Mosquitoes produce proteins to fight stress from hot blood meals

April 26th, 2011 - 6:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Apr 26 (ANI): A new study has found that mosquitoes produce heat shock proteins to help them handle the stressful spike in body temperature during and after their hot blood meals.

These proteins protect the integrity of other proteins and enzymes, in turn helping the mosquitoes digest the blood meal and maintain their ability to produce eggs

“These heat shock proteins are really important in a lot of stress responses. Our own bodies make these proteins when we have a fever,” said David Denlinger, professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology at Ohio State University and senior author of the study.

Heat shock proteins help maintain the three-dimensional integrity of enzymes and proteins when temperatures rise suddenly, and can target damaged proteins and enzymes for elimination, Denlinger said.

“We think that in this case, they are important to maintaining the integrity of some critical enzymes and proteins involved in digestive processes. When we knock out those proteins, it impairs digestion a bit and as a result the mosquitoes don’t lay as many eggs,” he added.

The research appears this week in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)

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