A New Role of the Mosquito Complement-like Cascade in Male Fertility in Anopheles gambiae

Abstract : Thioester-containing protein 1 (TEP1) is a key immune factor that determines mosquito resistance to a wide range of pathogens, including malaria parasites. Here we report a new allele-specific function of TEP1 in male fertility. We demonstrate that during spermatogenesis TEP1 binds to and removes damaged cells through the same complement-like cascade that kills malaria parasites in the mosquito midgut. Further, higher fertility rates are mediated by an allele that renders the mosquito susceptible to Plasmodium. By elucidating the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying TEP1 function in spermatogenesis, our study suggests that pleiotropic antagonism between reproduction and immunity may shape resistance of mosquito populations to malaria parasites.
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Julien Pompon, Elena Levashina. A New Role of the Mosquito Complement-like Cascade in Male Fertility in Anopheles gambiae. PLoS Biology, Public Library of Science, 2015, 13 (9), pp.e1002255. ⟨10.1371/journal.pbio.1002255⟩. ⟨inserm-02135240⟩

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