Characterisation of Dermanyssus gallinae glutathione S-transferases and their potential as acaricide detoxification proteins

Kathryn Bartley, Harry W Wright, Robert S Bull, John F Huntley, Alasdair J Nisbet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) facilitate detoxification of drugs by catalysing the conjugation of the reduced glutathione (GSH) to electrophilic xenobiotic substrates and therefore have a function in multi-drug resistance. As a result, knowledge of GSTs can inform both drug resistance in, and novel interventions for, the control of endo- and ectoparasite species. Acaricide resistance and the need for novel control methods are both pressing needs for Dermanyssus gallinae, a highly economically important haematophagous ectoparasite of poultry.

METHODS: A transcriptomic database representing D. gallinae was examined and 11 contig sequences were identified with GST BlastX identities. The transcripts represented by 3 contigs, designated Deg-GST-1, -2 and -3, were fully sequenced and further characterized by phylogenetic analysis. Recombinant versions of Deg-GST-1, -2 and -3 (rDeg-GST) were enzymically active and acaricide-binding properties of the rDeg-GSTs were established by evaluating the ability of selected acaricides to inhibit the enzymatic activity of rDeg-GSTs.

RESULTS: 6 of the identified GSTs belonged to the mu class, followed by 3 kappa, 1 omega and 1 delta class molecules. Deg-GST-1 and -3 clearly partitioned with orthologous mu class GSTs and Deg-GST-2 partitioned with delta class GSTs. Phoxim, permethrin and abamectin significantly inhibited rDeg-GST-1 activity by 56, 35 and 17 % respectively. Phoxim also inhibited rDeg-2-GST (14.8 %) and rDeg-GST-3 (20.6 %) activities.

CONCLUSIONS: Deg-GSTs may have important roles in the detoxification of pesticides and, with the increased occurrence of acaricide resistance in this species worldwide, Deg-GSTs are attractive targets for novel interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number350
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2015


  • Dermanyssus gallinae
  • Poultry red mite
  • Glutathione S-transferase
  • Acaricide resistance


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterisation of Dermanyssus gallinae glutathione S-transferases and their potential as acaricide detoxification proteins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this