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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Transgenic alteration of Toll immune pathway in the female mosquito Aedes aegypti.

Reverse genetics is a powerful tool for understanding gene functions and their interactions in the mosquito innate immunity. We took the transgenic approach, in combination with the RNA interference (RNAi) technique, to elucidate the role of mosquito REL1, a homolog of Drosophila Dorsal, in regulation of Toll immune pathway in the mosquito Aedes aegypti. By transforming the mosquitoes with DeltaREL1-A or a double-stranded RNA construct of REL1 driven by the female fat body-specific vitellogenin ( Vg) promoter with the pBac[3xP3-EGFP, afm] vector, we generated two different transgenic mosquito strains, one with overexpressed AaREL1 and the second with AaREL1 knockdown. Both strains had a single copy of the respective transgene, and the expression in both transgenic mosquitoes was highly activated by blood feeding. Vg-DeltaREL1-A transgenic mosquitoes activate Toll immune pathway in the fat body by blood feeding. The overexpression of both isoforms, AaREL1-A and AaREL1-B, in Vg-DeltaREL1-A transgenic mosquitoes resulted in the concomitant activation of Aedes Spätzle1A and Serpin-27A, independent of septic injury. The same phenotype was observed in the mosquitoes with RNAi knockdown of an Aedes homolog to Drosophila cactus, an IkappaB inhibitor of Drosophila Toll pathway. The effect of the transgenic RNAi knockdown of AaREL1 on mosquito innate immunity was revealed by increased susceptibility to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana and the reduced induction of Spz1A and Serpin-27A gene expression after fungal challenge. These results have proven that AaREL1 is a key downstream regulator of Toll immune pathway in the mosquito A. aegypti.[1]


  1. Transgenic alteration of Toll immune pathway in the female mosquito Aedes aegypti. Bian, G., Shin, S.W., Cheon, H.M., Kokoza, V., Raikhel, A.S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2005) [Pubmed]
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