Intestinal expression of H+ V-ATPase in the mosquito Aedes albopictus is tightly associated with gregarine infection

Chin Gi Huang, Kun Hsien Tsai, Wen Jer Wu, Wei June Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

17 Scopus citations


Vacuolar ATPase (V-ATPase) is a family of ATP-dependent proton pumps expressed on the plasma membrane and endomembranes of eukaryotic cells. Acidification of intracellular compartments, such as lysosomes, endosomes, and parasitophorous vacuoles, mediated by V-ATPase is essential for the entry by many enveloped viruses and invasion into or escape from host cells by intracellular parasites. In mosquito larvae, V-ATPase plays a role in regulating alkalization of the anterior midgut. We extracted RNA from larval tissues of Aedes albopictus, cloned the full-length sequence of mRNA of V-ATPase subunit A, which contains a poly-A tail and 2,971 nucleotides, and expressed the protein. The fusion protein was then used to produce rabbit polyclonal antibodies, which were used as a tool to detect V-ATPase in the midgut and Malpighian tubules of mosquito larvae. A parasitophorous vacuole was formed in the midgut in response to invasion by Ascogregarina taiwanensis, confining the trophozoite(s). Acidification was demonstrated within the vacuole using acridine orange staining. It is concluded that gregarine sporozoites are released by ingested oocysts in the V-ATPase-energized high-pH environment. The released sporozoites then invade and develop in epithelial cells of the posterior midgut. Acidification of the parasitophorous vacuoles may be mediated by V-ATPase and may facilitate exocytosis of the vacuole confining the trophozoites from the infected epithelial cells for further extracellular development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 03 2006


  • Aedes albopictus
  • Bafilomycin
  • Gene cloning
  • Gregarine
  • Host-parasite interactions
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Protein expression
  • V-ATPase


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