Parasitology research

Cloning and molecular characterization of tick kynurenine aminotransferase (HlKAT) from Haemaphysalis longicornis (Acari: Ixodidae).

PMID 19381689


A complementary DNA coding a novel kynurenine aminotransferase (KAT) molecule from Haemaphysalis longicornis tick embryo was cloned and characterized. The transcription of the HlKAT occurs at all stages during tick development as well as in the midgut, salivary glands, ovary, and synganglion of adult ticks, and protein expression levels increased during the blood-feeding course. The HlKAT gene without signal peptide was successfully expressed as a glutathione S-transferase fusion protein in soluble form, which is capable of catalyzing the transamination of kynurenine and 3-hydroxykynurenine to kynurenic acid and xanthurenic acid, respectively. The purified recombinant HlKAT showed dose-dependent inhibition effect on the growth of equine babesial parasite, Babesia caballi, in in vitro culture. All results suggested that a specific HlKAT is present in tick and HlKAT may play an important physiological role in H. longicornis. This is the first report of a member enzyme of tryptophan pathway in Chelicerata.