Wolbachia modulates lipid metabolism in Aedes albopictus mosquito cells

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  • University of Oxford
  • University of Birmingham
  • Lancaster University


Certain strains of the intracellular endosymbiont Wolbachia can strongly inhibit or block the transmission of viruses such as dengue virus (DENV) by Aedes mosquitoes, and the mechanisms responsible are still not well understood. Direct infusion and liquid chromatography-Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometry-based lipidomics analyses were conducted using Aedes albopictus Aa23 cells that were infected with the wMel and wMelPop strains of Wolbachia in comparison to uninfected Aa23-T cells. Substantial shifts in the cellular lipid profile were apparent in the presence of Wolbachia. Most significantly, almost all sphingolipid classes were depleted, and some reductions in diacylglycerols and phosphatidylcholines were also observed. These lipid classes have previously been shown to be selectively enriched in DENV-infected mosquito cells, suggesting that Wolbachia may produce a cellular lipid environment that is antagonistic to viral replication. The data improve our understanding of the intracellular interactions between Wolbachia and mosquitoes.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3109-3120
Number of pages12
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number10
Early online date18 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - May 2016