protein known to translocate to the nucleus and bind NF-κB sites in target promoters. Activity is inhibited by p50, a mammalian Rel protein that competitively binds NF-κB sites, and virtually abolished by p40, an avian IκB protein that inhibits nuclear translocation.