Author(s): Cupp MS, Ribeiro JM, Champagne DE, Cupp EW
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Abstract A cDNA was cloned from the salivary glands of a blood-feeding black fly Simulium vittatum. The encoded protein has been given the name Simulium vittatum erythema protein or SVEP, because of its ability to increase blood perfusion in skin capillaries, resulting in the well-characterized erythema of black fly bites. The full-length cDNA contains 548 base pairs which encode 152 amino acid residues of the nascent protein. Post-translational processing produces a mature, secreted protein of 133 residues with a molecular mass of 15.4 kDa. Recombinant SVEP (rSVEP) was produced in a baculovirus expression system and purified by a one-step reversed-phase HPLC procedure. Analyses of physical properties and biological potency demonstrated fidelity of rSVEP to the native protein. Recombinant SVEP relaxed rabbit aorta preparations when preconstricted with 2 micromol l-1 phenylephrine or 25 mmol l-1 K+ but not with 60 mmol l-1 K+. Further, the rSVEP-induced relaxation response of phenylephrine-constricted aorta was inhibited by glibenclamide (10 micromol l-1), suggesting that at least part of its action to relax smooth muscle may result from the opening of ATP-dependent K+ channels. SVEP is a novel salivary-gland-derived vasoactive protein that may be essential for blood feeding by black flies and could potentially enhance transmission of filarial parasites.
This article was published in J Exp Biol
and referenced in Biochemistry & Physiology: Open Access