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Open AccessArticle

Characterization of an MLP Homologue from Haemaphysalis longicornis (Acari: Ixodidae) Ticks

State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Etiological Biology, Key Laboratory of Veterinary Parasitology of Gansu Province, Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Xujiaping 1, Lanzhou 730046, China
MOE Joint International Research Laboratory of Animal Health and Food Safety, College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
Gansu Agriculture Technology College, Duanjiatan 425, Lanzhou 730030, China
Jiangsu Co-Innovation Center for the Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Disease and Zoonose, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou 225009, China
Ili Center of Animal Disease Control and Diagnosis, Ili 835000, China
Chapchal Sibo Autonomous County Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Station, Chapchal 835400, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(4), 284;
Received: 11 February 2020 / Revised: 27 March 2020 / Accepted: 9 April 2020 / Published: 14 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Newcastle Disease Vaccines: Current Research and Future Trends)
Members of the cysteine-rich protein (CRP) family are known to participate in muscle development in vertebrates. Muscle LIM protein (MLP) belongs to the CRP family and has an important function in the differentiation and proliferation of muscle cells. In this study, the full-length cDNA encoding MLP from Haemaphysalis longicornis (H. longicornis; HLMLP) ticks was obtained by 5′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). To verify the transcriptional status of MLP in ticks, HLMLP gene expression was assessed during various developmental stages by real-time PCR (RT-PCR). Interestingly, HLMLP expression in the integument was significantly (P < 0.01) higher than that observed in other tested tissues of engorged adult ticks. In addition, HLMLP mRNA levels were significantly downregulated in response to thermal stress at 4 °C for 48 h. Furthermore, recombinant HLMLP was expressed in Escherichia coli, and Western blot analysis showed that rabbit antiserum against H. longicornis adults recognized HLMLP and MLPs from different ticks. Ten 3-month-old rabbits that had never been exposed to ticks were used for the immunization and challenge experiments. The rabbits were divided into two groups of five rabbits each, where rabbits in the first group were immunized with HLMLP, while those in the second group were immunized with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) diluent as controls. The vaccination of rabbits with the recombinant HLMLP conferred partial protective immunity against ticks, resulting in 20.00% mortality and a 17.44% reduction in the engorgement weight of adult ticks. These results suggest that HLMLP is not ideal as a candidate for use in anti-tick vaccines. However, the results of this study generated novel information on the MLP gene in H. longicornis and provide a basis for further investigation of the function of this gene that could potentially lead to a better understanding of the mechanism of myofiber determination and transformation View Full-Text
Keywords: ticks; Haemaphysalis longicornis; cysteine-rich protein; MLP ticks; Haemaphysalis longicornis; cysteine-rich protein; MLP
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Luo, J.; Shen, H.; Ren, Q.; Guan, G.; Zhao, B.; Yin, H.; Chen, R.; Zhao, H.; Luo, J.; Li, X.; Liu, G. Characterization of an MLP Homologue from Haemaphysalis longicornis (Acari: Ixodidae) Ticks. Pathogens 2020, 9, 284.

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