Anopheles gambiae TRPA1 is a heat-activated channel expressed in thermosensitive sensilla of female antennae

Authors

  • Guirong Wang,

    1. Departments of Biological Sciences and Pharmacology, Center for Molecular Neuroscience, Institutes of Chemical Biology and Global Health and Programs in Developmental Biology and Genetics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA
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    • *

      G.W., Y.T.Q. and T.L. contributed equally to this work.

  • Yu T. Qiu,

    1. Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, 6708 PB, Wageningen, The Netherlands
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    • *

      G.W., Y.T.Q. and T.L. contributed equally to this work.

  • Tan Lu,

    1. Departments of Biological Sciences and Pharmacology, Center for Molecular Neuroscience, Institutes of Chemical Biology and Global Health and Programs in Developmental Biology and Genetics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA
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    • *

      G.W., Y.T.Q. and T.L. contributed equally to this work.

  • Hyung-Wook Kwon,

    1. Departments of Biological Sciences and Pharmacology, Center for Molecular Neuroscience, Institutes of Chemical Biology and Global Health and Programs in Developmental Biology and Genetics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA
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  • R. Jason Pitts,

    1. Departments of Biological Sciences and Pharmacology, Center for Molecular Neuroscience, Institutes of Chemical Biology and Global Health and Programs in Developmental Biology and Genetics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA
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  • Joop J. A. Van Loon,

    1. Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, 6708 PB, Wageningen, The Netherlands
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  • Willem Takken,

    1. Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, 6708 PB, Wageningen, The Netherlands
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  • Laurence J. Zwiebel

    1. Departments of Biological Sciences and Pharmacology, Center for Molecular Neuroscience, Institutes of Chemical Biology and Global Health and Programs in Developmental Biology and Genetics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA
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Dr L. J. Zwiebel, as above.
E-mail: l.zwiebel@vanderbilt.edu

Abstract

Heat sensitivity is a sensory modality that plays a critical role in close-range host-seeking behaviors of adult female Anopheles gambiae, the principal Afrotropical vector for human malaria. An essential step in this activity is the ability to discriminate and respond to increases in environmental temperature gradients through the process of peripheral thermoreception. Here, we report on the characterization of the anopheline homolog of the transient receptor potential (TRP) A1/ANKTM1 channel that is consistent with its role as a heat-sensor in host-seeking adult female mosquitoes. We identify a set of distal antennal sensory structures that specifically respond to temperature gradients and express AgTRPA1. Functional characterization of AgTRPA1 in Xenopus oocytes supports its role in the molecular transduction of temperature gradients in An. gambiae, providing a basis for targeting mosquito heat responses as a means toward reducing malaria transmission.

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