Spatial mapping of gene expression in the salivary glands of the dengue vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti.
ABSTRACT: Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are the main vectors of dengue viruses to humans. Understanding their biology and interactions with the pathogen are prerequisites for development of dengue transmission control strategies. Mosquito salivary glands are organs involved directly in pathogen transmission to vertebrate hosts. Information on the spatial distribution of gene expression in these organs is expected to assist in the development of novel disease control strategies, including those that entail the release of transgenic mosquitoes with impaired vector competence.We report here the hybridization in situ patterns of 30 transcripts expressed in the salivary glands of adult Ae. aegypti females. Distinct spatial accumulation patterns were identified. The products of twelve genes are localized exclusively in the proximal-lateral lobes. Among these, three accumulate preferentially in the most anterior portion of the proximal-lateral lobe. This pattern revealed a salivary gland cell type previously undescribed in Ae. aegypti, which was validated by transmission electron microscopy. Five distinct gene products accumulate in the distal-lateral lobes and another five localize in the medial lobe. Seven transcripts are found in the distal-lateral and medial lobes. The transcriptional product of one gene accumulates in proximal- and distal-lateral lobes. Seven genes analyzed by quantitative PCR are expressed constitutively. The most abundant salivary gland transcripts are those localized within the proximal-lateral lobes, while previous work has shown that the distal-lateral lobes are the most active in protein synthesis. This incongruity suggests a role for translational regulation in mosquito saliva production.Transgenic mosquitoes with reduced vector competence have been proposed as tools for the control of dengue virus transmission. Expression of anti-dengue effector molecules in the distal-lateral lobes of Ae. aegypti salivary glands has been shown to reduce prevalence and mean intensities of viral infection. We anticipate greater efficiency of viral suppression if effector genes are expressed in all lobes of the salivary glands. Based on our data, a minimum of two promoters is necessary to drive the expression of one or more anti-dengue genes in all cells of the female salivary glands.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Zika (ZIKV) and Chikungunya (CHIKV) viruses are emerging Aedes-borne viruses that are spreading outside their known geographic range and causing wide-scale epidemics. It has been reported that these viruses can be transmitted efficiently by Ae. aegypti. Recent studies have shown that Ae. aegypti when transinfected with certain Wolbachia strains shows a reduced replication and dissemination of dengue (DENV), Chikungunya (CHIKV), and Yellow Fever (YFV) viruses. The aim of this study was to determine whether the wMel strain of Wolbachia introgressed onto a Singapore Ae. aegypti genetic background was able to limit ZIKV and CHIKV infection in the mosquito. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Five to seven-day old mosquitoes either infected or uninfected with wMel Wolbachia were orally infected with a Ugandan strain of ZIKV and several outbreak strains of CHIKV. The midgut and salivary glands of each mosquito were sampled at days 6, 9 and 13 days post infectious blood meal to determine midgut infection and salivary glands dissemination rates, respectively. In general, all wild type Ae. aegypti were found to have high ZIKV and CHIKV infections in their midguts and salivary glands, across all sampling days, compared to Wolbachia infected counterparts. Median viral titre for all viruses in Wolbachia infected mosquitoes were significantly lower across all time points when compared to wild type mosquitoes. Most significantly, all but two and one of the wMel infected mosquitoes had no detectable ZIKV and CHIKV, respectively, in their salivary glands at 14 days post-infectious blood meal. CONCLUSIONS:Our results showed that wMel limits both ZIKV and CHIKV infection when introgressed into a Singapore Ae. aegypti genetic background. These results also strongly suggest that female Aedes aegypti carrying Wolbachia will have a reduced capacity to transmit ZIKV and CHIKV.