All adult mosquitoes take sugar meals, and most adult females also take blood meals to develop eggs. Salivary glands (SG) of males are thus much smaller and do not contain many of the antihemostatic and antiinflammatory compounds found in females. In the past 5 years, transcriptome analyses have identified nearly 70 different genes expressed in adult female SG. For most of these, no function can be assigned in either blood or sugar feeding. Exceptionally, Toxorhynchites mosquitoes are unusual in that they never feed on blood, and the SG of adults are identical in both sexes. Transcriptome analysis of the adult SG of this mosquito was performed to increase knowledge of the evolution of blood feeding—and to identify polypeptide families associated with sugar feeding—in mosquitoes.
Salivary glands; Transcriptome; Mosquito; Hematophagy
Ticks are serious haematophagus arthropod pests and are only second to mosquitoes as vectors of diseases of humans and animals. The salivary glands of the slower feeding hard ticks such as Haemaphysalis longicornis are a rich source of bioactive molecules and are critical to their biologic success, yet distinct molecules that help prolong parasitism on robust mammalian hosts and achieve blood-meals remain unidentified. Here, we report on the molecular and biochemical features and precise functions of a novel Kunitz inhibitor from H. longicornis salivary glands, termed Haemangin, in the modulation of angiogenesis and in persistent blood-feeding. Haemangin was shown to disrupt angiogenesis and wound healing via inhibition of vascular endothelial cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Further, this compound potently inactivated trypsin, chymotrypsin, and plasmin, indicating its antiproteolytic potential on angiogenic cascades. Analysis of Haemangin-specific gene expression kinetics at different blood-feeding stages of adult ticks revealed a dramatic up-regulation prior to complete feeding, which appears to be functionally linked to the acquisition of blood-meals. Notably, disruption of Haemangin-specific mRNA by a reverse genetic tool significantly diminished engorgement of adult H. longicornis, while the knock-down ticks failed to impair angiogenesis in vivo. To our knowledge, we have provided the first insights into transcriptional responses of human microvascular endothelial cells to Haemangin. DNA microarray data revealed that Haemangin altered the expression of 3,267 genes, including those of angiogenic significance, further substantiating the antiangiogenic function of Haemangin. We establish the vital roles of Haemangin in the hard tick blood-feeding process. Moreover, our results provide novel insights into the blood-feeding strategies that enable hard ticks to persistently feed and ensure full blood-meals through the modulation of angiogenesis and wound healing processes.
Ticks are notorious ectoparasites that exclusively feed on a host's blood for a period of 10 days or longer. Upon blood-feeding, an adult female tick gains 100–200 times its body weight compared to its pre-feeding stage. Despite the host's armoury of rejection mechanisms, ticks manage to remain attached until a full blood-meal is ensured. The molecular machineries that make the tick a success with its feeding, however, remain unknown. We demonstrate that the Kunitz-like protein Haemangin, identified from the salivary glands of the tick Haemaphysalis longicornis, plays vital roles in blood-feeding success. Using both cell- and chick embryo–based bioassays, we have shown that Haemangin efficiently disrupted angiogenesis and wound healing processes, enabling ticks to remain attached and allowing persistent feeding. Additionally, in a rabbit model, we reveal that an elevated expression of Haemangin is associated with the acquisition of full blood-meals. Importantly, Haemangin-knockdown ticks fail to prevent angiogenesis in the host's tissues and consequently achieve only a poor blood-meal as compared to normal ticks. We conclude that Haemangin is vital for ticks' survival and can be a novel therapeutic target against ticks and tick-borne diseases, including tumor angiogenesis.
Saliva of blood sucking arthropods contains compounds that antagonize their hosts' hemostasis, which include platelet aggregation, vasoconstriction and blood clotting; saliva of these organisms also has anti-inflammatory and immunomodullatory properties. Perhaps because hosts mount an active immune response against these compounds, the diversity of these compounds is large even among related blood sucking species. Because of these properties, saliva helps blood feeding as well as help the establishment of pathogens that can be transmitted during blood feeding.
We have obtained 1,626,969 reads by pyrosequencing a salivary gland cDNA library from adult females Amblyomma maculatum ticks at different times of feeding. Assembly of this data produced 72,441 sequences larger than 149 nucleotides from which 15,914 coding sequences were extracted. Of these, 5,353 had >75% coverage to their best match in the non-redundant database from the National Center for Biotechnology information, allowing for the deposition of 4,850 sequences to GenBank. The annotated data sets are available as hyperlinked spreadsheets. Putative secreted proteins were classified in 133 families, most of which have no known function.
