Cloning, Immunolocalization and Functional Analyses of Calcitonin Receptor 1 (AedaeGPRCAL1; Diuretic Hormone 31 Receptor) in Females of Mosquito Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are composed of seven transmembrane domains and play an essential role in regulating physiological functions and mediating responses to environmental stimuli, biogenic amines, neurotransmitters, peptides, lipids, and hormones. The calcitonin-like diuretic hormone 31 (DH31) is known to elicit natriuresis from the Malpighian tubules (MTs) of mosquitoes Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti upon blood feeding. However, the contribution of DH31 cognate receptor, calcitonin receptor 1 (GPRCAL1), has not been evaluated with respect to postprandial fluid regulation or myostimulatory activity in blood feeding insects. Thus, this dissertation has investigated potential roles of AedaeGPRCAL1 in the regulation of fluid homeostasis and hindgut muscle contraction in female A. aegypti mosquito.

The full length cDNA encoding AedaeGPRCAL1 was cloned and sequenced. The receptor expression in the MTs and hindgut from female mosquito was analyzed by western blot and immunohistochemistry using anti-AedaeGPRCAL1 affinity purified antibodies, and subsequently its role in fluid transport and hindgut contraction was evaluated by RNA interference (RNAi).

The mosquitoes that underwent knock-down of the AedaeGPRcal1 exhibited up to 57% lower rate of MT fluid secretion in presence of Aedae-DH31 in the in vitro assay and a ~30% reduction in the fluid excreted from live females upon blood feeding. The receptor was immunolocalized in principal cells, predominantly towards the distal end of MTs. Analyses of receptor signal probability indicate the receptor is expressed in a gradient-like fashion along the length of the MTs. A striking discovery was the fact that not all principal cells express the receptor, contrary to previous belief.

Immunolocalization revealed the AedaeGPRCAL1 is expressed in hindgut circular and longitudinal muscles. The application of DH31 increased the frequency of hindgut contractions in all female mosquitoes, those injected with AedaeGPRcal1 dsRNA and controls, as compared to their basal contraction rate, but the percent change in frequency of hindgut contraction from AedaeGPRcal1 knock-down females was about 2-fold lower than the controls after application of Aedae-DH31.

To my knowledge, this is first evidence of RNAi-induced phenotypes in any invertebrate that allowed the quantification of the contribution of single family B GPCR to fluid loss and muscle contractility.