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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2006 Sep;36(9):701-11. Epub 2006 Jun 16.

Gene silencing of serine proteases affects melanization of Sephadex beads in Anopheles gambiae.

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Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin, 237 Russell Labs, 1630 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


Serine proteases play an important role in activation of prophenoloxidase (proPO), a critical enzyme in the production of melanin. We tested the effect of knockdown of gene expression for five clip domain serine proteases on melanization of abiotic targets in Anopheles gambiae. Knockdown of CLIPB4 resulted in a striking lack of melanization of Sephadex beads while knockdown of CLIPB8 caused a strong shift towards incompletely melanized beads. Knockdown of CLIPB1, B9 and B10 had lesser effects. CLIPB4 and CLIPB8 are strong candidates for activating enzymes in the proPO enzymatic cascade.

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