A highly conserved candidate chemoreceptor expressed in both olfactory and gustatory tissues in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae.

Pitts RJ, Fox AN, Zwiebel LJ
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 101 (14): 5058-63

PMID: 15037749 · PMCID: PMC387373 · DOI:10.1073/pnas.0308146101

Anopheles gambiae is a highly anthropophilic mosquito responsible for the majority of malaria transmission in Africa. The biting and host preference behavior of this disease vector is largely influenced by its sense of smell, which is presumably facilitated by G protein-coupled receptor signaling [Takken, W. & Knols, B. (1999) Annu. Rev. Entomol. 44, 131-157]. Because of the importance of host preference to the mosquitoes' ability to transmit disease, we have initiated studies intended to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying olfaction in An. gambiae. In the course of these studies, we have identified a number of genes potentially involved in signal transduction, including a family of candidate odorant receptors. One of these receptors, encoded by GPRor7 (hereafter referred to as AgOr7), is remarkably similar to an odorant receptor that is expressed broadly in olfactory tissues and has been identified in Drosophila melanogaster and other insects [Krieger, J., Klink, O., Mohl, C., Raming, K. & Breer, H. (2003) J. Comp. Physiol. A 189, 519-526; Vosshall, L. B., Amrein, H., Morozov, P. S., Rzhetsky, A. & Axel, R. (1999) Cell 96, 725-736]. We have observed AgOr7 expression in olfactory and gustatory tissues in adult An. gambiae and during several stages of the mosquitoes' development. Within the female adult peripheral chemosensory system, antiserum against the AgOR7 polypeptide labels most sensilla of the antenna and maxillary palp as well as a subset of proboscis sensilla. Furthermore, AgOR7 antiserum labeling is observed within the larval antenna and maxillary palpus. These results are consistent with a role for AgOr7 in both olfaction and gustation in An. gambiae and raise the possibility that AgOr7 orthologs may also be of general importance to both modalities of chemosensation in other insects.

MeSH Terms (16)

Amino Acid Sequence Animals Anopheles Base Sequence Chemoreceptor Cells Chromosomes, Artificial, Bacterial DNA Primers Female Immunohistochemistry Microscopy, Electron, Scanning Molecular Sequence Data Receptors, Cell Surface Sequence Homology, Amino Acid Signal Transduction Smell Taste

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