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The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, expresses a gene, Apyrase (Apy), that encodes an ATP-diphosphohydrolase. The product of this gene is a secreted enzyme that facilitates hematophagy by preventing platelet aggregation in the host. Apy gene expression is limited to the cells of the distal-lateral and medial lobes of the adult female salivary glands. Apyrase protein levels, detectable by antibodies, peak in the salivary glands about 4 days after adult emergence and remain high after a blood meal. Primary sequence analysis of a genomic clone encoding apyrase reveals a unique TAAATA sequence and seven introns, as well as other conserved features of eukaryotic genes. The temporal, sex- and tissue-specific expression of the Apy gene is consistent with its role as encoding a platelet anti-aggregation factor that functions to facilitate hematophagy and decrease probing time.

Original publication




Journal article


Exp Parasitol

Publication Date





239 - 248


Aedes, Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Apyrase, Base Sequence, Blotting, Northern, Cloning, Molecular, DNA Primers, DNA, Complementary, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic, Genes, Insect, Immunoblotting, Insect Vectors, Male, Molecular Sequence Data, RNA, RNA Probes, Salivary Glands, Sex Characteristics