Publications by authors named "Dmitri Y Boudko"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Integrative chemogenomic analysis identifies small molecules that partially rescue ΔF508-CFTR for cystic fibrosis.

CPT Pharmacometrics Syst Pharmacol 2021 May 2;10(5):500-510. Epub 2021 May 2.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA.

Rare diseases affect 10% of the first-world population, yet over 95% lack even a single pharmaceutical treatment. In the present age of information, we need ways to leverage our vast data and knowledge to streamline therapeutic development and lessen this gap. Here, we develop and implement an innovative informatic approach to identify therapeutic molecules, using the Connectivity Map and LINCS L1000 databases and disease-associated transcriptional signatures and pathways. We apply this to cystic fibrosis (CF), the most common genetic disease in people of northern European ancestry leading to chronic lung disease and reduced lifespan. We selected and tested 120 small molecules in a CF cell line, finding 8 with activity, and confirmed 3 in primary CF airway epithelia. Although chemically diverse, the transcriptional profiles of the hits suggest a common mechanism associated with the unfolded protein response and/or TNFα signaling. This study highlights the power of informatics to help identify new therapies and reveal mechanistic insights while moving beyond target-centric drug discovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/psp4.12626DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8129714PMC
May 2021

A SLC6 transporter cloned from the lion's mane jellyfish (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa) is expressed in neurons.

PLoS One 2019 24;14(6):e0218806. Epub 2019 Jun 24.

Global and Planetary Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida USF Genomics Program, Tampa, Florida, United States of America.

In the course of recent comparative genomic studies conducted on nervous systems across the phylogeny, current thinking is leaning in favor of more heterogeneity among nervous systems than what was initially expected. The isolation and characterization of molecular components that constitute the cnidarian neuron is not only of interest to the physiologist but also, on a larger scale, to those who study the evolution of nervous systems. Understanding the function of those ancient neurons involves the identification of neurotransmitters and their precursors, the description of nutrients used by neurons for metabolic purposes and the identification of integral membrane proteins that bind to those compounds. Using a molecular cloning strategy targeting membrane proteins that are known to be present in all forms of life, we isolated a member of the solute carrier family 6 from the scyphozoan jellyfish Cyanea capillata. The phylogenetic analysis suggested that the new transporter sequence belongs to an ancestral group of the nutrient amino acid transporter subfamily and is part of a cluster of cnidarian sequences which may translocate the same substrate. We found that the jellyfish transporter is expressed in neurons of the motor nerve net of the animal. To this end, we established an in situ hybridization protocol for the tissues of C. capillata and developed a specific antibody to the jellyfish transporter. Finally, we showed that the gene that codes for the jellyfish transporter also expresses a long non-coding RNA. We hope that this research will contribute to studies that seek to understand what constitutes a neuron in species that belong to an ancient phylum.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0218806PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6590891PMC
February 2020

Substrate specificity and transport mechanism of amino-acid transceptor Slimfast from Aedes aegypti.

Nat Commun 2015 Oct 9;6:8546. Epub 2015 Oct 9.

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003, USA.

Anautogenous mosquitoes depend on vertebrate blood as nutrient source for their eggs. A highly efficient set of membrane transporters mediates the massive movement of nutrient amino acids between mosquito tissues after a blood meal. Here we report the characterization of the amino-acid transporter Slimfast (Slif) from the yellow-fever mosquito Aedes aegypti using codon-optimized heterologous expression. Slif is a well-known component of the target-of-rapamycin signalling pathway and fat body nutrient sensor, but its substrate specificity and transport mechanism were unknown. We found that Slif transports essential cationic and neutral amino acids with preference for arginine. It has an unusual dual-affinity mechanism with only the high affinity being Na(+) dependent. Tissue-specific expression and blood meal-dependent regulation of Slif are consistent with conveyance of essential amino acids from gut to fat body. Slif represents a novel transport system and type of transceptor for sensing and transporting essential amino acids during mosquito reproduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms9546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4608377PMC
October 2015

A novel eukaryotic Na+ methionine selective symporter is essential for mosquito development.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2013 Aug 6;43(8):755-67. Epub 2013 Jun 6.

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA.

