Insects are organisms of considerable interest for comparative biology and medicine, therefore it is not surprising that several publications referred to them as model organisms. Insect and vertebrate evolution diverged more than 500 million years ago, but the molecular bases of several fundamental biological functions, including innate immune response, were already established in their common progenitor and have been conserved. Consequently, starting from information collected in insects, new insights into human biology and pathology were gained. Gene silencing includes several powerful methods, such as the production of loss-of-function mutants and RNA interference. These procedures, in particularly when performed in models for which molecular databases are already available, allow the genetic dissection of several immune-related processes and pathways. In the present review, we will concentrate our attention on the information derived from gene silencing techniques on insect immune signalling with particular attention for Drosophila melanogaster and Anopheles gambiae.
Gene Silencing and the Analysis of Immune Response in Model Insects / Malagoli, Davide; Mandrioli, Mauro. - ELETTRONICO. - (2010), pp. 167-182.