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Insects 2014, 5(4), 885-908; doi:10.3390/insects5040885

Evolution and Structural Analyses of Glossina morsitans (Diptera; Glossinidae) Tetraspanins

1
South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI), University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X79, Bellville, Cape Town 7535, South Africa
2
Biotechnology Research Institute, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), P.O. Box 57811, Kaptagat Rd, Nairobi 00200, Kenya
3
Laboratory of Virology, Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg 1, Wageningen 6708 PB, The Netherlands
4
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Egerton University, P.O. Box 536, Egerton 20115, Kenya
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 September 2014 / Revised: 23 October 2014 / Accepted: 2 November 2014 / Published: 12 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Collection Integrated Pest Management)
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Abstract

Tetraspanins are important conserved integral membrane proteins expressed in many organisms. Although there is limited knowledge about the full repertoire, evolution and structural characteristics of individual members in various organisms, data obtained so far show that tetraspanins play major roles in membrane biology, visual processing, memory, olfactory signal processing, and mechanosensory antennal inputs. Thus, these proteins are potential targets for control of insect pests. Here, we report that the genome of the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans (Diptera: Glossinidae) encodes at least seventeen tetraspanins (GmTsps), all containing the signature features found in the tetraspanin superfamily members. Whereas six of the GmTsps have been previously reported, eleven could be classified as novel because their amino acid sequences do not map to characterized tetraspanins in the available protein data bases. We present a model of the GmTsps by using GmTsp42Ed, whose presence and expression has been recently detected by transcriptomics and proteomics analyses of G. morsitans. Phylogenetically, the identified GmTsps segregate into three major clusters. Structurally, the GmTsps are largely similar to vertebrate tetraspanins. In view of the exploitation of tetraspanins by organisms for survival, these proteins could be targeted using specific antibodies, recombinant large extracellular loop (LEL) domains, small-molecule mimetics and siRNAs as potential novel and efficacious putative targets to combat African trypanosomiasis by killing the tsetse fly vector. View Full-Text
Keywords: tetraspanins; GmTsp; LEL; CD63; Glossina morsitans; Trypanosoma; phylogenetics; modeling; positive selection tetraspanins; GmTsp; LEL; CD63; Glossina morsitans; Trypanosoma; phylogenetics; modeling; positive selection
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Murungi, E.K.; Kariithi, H.M.; Adunga, V.; Obonyo, M.; Christoffels, A. Evolution and Structural Analyses of Glossina morsitans (Diptera; Glossinidae) Tetraspanins. Insects 2014, 5, 885-908.

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