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Saglin, a 100 kDa protein composed of two 50 kDa homodimers, is present in the salivary glands of Anopheles gambiae and has been considered an essential receptor for sporozoites (SPZ) of Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium falciparum (Pf), allowing SPZ to recognize, bind to, and infect mosquito salivary glands. Spatial and temporal patterns of Saglin expression reported here, however, suggest that this model does not fully describe the Saglin-SPZ interaction. RESULTS:Saglin protein was detected by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy only in the medial and proximal-lateral lobes, but not in the distal-lateral lobes, of the salivary glands of An. gambiae; the pattern of expression was independent of mosquito age or physiological state. These results were confirmed by steady-state Saglin transcript and protein expression using qRT-PCR and Western-blot analysis, respectively. Saglin was localized to the basal surface of the cells of the medial lobes and was undetectable elsewhere (intracellularly, on the lateral or apical membranes, the cells' secretory vacuoles, or in the salivary duct). In the cells of the proximal lateral lobes of the salivary glands, Saglin was distinctly intracellular and was not localized to any of the cell surfaces. Transgenic Anopheles stephensi were produced that expressed An. gambiae Saglin in the distal lateral lobes of the salivary gland. Additional Saglin expression did not enhance infection by PfSPZ compared to non-transgenic siblings fed on the same gametocyte-containing blood meal. CONCLUSIONS:The absence of Saglin in the distal lateral lobes of the salivary glands, a primary destination for SPZ, suggests Saglin is not an essential receptor for Plasmodium SPZ. The lack of any correlation between increased Saglin expression in the distal lateral lobes of the salivary glands of transgenic An. stephensi and PfSPZ infection is also consistent with Saglin not being an essential salivary gland receptor for Plasmodium SPZ.
Project description:Controlled sex-, stage- and tissue-specific expression of antipathogen effector molecules is important for genetic engineering strategies to control mosquito-borne diseases. Adult female salivary glands are involved in pathogen transmission to human hosts and are target sites for expression of antipathogen effector molecules. The Aedes aegypti 30K a and 30K b genes are expressed exclusively in adult female salivary glands and are transcribed divergently from start sites separated by 263 nucleotides. The intergenic, 5'- and 3'-end untranslated regions of both genes are sufficient to express simultaneously two different transgene products in the distal-lateral lobes of the female salivary glands. An antidengue effector gene, membranes no protein (Mnp), driven by the 30K b promoter, expresses an inverted-repeat RNA with sequences derived from the premembrane protein-encoding region of the dengue virus serotype 2 genome and reduces significantly the prevalence and mean intensities of viral infection in mosquito salivary glands and saliva.
Project description:Dengue virus (DENV) is the most important mosquito-transmitted flavivirus that is transmitted throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The primary mosquito vector of DENV in urban locations is Aedes aegypti. Key to understanding the transmission of DENV is the relationship between pathogen and vector. Accordingly, we report our preliminary characterization of the differentially expressed proteins from Ae. aegypti mosquitoes after DENV infection. We investigated the virus-vector interaction through changes in the proteome of the salivary glands of mosquitoes with disseminated DENV serotype 2 (DENV-2) infections using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and identification by mass spectrometry. Our findings indicate that DENV-2 infection in the Ae. aegypti salivary gland alters the expression of structural, secreted, and metabolic proteins. These changes in the salivary gland proteome highlight the virally influenced environment caused by a DENV-2 infection and warrant additional investigation to determine if these differences extend to the expectorated saliva.
