Although protein expression is regulated both temporally and spatially, most proteins have an intrinsic, "typical" range of functionally effective abundance levels. These extend from a few molecules per cell for signaling proteins, to millions of molecules for structural proteins. When addressing fundamental questions related to protein evolution, translation and folding, but also in routine laboratory work, a simple rough estimate of the average wild type abundance of each detectable protein in ...[more]
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:We previously identified a cross-tick species conserved tick feeding stimuli responsive Amblyomma americanum (Aam) AV422 gene. This study demonstrates that AamAV422 belongs to a novel group of arthropod proteins that is characterized by 14 cysteine amino acid residues: C(23)-X7/9-C(33)-X23/24-C(58)-X8-C(67)-X7-C(75)-X23-C(99)-X15-C(115)-X10-C(126)-X24/25/33-C(150)C(151)-X7-C(159)-X8-C(168)-X23/24-C(192)-X9/10-C(202) predicted to form seven disulfide bonds. We show that AamAV422 protein is a ubiquitously expressed protein that is injected into the host within the first 24h of the tick attaching onto the host as revealed by Western blotting analyses of recombinant (r)AamAV422, tick saliva and dissected tick organ protein extracts using antibodies to 24 and 48 h tick saliva proteins. Native AamAV422 is apparently involved with mediating tick anti-hemostasis and anti-complement functions in that rAamAV422 delayed plasma clotting time in a dose responsive manner by up to ? 160 s, prevented platelet aggregation by up to ? 16% and caused ? 24% reduction in production of terminal complement complexes. Target validation analysis revealed that rAamAV422 is a potential candidate for a cocktail or multivalent tick vaccine preparation in that RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated silencing of AamAV422 mRNA caused a statistically significant (? 44%) reduction in tick engorgement weights, which is proxy for amounts of ingested blood. We speculate that AamAV422 is a potential target antigen for development of the highly desired universal tick vaccine in that consistent with high conservation among ticks, antibodies to 24h Ixodes scapularis tick saliva proteins specifically bound rAamAV422. We discuss data in this study in the context of advancing the biology of tick feeding physiology and discovery of potential target antigens for tick vaccine development.