AeNAT5 (NCBI, ABZ81822), an orphan member of the insect-specific Nutrient Amino acid Transporter subfamily of SoLute Carrier family 6 (NAT-SLC6) and the first representative of a novel eukaryotic methionine-selective transport system (M), was cloned from cDNA of the vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti. It has orphan orthologs throughout several mosquito genomes, but not in Drosophila or outside Diptera. It shows the highest apparent affinity to L-Met (K(0.5) = 0.021 mM) and its metabolites Homocysteine and Cysteine (K(0.5) = 0.89 and 2.16 mM), but weakly interact with other substrates. It has a Na(+) - coupled mechanism (K(0.5) Na(+) ∼ 46 mM) with 1AA:1Na(+) stoichiometry that maintains ∼60% activity in Cl(-) - free media. In situ hybridization showed accumof AeNAT5 transcript in the absorptive and secretory epithelia, as well as in specific peripheral neurons and the central ganglia of mosquito larvae. The labeling pattern is distinct from that of the previously characterized AeNAT1. RNAi of AeNAT5 increases larval mortality during ecdysis and dramatically suppresses adult emergence. Our results showed that in addition to previously characterized broad spectra and aromatic amino acid selective transport systems, the mosquito NAT-SLC6 subfamily evolved a unique mechanism for selective absorption of sulfur-containing substrates. We demonstrated specific patterns of alimentary and neuronal transcription of AeNAT5 in mosquito larvae that is collateral with the indispensable function of this transporter in mosquito development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2013.05.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746589PMC
August 2013

An SLC6 transporter of the novel B(0,)- system aids in absorption and detection of nutrient amino acids in Caenorhabditis elegans.

J Exp Biol 2013 Aug 11;216(Pt 15):2843-57. Epub 2013 Apr 11.

The Department of Physiology and Biophysics of the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA.

Nutrient amino acid transporters (NATs) of solute carrier family 6 (SLC6) mediate uptake of essential amino acids in mammals and insects. Phylogenomic analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans (Ce) SLC6 family identifies five genes paralogous to an insect-specific NAT subfamily. Here we cloned and characterized the first representative of the identified nematode-specific transporters, SNF-5. SNF-5 mediates broad spectrum cation-coupled transport of neutral amino acids with submillimolar affinities and stoichiometry of 1 AA:1 Na(+), except for 1 l-Pro:2 Na(+). Unexpectedly, it transports acidic l-Glu(-) and l-Asp(-) (1 AA(-):3 Na(+)), revealing it to be the first member of a new B(0,-) system among characterized SLC6 transporters. This activity correlates with a unique positively charged His(+) 377 in the substrate-binding pocket. snf-5 promoter-driven enhanced green fluorescent protein labels intestinal cells INT1-9 and three pairs of amphid sensory neurons: ASI, ADF and ASK. These cells are intimately involved in control of dauer diapause, development, metabolism and longevity. The snf-5 deletion mutants do not show apparent morphological disorders, but increase dauer formation while reducing dauer maintenance upon starvation. Overall, the present study characterized the first nematode-specific NAT and revealed important structural and functional aspects of this transporter. In addition to the predictable role in alimentary amino acid absorption, our results indicate possible neuronal roles of SNF-5 as an amino acid provider to specific neuronal functions, including sensing of amino acid availability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.081497DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3713946PMC
August 2013

Molecular basis of essential amino acid transport from studies of insect nutrient amino acid transporters of the SLC6 family (NAT-SLC6).

Authors:
Dmitri Y Boudko

J Insect Physiol 2012 Apr 2;58(4):433-49. Epub 2012 Jan 2.

Department of Physiology and Biophysics of Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA.

Two protein families that represent major components of essential amino acid transport in insects have been identified. They are annotated as the SLC6 and SLC7 families of transporters according to phylogenetic proximity to characterized amino acid transporters (HUGO nomenclature). Members of these families have been identified as important apical and basolateral parts of transepithelial essential amino acid absorption in the metazoan alimentary canal. Synergistically, they play critical physiological roles as essential substrate providers to diverse metabolic processes, including generic protein synthesis. This review briefly clarifies the requirements for amino acid transport and a variety of amino acid transport mechanisms, including the aforementioned families. Further it focuses on the large group of Nutrient Amino acid Transporters (NATs), which comprise a recently identified subfamily of the Neurotransmitter Sodium Symporter family (NSS or SLC6). The first insect NAT, cloned from the caterpillar gut, has a broad substrate spectrum similar to mammalian B(0) transporters. Several new NAT-SLC6 members have been characterized in an effort to explore mechanisms for the essential amino acid absorption in model dipteran insects. The identification and functional characterization of new B(0)-like and narrow specificity transporters of essential amino acids in fruit fly and mosquitoes leads to a fundamentally important insight: that NATs evolved and act together as the integrated active core of a transport network that mediates active alimentary absorption and systemic distribution of essential amino acids. This role of NATs is projected from the most primitive prokaryotes to the most complex metazoan organisms, and represents an interesting platform for unraveling the molecular evolution of amino acid transport and modeling amino acid transport disorders. The comparative study of NATs elucidates important adaptive differences between essential amino acid transportomes of invertebrate and vertebrate organisms, outlining a new possibility for selective targeting of essential amino acid absorption mechanisms to control medically and economically important arthropods and other invertebrate organisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinsphys.2011.12.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3397479PMC
April 2012

AaCAT1 of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti: a novel histidine-specific amino acid transporter from the SLC7 family.

