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Ticks transmit more pathogens to humans and animals than any other arthropod. We describe the 2.1 Gbp nuclear genome of the tick, Ixodes scapularis (Say), which vectors pathogens that cause Lyme disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, babesiosis and other diseases. The large genome reflects accumulation of repetitive DNA, new lineages of(More)
In invertebrates, neuropeptide F (NPF) peptides share structural similarity with vertebrate neuropeptide Y, which regulates food consumption, circadian rhythms, anxiety, and other physiological processes. The insect neuropeptide F receptors belong to the G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) rhodopsin family. We have cloned the fire ant putative short NPF(More)
BACKGROUND Insect neuropeptides are involved in diverse physiological functions and can be released as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators acting within the central nervous system, and as circulating neurohormones in insect hemolymph. The insect short neuropeptide F (sNPF) peptides, related to the vertebrate neuropeptide Y (NPY) peptides, have been(More)
The multifunctional 'insect kinins' share the evolutionarily conserved C-terminal pentapeptide motif Phe-X1-X2-Trp-Gly-NH2, where X1=His, Asn, Ser, or Tyr and X2=Ser, Pro, or Ala; and are associated with the regulation of diuresis in a variety of species of insects. We previously reported the functional expression of a southern cattle tick (Boophilus(More)
Evolution of anthropophilic hematophagy in insects resulted in the coordination of various physiological processes for survival. In female mosquitoes, a large blood meal provides proteins for egg production and as a trade-off, rapid elimination of the excess water and solutes (Na(+), Cl(-)) is critical for maintaining homeostasis and removing excess weight(More)
The multifunctional arthropod 'insect kinins' share the evolutionarily conserved C-terminal pentapeptide motif Phe-X1-X2-Trp-Gly-NH2, where X1=His, Asn, Ser, or Tyr and X2=Ser, Pro, or Ala. Eight different analogs of the insect kinin C-terminal pentapeptide active core in which the critical residues Phe 1, Pro3 and Trp 4 are replaced with beta 3-amino acid(More)
Arthropod hormone receptors are potential targets for novel pesticides as they regulate many essential physiological and behavioral processes. The majority of them belong to the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). We have focused on characterizing arthropod kinin receptors from the tick and mosquito. Arthropod kinins are multifunctional(More)
Insect kinins (leucokinins) are multifunctional peptides acting as neurohormones and neurotransmitters. In females of the mosquito vector Aedes aegypti (L.), aedeskinins are known to stimulate fluid secretion from the renal organs (Malpighian tubules) and hindgut contractions by activating a G protein-coupled kinin receptor designated "Aedae-KR." We used(More)
In the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, the neuronal and molecular mechanisms related to worker division of labor are poorly understood. Workers from different subcastes (major, medium and minors) perform different tasks, which are loosely associated with their size. We hypothesized that the short neuropeptide F (sNPF) signaling system(More)