Lipid metabolism in Rhodnius prolixus: Lessons from the genome

David MajerowiczKatia C Gondim


The kissing bug Rhodnius prolixus is both an important vector of Chagas' disease and an interesting model for investigation into the field of physiology, including lipid metabolism. The publication of this insect genome will bring a huge amount of new molecular biology data to be used in future experiments. Although this work represents a promising scenario, a preliminary analysis of the sequence data is necessary to identify and annotate the genes involved in lipid metabolism. Here, we used bioinformatics tools and gene expression analysis to explore genes from different genes families and pathways, including genes for fat breakdown, as lipases and phospholipases, and enzymes from β-oxidation, fatty acid metabolism, and acyl-CoA and glycerolipid synthesis. The R. prolixus genome encodes 31 putative lipase genes, including 21 neutral lipases and 5 acid lipases. The expression profiles of some of these genes were analyzed. We were able to identify nine phospholipase A2 genes. A variety of gene families that participate in fatty acid synthesis and modification were studied, including fatty acid synthase, elongase, desaturase and reductase. Concerning the synthesis of glycerolipids, we found a second isoform of glycerol-3-phosphat...Continue Reading


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