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Systematic identification of autophagy-related proteins in Aedes albopictus

Yu Wang, Jialu Qiao, Dandan Zhang, Chunyan Zhong, Shengya Wang, Xiaomei Li, Lingyan Feng, Shen Shi, Bingxue Wang, Qingzhen Liu
Published: 19 January 2021
PLOS ONE , Volume 16; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0245694

Abstract: Autophagy is a conserved cellular process playing a role in maintenance of cellular homeostasis and response to changing nutrient conditions via degradation and recirculation of cellular redundant components. Autophagy-related proteins (Atg) play important function in autophagy pathway. Aedes albopictus mosquito is an effective vector transmitting multiple viruses which cause serious human diseases. Moreover, Aedes albopictus mosquito is becoming a serious threat to human health due to its widening distribution in recent years and thus worth of more research attention. It was reported that autophagy might play a role in viral infection in Aedes mosquito. To better understand the interaction between autophagy and arbovirus infection in mosquito system, it is necessary to identify autophagy pathway in the system. However, autophagy in Aedes albopictus mosquito is still poorly understood so far. We recently identified AaAtg8, the first Atg protein reported in Aedes albopictus mosquito. This work further identified twelve atg genes in Aedes albopictus mosquito. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis of the twelve atg genes were performed. Expression profiles of all the twelve Aaatg genes in different developmental stages and genders of Aedes albopictus mosquito were conducted. Effects of chemicals inhibiting or inducing autophagy on the levels of eight identified AaAtg proteins were examined. The function of two identified AaAtg proteins AaAtg6 and AaAtg16 and their response to arbovirus SINV infection were studied preliminarily. Taken together, this work systematically identified Aedes albopictus atg genes and provided basic information which might help to elucidate the autophagy pathway and the role of autophagy in arbovirus infection in Aedes mosquito system.
Keywords: Sequence alignment / Autophagic cell death / mosquitoes / Drosophila melanogaster / Aedes aegypti / Arboviral Infections / Alpha Helix / Beta Helix

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