Tsetse salivary gland proteins 1 and 2 are high affinity nucleic acid binding proteins with residual nuclease activity

G. Caljon, K. De Ridder, B. Stijlemans, M. Coosemans, S. Magez, P. De Baetselier, J. Van Den Abbeele

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Abstract

Analysis of the tsetse fly salivary gland EST database revealed the presence of a highly enriched cluster of putative endonuclease genes, including tsal1 and tsal2. Tsal proteins are the major components of tsetse fly (G. morsitans morsitans) saliva where they are present as monomers as well as high molecular weight complexes with other saliva proteins. We demonstrate that the recombinant tsetse salivary gland proteins 1&2 (Tsal1&2) display DNA/RNA non-specific, high affinity nucleic acid binding with K(D) values in the low nanomolar range and a non-exclusive preference for duplex. These Tsal proteins exert only a residual nuclease activity with a preference for dsDNA in a broad pH range. Knockdown of Tsal expression by in vivo RNA interference in the tsetse fly revealed a partially impaired blood digestion phenotype as evidenced by higher gut nucleic acid, hematin and protein contents.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume7
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)e47233
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Protozoal diseases
  • Trypanosomiasis-African
  • Sleeping sickness
  • Trypanosoma brucei
  • Vectors
  • Tsetse flies
  • Glossina morsitans morsitans
  • Entomology
  • Vector biology
  • Bloodmeal
  • Digestion
  • Salivary glands
  • Endonucleases
  • Proteins
  • Nucleic acids

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