RNAi-mediated gene knockdown and in vivo diuresis assay in adult female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
ABSTRACT This video protocol demonstrates an effective technique to knockdown a particular gene in an insect and conduct a novel bioassay to measure excretion rate. This method can be used to obtain a better understanding of the process of diuresis in insects and is especially useful in the study of diuresis in blood-feeding arthropods that are able to take up huge amounts of liquid in a single blood meal. This RNAi-mediated gene knockdown combined with an in vivo diuresis assay was developed by the Hansen lab to study the effects of RNAi-mediated knockdown of aquaporin genes on Aedes aegypti mosquito diuresis. The protocol is setup in two parts: the first demonstration illustrates how to construct a simple mosquito injection device and how to prepare and inject dsRNA into the thorax of mosquitoes for RNAi-mediated gene knockdown. The second demonstration illustrates how to determine excretion rates in mosquitoes using an in vivo bioassay.
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ABSTRACT: After taking vertebrate blood, female mosquitoes quickly shed excess water and ions while retaining and concentrating the mostly proteinaceous nutrients. Aquaporins (AQPs) are an evolutionary conserved family of membrane transporter proteins that regulate the flow of water and in some cases glycerol and other small molecules across cellular membranes. In a previous study, we found six putative AQP genes in the genome of the yellow fever mosquito, Ae. aegypti, and demonstrated the involvement of three of them in the blood meal-induced diuresis. Here we characterized AQP expression in different tissues before and after a blood meal, explored the substrate specificity of AQPs expressed in the Malpighian tubules and performed RNAi-mediated knockdown and tested for changes in mosquito desiccation resistance. We found that AQPs are generally down-regulated 24 hrs after a blood meal. Ae. aegypti AQP 1 strictly transports water, AQP 2 and 5 demonstrate limited solute transport, but primarily function as water transporters. AQP 4 is an aquaglyceroporin with multiple substrates. Knockdown of AQPs expressed in the MTs increased survival of Ae. aegypti under dry conditions. We conclude that Malpighian tubules of adult female yellow fever mosquitoes utilize three distinct AQPs and one aquaglyceroporin in their osmoregulatory functions.Scientific reports. 01/2015; 5:7795.