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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

versão impressa ISSN 0074-0276versão On-line ISSN 1678-8060

Resumo

ORTIGAO-FARIAS, João Ramalho et al. Alternative splicing originates different domain structure organization of Lutzomyia longipalpis chitinases. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2018, vol.113, n.2, pp.96-101. ISSN 0074-0276.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0074-02760170179.

BACKGROUND

The insect chitinase gene family is composed by more than 10 paralogs, which can codify proteins with different domain structures. In Lutzomyia longipalpis, the main vector of visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil, a chitinase cDNA from adult female insects was previously characterized. The predicted protein contains one catalytic domain and one chitin-binding domain (CBD). The expression of this gene coincided with the end of blood digestion indicating a putative role in peritrophic matrix degradation.

OBJECTIVES

To determine the occurrence of alternative splicing in chitinases of L. longipalpis.

METHODS

We sequenced the LlChit1 gene from a genomic clone and the three spliced forms obtained by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using larvae cDNA.

FINDINGS

We showed that LlChit1 from L. longipalpis immature forms undergoes alternative splicing. The spliced form corresponding to the adult cDNA was named LlChit1A and the two larvae specific transcripts were named LlChit1B and LlChit1C. The B and C forms possess stop codons interrupting the translation of the CBD. The A form is present in adult females post blood meal, L4 larvae and pre-pupae, while the other two forms are present only in L4 larvae and disappear just before pupation. Two bands of the expected size were identified by Western blot only in L4 larvae.

MAIN CONCLUSIONS

We show for the first time alternative splicing generating chitinases with different domain structures increasing our understanding on the finely regulated digestion physiology and shedding light on a potential target for controlling L. longipalpis larval development.

Palavras-chave : Lutzomyia longipalpis; chitinase; alternative splicing; chitin binding domain.

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