Two putative cDNAs of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), one from Dermacentor variabilis, and the other from Rhipicephalus sanguineus, were amplified and sequenced. The deduced amino acid sequences have high amino acid identities (between 70 and 94%) to known tick AChE sequences deposited in GenBank. Furthermore, these two AChEs also possess common features in their primary AChE structure such as catalytic active sites. A 2,220-bp contiguous sequence, containing a 1,791-bp open reading frame encoding an AChE precursor with 596 amino acid residues, was obtained from D. variabilis. The deduced proteins of R. sanguineus are different in size by 6 amino acids because of alternative splicing at the 5′ end. A gene tree deduced from phylogenetic analysis indicates that there are at least three lineages of AChE in arthropods.
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Vol. 40 • No. 6