J Biol Chem 2011 Mar 24;286(12):10803-13. Epub 2011 Jan 24.

Department of Biology and Institute of Applied Biosciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003-8001, USA.

Insect yolk protein precursor gene expression is regulated by nutritional and endocrine signals. A surge of amino acids in the hemolymph of blood-fed female mosquitoes activates a nutrient signaling system in the fat bodies, which subsequently derepresses yolk protein precursor genes and makes them responsive to activation by steroid hormones. Orphan transporters of the SLC7 family were identified as essential upstream components of the nutrient signaling system in the fat body of fruit flies and the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. However, the transport function of these proteins was unknown. We report expression and functional characterization of AaCAT1, cloned from the fat body of A. aegypti. Expression of AaCAT1 transcript and protein undergoes dynamic changes during postembryonic development of the mosquito. Transcript expression was especially high in the third and fourth larval stages; however, the AaCAT1 protein was detected only in pupa and adult stages. Functional expression and analysis of AaCAT1 in Xenopus oocytes revealed that it acts as a sodium-independent cationic amino acid transporter, with unique selectivity to L-histidine at neutral pH (K(0.5)(L-His) = 0.34 ± 0.07 mM, pH 7.2). Acidification to pH 6.2 dramatically increases AaCAT1-specific His(+)-induced current. RNAi-mediated silencing of AaCAT1 reduces egg yield of subsequent ovipositions. Our data show that AaCAT1 has notable differences in its transport mechanism when compared with related mammalian cationic amino acid transporters. It may execute histidine-specific transport and signaling in mosquito tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110.179739DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060531PMC
March 2011

The Aquaporin gene family of the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti.

PLoS One 2010 Dec 29;5(12):e15578. Epub 2010 Dec 29.

Department of Biology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA.

Background: The mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is the principal vector of the Dengue and yellow fever viruses. During feeding, an adult female can take up more than its own body weight in vertebrate blood. After a blood meal females excrete large amounts of urine through their excretion system, the Malpighian tubules (MT). Diuresis starts within seconds after the mosquito starts feeding. Aquaporins (AQPs) are a family of membrane transporters that regulate the flow of water, glycerol and other small molecules across cellular membranes in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Our aim was to identify aquaporins that function as water channels, mediating transcellular water transport in MTs of adult female Ae. aegypti.

Methodology/principal Findings: Using a bioinformatics approach we screened genome databases and identified six putative AQPs in the genome of Ae. aegypti. Phylogenetic analysis showed that five of the six Ae. aegypti AQPs have high similarity to classical water-transporting AQPs of vertebrates. Using microarray, reverse transcription and real time PCR analysis we found that all six AQPs are expressed in distinct patterns in mosquito tissues/body parts. AaAQP1, 4, and 5 are strongly expressed in the adult female MT. RNAi-mediated knockdown of the MT-expressed mosquito AQPs resulted in significantly reduced diuresis.

Conclusions/significance: Our results support the notion that AQP1, 4, and 5 function as water transporters in the MTs of adult female Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. Our results demonstrate the importance of these AQPs for mosquito diuresis after blood ingestion and highlight their potential as targets for the development of novel vector control strategies.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0015578PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3014591PMC
December 2010

Cloning and functional expression of the first eukaryotic Na+-tryptophan symporter, AgNAT6.

J Exp Biol 2009 May;212(Pt 10):1559-67

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, 3333 Green Bay Road, North Chicago, IL 60064, USA.

