Expression analysis and knockdown of two antennal odorant-binding protein genes in Aedes aegypti
Sengul, Meryem S.
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The presence and expression of odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) in the olfactory organs suggest that they play an important role in mosquito olfaction. However, no direct evidence has been found for their involvement in the host-seeking behavior of mosquitoes. It is important to establish a method in which a loss-of-function test can be performed to determine the possible role of these genes in olfaction. In this study, a double subgenomic Sindbis virus expression system was used to reduce the expression of two Obp genes in Aedes aegypti L (Diptera: Culicidae), AaegObp1 and AaegObp2. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed predominant expression of both genes in the female antennae, the primary olfactory tissue of mosquitoes. Moreover, at 11 days post virus-inoculation, the mRNA levels of AaegObp1 and AaegObp2 were significantly reduced in olfactory tissues of recombinant virus-inoculated female mosquitoes compared to that of controls by approximately 8 and 100-fold, respectively. These data suggest that the double subgenomic Sindbis virus expression system can be efficiently used to knockdown Obp gene expression in olfactory tissues of mosquitoes. We discuss the potential for a systematic analysis of the molecular players involved in mosquito olfaction using this newly developed technique. Such analysis will provide an important step to interfere with the hostseeking behavior of mosquitoes to prevent the transmission of diseases.