This data set of proteins constitutes a mining platform for novel pharmacologically active proteins and for uncovering vaccine targets against A. maculatum and the diseases they carry.
Mosquito saliva, consisting of a mixture of dozens of proteins affecting vertebrate hemostasis and having sugar digestive and antimicrobial properties, helps both blood and sugar meal feeding. Culicine and anopheline mosquitoes diverged ~150 MYA, and within the anophelines, the New World species diverged from those of the Old World ~95 MYA. While the sialotranscriptome (from the Greek sialo, saliva) of several species of the Cellia subgenus of Anopheles has been described thoroughly, no detailed analysis of any New World anopheline has been done to date. Here we present and analyze data from a comprehensive salivary gland (SG) transcriptome of the neotropical malaria vector Anopheles darlingi (subgenus Nyssorhynchus).
A total of 2,371 clones randomly selected from an adult female An. darlingi SG cDNA library were sequenced and used to assemble a database that yielded 966 clusters of related sequences, 739 of which were singletons. Primer extension experiments were performed in selected clones to further extend sequence coverage, allowing for the identification of 183 protein sequences, 114 of which code for putative secreted proteins.
Comparative analysis of sialotranscriptomes of An. darlingi and An. gambiae reveals significant divergence of salivary proteins. On average, salivary proteins are only 53% identical, while housekeeping proteins are 86% identical between the two species. Furthermore, An. darlingi proteins were found that match culicine but not anopheline proteins, indicating loss or rapid evolution of these proteins in the old world Cellia subgenus. On the other hand, several well represented salivary protein families in old world anophelines are not expressed in An. darlingi.
Sporozoites are an invasive stage of the malaria parasite in both the mosquito vector and the vertebrate host. We developed an in vivo assay for mosquito salivary gland invasion by preparing Plasmodium gallinaceum sporozoites from infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes under physiological conditions and inoculating them into uninfected female Ae. aegypti. Sporozoites from mature oocysts were isolated from mosquito abdomens 10 or 11 d after an infective blood meal. Salivary gland sporozoites were isolated 13 or 14 d after an infective blood meal. Purified oocyst sporozoites that were inoculated into uninfected female mosquitoes invaded their salivary glands. Using the same assay system, sporozoites derived from salivary glands did not reinvade the salivary glands after inoculation. Conversely, as few as 10 to 50 salivary gland sporozoites induced infection in chickens, while only 2 of 10 chickens inoculated with 5,000 oocyst sporozoites were infected. Both sporozoite populations were found to express a circumsporozoite protein on the sporozoite surface as determined by immunofluorescence assay and circumsporozoite precipitation test using a circumsporozoite protein-specific monoclonal antibody. We conclude that molecules other than this circumsporozoite protein may be responsible for the differential invasion of mosquito salivary glands or infection of the vertebrate host.
Saliva of adult female mosquitoes help sugar and blood feeding by providing enzymes and polypeptides that help sugar digestion, control microbial growth and counteract their vertebrate host hemostasis and inflammation. Mosquito saliva also potentiates the transmission of vector borne pathogens, including arboviruses. Culex tarsalis is a bird feeding mosquito vector of West Nile Virus closely related to C. quinquefasciatus, a mosquito relatively recently adapted to feed on humans, and the only mosquito of the genus Culex to have its sialotranscriptome so far described.
A total of 1,753 clones randomly selected from an adult female C. tarsalis salivary glands (SG) cDNA library were sequenced and used to assemble a database that yielded 809 clusters of related sequences, 675 of which were singletons. Primer extension experiments were performed in selected clones to further extend sequence coverage, allowing for the identification of 283 protein sequences, 80 of which code for putative secreted proteins.
Comparison of the C. tarsalis sialotranscriptome with that of C. quinquefasciatus reveals accelerated evolution of salivary proteins as compared to housekeeping proteins. The average amino acid identity among salivary proteins is 70.1%, while that for housekeeping proteins is 91.2% (P < 0.05), and the codon volatility of secreted proteins is significantly higher than those of housekeeping proteins. Several protein families previously found exclusive of mosquitoes, including only in the Aedes genus have been identified in C. tarsalis. Interestingly, a protein family so far unique to C. quinquefasciatus, with 30 genes, is also found in C. tarsalis, indicating it was not a specific C. quinquefasciatus acquisition in its evolution to optimize mammal blood feeding.
