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The gene encoding sialokinin I, the principal vasodilatory peptide of Aedes aegypti, has been isolated and characterized. Degenerate oligonucleotide primers based on peptide amino acid sequence were used to amplify a gene fragment from messenger RNA (mRNA) isolated from female salivary glands. The amplification product was used to probe a salivary gland complementary DNA (cDNA) library, and a number of corresponding cDNAs were isolated and their primary sequence determined. Analysis of the conceptual translation product of a 406-bp cDNA indicates that sialokinin I is expressed as a preprosialokinin and is subsequently post-translationally processed to the active peptide. Northern analysis revealed a 490-bp transcription product expressed exclusively in female salivary glands, and hybridization in situ of probes to RNA in whole tissues localized gene expression to the medial lobe of female salivary glands. Screening of an Ae. aegypti genomic library with the cDNA resulted in the isolation of a clone containing the gene, designated Sialokinin I (Sia I). Comparison of the cDNA with the genomic clone reveals two introns of 62 bp and 833 bp. Primer extension analysis showed that several transcription initiation sites are present. Southern analysis of genomic DNA shows that Sia I is most probably a single-copy gene. Similarities of the Sia I gene product with other genes are confined to the region encoding the active decapeptide.

Original publication




Journal article


Insect Mol Biol

Publication Date





459 - 467


Aedes, Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Sequence, DNA, Complementary, Female, Genes, Insect, Genomic Library, In Situ Hybridization, Male, Molecular Sequence Data, Salivary Glands, Tachykinins, Vasodilator Agents, Yellow Fever