Differential Expression of Putative Sodium-Dependent Cation-Chloride Cotransporters in Aedes Aegypti

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The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, has three genes that code for proteins with sequence similarity to vertebrate Na+-K+-Cl− cotransporters (NKCCs) of the solute-linked carrier 12 superfamily of cation-chloride cotransporters (CCCs). We hypothesized that these mosquito NKCC orthologues have diverged to perform distinct roles in salt secretion and absorption. In phylogenetic analyses, one protein (aeNKCC1) groups with a Drosophila melanogaster NKCC that mediates salt secretion whereas two others (aeCCC2 and aeCCC3) group with a Drosophila transporter that is not functionally characterized. The aeCCC2 and aeCCC3 genes probably result from a tandem gene duplication in the mosquito lineage; they have similar exon structures and are consecutive in genomic DNA. Predicted aeCCC2 and aeCCC3 proteins differ from aeNKCC1 and vertebrate NKCCs in residues from the third transmembrane domain known to influence ion and inhibitor binding. Quantitative PCR revealed that aeNKCC1 and aeCCC2 were approximately equally expressed in larvae and adults, whereas aeCCC3 was approximately 100-fold more abundant in larvae than in adults. In larval tissues, aeCCC2 was approximately 2- fold more abundant in Malpighian tubules compared to anal papillae. In contrast, aeCCC3 was nearly 100-fold more abundant in larval anal papillae compared to Malpighian tubules, suggesting a role in absorption. Western blots with polyclonal antibodies against isoform-specific peptides revealed stronger aeCCC2 immunoreactivity in adults versus larvae, whereas aeCCC3 immunoreactivity was stronger in larvae versus adults. The differential expression pattern of aeCCC2 and aeCCC3, and their sequence divergence in transmembrane domains, suggests that they may have different roles in transepithelial salt transport.


Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology



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