Analysis of apyrase 5' upstream region validates improved Anopheles gambiae transformation technique
1 Department of Public Health – Parasitology Section, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185, Roma, Italy
2 European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117-Heidelberg, Germany
3 Department of Structural and Functional Biology, University Federico II, Via Cinthia, 80126, Napoli, Italy
4 Imperial College London, Imperial College Road, SW7 2AZ, London, UK
5 Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, L3 5QA, Liverpool, UK
6 Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Imperial College London, 1 Aspenlea Road, W6 8LH, London, UK
BMC Research Notes 2009, 2:24 doi:10.1186/1756-0500-2-24Published: 19 February 2009
Genetic transformation of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae has been successfully achieved in recent years, and represents a potentially powerful tool for researchers. Tissue-, stage- and sex-specific promoters are essential requirements to support the development of new applications for the transformation technique and potential malaria control strategies. During the Plasmodium lifecycle in the invertebrate host, four major mosquito cell types are involved in interactions with the parasite: hemocytes and fat body cells, which provide humoral and cellular components of the innate immune response, midgut and salivary glands representing the epithelial barriers traversed by the parasite during its lifecycle in the mosquito.
We have analyzed the upstream regulatory sequence of the An. gambiae salivary gland-specific apyrase (AgApy) gene in transgenic An. gambiae using a piggyBac transposable element vector marked by a 3xP3 promoter:DsRed gene fusion. Efficient germ-line transformation in An. gambiae mosquitoes was obtained and several integration events in at least three different G0 families were detected. LacZ reporter gene expression was analyzed in three transgenic lines/groups, and in only one group was tissue-specific expression restricted to salivary glands.
Our data describe an efficient genetic transformation of An. gambiae embryos. However, expression from the selected region of the AgApy promoter is weak and position effects may mask tissue- and stage- specific activity in transgenic mosquitoes.