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The Gram-Negative Bacteria-Binding Protein gene family: Its role in the innate immune system of Anopheles gambiae and in anti-Plasmodium defence


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    Emma Warr and Suchismita Das contributed equally to this study.

    Present address: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, Liverpool, L3 5QA. UK.

G. Dimopoulos, W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205-2179, USA. Tel.: 443 287 0128; fax: 410 955 0105; e-mail:


Gram-negative bacteria-binding proteins (GNBPs) are pattern recognition receptors which contribute to the defensive response against Plasmodium infection in Anopheles. We have characterized the GNBP gene family in Anopheles gambiae at the molecular level, and show that they are functionally diverse components of the A. gambiae innate immune system. GNBPB4 is a major factor in the defence against a broad range of pathogens, while the other GNBPs have narrower defence specificities. GNBPB4 is associated with the regulation of immune signalling pathways and was found to interact with the Gram-negative Escherichia coli and weakly co-localized with Plasmodium berghei ookinetes in the mosquito midgut epithelium.