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
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.
Mosquitoes are able to adapt to feed on blood by the salivary glands which created a protein that works against the haemostasis process. This study aims to investigate the salivary glands proteins expression of 50 adult female An. dirus A mosquitoes, a main vector of malaria in Thailand, each group with an age of 5 days which were artificial membrane fed on sugar, normal blood, blood infected with P. vivax, and blood infected with P. falciparum. Then mosquito salivary gland proteins were analyzed by SDS-PAGE on days 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 after feeding. The findings revealed that the major salivary glands proteins had molecular weights of 62, 58, 43, 36, 33, 30, and 18 kDa. One protein band of approximately 13 kDa was found in normal blood and blood infected with P. vivax fed on day 0. A stronger protein band, 65 kDa, was expressed from the salivary glands of mosquitoes fed with P. vivax- or P. falciparum-infected blood on only day 0, but none on days 1 to 4. The study shows that salivary glands proteins expression of An. dirus may affect the malaria parasite life cycle and the ability of mosquitoes to transmit malaria parasites in post-24-hour disappearance observation.
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.
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.
The Anopheles gambiae salivary gland protein 6 (gSG6) is a small protein specifically found in the salivary glands of adult female mosquitoes. We report here the expression of a recombinant form of the protein and we show that in vivo gSG6 is expressed in distal-lateral lobes and is secreted with the saliva while the female mosquito probes for feeding. Injection of gSG6 dsRNA into adult An. gambiae females results in decreased gSG6 protein levels, increased probing time and reduced blood feeding ability. gSG6 orthologs have been found so far only in the salivary glands of Anopheles stephensi and Anopheles funestus, both members of the Cellia subgenus. We report here the gSG6 sequence from five additional anophelines, four species of the An. gambiae complex and Anopheles freeborni, a member of the subgenus Anopheles. We conclude that gSG6 plays some essential blood feeding role and was recruited in the anopheline subfamily most probably after the separation of the lineage which gave origin to Cellia and Anopheles subgenera.
Anopheles gambiae; gSG6; salivary glands; saliva; blood feeding
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.
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.
Saliva is a key element of interaction between hematophagous mosquitoes and their vertebrate hosts. In addition to allowing a successful blood meal by neutralizing or delaying hemostatic responses, the salivary cocktail is also able to modulate the effector mechanisms of host immune responses facilitating, in turn, the transmission of several types of microorganisms. Understanding how the mosquito uses its salivary components to circumvent host immunity might help to clarify the mechanisms of transmission of such pathogens and disease establishment.
Flow cytometry was used to evaluate if increasing concentrations of A. aegypti salivary gland extract (SGE) affects bone marrow-derived DC differentiation and maturation. Lymphocyte proliferation in the presence of SGE was estimated by a colorimetric assay. Western blot and Annexin V staining assays were used to assess apoptosis in these cells. Naïve and memory cells from mosquito-bite exposed mice or OVA-immunized mice and their respective controls were analyzed by flow cytometry.
Concentration-response curves were employed to evaluate A. aegypti SGE effects on DC and lymphocyte biology. DCs differentiation from bone marrow precursors, their maturation and function were not directly affected by A. aegypti SGE (concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 40 μg/mL). On the other hand, lymphocytes were very sensitive to the salivary components and died in the presence of A. aegypti SGE, even at concentrations as low as 0.1 μg/mL. In addition, A. aegypti SGE was shown to induce apoptosis in all lymphocyte populations evaluated (CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and B cells) through a mechanism involving caspase-3 and caspase-8, but not Bim. By using different approaches to generate memory cells, we were able to verify that these cells are resistant to SGE effects.
Our results show that lymphocytes, and not DCs, are the primary target of A. aegypti salivary components. In the presence of A. aegypti SGE, naïve lymphocyte populations die by apoptosis in a caspase-3- and caspase-8-dependent pathway, while memory cells are selectively more resistant to its effects. The present work contributes to elucidate the activities of A. aegypti salivary molecules on the antigen presenting cell-lymphocyte axis and in the biology of these cells.
Dendritic cells; T cells; Aedes aegypti; Saliva; Apoptosis
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.
