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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2009 Jul;39(7):457-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2009.04.006. Epub 2009 May 12.

The Anopheles gambiae salivary protein gSG6: an anopheline-specific protein with a blood-feeding role.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Scienze di Sanità Pubblica, Sezione di Parassitologia, Università La Sapienza, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma, Italy.


The Anopheles gambiae salivary gland protein 6 (gSG6) is a small protein specifically found in the salivary glands of adult female mosquitoes. We report here the expression of a recombinant form of the protein and we show that in vivo gSG6 is expressed in distal-lateral lobes and is secreted with the saliva while the female mosquito probes for feeding. Injection of gSG6 dsRNA into adult A. gambiae females results in decreased gSG6 protein levels, increased probing time and reduced blood feeding ability. gSG6 orthologs have been found so far only in the salivary glands of Anopheles stephensi and Anopheles funestus, both members of the Cellia subgenus. We report here the gSG6 sequence from five additional anophelines, four species of the A. gambiae complex and Anopheles freeborni, a member of the subgenus Anopheles. We conclude that gSG6 plays some essential blood feeding role and was recruited in the anopheline subfamily most probably after the separation of the lineage which gave origin to Cellia and Anopheles subgenera.

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