• Blood-feeding;
  • D7 gene;
  • mosquito;
  • saliva


Four genes expressed in the Anopheles gambiae adult female salivary glands and similar in sequence to the Aedes aegypti D7 gene were identified. The genes, called D7-related (D7r), are included in a single cluster encompassing approximately six kilobases on chromosome arm 3R. The deduced proteins contain secretory signals and they are probably injected by the mosquito into the host with the saliva during blood feeding. The region of similarity to D7 encompasses the carboxy-terminal part of the Ae. aegypti protein and the different An. gambiae D7r show a degree of similarity to each other, varying from 53% to 73%. The weak but significant similarity to members of a wide family of insect proteins, including odourant- and pheromone-binding proteins, raises the possibility that the D7r-encoded proteins may bind and/or carry small hydrophobic ligands.