Holmes, Steven P. (2004-09). The characterization, functional expression, and localization of the first arthropod myokinin receptor from the southern cattle tick, Boophilus microplus (Acari: ixodidae). Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Myokinins are invertebrate neuropeptides with myotropic and diuretic activity. The lymnokinin receptor from the snail Lymnaea stagnalis was the only previously identified myokinin receptor. A cDNA encoding a neuropeptide receptor was cloned from the southern cattle tick, Boophilus microplus. The deduced amino acid sequence was 40 % identical to the lymnokinin receptor. The receptor transcript is present in all tick life stages as determined by semiquantitative RT-PCR. When expressed in mammalian CHO-K1 cells, myokinins at nanomolar concentrations induced increases in intracellular calcium as measured by fluorescent cytometry. The rank order of potency for peptides tested was FFFSWS-NH2>=FFFSWG-NH2>=FFSWG-NH2>FYSWG-NH2>muscakinin>lymnokinin>>APTGFFGVR-NH2. The receptor coupled to a pertussis toxin insensitive G protein. Absence of extracellular calcium did not inhibit the calcium response, indicating the release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores. Receptor transcript was detected by RT-PCR in the dissected synganglia, ovaries, salivary glands, guts and Malpighian tubules of partially engorged adult female ticks. It is concluded that the B. microplus receptor is the first myokinin receptor cloned from an arthropod, and the first neuropeptide receptor known from the Acari. The presence of this receptor transcript in multiple tissues and all life stages suggests a multifunctional role in ticks.

publication date

  • December 2003