Dynamic expression of genes encoding subunits of inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channels in the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti

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Inward rectifier potassium (Kir) channels play fundamental roles in neuromuscular, epithelial, and endocrine function in mammals. Recent research in insects suggests that Kir channels play critical roles in the development, immune function, and excretory physiology of fruit flies and/or mosquitoes. Moreover, our group has demonstrated that mosquito Kir channels may serve as valuable targets for the development of novel insecticides. Here we characterize the molecular expression of 5 mRNAs encoding Kir channel subunits in the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti: Kir1, Kir2A-c, Kir2B, Kir2B’, and Kir3. We demonstrate that 1) Kir mRNA expression is dynamic in whole mosquitoes, Malpighian tubules, and the midgut during development from 4th instar larvae to adult females, 2) Kir2B and Kir3 mRNA levels are reduced in 4th instar larvae when reared in water containing an elevated concentration (50 mM) of KCl, but not NaCl, and 3) Kir mRNAs are differentially expressed in the Malpighian tubules, midgut, and ovaries within 24 h after blood feeding. Furthermore, we provide the first characterization of Kir mRNA expression in the anal papillae of 4th instar larval mosquitoes, which indicates that Kir2A-c is the most abundant. Altogether, the data provide the first comprehensive characterization of Kir mRNA expression in Ae. aegypti and offer insights into the putative physiological roles of Kir subunits in this important disease vector.


Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology



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