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Characterization of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase SmcGK1 of Schistosoma mansoni

  • Leutner, Silke
  • Beckmann, Svenja
  • Grevelding, Christoph G
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2011
Scientific Electronic Library Online - Brazil
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Schistosomes are trematode parasites and of worldwide medical importance for humans and animals. Growth and development of these parasites require a specific host environment, but also permanent communication processes between the two genders. Accumulating molecular evidence indicates that the responsible interactions are mediated by signal transduction processes. Conserved signaling molecules were identified, and first approaches made for their characterization. However, no representative of the conserved family of cGMP-dependent protein kinases (cGKs) has been described in this parasite yet. Within the Schistosoma mansoni genome data-set we identified cGK homologs, of which one was investigated in more detail in this study. We present the cloning of SmcGK1, whose sequence shows homology to cGKs of higher eukaryotes. SmcGK1 was found to be gender-independently transcribed in adult schistosomes. The occurrence of SmcGK1 sense and antisense transcripts suggests that the expression of this gene is controlled at the post-transcriptional level. In situ hybridization experiments demonstrated a gonad-preferential expression profile in both genders indicating a role of SmcGK1, at least during sexual development of schistosomes. Using a cGK-specific inhibitor to treat adult schistosomes in vitro finally resulted in a multifaceted phenotype including slow motion, oocyte congestion, and reduced egg production.

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