Characterization of the adult Aedes aegypti early midgut peritrophic matrix proteome using LC-MS
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the principal vector of arboviruses such as dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika virus. These arboviruses are transmitted during adult female mosquito bloodfeeding. While these viruses must transverse the midgut to replicate, the blood meal must also reach the midgut to be digested, absorbed, or excreted, as aggregation of blood meal metabolites can be toxic to the female mosquito midgut. The midgut peritrophic matrix (PM), a semipermeable extracellular layer comprised of chitin fibrils, glycoproteins, and proteoglycans, is one such mechanism of protection for the mosquito midgut. However, this structure has not been characterized for adult female Ae. aegypti. We conducted a mass spectrometry based proteomic analysis to identify proteins that comprise or are associated with the adult female Ae. aegypti early midgut PM. Altogether, 474 unique proteins were identified, with 115 predicted as secreted. GO-term enrichment analysis revealed an abundance of serine-type proteases and several known and novel intestinal mucins. In addition, approximately 10% of the peptides identified corresponded to known salivary proteins, indicating Ae. aegypti mosquitoes extensively swallow their own salivary secretions. However, the physiological relevance of this remains unclear, and further studies are needed to determine PM proteins integral for midgut protection from blood meal derived toxicity and pathogen protection. Finally, we describe substantial discordance between previously described transcriptionally changes observed in the midgut in response to a bloodmeal and the presence of the corresponding protein in the PM. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD007627.