Platelet-activating-factor-hydrolyzing phospholipase C in the salivary glands and saliva of the mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus

José M.C. Ribeiro, Ivo M.B. Francischetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A phospholipase C activity specific for platelet-activating factor (PAF), named PAF phosphorylcholine hydrolase, was found in the salivary glands and saliva of the human-feeding mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus. The enzymatic activity was demonstrated by inhibition of PAF-induced platelet aggregation, and by identification of substrate consumption and production of diacyl glyceride by electrospray-ionisation mass spectrometry. The activity has a neutral optimal pH and an apparent molecular mass of 40-50 kDa. Two anthropophilic mosquito species, Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae, do not have this salivary activity. The results are interpreted within the evolutionary context of the genera Culex, Aedes and Anopheles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3887-3894
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Culex quinquefasciatus
  • Hematophagy
  • Mosquito
  • Phospholipase C
  • Platelet activating factor
  • Saliva

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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