Navigation Links
Gene that helps mosquitoes fight off malaria parasite identified

Researchers have identified a gene in mosquitoes that helps the insects to fight off infection by the Plasmodium parasite, which causes malaria in humans. Anopheles mosquitoes transmit the malaria parasite to nearly 550 million people worldwide each year with these cases resulting in more than 2 million deaths annually. The protective gene was identified in a study conducted by a team of investigators from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Malaria Research Institute, the Imperial College of London and the University of Texas Medical Branch. It will be published in the Online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of October 24.

The malaria-causing Plasmodium has a complex life cycle. Mosquitoes become infected with the parasite when they draw blood from humans who have malaria. As the parasite matures, it moves from the mosquito's midgut to its salivary glands. Once in the salivary glands, the Plasmodium can be injected into another human when the mosquito feeds again.

In the study, the researchers determined that the SPRN6 gene, which is normally switched off in Anopheles stephensi and Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, is switched on when they are infected with the malaria parasite. To determine the function of SPRN6, the researchers deactivated the gene in the mosquitoes through a process called RNA interference. They observed that the number of parasites that developed in Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes increased three-fold when the gene was knocked out. In Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, removing the SPRN6 gene delayed the process of parasite lysis, whereby the mosquito rids itself of the parasite.

"This study furthers our knowledge of the malaria-parasite lysis in mosquitoes. It may help provide better tools for controlling the disease in the future," said lead author Eappen G. Abraham, PhD, research associate in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and the Malaria Re search Institute at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

"These results provided new insights into how the mosquito defends itself from the malaria parasite. More research is needed, but we plan to apply this knowledge in the development of new approaches to control the disease," said co-author Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, PhD, a professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and the Malaria Research Institute at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Abraham and Jacobs-Lorena are developing a transgenic mosquito in which the SPRN6 gene is permanently switched on, in an effort to create a mosquito that would be immune to the Plasmodium parasite. They believe that such a mosquito could help disrupt the transmission of malaria to humans.

"An immune-responsive serpin, SRPN6, mediates mosquito defense against malaria parasites" was written by Eappen G. Abraham, Sofia Pinto, Anil Ghosh, Dana L. Vanlandingham, Aidan Budd, Stephen Higgs, Fotis C. Kafatos, Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena and Kristin Michel. Abraham, Ghosh and Jacobs-Lorena are with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Pinto, Budd, Kafatos and Michel are with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany and the Imperial College of London. Vanlandingham and Higgs are with the Department of Pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch.


'"/>

Source:Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health


Related biology news :

1. Jumping gene helps explain immune systems abilities
2. Protein helps regulate the genes of embryonic stem cells
3. Scientists reveal the shape of a protein that helps retroviruses break into cells
4. Thai spice helps cut blood sugar swings
5. Chemists synthesize molecule that helps body battle cancers, malaria
6. Ancient DNA helps clarify the origins of two extinct New World horse species
7. Massey Cancer Center researcher helps to identify a piece of the cancer puzzle
8. Study: Well-known protein helps stem cells become secretory cells
9. Beyond genes: Lipid helps cell wall protein fold into proper shape
10. Simple sea sponge helps scientists understand tissue rejection
11. New technique helps identify multiple DNA regulatory sites
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for ... biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration ... modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the ... readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom of ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients ... a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a ... the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key ... body mass index, and, when they opt in, share ... visit to a local retail location at no cost. ...
(Date:3/23/2016)... , March 23, 2016 ... erhöhter Sicherheit Gesichts- und Stimmerkennung mit Passwörtern ... (NASDAQ: MESG ), ein führender ... das Unternehmen mit SpeechPro zusammenarbeitet, um erstmals ... Finanzdienstleistungsbranche, wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, im Rahmen ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , ... tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announced the launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, ... explore the future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, ... biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed its ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received ... with the capital we need to meet our current ... essentially provide us the runway to complete validation on ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Pleasant Prairie, WI (PRWEB) , ... June 23, ... ... sciences consultancy focused on quality, regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free ... webinar is presented on July 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: