Leveraging genomic databases: From an Aedes albopictus mosquito cell line to the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae via the Drosophila genome project

E. D. Eccleston, Anna Gerenday, Ann M Fallon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


An important justification for genome sequencing efforts is the anticipation that data from model organisms will provide a framework for the more rapid analysis of other, less studied genomes. In this investigation, we sequenced an internal region of 25 amino acids from a 52 kDa protein that was differentially expressed in 20-hydroxyecdysone-treated Aedes albopictus cells in culture. Within the GenBank non-mouse and non-human expressed sequence tag (EST) database, this 'Aedes peptide' uncovered a putative homology to hypothetical translation products from Anopheles gambiae, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. The hypothetical translation product from D. melanogaster, which included 462 amino acids, uncovered five expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae. When the Anopheles ESTs were aligned against the hypothetical Drosophila protein, we found that in aggregate they covered 324 amino acids, with gaps measuring 19, 30, and 87 amino acids. To approximate the complete amino acid sequence, gaps between translation products from Anopheles ESTs were replaced with corresponding amino acids from Drosophila to arrive at a calculated mass of 51 104 and a pl of 5.84 for the mosquito protein, consistent with the position of the Ae. albopictus protein on two-dimensional polyacrylamide gels. Finally, tandem mass spectrometry of a tryptic digest of the 52 kDa Ae. albopictus protein revealed 33 peptides with masses within 1 Dalton of those predicted from an in silico digestion of the reconstructed Anophleles protein. In addition to providing the first direct evidence that a hypothetical protein in Drosophila is in fact translated, this analysis provides a general approach for maximizing recovery, from existing databases, of information that can facilitate prioritization of efforts among several candidate proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalInsect molecular biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Aedes albopictus
  • Anopheles gambiae
  • Drosophila genome project
  • Immune-competent cells
  • Mosquito

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