Aedes aegypti allatostatin-C (AeaAST-C or PISCF-AST) is a strong and fast reversible inhibitor of juvenile hormone III (JH III) synthesis by the corpora allata (CA) of mosquitoes; however, its mechanism of action remains poorly understood. AeaAST-C showed no inhibitory activity in the presence of any of the intermediate precursors of JH III indicating that the AeaAST-C target is located before the entry of acetyl-CoA in the pathway. Stimulation experiments using different sources of carbon (glucose, pyruvate, acetate and citrate) suggest that AST-C acts after pyruvate is transformed to citrate in the mitochondria. In vitro inhibition of the citrate mitochondrial carrier (CIC) mimicked the effect of AeaAST-C, and was overridden by addition of citrate or acetate. Our results provide compelling evidence that AeaAST-C inhibits JH III synthesis by blocking the CIC carrier that transports citrate from the mitochondria to the cytosol, obstructing the production of cytoplasmic acetyl-CoA that sustains JH III synthesis in the CA of mosquitoes.
Keywords: Allatostatin; Juvenile hormone; Membrane citrate transport; Mosquito.
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