Characterization of the LITAF-like gene family in Anopheles gambiae and its possible role in mosquito antimalarial
Malaria is a dangerous and sometimes fatal parasitic disease transmitted to humans through the bite of infected female mosquitoes. Only a few species of mosquitoes are capable of transmitting malaria parasites, the most prominent of which being Anopheles gambiae, due in part to the actions of the mosquito innate immune system. To better understand the contributions of innate immunity system on malaria parasite development in the mosquito host, our research has focused on the characterization of a highly conserved LPSinduced TNF-α factor (LITAF)-like gene family in An. gambiae. Previous experiments have demonstrated that LITAF-like 3, or LL3, is an important transcription factor required for immune cell differentiation and is a key determinant of parasite survival. Here we explore the regulation and the respective contributions of the other six LITAF-like genes in An. gambiae to malaria parasite development. Mosquito immunity to parasites may prove a vital translational tool in preventing transmission.