Discovery of Platyhelminth-Specific α-β-Integrin Families and Evidence for Their Role in Reproduction in Schistosoma mansoniReport as inadecuate

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In all metazoa, the response of cells to molecular stimuli from their environment represents a fundamental principle of regulatory processes controlling cell growth and differentiation. Among the membrane-linked receptors mediating extracellular communication processes are integrin receptors. Besides managing adhesion to the extracellular matrix or to other cells, they arrange information flow into the cells by activating intracellular signaling pathways often acting synergistically through cooperation with growth factor receptors. Although a wealth of information exists on integrins in different model organisms, there is a big gap of knowledge for platyhelminths. Here we report on the in silico detection and reconstruction of α and β integrins from free-living and parasitic platyhelminths, which according to structural and phylogenetic analyses form specific clades separate from each other and from further metazoan integrins. As representative orthologs of parasitic platyhelminths we have cloned one beta-integrin Smβ-Int1 and four alpha-integrins Smα-Int1 - Smα-Int4 from Schistosoma mansoni; they were characterized by molecular and biochemical analyses. Evidence is provided that Smβ-Int1 interacts and co-localizes in the reproductive organs with known schistosome cellular tyrosine kinases CTKs, of which the Syk kinase SmTK4 appeared to be the strongest interaction partner as shown by yeast two-hybrid analyses and coimmunoprecipitation experiments. By a novel RNAi approach with adult schistosomes in vitro we demonstrate for the first time multinucleated oocytes in treated females, indicating a decisive role Smβ-Int1 during oogenesis as phenotypically analyzed by confocal laser scanning microscopy CLSM. Our findings provide a first comprehensive overview about platyhelminth integrins, of which the parasite group exhibits unique features allowing a clear distinction from the free-living groups. Furthermore, we shed first lights on the functions of integrins in a trematode model parasite, revealing the complexity of molecular processes involved in its reproductive biology, which may be representative for other platyhelminths.

Author: Svenja Beckmann, Thomas Quack, Colette Dissous, Katia Cailliau, Gabriele Lang, Christoph G. Grevelding



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