Comparison of differentially expressed genes in the salivary glands of male ticks, Amblyomma americanum and Dermacentor andersoni

Bior, A.D.; Essenberg, R.C.; Sauer, J.R.

Insect biochemistry and molecular biology 32(6): 645-655


ISSN/ISBN: 0965-1748
PMID: 12020839
DOI: 10.1016/s0965-1748(01)00143-6
Accession: 003687196

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Genes expressed differentially in the salivary glands of unfed and fed male ticks, Amblyomma americanum (L.), were identified, cloned and sequenced, and some were compared with those expressed in the salivary glands of Dermacentor andersoni. Total protein and RNA increased sixfold in the salivary glands of fed male A. americanum, while in fed male D. andersoni salivary glands, RNA increased approximately 3.5 times. Feeding D. andersoni in the presence of females increased total RNA by 25% over those fed in the absence of females. Complementary DNAs were synthesized from RNA obtained from unfed and fed ticks and amplified using RNA arbitrarily primed polymerase chain reaction (RAP-PCR) with three different primers in separate reactions. Differential display showed clear banding differences between the fed and the unfed ticks in A. americanum and D. andersoni. Sixty-one cDNA fragments that appeared to be from differentially expressed genes in A. americanum were isolated, cloned and sequenced. Hybridization reactions with labeled cDNA probes confirmed the differential expression of many of the genes in unfed and fed ticks' salivary glands; however, many of the bands contained more than one fragment and some of the fragments isolated from apparently differential bands were not specific. Sequences for 28 of the cDNA fragments (150-600 nucleotides in length) demonstrated similarity to genes in the databases, but nine of these were similar to sequences of unknown function. Some of the gene fragments identified may be important to tick feeding or tick salivary gland physiology, including a histamine-binding protein, an organic ion transporter, an apoptosis inhibitor, a cathepsin-B-like cysteine protease, proteins involved in gene regulation and several proteins involved in protein synthesis. Cross-hybridization of identified cDNAs from A. americanum with cDNA probes synthesized from D. andersoni total RNA did not show significant similarity between the two species.