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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 504187, 16 pages
Research Article

Sialic Acid Expression in the Mosquito Aedes aegypti and Its Possible Role in Dengue Virus-Vector Interactions

1Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Department, Biomedical Research Institute, National University of México (UNAM), 04510 México City, Mexico
2Structural and Functional Glycobiology Unit, UMR 8576 CNRS, University of Sciences and Technologies of Lille, 59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
3Biochemistry Department, Faculty of Medicine, UNAM, 04510 México City, Mexico
4CISEI, National Institute of Public Health, 62100 Cuernavaca, MOR, Mexico
5Infectomics and Molecular Pathogenesis Department, CINVESTAV-IPN, 07360 México City, Mexico
6Virology Department, National Respiratory Institute (INER), 14050 México City, Mexico

Received 25 July 2014; Accepted 24 September 2014

Academic Editor: Michael J. Conway

Copyright © 2015 Jorge Cime-Castillo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Dengue fever (DF) is the most prevalent arthropod-borne viral disease which affects humans. DF is caused by the four dengue virus (DENV) serotypes, which are transmitted to the host by the mosquito Aedes aegypti that has key roles in DENV infection, replication, and viral transmission (vector competence). Mosquito saliva also plays an important role during DENV transmission. In this study, we detected the presence of sialic acid (Sia) in Aedes aegypti tissues, which may have an important role during DENV-vector competence. We also identified genome sequences encoding enzymes involved in Sia pathways. The cDNA for Aedes aegypti CMP-Sia synthase (CSAS) was amplified, cloned, and functionally evaluated via the complementation of LEC29.Lec32 CSAS-deficient CHO cells. AedesCSAS-transfected LEC29.Lec32 cells were able to express Sia moieties on the cell surface. Sequences related to α-2,6-sialyltransferase were detected in the Aedes aegypti genome. Likewise, we identified Sia-α-2,6-DENV interactions in different mosquito tissues. In addition, we evaluated the possible role of sialylated molecules in a salivary gland extract during DENV internalization in mammalian cells. The knowledge of early DENV-host interactions could facilitate a better understanding of viral tropism and pathogenesis to allow the development of new strategies for controlling DENV transmission.