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Keywords:

  • Immune regulation;
  • Defensin genes;
  • mosquito;
  • NF-κB;
  • C/EBP

Abstract

A comparative analysis identified key cis-acting regulatory elements responsible for the temporal control of mosquito Defensin gene expression. The promoters of Anopheles gambiae Defensin 1 and two isoforms of Aedes aegypti Defensin A are up-regulated by immune challenge. This stimulated activity depends upon a cluster of three NF-κB binding sites and closely associated C/EBP-like motifs, which function as a unit for optimal promoter activity. Binding of NF-κB and C/EBP like transcription factors is confirmed by electrophoretic mobility shift assay, including supershifts with antibodies to C/EBP. κB-like motifs are abundant within antimicrobial peptide gene promoters and most are very closely associated with putative C/EBP binding sites. This novel association between NF-κB and C/EBP binding sites may, therefore, be of widespread significance.