Novel public health insecticides with new modes of action are urgently needed to protect the health of human populations in many countries worldwide. This project focuses on the family of cationic amino acid transporters (SLC7) of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, the principal vector of dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus. The mode of action and substrate specificity of five SLC7s will be studied, in order to understand how this class of transporters functions. We will unravel the cellular nutrient signaling cascade downstream of these transceptors (transporters with receptor function) and study how the activity of them is regulated in key tissues/organs for mosquito reproduction. The proposed work will prove significant for human health through the gain of knowledge on amino acid transport and signaling in mosquitoes. SLC7 inhibitors have the potential to give rise to the next generation of public health insecticides. In addition, this study will significantly increase our basic knowledge of the functional mechanisms of SLC7-type cationic amino acid transporters in insects with implications for understanding essential amino acid transporters in humans and other model systems. Our results will broaden our knowledge of nutrient signaling and the regulation of amino acid transport in a species that is an important vector of devastating human diseases.
This project is focused on the structure and function of SLC7-type cationic amino acid transporters of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, an important human disease vector. The nutrient signaling pathways downstream of these transporters will be explored as will be the regulation of these key proteins in mosquito reproduction.