Saliva of blood-sucking arthropods contains a complex mixture of peptides that affect their host’s hemostasis, inflammation, and immunity. These activities can also modify the site of pathogen delivery and increase disease transmission. Saliva also induces hosts to mount an antisaliva immune response that can lead to skin allergies or even anaphylaxis. Accordingly, knowledge of the salivary repertoire, or sialome, of a mosquito is useful to provide a knowledge platform to mine for novel pharmacological activities, to develop novel vaccine targets for vector-borne diseases, and to develop epidemiological markers of vector exposure and candidate desensitization vaccines. The mosquito Ochlerotatus triseriatus is a vector of La Crosse virus and produces allergy in humans. In this work, a total of 1,575 clones randomly selected from an adult female O. triseriatus salivary gland cDNA library was sequenced and used to assemble a database that yielded 731 clusters of related sequences, 560 of which were singletons. Primer extension experiments were performed in selected clones to further extend sequence coverage, allowing for the identification of 159 protein sequences, 66 of which code for putative secreted proteins. Supplemental spreadsheets containing these data are available at http://exon.niaid.nih.gov/transcriptome/Ochlerotatus_triseriatus/S1/Ot-S1.xls and http://exon.niaid.nih.gov/transcriptome/Ochlerotatus_triseriatus/S2/Ot-S2.xls.
mosquito; salivary gland; sialome; transcriptome; La Crosse virus
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.
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.
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.
Aedes aegypti; CrebA; Development; Drosophila melanogaster; Mosquito; Salivary gland; siRNA; Vector
The salivary glands of hematophagous animals contain a complex cocktail that interferes with the host hemostasis and inflammation pathways, thus increasing feeding success. Fleas represent a relatively recent group of insects that evolved hematophagy independently of other insect orders.
Analysis of the salivary transcriptome of the flea Xenopsylla cheopis, the vector of human plague, indicates that gene duplication events have led to a large expansion of a family of acidic phosphatases that are probably inactive, and to the expansion of the FS family of peptides that are unique to fleas. Several other unique polypeptides were also uncovered. Additionally, an apyrase-coding transcript of the CD39 family appears as the candidate for the salivary nucleotide hydrolysing activity in X.cheopis, the first time this family of proteins is found in any arthropod salivary transcriptome.
Analysis of the salivary transcriptome of the flea X. cheopis revealed the unique pathways taken in the evolution of the salivary cocktail of fleas. Gene duplication events appear as an important driving force in the creation of salivary cocktails of blood feeding arthropods, as was observed with ticks and mosquitoes. Only five other flea salivary sequences exist at this time at NCBI, all from the cat flea C. felis. This work accordingly represents the only relatively extensive sialome description of any flea species. Sialotranscriptomes of additional flea genera will reveal the extent that these novel polypeptide families are common throughout the Siphonaptera.
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.
Arthropod-borne viruses have emerged as a major human health concern. Viruses transmitted by mosquitoes are the cause of the most serious and widespread arbovirus diseases worldwide and are ubiquitous in both feral and urban settings. Arboviruses, including dengue and West Nile virus are injected into vertebrates within mosquito saliva during mosquito feeding. Mosquito saliva contains anti-haemostatic, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory molecules that facilitate the acquisition of a blood-meal. Collectively, studies investigating the effects of mosquito saliva on the vertebrate immune response suggest that at high concentrations salivary proteins are immmunosuppressive, whereas lower concentrations modulate the immune response; specifically, TH1 and antiviral cytokines are down-regulated, while TH2 cytokines are unaffected or amplified. As a consequence, mosquito saliva can impair the anti-viral immune response thus affecting viral infectiousness and host survival. Mounting evidence suggests that this is a mechanism whereby arbovirus pathogenicity is enhanced. In a range of disease models, including various hosts, mosquito species, and arthropod-borne viruses, mosquito saliva and/or feeding is associated with a potentiation of virus infection. Compared to arbovirus infection initiated in absence of the mosquito or its saliva, infection including mosquito saliva leads to an increase in virus transmission, host susceptibility, viraemia, disease progression, and mortality.
