Project description:BACKGROUND: Plasmodium infection increases the oxidative stress inside the mosquito, leading to a significant alteration on transcription of Anopheles gambiae detoxification genes. Among these detoxification genes several P450 cytochromes and tubulins were differently expressed, suggesting their involvement in the mosquito's response to parasite invasion. P450 cytochromes are usually involved in the metabolism and detoxification of several compounds, but are also regulated by several pathogens, including malaria parasite. Tubulins are extremely important as components of the cytoskeleton, which rearrangement functions as a response to malaria parasite invasion. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Gene silencing methods were used to uncover the effects of cytochrome P450 reductase, tubulinA and tubulinB silencing on the A. gambiae response to Plasmodium berghei invasion. The role of tubulins in counter infection processes was also investigated by inhibiting their effect. Colchicine, vinblastine and paclitaxel, three different tubulin inhibitors were injected into A. gambiae mosquitoes. Twenty-four hours post injection these mosquitoes were infected with P. berghei through a blood meal from infected CD1 mice. Cytochrome P450 gene expression was measured using RT-qPCR to detect differences in cytochrome expression between silenced, inhibited and control mosquitoes. Results showed that cytochrome P450 reductase silencing, as well as tubulin (A and B) silencing and inhibition affected the efficiency of Plasmodium infection. Silencing and inhibition also affected the expression levels of cytochromes P450. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest the existence of a relationship between tubulins and P450 cytochromes during A. gambiae immune response to P. berghei invasion. One of the P450 cytochromes in this study, CYP6Z2, stands out as the potential link in this association. Further work is needed to fully understand the role of tubulin genes in the response to Plasmodium infection.
Project description:Salivary glands are the only mosquito tissue invaded by Plasmodium sporozoites being a key stage for the effective parasite transmission and maturation, making knowledge regarding Anopheles sialome highly relevant to understand this process. In this study, we report for the first time a transcriptomic analysis using RNA-seq of An. gambiae infected by P. berghei.
Project description:We report on a phylogenetic and functional analysis of genes encoding three mosquito serpins (SRPN1, SRPN2 and SRPN3), which resemble known inhibitors of prophenoloxidase-activating enzymes in other insects. Following RNA interference induction by double-stranded RNA injection, knockdown of SRPN2 in adult Anopheles gambiae produced a notable phenotype: the appearance of melanotic pseudotumours, which increased in size and number with time, indicating spontaneous melanization and association with an observed lifespan reduction. Furthermore, knockdown of SRPN2 strongly interfered with the invasion of A. gambiae midguts by the rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei. It did not affect ookinete formation, but markedly reduced oocyst numbers, by 97%, as a result of increased ookinete lysis and melanization.
Project description:Large scale sequencing of cDNA libraries can provide profiles of genes expressed in an organism under defined biological and environmental circumstances. We have analyzed sequences of 4541 Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) from 3 different cDNA libraries created from abdomens from Plasmodium infection-susceptible adult female Anopheles gambiae. These libraries were made from sugar fed (S), rat blood fed (RB), and P. berghei-infected (IRB) mosquitoes at 30 hours after the blood meal, when most parasites would be transforming ookinetes or very early oocysts.The S, RB and IRB libraries contained 1727, 1145 and 1669 high quality ESTs, respectively, averaging 455 nucleotides (nt) in length. They assembled into 1975 consensus sequences--567 contigs and 1408 singletons. Functional annotation was performed to annotate probable molecular functions of the gene products and the biological processes in which they function. Genes represented at high frequency in one or more of the libraries were subjected to digital Northern analysis and results on expression of 5 verified by qRT-PCR.13% of the 1965 ESTs showing identity to the A. gambiae genome sequence represent novel genes. These, together with untranslated regions (UTR) present on many of the ESTs, will inform further genome annotation. We have identified 23 genes encoding products likely to be involved in regulating the cellular oxidative environment and 25 insect immunity genes. We also identified 25 genes as being up or down regulated following blood feeding and/or feeding with P. berghei infected blood relative to their expression levels in sugar fed females.