Malaria remains a grand challenge for disruptive innovation in global health therapeutics and diagnostics. Anopheles stephensi is one of the major vectors of malaria in Asia. Vector and transmission control are key focus areas in the fight against malaria, a field of postgenomics research where proteomics can play a substantive role. Moreover, to identify novel strategies to control the vector population, it is necessary to understand the vector life processes at a global and molecular scale. In this context, fat body is a vital organ required for vitellogenesis, vector immunity, vector physiology, and vector-parasite interaction. Given its central role in energy metabolism, vitellogenesis, and immune function, the proteome profile of the fat body and the impact of blood meal (BM) ingestion on the protein abundances of this vital organ have not been investigated so far. Therefore, using a proteomics approach, we identified the proteins expressed in the fat body of An. stephensi and their differential expression in response to BM ingestion. In all, we identified 3,218 proteins in the fat body using high-resolution mass spectrometry, of which 483 were found to be differentially expressed in response to the BM ingestion. Bioinformatics analysis of these proteins underscored their role in amino acid metabolism, vitellogenesis, lipid transport, signal peptide processing, mosquito immunity, and oxidation-reduction processes. Interestingly, we identified five novel genes, which were found to be differentially expressed upon BM ingestion. Proteins that exhibited altered expression in the present study are potential targets for vector control strategies and development of transmission blocking vaccines in the fight against malaria.
Keywords: Anopheles stephensi; global health; malaria; proteomics; vector control.