In fat body of the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, a cycle of ribosome accumulation and degradation accompanies synthesis of the yolk protein precursor, vitellogenin. Here we compare the transcription and translation of ribosomal proteins rpS6, rpL8 and rpL34, relative to rRNA and vitellogenin genes in Aedes aegypti fat body after eclosion, and in response to a blood meal Analysis using Northern blots and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR) showed that the rpS6, rpL8 and rpL34 genes are coordinately regulated with respect to one another, and that ribosomal protein gene expression in this system was predominantly regulated by transcription during the 3-4 days between adult eclosion and blood feeding. After a blood meal, ribosomal protein mRNA levels remained similar to those in unfed females during the first 18 h, then declined to minimum levels by 48 h after the blood meal These data indicate that transcription of ribosomal protein genes is low in vitellogenic mosquitoes, relative to previtellogenic females. Experiments with the dissected fat body, however, showed that levels of acetic acid-soluble proteins increased by approximately three-fold between 12 and 24 h after the blood meal. Taken together, these observations suggest that the active translation of ribosomal proteins from stable mRNA accompanies ribosome biosynthesis after the blood meal. Thus, in the fat body of adult female mosquitoes, the expression of ribosomal protein genes is regulated at the level of transcription before the blood meal, while translational control is the predominant regulatory mechanism after the blood meal.
- Translational control