Mosquito dopa decarboxylase cDNA characterization and blood-meal-induced ovarian expression.

Abstract

Dopa decarboxylase (DDC) functions in insect catecholamine biochemistry to produce materials essential for cross-linking reactions that result in tanning and/or melanization, include tanning of the mosquito egg chorion and encapsulation of parasites. We have cloned Ddc from the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, and studied its expression in response to blood-feeding, which initiates events necessary for egg maturation in mosquitoes. The Ae. aegypti Ddc cDNA was isolated via heterologous screening using a clone from Drosophila melanogaster. A resulting 1.87 kilobase (kb) clone was sequenced to reveal an open reading frame of 1464 bp, as well as 5'- and 3'-untranslated segments. The inferred amino acid sequence of this clone shares 81% identity with the published Drosophila Ddc cDNA, including complete identity with twenty-four contiguous amino acids encompassing the pyridoxal-5-phosphate cofactor binding domain. Analysis of an F2 intercross population derived from a parental cross between two Ae. aegypti strains (Hamburg and Moyo-In-Dry) allowed us to map Ddc to a locus on linkage group 2. Expression studies demonstrated the presence of a 2.1 kb message, the majority of which occurs in the ovaries where Ddc-specific mRNA is up-regulated in response to ingestion of a blood meal. The potential for egg-tanning in anautogenous mosquitoes as a model for understanding specific genetic events in the regulation of catecholamine metabolism is addressed.

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@article{Ferdig1996MosquitoDD, title={Mosquito dopa decarboxylase cDNA characterization and blood-meal-induced ovarian expression.}, author={Michael T. Ferdig and Ji-cheng Li and David W. Severson and Bruce M. Christensen}, journal={Insect molecular biology}, year={1996}, volume={5 2}, pages={119-26} }