The nutrient amino acid transporter (NAT) subfamily of the neurotransmitter sodium symporter family (NSS, also known as the solute carrier family 6, SLC6) represents transport mechanisms with putative synergistic roles in the absorption of essential and conditionally essential neutral amino acids. It includes a large paralogous expansion of insect-specific genes, with seven genes from the genome of the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. One of the An. gambiae NATs, AgNAT8, was cloned, functionally expressed and characterized in X. laevis oocytes as a cation-coupled symporter of aromatic amino acids, preferably l-phenylalanine, l-tyrosine and l-DOPA. To explore an evolutionary trend of NAT-SLC6 phenotypes, we have cloned and characterized AgNAT6, which represents a counterpart of AgNAT8 descending from a recent gene duplication (53.1% pairwise sequence identity). In contrast to AgNAT8, which preferably mediates the absorption of phenol-branched substrates, AgNAT6 mediates the absorption of indole-branched substrates with highest apparent affinity to tryptophan (K(0.5)(Trp)=1.3 micromol l(-1) vs K(0.5)(Phe)=430 micromol l(-1)) and [2 or 1 Na(+) or K(+)]:[aromatic substrate] stoichiometry. AgNAT6 is highly transcribed in absorptive and secretory regions of the alimentary canal and specific neuronal structures, including the neuropile of ventral ganglia and sensory afferents. The alignment of AgNATs and LeuT(Aa), a bacterial NAT with a resolved 3D structure, reveals three amino acid differences in the substrate-binding pocket that may be responsible for the indole- vs phenol-branch selectivity of AgNAT6 vs AgNAT8. The identification of transporters with a narrow selectivity for essential amino acids suggests that basal expansions in the SLC6 family involved duplication and retention of NATs, improving the absorption and distribution of under-represented essential amino acids and related metabolites. The identified physiological and expression profiles suggest unique roles of AgNAT6 in the active absorption of indole-branched substrates that are used in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter serotonin as well as the key circadian hormone and potent free-radical scavenger melatonin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.027383DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2675963PMC
May 2009

NHE(VNAT): an H+ V-ATPase electrically coupled to a Na+:nutrient amino acid transporter (NAT) forms an Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE).

J Exp Biol 2009 Feb;212(Pt 3):347-57

Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida, St Augustine, FL 32080, USA.

Glycolysis, the citric acid cycle and other metabolic pathways of living organisms generate potentially toxic acids within all cells. One ubiquitous mechanism for ridding cells of the acids is to expel H(+) in exchange for extracellular Na(+), mediated by electroneutral transporters called Na(+)/H(+) exchangers (NHEs) that are driven by Na(+) concentration gradients. The exchange must be important because the human genome contains 10 NHEs along with two Na(+)/H(+) antiporters (NHAs). By contrast, the genomes of two principal disease vector mosquitoes, Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti, contain only three NHEs along with the two NHAs. This shortfall may be explained by the presence of seven nutrient amino acid transporters (NATs) in the mosquito genomes. NATs transport Na(+) stoichiometrically linked to an amino acid into the cells by a process called symport or co-transport. Three of the mosquito NATs and two caterpillar NATs have previously been investigated after heterologous expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes and were found to be voltage driven (electrophoretic). Moreover, the NATs are present in the same membrane as the H(+) V-ATPase, which generates membrane potentials as high as 120 mV. We review evidence that the H(+) V-ATPase moves H(+) out of the cells and the resulting membrane potential (V(m)) drives Na(+) linked to an amino acid into the cells via a NAT. The H(+) efflux by the V-ATPase and Na(+) influx by the NAT comprise the same ion exchange as that mediated by an NHE; so the V and NAT working together constitute an NHE that we call NHE(VNAT). As the H(+) V-ATPase is widely distributed in mosquito epithelial cells and there are seven NATs in the mosquito genomes, there are potentially seven NHE(VNAT)s that could replace the missing NHEs. We review published evidence in support of this hypothesis and speculate about broader functions of NHE(VNAT)s.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.026047DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2727077PMC
February 2009

The invertebrate B(0) system transporter, D. melanogaster NAT1, has unique d-amino acid affinity and mediates gut and brain functions.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2008 Oct 30;38(10):923-31. Epub 2008 Jul 30.

The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida, St. Augustine, FL 32080, USA.

