The salivary glands of the vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti, express a novel member of the amylase gene family.
Grossman GL., James AA.
Several cDNA clones with similarity to alpha-amylases have been characterized from a library made from adult female salivary gland RNA isolated from the vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti. The corresponding gene, designated Amylase I (Amy I), is expressed specifically in the proximal-lateral lobes of the adult female salivary gland, a pattern overlapping that of another gene, Mal I, involved in carbohydrate metabolism. The deduced amino acid sequence of Amy I indicates that this gene encodes a protein, approximate M(r) = 81,500, that appears to be a novel member of the amylase gene family. The mosquito protein contains a putative signal peptide for secretion and several consensus sites for asparagine-linked glycosylation. The Amy I protein shows significant similarity to invertebrate and vertebrate amylases including the conservation of four reactive and substrate binding sites. However, the amino-terminal region of the Amy-I protein is unique to the mosquito. Similarity with the Drosophila melanogaster protein is evident only after the first 260 amino acids in the mosquito sequence. The identification of this gene and its expression pattern adds to the observed relationship between spatial-specific gene expression in the female salivary glands and the specific feeding mode of the adult mosquito.