The main goal of the proposed study is the molecular characterization of the cationic amino acid (AA) translocation system in the fat body of the Yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti, the principle vector for Dengue fever. As an adaption to their unique life style, the fat body tissue of adult mosquitoes houses an AA sensing and transport system which is essential for reproduction. The nutritional status of mosquitoes affects this system. The transport of cationic AAs over the fat body plasma membrane after a blood meal is indispensable for mosquito reproduction. In vertebrates cationic AAs are translocated by proteins of the Solute Carrier Family 7 (SLC7). We have identified one transporter of the SLC7 family as a transporter for the cationic AA L-histidine in mosquitoes;however, there has been no comprehensive investigation into the transport mechanisms of the other cationic AAs so far. Consequently, cationic AA transporters, their substrate specificities, and transport kinetics have not been identified. To address this problem we will use a combination of pyrosequencing, reverse genetics, and electrophysiological techniques. The proposed work will achieve a significant gain of knowledge in the field of AA transport in vector mosquitoes. .
Project Narrative The proposed work will prove significant for human health through the identification and characterization of essential and mosquito/insect-specific transporters that present high-value targets for the development of insecticidal substances.
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