The CG3252 gene product, DmNAT1, represents the first Nutrient Amino acid Transporter cloned from Drosophila. It absorbs a broader set of neutral amino acids versus earlier characterized insect NATs and mammalian NATs-B(0) system transporters from the Sodium Neurotransmitter symporter Family (SNF, a.k.a. solute carrier family 6, SLC6). In addition to B(0)-specific l-substrates, DmNAT1 equally or more effectively transports d-amino acids with sub-millimolar affinities and 1:1 sodium:amino acid transport stoichiometry. DmNAT1 is strongly transcribed in the absorptive and secretory regions of the larval alimentary canal and larval brain, revealing its roles in the primary absorption and redistribution of large neutral l-amino acids as well as corresponding d-isomers. The absorption of d-amino acids via DmNAT1 may benefit the acquisition of fermented and symbiotic products, and may support the unique capacity of fruit fly larvae to utilize a diet with substitution of essential amino acids by d-isomers. It also suggests a remarkable adaptive plasticity of NAT-SLC6 mechanisms via alterations of a few identifiable sites in the substrate-binding pocket. The strong transcription in the brain suggests roles for DmNAT1 in neuronal nutrition and clearance of l-neutral amino acids from the fly brain. In addition, neuronal DmNAT1 may absorb synaptic d-serine and modulate NMDA receptor-coupled signal transduction. The characterization of the first invertebrate B(0)-like transporter extends the biological roles of the SLC6 family, revealing adaptations for the absorption of d-isomers of the essential amino acids. These findings suggest that some members of the NAT-SLC6 subfamily are evolving specific properties which contribute to nutrient symbiotic relationships and neuronal functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2008.07.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2676678PMC
October 2008

Synergy and specificity of two Na+-aromatic amino acid symporters in the model alimentary canal of mosquito larvae.

J Exp Biol 2008 May;211(Pt 10):1594-602

The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida, 9505 Ocean Shore Boulevard, St Augustine, FL 3208, USA.

The nutrient amino acid transporter (NAT) subfamily is the largest subdivision of the sodium neurotransmitter symporter family (SNF; also known as SLC6; HUGO). There are seven members of the NAT population in the African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae, two of which, AgNAT6 and AgNAT8, preferably transport indole- and phenyl-branched substrates, respectively. The relative expression and distribution of these aromatic NATs were examined with transporter-specific antibodies in Xenopus oocytes and mosquito larval alimentary canal, representing heterologous and tissue expression systems, respectively. NAT-specific aromatic-substrate-induced currents strongly corresponded with specific accumulation of both transporters in the plasma membrane of oocytes. Immunolabeling revealed elevated expressions of both transporters in specific regions of the larval alimentary canal, including salivary glands, cardia, gastric caeca, posterior midgut and Malpighian tubules. Differences in relative expression densities and spatial distribution of the transporters were prominent in virtually all of these regions, suggesting unique profiles of the aromatic amino acid absorption. For the first time reversal of the location of a transporter between apical and basal membranes was identified in posterior and anterior epithelial domains corresponding with secretory and absorptive epithelial functions, respectively. Both aromatic NATs formed putative homodimers in the larval gut whereas functional monomers were over-expressed heterologously in Xenopus oocytes. The results unequivocally suggest functional synergy between substrate-specific AgNAT6 and AgNAT8 in intracellular absorption of aromatic amino acids. More broadly, they suggest that the specific selectivity, regional expression and polarized membrane docking of NATs represent key adaptive traits shaping functional patterns of essential amino acid absorption in the metazoan alimentary canal and other tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.017244DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3397476PMC
May 2008

Cationic pathway of pH regulation in larvae of Anopheles gambiae.

J Exp Biol 2008 Mar;211(Pt 6):957-68

The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida, St Augustine, FL 32080, USA.

