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Exp Parasitol. 1995 Nov;81(3):239-48.

The Apyrase gene of the vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is expressed specifically in the adult female salivary glands.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine 92717-3900, USA.


The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, expresses a gene, Apyrase (Apy), that encodes an ATP-diphosphohydrolase. The product of this gene is a secreted enzyme that facilitates hematophagy by preventing platelet aggregation in the host. Apy gene expression is limited to the cells of the distal-lateral and medial lobes of the adult female salivary glands. Apyrase protein levels, detectable by antibodies, peak in the salivary glands about 4 days after adult emergence and remain high after a blood meal. Primary sequence analysis of a genomic clone encoding apyrase reveals a unique TAAATA sequence and seven introns, as well as other conserved features of eukaryotic genes. The temporal, sex- and tissue-specific expression of the Apy gene is consistent with its role as encoding a platelet anti-aggregation factor that functions to facilitate hematophagy and decrease probing time.

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