The First Identification of a Serine Protease Inhibitor (Serpin) Encoding Gene in the Mosquito Species Aedes cretinus (Edwards, 1921)
Mosquitoes are vectors for many infectious diseases including malaria, yellow fewer, dengue, encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis and others. The mosquito’s immune system is critical in fight with the pathogens before infecting a human host. Serine protease inhibitors (serpins, SRPNs) have been shown in many biological processes in insects, such as reproductive and developmental processes, hematophagy, cellular secretion and immunity. Mosquito genome annotations have allowed identification of serpins in various mosquito species but there is little information on their role in mosquito immunity. In this study, a 534 bp nucleotide sequence of a putative serpin gene from the mosquito species Aedes cretinus has been identified for the first time through conventional molecular techniques. The amplified gene product encoded a 159 amino acid peptide sequence. The cDNA and peptide sequence analysis have indicated that the identified serpin gene has the highest identity to Aedes aegypti Srpn2 and Aedes albopictus Srpn2 genes. Thus, the gene was named as AcSrpn2 in Ae. cretinus due to its possible orthology with other Aedes mosquito Srpn2 genes. Conservation among other mosquito species indicates that SRPN2 may have an important and common role in the mosquito immunity and physiology. The identification of serpin genes in different mosquito species is an important step to determine their biological functions and understand the mosquito immune system.
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