Expression of Heat Shock and Other Stress Response Proteins in Ticks and Cultured Tick Cells in Response to Anaplasma spp. Infection and Heat Shock

Int J Proteomics. 2010;2010:657261. doi: 10.1155/2010/657261. Epub 2010 Sep 29.


Ticks are ectoparasites of animals and humans that serve as vectors of Anaplasma and other pathogens that affect humans and animals worldwide. Ticks and the pathogens that they transmit have coevolved molecular interactions involving genetic traits of both the tick and the pathogen that mediate their development and survival. In this paper, the expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs) and other stress response proteins (SRPs) was characterized in ticks and cultured tick cells by proteomics and transcriptomics analyses in response to Anaplasma spp. infection and heat shock. The results of these studies demonstrated that the stress response was activated in ticks and cultured tick cells after Anaplasma spp. infection and heat shock. However, in the natural vector-pathogen relationship, HSPs and other SRPs were not strongly activated, which likely resulted from tick-pathogen coevolution. These results also demonstrated pathogen- and tick-specific differences in the expression of HSPs and other SRPs in ticks and cultured tick cells infected with Anaplasma spp. and suggested the existence of post-transcriptional mechanisms induced by Anaplasma spp. to control tick response to infection. These results illustrated the complexity of the stress response in ticks and suggested a function for the HSPs and other SRPs during Anaplasma spp. infection.