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Identification of G protein coupled receptors for opsines and neurohormones in Rhodnius prolixus. Genomic and transcriptomic analysis

Ons, Sheila, Lavore, Andrés, Sterkel, Marcos, Wulff, Juan Pedro, Sierra, Ivana, Martínez-Barnetche, Jesús, Rodriguez, Mario Henry, Rivera-Pomar, Rolando
Insect biochemistry and molecular biology 2016 v.69 pp. 34-50
G-protein coupled receptors, Rhodnius prolixus, Triatoma dimidiata, Triatoma infestans, biogenic amines, central nervous system, genes, genomics, germplasm conservation, high-throughput nucleotide sequencing, insect physiology, insects, ligands, neurohormones, neuropeptides, neurosecretory system, nucleotide sequences, transcriptome, transcriptomics
The importance of Chagas disease motivated the scientific effort to obtain the complete genomic sequence of the vector species Rhodnius prolixus, this information is also relevant to the understanding of triatomine biology in general. The central nervous system is the key regulator of insect physiology and behavior. Neurohormones (neuropeptides and biogenic amines) are the chemical messengers involved in the regulation and integration of neuroendocrine signals. In insects, this signaling is mainly mediated by the interaction of neurohormone ligands with G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). The recently sequenced R. prolixus genome provides us with the opportunity to analyze this important family of genes in triatomines, supplying relevant information for further functional studies. Next-generation sequencing methods offer an excellent opportunity for transcriptomic exploration in key organs and tissues in the presence of a reference genome as well as when a reference genome is not available. We undertook a genomic analysis to obtain a genome-wide inventory of opsines and the GPCRs for neurohormones in R. prolixus. Furthermore, we performed a transcriptomic analysis of R. prolixus central nervous system, focusing on neuropeptide precursor genes and neurohormone and opsines GPCRs. In addition, we mined the whole transcriptomes of Triatoma dimidiata, Triatoma infestans and Triatoma pallidipennis – three sanitary relevant triatomine species – to identify neuropeptide precursors and GPCRs genes. Our study reveals a high degree of sequence conservation in the molecular components of the neuroendocrine system of triatomines.