arthropod-borne virus; mosquito saliva; immunomodulation; disease enhancement
The saliva of hematophagous arthropods contains potent anti-inflammatory and antihemostatic activities that promote acquisition of the blood meal and enhance infection with pathogens. We have shown that polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) treated with the saliva of the tick Ixodes scapularis have reduced expression of β2 integrins, impaired PMN adherence, and reduced killing of Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. Here we describe two Ixodes proteins that are induced upon tick feeding and expressed predominantly in the salivary glands. Using saliva harvested from ticks with reduced levels of ISL 929 and ISL 1373 through targeted RNA interference knockdown, as well as purified recombinant proteins, we show the effects of these proteins on downregulation of PMN integrins and inhibition of the production of O2− by PMN in vitro. Mice immunized with ISL 929/1373 had increased numbers of PMN at the site of tick attachment and a lower spirochete burden in the skin and joints 21 days after infection compared to control-immunized animals. Our results suggest that ISL 929 and ISL 1373 contribute to the inhibition of PMN functions shown previously with tick saliva and support important roles for these inhibitory proteins in the modulation of PMN function in vivo.
Blood-sucking arthropods salivary glands (SGs) contain a remarkable diversity of antihemostatics. The aim of this study was to identify the unique salivary anticoagulant of the sand fly Lutzomyia longipalpis, which remained elusive for decades.
Methods and Results
Several L. longipalpis salivary proteins were expressed in HEK293 cells and screened for inhibition of blood coagulation. A novel 32.4-kDa molecule, named Lufaxin, was identified as a slow, tight, non-competitive, and reversible inhibitor of Factor Xa (FXa). Notably, Lufaxin primary sequence does not share similarity to any physiological or salivary inhibitors of coagulation reported to date. Lufaxin is specific for FXa and does not interact with FX, DEGR- FXa, or 15 other enzymes. In addition, Lufaxin blocks prothrombinase and increases both PT and aPTT. Surface plasmon resonance experiments revealed that FXa binds Lufaxin with a KD ~3 nM, and isothermal titration calorimetry determined a stoichiometry of 1:1. Lufaxin also prevents PAR2 activation by FXa in the MDA-MB-231 cell line and abrogates edema formation triggered by injection of FXa in the paw of mice. Moreover, Lufaxin prevents FeCl3-induced carotid artery thrombus formation and prolongs aPTT ex vivo, implying that it works as an anticoagulant in vivo. Finally, SG of sandflies was found to inhibit FXa and to interact with the enzyme.
Lufaxin belongs to a novel family of slow-tight FXa inhibitors, which display antithrombotic and antiinflamatory activities. It is a useful tool to understand FXa structural features and its role in pro-hemostatic and pro-inflammatory events.
hematophagy; thrombosis; leishmaniasis; vector biology; microcirculation
Controlled sex-, stage- and tissue-specific expression of anti-pathogen 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 anti-pathogen 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 anti-dengue effector gene, 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.
Dengue; mosquito; salivary glands; promoter; transgenesis; Aedes aegypti
Anopheles gambiae is a major vector of malaria and lymphatic filariasis. The arthropod-host interactions occurring at the skin interface are complex and dynamic. We used a global approach to describe the interaction between the mosquito (infected or uninfected) and the skin of mammals during blood feeding.
Intravital video microscopy was used to characterize several features during blood feeding. The deposition and movement of Plasmodium berghei sporozoites in the dermis were also observed. We also used histological techniques to analyze the impact of infected and uninfected feedings on the skin cell response in naive mice.
The mouthparts were highly mobile within the skin during the probing phase. Probing time increased with mosquito age, with possible effects on pathogen transmission. Repletion was achieved by capillary feeding. The presence of sporozoites in the salivary glands modified the behavior of the mosquitoes, with infected females tending to probe more than uninfected females (86% versus 44%). A white area around the tip of the proboscis was observed when the mosquitoes fed on blood from the vessels of mice immunized with saliva. Mosquito feedings elicited an acute inflammatory response in naive mice that peaked three hours after the bite. Polynuclear and mast cells were associated with saliva deposits. We describe the first visualization of saliva in the skin by immunohistochemistry (IHC) with antibodies directed against saliva. Both saliva deposits and sporozoites were detected in the skin for up to 18 h after the bite.
