Organ-Specific Splice Variants of Aquaporin Water Channel AgAQP1 in the Malaria Vector Anopheles gambiae

Hitoshi Tsujimoto, Kun Liu, Paul J. Linser, Peter Agre, Jason L. Rasgon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background:Aquaporin (AQP) water channels are important for water homeostasis in all organisms. Malaria transmission is dependent on Anopheles mosquitoes. Water balance is a major factor influencing mosquito survival, which may indirectly affect pathogen transmission.Methodology/Principal Findings:We obtained full-length mRNA sequences for Anopheles gambiae aquaporin 1 (AgAQP1) and identified two splice variants for the gene. In vitro expression analysis showed that both variants transported water and were inhibited by Hg2+. One splice variant (AgAQP1A) was exclusively expressed in adult female ovaries indicating a function in mosquito reproduction. The other splice variant (AgAQP1B) was expressed in the midgut, malpighian tubules and the head in adult mosquitoes. Immunolabeling showed that in malpighian tubules, AgAQP1 is expressed in principal cells in the proximal portion and in stellate cells in the distal portion. Moreover, AgAQP1 is expressed in Johnston's organ (the "ear"), which is important for courtship behavior.Conclusions And Significance:These results suggest that AgAQP1 may play roles associated with mating (courtship) and reproduction in addition to water homeostasis in this important African malaria vector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere75888
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 16 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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