Chelsea T. Smartt

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Characterization of the enzymes involved in the chitin biosynthetic pathway in mosquitoes is critical due to the importance of chitin in the formation of the peritrophic matrix [PM] and its potential impact on vector competence. Chitin is the homopolymer of the amino sugar N-acetyl-D glucosamine [GlcNAc]. The final step of incorporation of GlcNAc into the(More)
Aedes aegypti were immune activated by injection with bacteria, and the expression of insect defensins was measured over time. Northern analyses indicated that defensin transcriptional activity continued for at least 21 days after bacterial injection, and up to 10 days after saline inoculation. Mature defensin levels in the haemolymph reached approximately(More)
Glucosamine:fructose-6-phosphate aminotransferase (GFAT) catalyses the formation of glucosamine 6-phosphate and is the first and rate-limiting enzyme of the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway. The final product of the hexosamine pathway, UDP-N-acetyl glucosamine, is an active precursor of numerous macromolecules containing amino sugars, including chitin in(More)
The peritrophic matrix (PM) is the first natural barrier a mosquito-borne parasite faces when ingested with a blood meal; consequently, understanding the biology of PM formation could provide novel transmission control strategies. Because the PM is composed of chitin (a molecule of repeating units of N-acetyl glucosamine), glycoproteins and glucose,(More)
The functions of insect peroxidases include detoxification, stabilization of extracellular matrices, and possible involvement in insect immunity. The current study describes the isolation of a peroxidase gene, AePox, and its cDNA from the mosquito, Aedes aegypti. AePox codes for a protein that is homologous to various heme-peroxidases from vertebrates and(More)
Alterations in gene expression in the midgut of female Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus exposed to blood meals containing 6.8 logs plaque-forming units/mL of West Nile virus (WNV) were studied by fluorescent differential display. Twenty-six different cDNAs exhibited reproducible differences after feeding on infected blood. Of these, 21 cDNAs showed an(More)
Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus were fed blood containing either 7.0 +/- 0.1 logs plaque-forming units (pfu)/ml (high dose) or 5.9 +/- 0.1 logs pfu/ml (low dose) of West Nile virus and held at extrinsic incubation temperatures (EIT) of 28 degrees C or 25 degrees C. Approximately 20 mosquitoes per dose were collected after incubation periods (IP) of 4, 6, 8,(More)
Glutamine synthetase (GS) in the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is induced in the midgut following a blood meal. Mosquito GS message is detected as soon as 1 h post-blood feeding and remains stable for 18 h. Using a PCR product encoding mosquito GS, a lambda gt10 adult female mosquito cDNA library was screened. A cDNA clone, pCl5A2, encoding the full translation(More)
Environmental factors that impact the biology of mosquito vectors can have epidemiological implications. Lack of oviposition sites facilitated by environmental factors such as temperature and drought can often force Culex spp. mosquitoes to retain their eggs. Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus Say were fed blood meals containing West Nile virus (WNV; family(More)