The Peptide Hormone CNMa Influences Egg Production in the Mosquito Aedes aegypti
Mosquito reproduction is regulated by a suite of hormones, many acting through membrane-bound receptor proteins. The Aedes aegypti G protein-coupled receptors AAEL024199 (AeCNMaR-1a) and AAEL018316 (AeCNMaR-1b) were identified as orthologs of the Drosophila melanogaster CNMa receptor (DmCNMaR). The receptor was duplicated early in the evolution of insects, and subsequently in Culicidae, into what we refer to as CNMaR-1a and CNMaR-1b. AeCNMaR-1a is only detected in male mosquito antennae while AeCNMaR-1b is expressed at high levels in mosquito ovaries. Using a heterologous cell assay, we determined that AeCNMa activates AeCNMaR-1a with a ~10-fold lower concentration than it does AeCNMaR-1b, though both receptors displayed half maximal effective concentrations of AeCNMa in the low nanomolar range. Finally, we show that injections of AeCNMa into blood-fed mated female Ae. aegypti resulted in fewer eggs laid.