Anopheles gambiae larvae (Diptera: Culicidae) live in freshwater with low Na(+) concentrations yet they use Na(+) for alkalinization of the alimentary canal, for electrophoretic amino acid uptake and for nerve function. The metabolic pathway by which larvae accomplish these functions has anionic and cationic components that interact and allow the larva to conserve Na(+) while excreting H(+) and HCO(3)(-). The anionic pathway consists of a metabolic CO(2) diffusion process, carbonic anhydrase and Cl(-)/HCO(3)(-) exchangers; it provides weak HCO(3)(-) and weaker CO(3)(2-) anions to the lumen. The cationic pathway consists of H(+) V-ATPases and Na(+)/H(+) antiporters (NHAs), Na(+)/K(+) P-ATPases and Na(+)/H(+) exchangers (NHEs) along with several (Na(+) or K(+)):amino acid(+/-) symporters, a.k.a. nutrient amino acid transporters (NATs). This paper considers the cationic pathway, which provides the strong Na(+) or K(+) cations that alkalinize the lumen in anterior midgut then removes them and restores a lower pH in posterior midgut. A key member of the cationic pathway is a Na(+)/H(+) antiporter, which was cloned recently from Anopheles gambiae larvae, localized strategically in plasma membranes of the alimentary canal and named AgNHA1 based upon its phylogeny. A phylogenetic comparison of all cloned NHAs and NHEs revealed that AgNHA1 is the first metazoan NHA to be cloned and localized and that it is in the same clade as electrophoretic prokaryotic NHAs that are driven by the electrogenic H(+) F-ATPase. Like prokaryotic NHAs, AgNHA1 is thought to be electrophoretic and to be driven by the electrogenic H(+) V-ATPase. Both AgNHA1 and alkalophilic bacterial NHAs face highly alkaline environments; to alkalinize the larva mosquito midgut lumen, AgNHA1, like the bacterial NHAs, would have to move nH(+) inwardly and Na(+) outwardly. Perhaps the alkaline environment that led to the evolution of electrophoretic prokaryotic NHAs also led to the evolution of an electrophoretic AgNHA1 in mosquito larvae. In support of this hypothesis, antibodies to both AgNHA1 and H(+) V-ATPase label the same membranes in An. gambiae larvae. The localization of H(+) V-ATPase together with (Na(+) or K(+)):amino acid(+/-) symporter, AgNAT8, on the same apical membrane in posterior midgut cells constitutes the functional equivalent of an NHE that lowers the pH in the posterior midgut lumen. All NATs characterized to date are Na(+) or K(+) symporters so the deduction is likely to have wide application. The deduced colocalization of H(+) V-ATPase, AgNHA1 and AgNAT8, on this membrane forms a pathway for local cycling of H(+) and Na(+) in posterior midgut. The local H(+) cycle would prevent unchecked acidification of the lumen while the local Na(+) cycle would regulate pH and support Na(+):amino acid(+/-) symport. Meanwhile, a long-range Na(+) cycle first transfers Na(+) from the blood to gastric caeca and anterior midgut lumen where it initiates alkalinization and then returns Na(+) from the rectal lumen to the blood, where it prevents loss of Na(+) during H(+) and HCO(3)(-) excretion. The localization of H(+) V-ATPase and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase in An. gambiae larvae parallels that reported for Aedes aegypti larvae. The deduced colocalization of the two ATPases along with NHA and NAT in the alimentary canal constitutes a cationic pathway for Na(+)-conserving midgut alkalinization and de-alkalinization which has never been reported before.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.012021DOI Listing
March 2008

Molecular cloning, phylogeny and localization of AgNHA1: the first Na+/H+ antiporter (NHA) from a metazoan, Anopheles gambiae.

J Exp Biol 2007 Nov;210(Pt 21):3848-61

The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida, 9505 Ocean Shore Boulevard, St Augustine, FL 32080, USA.

We have cloned a cDNA encoding a new ion transporter from the alimentary canal of larval African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae Giles sensu stricto. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the corresponding gene is in a group that has been designated NHA, and which includes (Na+ or K+)/H+ antiporters; so the novel transporter is called AgNHA1. The annotation of current insect genomes shows that both AgNHA1 and a close relative, AgNHA2, belong to the cation proton antiporter 2 (CPA2) subfamily and cluster in an exclusive clade of genes with high identity from Aedes aegypti, Drosophila melanogaster, D. pseudoobscura, Apis mellifera and Tribolium castaneum. Although NHA genes have been identified in all phyla for which genomes are available, no NHA other than AgNHA1 has previously been cloned, nor have the encoded proteins been localized or characterized. The AgNHA1 transcript was localized in An. gambiae larvae by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and in situ hybridization. AgNHA1 message was detected in gastric caeca and rectum, with much weaker transcription in other parts of the alimentary canal. Immunolabeling of whole mounts and longitudinal sections of isolated alimentary canal showed that AgNHA1 is expressed in the cardia, gastric caeca, anterior midgut, posterior midgut, proximal Malpighian tubules and rectum, as well as in the subesophageal and abdominal ganglia. A phylogenetic analysis of NHAs and KHAs indicates that they are ubiquitous. A comparative molecular analysis of these antiporters suggests that they catalyze electrophoretic alkali metal ion/hydrogen ion exchanges that are driven by the voltage from electrogenic H+ V-ATPases. The tissue localization of AgNHA1 suggests that it plays a key role in maintaining the characteristic longitudinal pH gradient in the lumen of the alimentary canal of An. gambiae larvae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.007872DOI Listing
November 2007

The molecular genetics of larval mosquito biology: a path to new strategies for control.

J Am Mosq Control Assoc 2007 ;23(2 Suppl):283-93

The University of Florida Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd., Saint Augustine, FL 32080-8610, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.2987/8756-971X(2007)23[283:TMGOLM]2.0.CO;2DOI Listing
October 2007

Bioanalytical profile of the L-arginine/nitric oxide pathway and its evaluation by capillary electrophoresis.