This study, in which we visualized the probing and engorgement phases of Anopheles gambiae blood meals, provides precise information about the behavior of the insect as a function of its infection status and the presence or absence of anti-saliva antibodies. It also provides insight into the possible consequences of the inflammatory reaction for blood feeding and pathogen transmission.
Anopheles funestus, together with Anopheles gambiae, is responsible for most malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa, but little is known about molecular aspects of its biology. To investigate the salivary repertoire of this mosquito, we randomly sequenced 916 clones from a salivary-gland cDNA library from adult female F1 offspring of field-caught An. funestus. Thirty-three protein sequences, mostly full-length transcripts, are predicted to be secreted salivary proteins. We additionally describe 25 full-length housekeeping-associated transcripts. In accumulating mosquito sialotranscriptome information—which includes An. gambiae, Anopheles stephensi, Anopheles darlingi, Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus, and now An. funestus—a pattern is emerging. First, ubiquitous protein families are recruited for a salivary role, such as members of the antigen-5 family and enzymes of nucleotide and carbohydrate catabolism. Second, a group of protein families exclusive to blood-feeding Nematocera includes the abundantly expressed D7 proteins also found in sand flies and Culicoides. A third group of proteins, only found in Culicidae, includes the 30-kDa allergen family and several mucins. Finally, ten protein and peptide families, five of them multigenic, are exclusive to anophelines. Among these proteins may reside good epidemiological markers to measure human exposure to anopheline species such as An. funestus and An. gambiae.
Malaria; Hematophagy; Salivary glands; Vector; Saliva
The interplay between vector and pathogen is essential for vector-borne disease transmission. Dissecting the molecular basis of refractoriness of some vectors may pave the way to novel disease control mechanisms. A pathogen often needs to overcome several physical barriers, such as the peritrophic matrix, midgut epithelium and salivary glands. Additionally, the arthropod vector elicites immune responses that can severely limit transmission success. One important step in the transmission of most vector-borne diseases is the entry of the disease agent into the salivary glands of its arthropod vector. The salivary glands of blood-feeding arthropods produce a complex mixture of molecules that facilitate blood feeding by inhibition of the host haemostasis, inflammation and immune reactions. Pathogen entry into salivary glands is a receptor-mediated process, which requires molecules on the surface of the pathogen and salivary gland. In most cases, the nature of these molecules remains unknown. Recent advances in our understanding of malaria parasite entry into mosquito salivary glands strongly suggests that specific carbohydrate molecules on the salivary gland surface function as docking receptors for malaria parasites.
Malaria; Plasmodium; Vector-borne diseases; Parasite-vector interactions
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.
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 the virus with the immune systems of both the mosquito and its host. While infection of humans causes disease, the presence of DENV in mosquitoes gives rise to life-long and persistent infection with active viral replication in the salivary glands. In the present study, we have evaluated the mosquito's immune response following DENV infection by analyzing the gene expression profile of infected and uninfected salivary glands. The results show that DENV infection activates signaling pathways and induces the expression of gene products that are involved in the innate immune response to DENV infection, and in particular a putative antibacterial cecropin-like peptide. The immature and mature forms of this peptide were found to be active against a variety of pathogens including DENV and Chikungunya viruses, as well as the Leishmania parasite. This study is the first to establish a comparative analysis of uninfected salivary glands and salivary glands of female Ae. aegypti mosquitoes infected with DENV. We demonstrate that certain DENV-induced peptides possess broad-spectrum anti-pathogenic activity and may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of human infectious disease.
Dipetalogaster maximais a blood-sucking Hemiptera that inhabits sylvatic areas in Mexico. It usually takes its blood meal from lizards, but following human population growth, it invaded suburban areas, feeding also on humans and domestic animals. Hematophagous insect salivary glands produce potent pharmacologic compounds that counteract host hemostasis, including anticlotting, antiplatelet, and vasodilatory molecules. To obtain further insight into the salivary biochemical and pharmacologic complexity of this insect, a cDNA library from its salivary glands was randomly sequenced. Salivary proteins were also submitted to one- and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (1DE and 2DE) followed by mass spectrometry analysis. We present the analysis of a set of 2728 cDNA sequences, 1375 of which coded for proteins of a putative secretory nature. The saliva 2DE proteome displayed approximately 150 spots. The mass spectrometry analysis revealed mainly lipocalins, pallidipins, antigen 5-like proteins, and apyrases. The redundancy of sequence identification of saliva-secreted proteins suggests that proteins are present in multiple isoforms or derive from gene duplications. Supplemental files can be downloaded from http://exon.niaid.nih.gov/transcriptome/D_maxima/Dm-S1-web.xls and http://exon.niaid.nih.gov/transcriptome/D_maxima/Dm-S2-web.xls.
