Amblyomma americanum tick saliva insulin-like growth factor binding protein-related protein 1 binds insulin but not insulin-like growth factors. Academic Article uri icon


  • Silencing Amblyomma americanum insulin-like growth factor binding protein-related protein 1 (AamIGFBP-rP1) mRNA prevented ticks from feeding to repletion. In this study, we used recombinant (r)AamIGFBP-rP1 in a series of assays to obtain further insight into the role(s) of this protein in tick feeding regulation. Our results suggest that AamIGFBP-1 is an antigenic protein that is apparently exclusively expressed in salivary glands. We found that both males and females secrete AamIGFBP-rP1 into the host during feeding and confirmed that female ticks secrete this protein from within 24-48 h after attachment. Our data suggest that native AamIGFBP-rP1 is a functional insulin binding protein in that both yeast- and insect cell-expressed rAamIGFBP-rP1 bound insulin, but not insulin-like growth factors. When subjected to anti-blood clotting and platelet aggregation assays, rAamIGFBP-rP1 did not have any effect. Unlike human IGFBP-rP1, which is controlled by trypsinization, rAamIGFBP-rP1 is resistant to digestion, suggesting that the tick protein may not be under mammalian host control at the tick feeding site. The majority of tick-borne pathogens are transmitted 48 h after the tick has attached. Thus, the demonstrated antigenicity and secretion into the host within 24-48 h of the tick starting to feed makes AamIGFBP-rP1 an attractive target for antitick vaccine development.

published proceedings

  • Insect Mol Biol

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Radulovi, ., Porter, L. M., Kim, T. K., Bakshi, M., & Mulenga, A.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Radulović, ŽM||Porter, LM||Kim, TK||Bakshi, M||Mulenga, A

publication date

  • October 2015