Authors:
Dmitri Y Boudko

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2007 May 15;851(1-2):186-210. Epub 2007 Feb 15.

The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd., St. Augustine, FL 32080, USA.

This review briefly summarizes recent progress in fundamental understanding and analytical profiling of the L-arginine/nitric oxide (NO) pathway. It focuses on key analytical references of NO actions and the experimental acquisition of these references in vivo, with capillary electrophoresis (CE) and high-performance capillary electrophoresis (HPCE) comprising one of the most flexible and technologically promising analytical platform for comprehensive high-resolution profiling of NO-related metabolites. Another aim of this review is to express demands and bridge efforts of experimental biologists, medical professionals and chemical analysis-oriented scientists who strive to understand evolution and physiological roles of NO and to develop analytical methods for use in biology and medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchromb.2007.02.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2040328PMC
May 2007

Molecular characterization of the first aromatic nutrient transporter from the sodium neurotransmitter symporter family.

J Exp Biol 2006 Aug;209(Pt 16):3183-98

The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida, 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd., St Augustine, FL 32080, USA.

Nutrient amino acid transporters (NATs, subfamily of sodium neurotransmitter symporter family SNF, a.k.a. SLC6) represent a set of phylogenetically and functionally related transport proteins, which perform intracellular absorption of neutral, predominantly essential amino acids. Functions of NATs appear to be critical for the development and survival in organisms. However, mechanisms of specific and synergetic action of various NAT members in the amino acid transport network are virtually unexplored. A new transporter, agNAT8, was cloned from the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles gambiae (SS). Upon heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes it performs high-capacity, sodium-coupled (2:1) uptake of nutrients with a strong preference for aromatic catechol-branched substrates, especially phenylalanine and its derivatives tyrosine and L-DOPA, but not catecholamines. It represents a previously unknown SNF phenotype, and also appears to be the first sodium-dependent B(0) type transporter with a narrow selectivity for essential precursors of catecholamine synthesis pathways. It is strongly and specifically transcribed in absorptive and secretory parts of the larval alimentary canal and specific populations of central and peripheral neurons of visual-, chemo- and mechano-sensory afferents. We have identified a new SNF transporter with previously unknown phenotype and showed its important role in the accumulation and redistribution of aromatic substrates. Our results strongly suggest that agNAT8 is an important, if not the major, provider of an essential catechol group in the synthesis of catecholamines for neurochemical signaling as well as ecdysozoan melanization and sclerotization pathways, which may include cuticle hardening/coloring, wound curing, oogenesis, immune responses and melanization of pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.02374DOI Listing
August 2006

Ancestry and progeny of nutrient amino acid transporters.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2005 Feb 21;102(5):1360-5. Epub 2005 Jan 21.

The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida, 9505 Ocean Shore Boulevard, St. Augustine, FL 32080, USA.

The biosynthesis of structural and signaling molecules depends on intracellular concentrations of essential amino acids, which are maintained by a specific system of plasma membrane transporters. We identify a unique population of nutrient amino acid transporters (NATs) within the sodium-neurotransmitter symporter family and have characterized a member of the NAT subfamily from the larval midgut of the Yellow Fever vector mosquito, Aedes aegypti (aeAAT1, AAR08269), which primarily supplies phenylalanine, an essential substrate for the synthesis of neuronal and cuticular catecholamines. Further analysis suggests that NATs constitute a comprehensive transport metabolon for the epithelial uptake and redistribution of essential amino acids including precursors of several neurotransmitters. In contrast to the highly conserved subfamily of orthologous neurotransmitter transporters, lineage-specific, paralogous NATs undergo rapid gene multiplication/substitution that enables a high degree of evolutionary plasticity of nutrient amino acid uptake mechanisms and facilitates environmental and nutrient adaptations of organisms. These findings provide a unique model for understanding the molecular mechanisms, physiology, and evolution of amino acid and neurotransmitter transport systems and imply that monoamine and GABA transporters evolved by selection and conservation of earlier neuronal NATs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0405183101DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC547818PMC
February 2005

High-resolution capillary electrophoresis of nitrite and nitrate in biological samples.

Authors:
Dmitri Y Boudko

Methods Mol Biol 2004 ;279:9-19

The Whitney Laboratory, University of Florida, St. Augustine, USA.

