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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Aedes aegypti transferrin. Gene structure, expression pattern, and regulation.

Mosquitoes and all other insects so far examined have an abundant haemolymph transferrin ( Tsf). The exact function of these proteins has not been determined, but they may be involved in iron transport, in oogenesis and in innate immune defence against parasites and pathogens. The Tsf gene of Aedes aegypti has been cloned and sequenced. It contains a single small intron, which contrasts it to vertebrate Tsf genes that contain up to sixteen introns. The promoter region of the gene is rich in putative NF-kappaB binding sites, which is consistent with the postulated role of Tsf in insect innate immunity. Tsf message levels are very low in embryos and early larvae, but high in late larvae, pupae and adults. Western blotting experiments revealed high levels of Tsf protein in pupae and adults. Late larvae and ovaries of blood-fed mosquitoes have little intact protein, but two prominent proteolytic degradation products. These may represent biologically active peptides, as has been shown for other organisms. Tsf message is down-regulated by inorganic iron in the diet or environment, but up-regulated by a blood meal in the adult female. The up-regulation following a blood meal may, in part, be due to the decrease in juvenile hormone (JH) that is known to follow blood feeding. Treatment of blood-fed females with methoprene, an analogue of JH, resulted in decrease of the Tsf message.[1]


  1. Aedes aegypti transferrin. Gene structure, expression pattern, and regulation. Harizanova, N., Georgieva, T., Dunkov, B.C., Yoshiga, T., Law, J.H. Insect Mol. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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