Functional characterization of the promoter of the vitellogenin gene, AsVg1, of the malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi

Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2006 Sep;36(9):694-700. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2006.05.011. Epub 2006 Jun 3.


Some genetic strategies for controlling transmission of mosquito-borne diseases call for the introgression of antipathogen effector genes into vector populations. Endogenous mosquito promoter and other cis-acting DNA sequences are needed to direct the expression of the effector molecules to maximize their efficacy. Vitellogenin (Vg)-encoding gene control sequences are candidates for driving tissue-, stage- and sex-specific expression of exogenous genes. One of the Anopheles stephensi Vg genes, AsVg1, was cloned and a full-length cDNA, as well as 850 base pairs adjacent to the 5'-end, were sequenced and characterized. Expression of AsVg1 is restricted to the fat body tissues of blood-fed females, and the amino acid sequence of the conceptual translation product is >85% identical to those of other anopheline Vgs. These characteristics support the conclusion that AsVg1 is a Vg-encoding gene. Functional analyses of the AsVg1 putative cis-regulatory sequences were performed using transgenic mosquitoes. The results showed that DNA fragments encompassing the 850 base pairs immediately adjacent to the 5'-end of the gene and the 3'-end untranslated region are sufficient to direct sex-, stage- and tissue-specific expression of a reporter gene. These data indicate that the AsVg1 promoter is a good candidate for controlling the expression of anti-pathogen effector molecules in this malaria vector mosquito.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Complementary / analysis
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Insect Vectors / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / physiology*
  • Vitellogenins / genetics*


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Vitellogenins