Trypsin‐like Serine Proteases and the Evolution of Hematophagy in Mosquitoes

Abstract

Mosquitoes are scourge of humanity because they transmit many diseases during blood sucking. Study on the genes associated with the process of hematophagy will be helpful for studying and controlling mosquito‐borne diseases. Trypsin‐like serine protease family is ubiquitous and evolves dynamically in animals, and plays an important role in the digestion of food. The gene family is expanded significantly in the mosquito genomes, and the expression level of these genes is elevated remarkably after blood meal, particularly these phylogenetically expanded genes. Positive Darwinian selection is considered to drive the evolution and diversification of trypsin‐like serine protease family, which probably contributes profoundly to the hematophagous trait in mosquitoes. The trypsin‐like serine proteases are potential good candidates to study the process of hematophagy in mosquitoes and the control of mosquito‐borne diseases.

Key Concepts:

  • Mosquitoes are scourge of humanity because they transmit many diseases.

  • Trypsin‐like serine protease family plays an important role in the food digestion, and is expanded in the mosquito genomes.

  • The expression level of genes in the family is elevated remarkably after blood meal in mosquito, particularly these phylogenetically expanded genes.

  • Therefore, the expansion of trypsin‐like serine protease family plays an important role in the evolution of hematophagy in mosquito.

Keywords: trypsin‐like serine protease; evolution; hematophagy; mosquito; positive selection; phylogenetic

Figure 1.

Trypsin‐like serine proteases and the evolution of hematophagy in mosquitoes. (1) During the process of hematophagy of mosquitoes, many physiological events are advent, for example changes of gene expression level. (2) Via hematophagy, mosquitoes transmit many diseases, such as malaria, filariasis, dengue and yellow fever. (3) Study on these physiological events and identification of the associated genes will help the investigation on the mechanism and control of mosquito‐borne diseases. (4) Trypsin‐like serine proteases are a group of genes playing an essential role in the digestion of blood meal, and the expression level of these genes are elevated after blood meal. (5) Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the family expands remarkably in the mosquito lineage, which indicates that the evolution of trypsin‐like serine proteases plays a profound role in the evolution of hematophagy in mosquito. (6) The data suggest that trypsin‐like serine proteases may be good candidates to study the mosquito‐borne diseases.

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Holt RA, Subramanian GM, Halpern A et al. (2002) The genome sequence of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Science 298: 129–149.

Nene V, Wortman JR, Lawson D et al. (2007) Genome sequence of Aedes aegypti, a major arbovirus vector. Science 316: 1718–1723.

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How to Cite close
Wu, Dong‐Dong, and Zhang, Ya‐Ping(Jan 2011) Trypsin‐like Serine Proteases and the Evolution of Hematophagy in Mosquitoes. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0022880]