Saliva; hematophagy; transcriptome; proteome; triatomine; D. maxima
The salivary glands of blood sucking arthropods contain a redundant ‘magic potion’ that counteracts their vertebrate host’s hemostasis, inflammation, and immunity. We here describe the salivary transcriptome and proteomics (sialome) of the soft tick Ornithodoros coriaceus. The resulting analysis helps to consolidate the classification of common proteins found in both soft and hard ticks, such as the lipocalins, Kunitz, cystatin, basic tail, hebraein, defensin, TIL domain, metalloprotease, 5′-nucleotidase/apyrase, and phospholipase families, and also to identify protein families uniquely found in the Argasidae, such as the adrenomedullin/CGRP peptides, 7DB, 7 kDa, and the RGD containing single Kunitz proteins. Additionally, we found a protein belonging to the cytotoxin protein family that has so far only been identified in hard ticks. Three other unique families common only to the Ornithodoros genus were discovered. Edman degradation, 2D and 1D PAGE of salivary gland homogenates followed by tryptic digestion and HPLC MS/MS of results confirms the presence of several proteins. These results indicate that each genus of hematophagous arthropods studied to date evolved unique protein families that assist blood feeding, thus characterizing potentially new pharmacologically active components or antimicrobial agents.
Ornithodoros coriaceus; Ixodidae; Argasidae; Sialotranscriptome; Salivary gland transcriptome; Sialome; Tick salivary gland; Ixolaris
Mosquito salivary proteins are involved in several biological processes that facilitate their blood feeding and have also been reported to elicit an IgG response in vertebrates. A growing number of studies have focused on this immunological response for its potential use as a biological marker of exposure to arthropod bites. As mosquito saliva collection is extremely laborious and inefficient, most research groups prefer to work on mosquito salivary glands (SGs). Thus, SG protein integrity is a critical factor in obtaining meaningful data from immunological and biochemical analysis. Current methodologies rely on an immediate freezing of SGs after their collection. However, the maintenance of samples in a frozen environment can be hard to achieve in field conditions. In this study, SG proteins from two mosquito species (Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae s.s.) stored in different media for 5 days at either +4°C or room temperature (RT) were evaluated at the quantitative (i.e., ELISA) and qualitative (i.e., SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting) levels. Our results indicated that PBS medium supplemented with an anti-protease cocktail seems to be the best buffer to preserve SG antigens for 5 days at +4°C for ELISA analysis. Conversely, cell-lysis buffer (Urea-Thiourea-CHAPS-Tris) was best at preventing protein degradation both at +4°C and RT for further qualitative analysis. These convenient storage methods provide an alternative to freezing and are expected to be applicable to other biological samples collected in the field.
Dengue virus (DENV), the etiological agent of dengue fever, is transmitted to the human host during blood uptake by an infective mosquito. Infection of vector salivary glands and further injection of infectious saliva into the human host are key events of the DENV transmission cycle. However, the molecular mechanisms of DENV entry into the mosquito salivary glands have not been clearly identified. Otherwise, although it was demonstrated for other vector-transmitted pathogens that insect salivary components may interact with host immune agents and impact the establishment of infection, the role of mosquito saliva on DENV infection in human has been only poorly documented. To identify salivary gland molecules which might interact with DENV at these key steps of transmission cycle, we investigated the presence of proteins able to bind DENV in salivary gland extracts (SGE) from two mosquito species. Using virus overlay protein binding assay, we detected several proteins able to bind DENV in SGE from Aedes aegypti (L.) and Aedes polynesiensis (Marks). The present findings pave the way for the identification of proteins mediating DENV attachment or entry into mosquito salivary glands, and of saliva-secreted proteins those might be bound to the virus at the earliest step of human infection. The present findings might contribute to the identification of new targets for anti-dengue strategies.
