Allatostatin type A receptors (AST-ARs) are a group of G-protein coupled receptors activated by members of the FGL-amide (AST-A) peptide family that inhibit food intake and development in arthropods. Despite their physiological importance the evolution of the AST-A system is poorly described and relatively few receptors have been isolated and functionally characterised in insects. The present study provides a comprehensive analysis of the origin and comparative evolution of the AST-A system. To determine how evolution and feeding modified the function of AST-AR the duplicate receptors in Anopheles mosquitoes, were characterised. Phylogeny and gene synteny suggested that invertebrate AST-A receptors and peptide genes shared a common evolutionary origin with KISS/GAL receptors and ligands. AST-ARs and KISSR emerged from a common gene ancestor after the divergence of GALRs in the bilaterian genome. In arthropods, the AST-A system evolved through lineage-specific events and the maintenance of two receptors in the flies and mosquitoes (Diptera) was the result of a gene duplication event. Speciation of Anophelesmosquitoes affected receptor gene organisation and characterisation of AST-AR duplicates (GPRALS1 and 2) revealed that in common with other insects, the mosquito receptors were activated by insect AST-A peptides and the iCa iCa2+-signalling pathway was stimulated. GPRALS1 and 2 were expressed mainly in mosquito midgut and ovaries and transcript abundance of both receptors was modified by feeding. A blood meal strongly up-regulated expression of both GPRALS in the midgut (p <0.05) compared to glucose fed females. Based on the results we hypothesise that the AST-A system in insects shared a common origin with the vertebrate KISS system and may also share a common function as an integrator of metabolism and reproduction. Highlights: AST-A and KISS/GAL receptors and ligands shared common ancestry prior to the protostome-deuterostome divergence. Phylogeny and gene synteny revealed that AST-AR and KISSR emerged after GALR gene divergence. AST-AR genes were present in the hemichordates but were lost from the chordates. In protostomes, AST-ARs persisted and evolved through lineage-specific events and duplicated in the arthropod radiation. Diptera acquired and maintained functionally divergent duplicate AST-AR genes.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being