Screening for digestive glycosidases in different parts of the gut and associated organs of Lutzomyia longipalpis is reported. Searches for the enzymes were made in blood-fed and non-blood-fed females and the enzymes were characterized as soluble or membrane-bound molecules. A total of four different activities were detected, corresponding to the following specificities: an alpha-glucosidase, an N-acetyl-beta-d-glucosaminidase, an N-acetyl-beta-d-galactosaminidase, and an alpha-l-fucosidase. Their possible role and importance for Leishmania development are discussed and the alpha-glucosidase enzyme was partially characterized. The pH inside the gut of non-blood-fed phlebotomines was measured with pH indicator dyes. The pH ranges obtained for crop, midgut, and hindgut were, respectively, higher than pH 6, pH 6, and lower than pH 6. A hypothesis concerning these data and Leishmania development is proposed.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.