A Research Project ProposalCapin, J.IntroductionDENV-infection in A. aegypti mosquito results in the regulation of several transcripts essential to viral transmission. In particular, the transcription of cathepsin B, a lysosomal cysteine protease involved in the apoptosis of immune cells, is upregulated in the salivary gland (Sim et.
al, 2012). An excessive number of cathepsin B represses the innate immune response against DENV, and thus, facilitates its production in the organ. The virus can then be inoculated into other organisms through the bite of an infected mosquito. With the knowledge that the circadian clock in an organism can influence its physiological processes, we want to know if light cycle treatment could affect the regulation of cathepsin B in A. aegypti salivary gland.
Methodology Expected ResultsIf the production of cathepsin B were light-dependent, we would observe a significant difference between the LD and DD setups. The amount of transcripts should be lower in the DDd setup in comparison to the LDd because of the down regulated expression of cathepsin B. Few to no transcripts should be observed in the LDo and DDo setups since cathepsin B is supposed to be produced only when the insect is infected with DENV.
Significance of the Expected ResultsLow cathepsin B transcripts would mean that more immune cells can act against the viral particles present in the salivary gland of a DENV-infected mosquito. If the expected results were verified to be true, we could modulate the production of cathepsin B by manipulating the insect’s photoreception. Hence, DENV would no longer be resistant against the innate immune response of the mosquito. This could be a potential solution to eliminating DENV and the health risks it poses to humans.
ReferenceSim, S., Ramirez, J.L., Dimopoulos, G. (2012). Dengue Virus Infection of the Aedes aegypti Salivary Gland and Chemosensory Apparatus Induces Genes that Modulate Infection and Blood-Feeding Behavior.
Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1002631