Lewis Vibul Hun

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I'm interested in new strategies for controlling mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit. Particularly, I am attempting to understand the basic molecular apparatus regulating growth development, reproduction, and lifespan in the mosquito. My current research is focusing on the insulin-like peptide 6 of Aedes aegypti. In most insect ILP genes encode a single prepropeptide with a signal peptide and contiguous B, C, and A peptides. The propeptide is processed into an active form by linkage of the A and B peptides by disulfide bridges followed by proteolytic cleavage of the C peptide, as with insulin and related peptides in vertebrates. An exception is the insulin growth factors (IGFs), which possess a short C peptide that is not proteolytically removed, but this may not be the case for all species. The life-history framework of my study will provide a novel approach towards understanding the insulin-like peptide 6 biological activity of Aedes aegypti.