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This paper addresses how to improve end-to-end throughput by a distributed congestion aware topology control algorithm in mobile ad hoc networks (MANET). In our approach, PATE (power assignment for throughput enhancement), each node in MANET adjusts its own power level locally to 1) keep the connectivity of the network; 2) save the total power consumption, and 3) avoid the congestion, which is based on the lower layer information piggybacked from its neighbors while performing neighbor protocol. We introduce a cost function including the traffic load, number of interfered nodes and MAC (medium access control) status to determine the neighbor selection and power level assignment so that we can maintain the connectivity and alleviate the interference by the congested nodes. Simulation studies have been conducted on network simulator (ns-2) to demonstrate the effectiveness of PATE and the results show that the average improvement of overall throughput for uneven traffic is 37.7%.