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
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
The hosts for Antricola delacruzi ticks are insectivorous, cave-dwelling bats on which only larvae are found. The mouthparts of nymphal and adult A. delacruzi are compatible with scavenging feeding because the hypostome is small and toothless. How a single blood meal of a larva provides energy for several molts as well as for oviposition by females is not known. Adults of A. delacruzi possibly feed upon an unknown food source in bat guano, a substrate on which nymphal and adult stages are always found. Guano produced by insectivorous bats contains twice the amount of protein and 60 times the amount of iron as beef. In addition, bacteria and chitin-rich fungi proliferate on guano. Comparative data on the transcriptome of the salivary glands of A. delacruzi is nonexistent and would help to understand the physiological adaptations of salivary glands that accompany different sources of food as well as the steps taken by the Acari towards haematophagy, believed to have evolved from scavenging dead animals. Annotation of the transcriptome of salivary glands from female instars of A. delacruzi collected on guano categorized 5.7% of the clusters of expressed genes as putative secreted proteins. They included abundantly expressed TIL domain-containing proteins (possible anti-microbials), an abundantly expressed protein similar to a serum amyloid found in the sialotranscriptomes of Ornithodoros spp., a savignygrin, a family of mucin/peritrophin/cuticle-like proteins, antimicrobials and an HIV envelope-like glycoprotein also found in soft ticks. When comparing the transcriptome of A. delacruzi with those of blood-feeding female soft and hard ticks some notable differences were observed; they consisted of the following transcripts over- or under-represented or absent in the sialotranscriptome of A. delacuzi that may reflect its source of food: ferritin, mucins with chitin-binding domains and TIL domain-containing proteins versus lipocalins, basic tail proteins, metalloproteases, glycine-rich proteins and Kunitz protease inhibitors, respectively.
Antricola delacruzi; Hematophagy; Scavenging; Transcriptome; Salivary glands; Bat guano
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
Hard ticks subvert the immune responses of their vertebrate hosts in order to feed for much longer periods than other blood-feeding ectoparasites; this may be one reason why they transmit perhaps the greatest diversity of pathogens of any arthropod vector. Tick-induced immunomodulation is mediated by salivary components, some of which neutralise elements of innate immunity or inhibit the development of adaptive immunity. As dendritic cells (DC) trigger and help to regulate adaptive immunity, they are an ideal target for immunomodulation. However, previously described immunoactive components of tick saliva are either highly promiscuous in their cellular and molecular targets or have limited effects on DC. Here we address the question of whether the largest and globally most important group of ticks (the ixodid metastriates) produce salivary molecules that specifically modulate DC activity. We used chromatography to isolate a salivary gland protein (Japanin) from Rhipicephalus appendiculatus ticks. Japanin was cloned, and recombinant protein was produced in a baculoviral expression system. We found that Japanin specifically reprogrammes DC responses to a wide variety of stimuli in vitro, radically altering their expression of co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory transmembrane molecules (measured by flow cytometry) and their secretion of pro-inflammatory, anti-inflammatory and T cell polarising cytokines (assessed by Luminex multiplex assays); it also inhibits the differentiation of DC from monocytes. Sequence alignments and enzymatic deglycosylation revealed Japanin to be a 17.7 kDa, N-glycosylated lipocalin. Using molecular cloning and database searches, we have identified a group of homologous proteins in R. appendiculatus and related species, three of which we have expressed and shown to possess DC-modulatory activity. All data were obtained using DC generated from at least four human blood donors, with rigorous statistical analysis. Our results suggest a previously unknown mechanism for parasite-induced subversion of adaptive immunity, one which may also facilitate pathogen transmission.
Dendritic cells (DC) are specialised cells of the vertebrate immune system. DC can sense different types of infectious agents and parasites, and both trigger and help regulate the specific types of immunity needed to eliminate them. We have discovered that the largest and globally most important group of hard ticks produce a unique family of proteins in their saliva that selectively targets DC, radically altering functions that would otherwise induce robust immune responses; these proteins also prevent DC developing from precursor cells. The production of these salivary molecules may help to explain two highly unusual features of these hard ticks compared with other blood-feeding parasites: their ability to feed continuously on their vertebrate hosts for considerable lengths of time (7 days or more) without eliciting potentially damaging immune responses, and their capacity to transmit possibly the greatest variety of pathogens of any type of invertebrate.
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
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.
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 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
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.
