11409 (15 pages)
Ixodes scapularis ticks transmit several pathogens to humans including rickettsial bacterium, Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Here, we report that A. phagocytophilum uses tick transcriptional activator protein-1 (AP-1) as a molecular switch in the regulation of arthropod antifreeze gene, iafgp. RNAi-mediated silencing of ap-1 expression significantly affected iafgp gene expression and A. phagocytophilum burden in ticks upon acquisition from the murine host. Gel shift assays provide evidence that both the bacterium and AP-1 influences iafgp promoter and expression. The luciferase assays revealed that a region of approximately 700 bp upstream of the antifreeze gene is sufficient for AP-1 binding to promote iafgp gene expression. Furthermore, survival assays revealed that AP- 1-deficient ticks were more susceptible to cold in comparison to the mock controls. In addition, this study also indicates arthropod AP-1 as a global regulator for some of the tick genes critical for A. phagocytophilum survival in the vector. In summary, our study defines a novel mode of arthropod signaling for the survival of both rickettsial pathogen and its medically important vector in the cold.
Original Publication Citation
Khanal, S., Taank, V., Anderson, J. F., Sultana, H., & Neelakanta, G. (2018). Arthropod transcriptional activator protein-1 (AP-1) aids tick-rickettsial pathogen survival in the cold. Scientific Reports, 8, 11409. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-29654-6
Khanal, Supreet; Taank, Vikas; Anderson, John F.; Sultana, Hameeda; and Neelakanta, Girish, "Arthropod Transcriptional Activator Protein-1 (AP-1) Aids Tick-Rickettsial Pathogen Survival in the Cold" (2018). Biological Sciences Faculty Publications. 334.