Project description:The survival characteristics of the mosquito Aedes aegypti affect transmission rates of dengue because transmission requires infected mosquitoes to survive long enough for the virus to infect the salivary glands. Mosquito survival is assumed to be high in tropical, dengue endemic, countries like Vietnam. However, the survival rates of wild populations of mosquitoes are seldom measured due the difficulty of predicting mosquito age. Hon Mieu Island in central Vietnam is the site of a pilot release of Ae. aegypti infected with a strain of Wolbachia pipientis bacteria (wMelPop) that induces virus interference and mosquito life-shortening. We used the most accurate mosquito age grading approach, transcriptional profiling, to establish the survival patterns of the mosquito population from the population age structure. Furthermore, estimations were validated on mosquitoes released into a large semi-field environment consisting of an enclosed house, garden and yard to incorporate natural environmental variability. Mosquito survival was highest during the dry/cool (January-April) and dry/hot (May-August) seasons, when 92 and 64% of Hon Mieu mosquitoes had survived to an age that they were able to transmit dengue (12 d), respectively. This was reduced to 29% during the wet/cool season from September to December. The presence of Ae. aegypti older than 12 d during each season is likely to facilitate the observed continuity of dengue transmission in the region. We provide season specific Ae. aegypti survival models for improved dengue epidemiology and evaluation of mosquito control strategies that aim to reduce mosquito survival to break the dengue transmission cycle.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Despite the devastating global impact of mosquito-borne illnesses on human health, very little is known about mosquito developmental biology. In this investigation, functional genetic analysis of embryonic salivary gland development was performed in Aedes aegypti, the dengue and yellow fever vector and an emerging model for vector mosquito development. Although embryonic salivary gland development has been well studied in Drosophila melanogaster, little is known about this process in mosquitoes or other arthropods.<h4>Results</h4>Mosquitoes possess orthologs of many genes that regulate Drosophila melanogaster embryonic salivary gland development. The expression patterns of a large subset of these genes were assessed during Ae. aegypti development. These studies identified a set of molecular genetic markers for the developing mosquito salivary gland. Analysis of marker expression allowed for tracking of the progression of Ae. aegypti salivary gland development in embryos. In Drosophila, the salivary glands develop from placodes located in the ventral neuroectoderm. However, in Ae. aegypti, salivary marker genes are not expressed in placode-like patterns in the ventral neuroectoderm. Instead, marker gene expression is detected in salivary gland rudiments adjacent to the proventriculus. These observations highlighted the need for functional genetic characterization of mosquito salivary gland development. An siRNA- mediated knockdown strategy was therefore employed to investigate the role of one of the marker genes, cyclic-AMP response element binding protein A (Aae crebA), during Ae. aegypti salivary gland development. These experiments revealed that Aae crebA encodes a key transcriptional regulator of the secretory pathway in the developing Ae. aegypti salivary gland.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The results of this investigation indicated that the initiation of salivary gland development in Ae. aegypti significantly differs from that of D. melanogaster. Despite these differences, some elements of salivary gland development, including the ability of CrebA to regulate secretory gene expression, are conserved between the two species. These studies underscore the need for further analysis of mosquito developmental genetics and may foster comparative studies of salivary gland development in additional insect species.
Project description:Mosquitoes transmit Plasmodium and certain arboviruses during blood feeding, when they are injected along with saliva. Mosquito saliva interferes with the host's hemostasis and inflammation response and influences the transmission success of some pathogens. One family of mosquito salivary gland proteins, named SGS, is composed of large bacterial-type proteins that in Aedes aegypti were implicated as receptors for Plasmodium on the basal salivary gland surface. Here, we characterize the biology of two SGSs in the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, and demonstrate their involvement in blood feeding. Western blots and RT-PCR showed that Sgs4 and Sgs5 are produced exclusively in female salivary glands, that expression increases with age and after blood feeding, and that protein levels fluctuate in a circadian manner. Immunohistochemistry showed that SGSs are present in the acinar cells of the distal lateral lobes and in the salivary ducts of the proximal lobes. SDS-PAGE, Western blots, bite blots, and immunization via mosquito bites showed that SGSs are highly immunogenic and form major components of mosquito saliva. Last, Western and bioinformatic analyses suggest that SGSs are secreted via a non-classical pathway that involves cleavage into a 300-kDa soluble fragment and a smaller membrane-bound fragment. Combined, these data strongly suggest that SGSs play an important role in blood feeding. Together with their role in malaria transmission, we propose that SGSs could be used as markers of human exposure to mosquito bites and in the development of disease control strategies.
