Expression profiling and comparative analyses of seven midgut serine proteases from the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti

Doug E. Brackney, Jun Isoe, Black W.C., Jorge Zamora, Brian D. Foy, Roger L. Miesfeld, Ken E. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Aedes aegypti utilizes blood for energy production, egg maturation and replenishment of maternal reserves. The principle midgut enzymes responsible for bloodmeal digestion are endoproteolytic serine-type proteases within the S1.A subfamily. While there are hundreds of serine protease-like genes in the A. aegypti genome, only five are known to be expressed in the midgut. We describe the cloning, sequencing and expression profiling of seven additional serine proteases and provide a genomic and phylogenetic assessment of these findings. Of the seven genes, four are constitutively expressed and three are transcriptionally induced upon blood feeding. The amount of transcriptional induction is strongly correlated among these genes. Alignments reveal that, in general, the conserved catalytic triad, active site and accessory catalytic residues are maintained in these genes and phylogenetic analysis shows that these genes fall within three distinct clades; trypsins, chymotrypsins and serine collagenases. Interestingly, a previously described trypsin consistently arose with other serine collagenases in phylogenetic analyses. These results suggest that multiple gene duplications have arisen within the S1.A subfamily of midgut serine proteases and/or that A. aegypti has evolved an array of proteases with a broad range of substrate specificities for rapid, efficient digestion of bloodmeals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-744
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Midgut
  • Serine proteases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Insect Science


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