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Blood. 2008 Feb 15;111(4):2007-14. Epub 2007 Dec 4.

Inhibition of collagen-induced platelet aggregation by anopheline antiplatelet protein, a saliva protein from a malaria vector mosquito.

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  • 1Division of Medical Zoology, Department of Infection and Immunity, Jichi Medical University, Tochigi, Japan.


During blood feeding, mosquitoes inject saliva containing a mixture of molecules that inactivate or inhibit various components of the hemostatic response to the bite injury as well as the inflammatory reactions produced by the bite, to facilitate the ingestion of blood. However, the molecular functions of the individual saliva components remain largely unknown. Here, we describe anopheline antiplatelet protein (AAPP) isolated from the saliva of Anopheles stephensi, a human malaria vector mosquito. AAPP exhibited a strong and specific inhibitory activity toward collagen-induced platelet aggregation. The inhibitory mechanism involves direct binding of AAPP to collagen, which blocks platelet adhesion to collagen and inhibits the subsequent increase in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]i). The binding of AAPP to collagen effectively blocked platelet adhesion via glycoprotein VI (GPVI) and integrin alpha(2)beta(1). Cell adhesion assay showed that AAPP inhibited the binding of GPVI to collagen type I and III without direct effect on GPVI. Moreover, intravenously administered recombinant AAPP strongly inhibited collagen-induced platelet aggregation ex vivo in rats. In summary, AAPP is a malaria vector mosquito-derived specific antagonist of receptors that mediate the adhesion of platelets to collagen. Our study may provide important insights for elucidating the effects of mosquito blood feeding against host hemostasis.

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