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We have undertaken a molecular analysis of the salivary glands of hematophagous insects in order to better understand their role in blood feeding and in the transmission of infectious diseases. To that end, genomic and cDNA clones of a gene designated D7, expressed abundantly in the adult female salivary glands of the vector mosquito aegypti, have been isolated and characterized. This gene encodes a mRNA shown by Northern analysis and in situ hybridization to tissue sections to be specifically transcribed in the distal-lateral and medial lobes of the glands, regions that are highly differentiated in females. The deduced gene product, a protein of approximately 37 kDa appears to be novel. Polyclonal antibodies made to a recombinant D7 product recognize a protein with the proper molecular weight in female salivary glands and saliva. These studies indicate that the D7 gene probably encodes the major secreted protein synthesized in the female salivary glands. The stage- and sex-limited expression of the D7 gene, and the secretion of its product, indicate that the product is most likely involved with the blood feeding capabilities of the female mosquito.

Original publication




Journal article


Mol Biochem Parasitol

Publication Date





245 - 253


Aedes, Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Sequence, Blotting, Northern, Cloning, Molecular, DNA, Female, Gene Expression, Molecular Sequence Data, Protein Biosynthesis, Salivary Proteins and Peptides, Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid