Vitellogenic female Aedes aegypti contain abundant, 6500 nucleotide long RNAs that are not present in males or non-vitellogenic females and which were presumed to encode vitellogenin (VG). Three clones that hybridized to cDNA made to poly(A+)RNA from vitelogenic females, but not to cDNA made to male RNA, were selected from a genomic library. DNA from each clone hybridized to the 6500 nucleotide RNA species. Restriction enzyme mapping suggests the clones represent three distinct genes. The two that have been characterized share an uninterrupted region of homology about 6.5 kb long. Part of the coding region of one of the cloned genes was inserted into an expression vector, and the resulting polypeptide reacted specifically with antibodies to vitellogenin, thus confirming that the clones contain VG genes. Using one of the cloned genes as a probe on northern hybridizations we found that injection of 20-hydroxyecdysone into non-blood-fed decapitated females stimulated vitellogenin gene expression. The response was much greater in blood-fed decapitated females than in non-blood-fed females. © 1986.
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