Project description:Dengue viruses (DENV) are generally maintained in a cycle which requires horizontal transmission via their arthropod vector, Ae. Aegypti, to the vertebrate host. One important consequence of this process is the interference of these arboviruses with both invertebrate and vertebrate immune systems. While infection of vertebrates causes disease, the presence of DENV gives rise to life-long, persistent infection in mosquitoes. The results of a comparative transcriptome analysis between DENV-infected and uninfected salivary glands revealed activation of both the immune deficiency (IMD) and the Toll pathways, as well as involvement of the putative antibacterial cecropin-like peptide (AAEL000598), in controlling DENV infection in Ae. aegypti. The mature form of this peptide was found to be active against DENV and Chikungunya viruses, whereas its precursor also had a strong anti-Leishmania effect. This study is the first to establish a comparative transcriptome analysis of DENV-infected and uninfected salivary glands and demonstrates that certain DENV-induced peptides, that are part of the IMD pathway, possess broad-spectrum anti-pathogenic activity and may have therapeutic potential in human. Overall design: Infectious blood meals were offered to 3-day-old, adult, female Ae. aegypti Liverpool mosquitoes using a silicone membrane feeder system (Alto et al., 2005). Human blood was combined with DENV-2 16681 to provide a blood meal titer of 5.106 plaque forming units (PFU)/ml. At different time-points after the blood meal, salivary glands were dissected in acid guanidium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform (RNAble; Eurobio, France) or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), and the samples were frozen at -70°C until use.
Project description:The ultimate stage of the transmission of Dengue Virus (DENV) to man is strongly dependent on crosstalk between the virus and the immune system of its vector Aedes aegypti (Ae. aegypti). Infection of the mosquito's salivary glands by DENV is the final step prior to viral transmission. Therefore, in the present study, we have determined the modulatory effects of DENV infection on the immune response in this organ by carrying out a functional genomic analysis of uninfected salivary glands and salivary glands of female Ae. aegypti mosquitoes infected with DENV. We have shown that DENV infection of salivary glands strongly up-regulates the expression of genes that encode proteins involved in the vector's innate immune response, including the immune deficiency (IMD) and Toll signalling pathways, and that it induces the expression of the gene encoding a putative anti-bacterial, cecropin-like, peptide (AAEL000598). Both the chemically synthesized non-cleaved, signal peptide-containing gene product of AAEL000598, and the cleaved, mature form, were found to exert, in addition to antibacterial activity, anti-DENV and anti-Chikungunya viral activity. However, in contrast to the mature form, the immature cecropin peptide was far more effective against Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and, furthermore, had strong anti-parasite activity as shown by its ability to kill Leishmania spp. Results from circular dichroism analysis showed that the immature form more readily adopts a helical conformation which would help it to cause membrane permeabilization, thus permitting its transfer across hydrophobic cell surfaces, which may explain the difference in the anti-pathogenic activity between the two forms. The present study underscores not only the importance of DENV-induced cecropin in the innate immune response of Ae. aegypti, but also emphasizes the broad-spectrum anti-pathogenic activity of the immature, signal peptide-containing form of this peptide.
Project description:The bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia is a biocontrol tool that inhibits the ability of the Aedes aegypti mosquito to transmit positive-sense RNA viruses such as dengue and Zika. Growing evidence indicates that when Wolbachia strains wMel or wAlbB are introduced into local mosquito populations, human dengue incidence is reduced. Despite the success of this novel intervention, we still do not fully understand how Wolbachia protects mosquitoes from viral infection. Here, we demonstrate that the Wolbachia strain wPip does not inhibit virus infection in Ae. aegypti. We have leveraged this novel finding, and a panel of Ae. aegypti lines carrying virus-inhibitory (wMel and wAlbB) and non-inhibitory (wPip) strains in a common genetic background, to rigorously test a number of hypotheses about the mechanism of Wolbachia-mediated virus inhibition. We demonstrate that, contrary to previous suggestions, there is no association between a strain's ability to inhibit dengue infection in the mosquito and either its typical density in the midgut or salivary glands, or the degree to which it elevates innate immune response pathways in the mosquito. These findings, and the experimental platform provided by this panel of genetically comparable mosquito lines, clear the way for future investigations to define how Wolbachia prevents Ae. aegypti from transmitting viruses.