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An antibody against an Anopheles albimanus midgut myosin reduces Plasmodium berghei oocyst development

Lecona-Valera, Alba N., Tao, Dingyin, Rodríguez, Mario H., López, Tomás, Dinglasan, Rhoel R., Rodríguez, María C.
Parasites & vectors 2016 v.9 no.1 pp. 274
Anopheles albimanus, Plasmodium berghei, brush border membrane vesicles, epitopes, insect vectors, liquid chromatography, malaria, microvilli, midgut, monoclonal antibodies, myosin, oocysts, ookinetes, parasites, precipitin tests, proteomics, surface proteins, tandem mass spectrometry, vaccines, Latin America
BACKGROUND: Malaria parasites are transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes. Although several studies have identified mosquito midgut surface proteins that are putatively important for Plasmodium ookinete invasion, only a few have characterized these protein targets and demonstrated transmission-blocking activity. Molecular information about these proteins is essential for the development of transmission-blocking vaccines (TBV). The aim of the present study was to test three monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), A-140, A-78 and A-10, for their ability to recognize antigens and block oocyst infection of the midgut of Anopheles albimanus, a major malaria vector in Latin America. METHOD: Western-blot of mAbs on antigens from midgut brush border membrane vesicles was used to select antibodies. Three mAbs were tested by membrane feeding assays to evaluate their potential transmission-blocking activity against Plasmodium berghei. The cognate antigens recognized by mAbs with oocyst-reducing activity were determined by immunoprecipitation followed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. RESULTS: Only one mAb, A-140, significantly reduced oocyst infection intensity. Hence, its probable protein target in the Anopheles albimanus midgut was identified and characterized. It recognized three high-molecular mass proteins from a midgut brush border microvilli vesicle preparation. Chemical deglycosylation assays confirmed the peptide nature of the epitope recognized by mAb A-140. Immunoprecipitation followed by proteomic identification with tandem mass spectrometry revealed five proteins, presumably extracted together as a complex. Of these, AALB007909 had the highest mascot score and corresponds to a protein with a myosin head motor domain, indicating that the target of mAb A-140 is probably myosin located on the microvilli of the mosquito midgut. CONCLUSION: These results provide support for the participation of myosin in mosquito midgut invasion by Plasmodium ookinetes. The potential inclusion of this protein in the design of new multivalent vaccine strategies for blocking Plasmodium transmission is discussed.