Keira J. Lucas

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Lineage-specific microRNAs (miRNAs) may contribute to functions specific to hematophagous mosquitoes and, as such, have potential for contributing to the development of future mosquito control approaches. Here we report that the mosquito- and gut-specific miRNA, miR-1174, is required for proper sugar absorption, fluid excretion, blood intake, and,(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNA) are a class of endogenous regulatory RNA molecules 21-24 nucleotides in length that modulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level via base pairing to target sites within messenger RNAs (mRNA). Typically, the miRNA "seed sequence" (nucleotides 2-8 at the 5' end) binds complementary seed match sites within the 3' untranslated(More)
The discovery of small non-coding RNAs has revolutionized our understanding of regulatory networks governing multiple functions in animals and plants. However, our knowledge of mosquito small RNAs is limited. We discuss here the state of current knowledge regarding the roles of small RNAs and their targets in mosquitoes, and describe the ongoing efforts to(More)
Female mosquitoes require a blood meal for reproduction, and this blood meal provides the underlying mechanism for the spread of many important vector-borne diseases in humans. A deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms linked to mosquito blood meal processes and reproductive events is of particular importance for devising innovative vector control(More)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that function in gene regulatory processes in plants and animals by targeting sites within messenger RNA. In insects, miRNAs have been shown to regulate a variety of physiological processes throughout insect development, including molting, metamorphosis, oogenesis, embryogenesis, behavior and host-pathogen(More)
Females of the hematophagous mosquito species require a vertebrate blood meal to supply amino acids and other nutrients necessary for egg development, serving as the driving force for the spread of many vector-borne diseases in humans. Blood digestion utilizes both early and late phase serine proteases (SPs) that are differentially regulated at the(More)
The yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti is the major vector of arboviruses, causing numerous devastating human diseases, such as dengue and yellow fevers, Chikungunya and Zika. Female mosquitoes need vertebrate blood for egg development, and repeated cycles of blood feeding are tightly linked to pathogen transmission. The mosquito's posterior midgut (gut)(More)
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