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Small-Molecule Agonists of Ae. aegypti Neuropeptide Y Receptor Block Mosquito Biting

Duvall, Laura B., Ramos-Espiritu, Lavoisier, Barsoum, Kyrollos E., Glickman, J. Fraser, Vosshall, Leslie B.
Cell 2019 v.176 no.4 pp. 687-701.e5
Aedes aegypti, agonists, blood, blood meal, disease control, disease transmission, drugs, eggs, females, hematophagy, host seeking, humans, infectious diseases, mutants, neuropeptide Y, peptide receptors
Female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes bite humans to obtain blood to develop their eggs. Remarkably, their strong attraction to humans is suppressed for days after the blood meal by an unknown mechanism. We investigated a role for neuropeptide Y (NPY)-related signaling in long-term behavioral suppression and discovered that drugs targeting human NPY receptors modulate mosquito host-seeking. In a screen of all 49 predicted Ae. aegypti peptide receptors, we identified NPY-like receptor 7 (NPYLR7) as the sole target of these drugs. To obtain small-molecule agonists selective for NPYLR7, we performed a high-throughput cell-based assay of 265,211 compounds and isolated six highly selective NPYLR7 agonists that inhibit mosquito attraction to humans. NPYLR7 CRISPR-Cas9 null mutants are defective in behavioral suppression and resistant to these drugs. Finally, we show that these drugs can inhibit biting and blood-feeding on a live host, suggesting a novel approach to control infectious disease transmission by controlling mosquito behavior.[Display omitted]