The impact of metagenomic interplay on the mosquito redox homeostasis

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Abstract

Mosquitoes are exposed to oxidative challenges throughout their life cycle. The primary challenge comes from a blood meal. The blood digestion turns the midgut into an oxidative environment, which imposes pressure not only on mosquito fecundity and other physiological traits but also on the microbiota in the midgut. During evolution, mosquitoes have developed numerous oxidative defense mechanisms to maintain redox homeostasis in the midgut. In addition to antioxidants, SOD, catalase, and glutathione system, sufficient supply of the reducing agent, NADPH, is vital for a successful defense against oxidative stress. Increasing evidence indicates that in response to oxidative stress, cells reconfigure metabolic pathways to increase the generation of NADPH through NADP-reducing networks including the pentose phosphate pathway and others. The microbial homeostasis is critical for the functional contributions to various host phenotypes. The symbiotic microbiota is regulated largely by the Duox-ROS pathway in Drosophila. In mosquitoes, Duox-ROS pathway, heme-mediated signaling, antimicrobial peptide production and C-type lectins work in concert to maintain the dynamic microbial community in the midgut. Microbial mechanisms against oxidative stress in this context are not well understood. Emerging evidence that microbial metabolites trigger host oxidative response warrants further study on the metagenomic interplay in an oxidative environment like mosquito gut ecosystem. Besides the classical Drosophila model, hematophagous insects like mosquitoes provide an alternative model system to study redox homeostasis in a symbiotic metagenomic context.

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