Ixodid ticks are notorious blood-sucking ectoparasites and are completely dependent on blood-meals from hosts. In addition to the direct severe effects on health and productivity, ixodid ticks transmit various deadly diseases to humans and animals. Unlike rapidly feeding vessel-feeder hematophagous insects, the hard ticks feed on hosts for a long time (5−10 days or more), making a large blood pool beneath the skin. Tick's salivary glands produce a vast array of bio-molecules that modulate their complex and persistent feeding processes. However, the specific molecule that functions in the development and maintenance of a blood pool is yet to be identified. Recently, we have reported on longistatin, a 17.8-kDa protein with two functional EF-hand Ca++-binding domains, from the salivary glands of the disease vector, Haemaphysalis longicornis, that has been shown to be linked to blood-feeding processes. Here, we show that longistatin plays vital roles in the formation of a blood pool and in the acquisition of blood-meals. Data clearly revealed that post-transcriptional silencing of the longistatin-specific gene disrupted ticks' unique ability to create a blood pool, and they consequently failed to feed and replete on blood-meals from hosts. Longistatin completely hydrolyzed α, β and γ chains of fibrinogen and delayed fibrin clot formation. Longistatin was able to bind with fibrin meshwork, and activated fibrin clot-bound plasminogen into its active form plasmin, as comparable to that of tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA), and induced lysis of fibrin clot and platelet-rich thrombi. Plasminogen activation potentiality of longistatin was increased up to 4 times by soluble fibrin. Taken together, our results suggest that longistatin may exert potent functions both as a plasminogen activator and as an anticoagulant in the complex scenario of blood pool formation; the latter is critical to the feeding success and survival of ixodid ticks.
Ixodid ticks are serious blood-sucking ectoparasites that are essentially dependent on blood-meals from hosts for survival. The feeding mechanism of hard ticks, however, is very complex and is quite different from that of blood-sucking insects that suck blood rapidly and directly from blood vessels. Hard ticks suck blood for quite a long period (5−10 days or more) by making a large blood pool beneath the skin. Despite the fact that mammalian hosts are armored with strong blood clotting machineries, ticks manage to keep the blood in a fluid state and to maintain a blood pool until a full blood-meal is secured. However, very little is known about the anti-hemostatic mechanisms by which ticks cleverly manipulate the host's blood clotting cascade and make blood-meals available. Here, we show that longistatin, a salivary gland protein identified from the tick Haemaphysalis longicornis, can efficiently manipulate the host's blood clotting machineries, such as fibrinogen, fibrin and plasminogen, and can help prevent cascade of blood clotting. In conclusion, longistatin plays a crucial role in the blood-feeding success of hard ticks and can be a novel therapeutic target against ticks and tick-borne diseases, including human occlusive cardiovascular diseases like thrombosis.
Saliva of Aedes aegypti contains a complex array of proteins essential for both blood feeding and pathogen transmission. A large numbers of those proteins are classified as unknown in regard to their function(s). Understanding the dynamic interactions at the mosquito-host interface can be achieved in part by characterizing mosquito salivary gland gene expression relative to blood feeding. Towards this end, we developed an oligonucleotide microarray representing 463 transcripts to determine differential regulation of salivary gland genes. This microarray was used to investigate the temporal gene expression pattern of Ae. aegypti salivary gland transcriptome at different times post-blood feeding. Expression of the majority of salivary gland genes (77–87%) did not change significantly as a result of blood feeding, while 8 to 20% of genes were down-regulated and 2.8 to 11.6% genes were up-regulated. Up-regulated genes included defensins, mucins and other immune related proteins. Odorant-binding protein was significantly down-regulated. Among unknown function proteins, several were up-regulated during the first three hours post-blood feeding and one was significantly down-regulated. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR was used to substantiate differential expression patterns of five randomly selected genes. Linear regression analysis revealed a high degree of correlation (R2 > 0.89) between oligonucleotide microarray and quantitative RT-PCR data. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate differential expression of the Ae. aegypti salivary gland transcriptome upon blood feeding. A microarray provides a robust, sensitive way to investigate differential regulation of mosquito salivary gland genes.
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
When attempting to feed on their hosts, ticks face the problem of host hemostasis (the vertebrate mechanisms that prevent blood loss), inflammation (that can produce itching or pain and thus initiate defensive behavior on their hosts) and immunity (by way of both cellular and humoral responses). Against these barriers, ticks evolved a complex and sophisticated pharmacological armamentarium, consisting of bioactive lipids and proteins, to assist blood feeding. Recent progress in transcriptome research has uncovered that hard ticks have hundreds of different proteins expressed in their salivary glands, the majority of which have no known function, and include many novel protein families (e.g., their primary structure is unique to ticks). This review will address the vertebrate mechanisms of these barriers as a guide to identify the possible targets of these large numbers of known salivary proteins with unknown function. We additionally provide a supplemental table that catalogues over 3,500 putative salivary proteins from various tick species, which might assist the scientific community in the process of functional identification of these unique proteins. This supplemental file is accessble from http://exon.niaid.nih.gov/transcriptome/tick_review/Sup-Table-1.xls.gz.