Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2013 Feb;13(2):119-27.
In malaria, mosquito saliva and salivary glands play central roles in the multi-faceted interactions that occur among the parasite, its vector, and its host. Analyzing the processes involved in the survival and maintenance of the Plasmodium parasite in mosquito organs, and in its transmission into vertebrate hosts, may lead to the identification of new molecular targets for parasite control. We used comparative two-dimensional gel polyacrylamide electrophoresis (2D-PAGE), surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS), and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), followed by Edman sequencing, to study saliva and salivary gland samples from Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes infected or not with Plasmodium berghei. Quantitative 2D-PAGE profile analysis showed that the intensities of seven spots were affected by the presence of the parasite in the salivary glands. Most of the proteins identified possessed a signal peptide. SELDI-TOF-MS revealed 32 proteins/peptides whose peak intensities differed between the Plasmodium-infected and non-infected control groups. Quantitative comparison of HPLC profiles of low-molecular-weight components from salivary gland extracts revealed several peptides and proteins with levels that were modulated by parasite infection. The results of these complementary approaches suggest that the infection of female A. gambiae mosquitoes by P. berghei alters the production levels of several salivary gland proteins and peptides, some of which (e.g., protein cE5, B3VDI9_ANOGA, and AGAP008216-PA) are known or predicted to be secreted in saliva and involved in blood feeding.