Nitrite and nitrate are widely used reporters of endogenous nitric oxide (NO) and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity, which are crucial for a broad spectrum of physiological and pathophysiological pathways. Because of the great variety in spatial expression and activity of NOS in animal tissues, a high-resolution analysis of nitrite/nitrate concentrations in very small biological samples, such as individual cells or homogeneous cell clusters, is required. A high-performance capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) system, which includes a PrinCE-476 computerized capillary electrophoresis and Crystal-1000 conductivity detector, was optimized to analyze nitrite/nitrate concentrations in submicroliter samples of mammalian neuronal tissues and large individual cells of invertebrates. Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and Isotachophoretic stacking (ITS) were used. The method is highly reproducible and yield excellent limits of detection (LODs): 8.9 nM (0.41 ppb) and 3.54 nM (0.22 ppb) for nitrite and nitrate, respectively, relative to undiluted samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1385/1-59259-807-2:009DOI Listing
September 2004

Transmitter contents of cells and fibers in the cephalic sensory organs of the gastropod mollusc Phestilla sibogae.

Cell Tissue Res 2003 Dec 4;314(3):437-48. Epub 2003 Nov 4.

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, B3H 4H7, Canada.

While the central ganglia of gastropod molluscs have been studied extensively, relatively little is known about the organization and functions of the peripheral nervous system in these animals. In the present study, we used immunohistochemical procedures to examine the innervation of the rhinophores, oral tentacles and region around the mouth of the aeolid nudibranch, Phestilla sibogae. Serotonin-like immunoreactivity was found in an extensive network of efferent projections apparently originating from central neurons, but was not detected within any peripheral cell bodies. In contrast, large numbers of peripheral, and presumably sensory, somata exhibited reactivity to an antibody raised against tyrosine hydroxylase (the enzyme catalyzing the initial step in the conversion of tyrosine into the catecholamines). Additional tyrosine hydroxylase-like immunoreactivity was detected in afferent fibers of the peripheral cells and in several cells within the rhinophoral ganglia. The presence of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in the rhinophores, tentacles and central ganglia was confirmed using high-performance liquid chromatography. Finally, FMRFamide-like immunoreactivity was detected in cells and tangles of fibers found within the rhinophore, possibly revealing glomerulus-like structures along olfactory pathways. FMRFamide-like immunoreactivity was also found in somata of the rhinophoral ganglia, in a small number of cells located in the body wall lateral to the tentacles and in what appeared to be varicose terminals of efferent projections to the periphery. Together, these results indicate several new features of the gastropod peripheral nervous system and suggest future experiments that will elucidate the function of the novel cells and innervation patterns described here.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00441-003-0778-1DOI Listing
December 2003

High-resolution microanalysis of nitrite and nitrate in neuronal tissues by capillary electrophoresis with conductivity detection.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2002 Jul;774(1):97-104

The Whitney Laboratory, University of Florida, 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd., St. Augustine, FL 32080, USA.

Nitrites and nitrates are widely used reporters of endogenous activity of nitric oxide synthases (NOS), an important group of enzymes producing the gaseous signal molecule nitric oxide (NO). However, due to the great chemical heterogeneity of neuronal tissues, standard analytical protocols for evaluation of neuronal nitrite/nitrate concentrations are inefficient. We optimized a high-performance capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) technique to analyze nitrite/nitrate concentrations in submicroliter samples from mammalian neuronal tissues. The measurements were made using a PrinCE 476 computerized capillary electrophoresis system with a Crystal 1000 contact conductivity detector. Isotachophoretic stacking injection of 1000- to 10000-fold diluted samples, which had been pretreated with a custom-designed solid-phase microextraction (SPME) cartridge, was employed to assay micromolar and nanomolar nitrite and nitrate levels in the presence of the high millimolar chloride concentrations characteristic of many biological samples. In the presented technique, a 10-microl volume of diluted ganglionic sample was used for chloride removal and sample cleanup. The method yields high analytical performance, including good reproducibility, resolution, and accuracy. The limits of detection relative to undiluted sample matrix were 8.9 nM (0.41 ppb) and 3.54 nM (0.22 ppb) for nitrite and nitrate, respectively. In addition, this technique resolves other anions that are present in neuronal tissues at sub-nanomolar concentrations and can be broadly applied for high-throughput anionic profiling. In rat dorsal root ganglia, endogenous levels of nitrate (231+/-29 microM; n=6) and nitrite (24-96 microM) were found. These concentrations exceeded those previously found in neuronal tissue homogenates using different techniques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s1570-0232(02)00219-2DOI Listing
July 2002