Effects of mimosine on Wolbachia in mosquito cells: cell cycle suppression reduces bacterial abundance

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The plant allelochemical l-mimosine (β-[N-(3-hydroxy-4-pyridone)]-α-aminopropionic acid; leucenol) resembles the nonessential amino acid, tyrosine. Because the obligate intracellular alphaproteobacterium, Wolbachia pipientis, metabolizes amino acids derived from host cells, the effects of mimosine on infected and uninfected mosquito cells were investigated. The EC50 for mimosine was 6–7 μM with Aedes albopictus C7-10 and C/wStr cell lines, and was not influenced by infection status. Mosquito cells responded to concentrations of mimosine substantially lower than those used to synchronize the mammalian cell cycle; at concentrations of 30–35 μM, mimosine reversibly arrested the mosquito cell cycle at the G1/S boundary and inhibited growth of Wolbachia strain wStr. Although lower concentrations of mimosine slightly increased wStr abundance, concentrations that suppressed the cell cycle reduced Wolbachia levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)958-963
Number of pages6
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH grant AI 081322 and by the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Paul, MN.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, The Society for In Vitro Biology.


  • Aedes albopictus
  • Amino acid metabolism
  • Cell cycle
  • Mimosine
  • Wolbachia


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