DataSheet_1_Scenes From Tick Physiology: Proteins of Sialome Talk About Their Biological Processes.pdf
Ticks are blood-sucking parasites with different strategies of feeding depending on the tick family. The major families are Ixodidae or Argasidae, being slow or fast feeders, respectively. In the recent years, the advances in molecular sequencing techniques have enabled to gain knowledge about the proteome of the tick’s salivary glands. But an holistic view of the biological processes underlying the expression of the sialome has been neglected. In this study we propose the use of standard biological processes as a tool to draw the physiology of the tick’s salivary glands. We used published data on the sialome of Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l. (Ixodidae) and Ornithodoros rostratus (Argasidae). A partial set of proteins obtained by these studies were used to define the biological process(es) in which proteins are involved. We used a directed network construction in which the nodes are proteins (source) and biological processes (target), separately for the low-level processes (“children”) and the top-level ones (“parents”). We applied the method to feeding R. sanguineus at different time slices, and to different organs of O. rostratus. The network connects the proteins and the processes with a strength directly proportional to the transcript per millions of each protein. We used PageRank as a measure of the importance of each biological process. As suggested in previous studies, the sialome of unfed R. sanguineus express about 30% less biological processes than feeding ticks. Another decrease (25%) is noticed at the middle of the feeding and before detachment. However, top-level processes are deeply affected only at the onset of feeding, demonstrating a redundancy in the feeding. When ixodid-argasid are compared, large differences were observed: they do not share 91% of proteins, but share 90% of the biological processes. However, caution must be observed when examining these results. The hypothesis of different proteins linked to similar biological process(es) in both ticks is an extreme not confirmed in this study. Considering the limitations of this study, carried out with a selected set of proteins, we propose the networks of proteins of sialome linked to their biological processes as a tool aimed to explain the biological processes behind families of proteins.