The female Aedes aegypti salivary gland plays a pivotal role in bloodmeal acquisition and reproduction, and thereby dengue virus (DENV) transmission. It produces numerous immune factors, as well as immune-modulatory, vasodilatory, and anti-coagulant molecules that facilitate blood-feeding. To assess the impact of DENV infection on salivary gland physiology and function, we performed a comparative genome-wide microarray analysis of the naïve and DENV infection-responsive A. aegypti salivary gland transcriptomes. DENV infection resulted in the regulation of 147 transcripts that represented a variety of functional classes, including several that are essential for virus transmission, such as immunity, blood-feeding, and host-seeking. RNAi-mediated gene silencing of three DENV infection-responsive genes - a cathepsin B, a putative cystatin, and a hypothetical ankyrin repeat-containing protein - significantly modulated DENV replication in the salivary gland. Furthermore, silencing of two DENV infection-responsive odorant-binding protein genes (OBPs) resulted in an overall compromise in blood acquisition from a single host by increasing the time for initiation of probing and the probing time before a successful bloodmeal. We also show that DENV established an extensive infection in the mosquito's main olfactory organs, the antennae, which resulted in changes of the transcript abundance of key host-seeking genes. DENV infection, however, did not significantly impact probing initiation or probing times in our laboratory infection system. Here we show for the first time that the mosquito salivary gland mounts responses to suppress DENV which, in turn, modulates the expression of chemosensory-related genes that regulate feeding behavior. These reciprocal interactions may have the potential to affect DENV transmission between humans.
Dengue virus (DENV) is transmitted between humans through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Since the virus is inoculated in saliva, infection of the mosquito salivary gland is an essential requirement for transmission. In addition, the gland also produces numerous biologically active compounds that facilitate blood-feeding. Despite the salivary gland's crucial role in DENV transmission, very little is known about the host-pathogen interactions, at the molecular level, in this organ. In this study, we characterized the A. aegypti salivary gland response to DENV infection at both the gene expression and functional levels. We found that DENV induced the expression of several gene transcripts whose products modulate virus replication in the salivary gland. Unexpectedly, the virus also induced transcripts of two odorant-binding proteins, which we demonstrate to be important for mosquito host-seeking and probing behavior. This is the first study to demonstrate that besides affecting cellular processes that modulate virus replication, DENV also has the potential to alter chemosensory processes in ways that may result in increased virus transmission.
Dengue viruses (DENV; family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus) are transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and can cause dengue fever (DF), a relatively benign disease, or more severe dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF). Arthropod saliva contains proteins delivered into the bite wound that can modulate the host haemostatic and immune responses to facilitate the intake of a blood meal. The potential effects on DENV infection of previous exposure to Ae. aegypti salivary proteins have not been investigated. We collected Ae. aegypti saliva, concentrated the proteins, and fractionated them by non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). By use of immunoblots we analysed reactivity with the mosquito salivary proteins (MSP) of sera from 96 Thai children diagnosed with secondary DENV infections leading either to DF or DHF, or with no DENV infection, and found that different proportions of each patient group had serum antibodies reactive to specific Ae. aegypti salivary proteins. Our results suggest that prior exposure to MSP might play a role in the outcome of DENV infection in humans.
dengue; dengue haemorrhagic fever; Aedes aegypti; mosquito salivary proteins
Anopheles funestus is a principal vector of malaria across much of tropical Africa and is considered one of the most efficient of its kind, yet studies of this species have lagged behind those of its broadly sympatric congener, An. gambiae. In aid of future genomic sequencing of An. funestus, we explored the whole body transcriptome, derived from mixed stage progeny of wild-caught females from Mali, West Africa.
Here we report the functional annotation and comparative genomics of 2,005 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from An. funestus, which were assembled with a previous EST set from adult female salivary glands from the same mosquito. The assembled ESTs provided for a nonredundant catalog of 1,035 transcripts excluding mitochondrial sequences.
Comparison of the An. funestus and An. gambiae transcriptomes using computational and macroarray approaches revealed a high degree of sequence identity despite an estimated 20–80 MY divergence time between lineages. A phylogenetically broader comparative genomic analysis indicated that the most rapidly evolving proteins– those involved in immunity, hematophagy, formation of extracellular structures, and hypothetical conserved proteins– are those that probably play important roles in how mosquitoes adapt to their nutritional and external environments, and therefore could be of greatest interest in disease control.