Expression and Functional Characterization of Amblyomma americanum tick saliva protein, BP6contig8.
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In an attempt to feed on their hosts, ticks secrete saliva proteins to disrupt host defense mechanisms to tick feeding such as blood coagulation and inflammation. To discover tick proteins that are injected into the vertebrate host during tick feeding, a 24h Amblyomma americanum phage display expression library was immuno-screened using antibodies to 24h A. americanum tick saliva proteins. While there are some tick saliva proteins that have known functions, there are many that have yet to be characterized. The goal of this undergraduate thesis research is to gain insight into the function(s) of BP6contig8 (BP6C8) in tick feeding physiology. Data in this research suggest that BP6C8 is likely associated tick feeding events during the first five days of tick feeding as revealed by qualitative RT-PCR analysis of 24-120h fed tick cDNA. The major goal of this thesis research has been achieved: recombinant (r) BP6C8 was expressed in insect cells. The remaining experiments will be to optimize large scale production of rBP6C8 and gauging insight into role(s) of this protein in tick feeding physiology.
Pastine, Taelor Pastine (2014). Expression and Functional Characterization of Amblyomma americanum tick saliva protein, BP6contig8.. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from