Evaluation of Schistosoma mansoni retinoid X receptor (SmRXR1 and SmRXR2) activity and tissue distribution

Marcelo R. Fantappie, Wendy J. Freebern, Ahmed Osman, Jeff LaDuca, Edward G. Niles, Philip T. LoVerde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Recently, we reported the identification of cDNA's encoding retinoid X receptor (RXR) homologues in Schistosoma mansoni. RXRs are known to be involved in the regulation of genes important for homeostasis and development. Previous studies indicated that SmRXR1 plays a role in the regulation of the female-specific gene, p14. Herein, we report that SmRXR2 also binds to cis-elements present in the p14 upstream region when evaluated in yeast reporter strains. SmRXR2 shows a pattern of recognition of cis-sequences present in the p14 gene upstream region different than SmRXR1. However, the SmRXR2 C (DNA binding) domain binds promiscuously in electrophoretic mobility shift assays to cis-elements of the p14 upstream region. The SmRXRs differ in their ability to activate transcription. The N-terminal A/B domain of SmRXR1 is necessary and sufficient for autonomous transcription activation function (AF) in yeast. SmRXR2 does not exhibit an equivalent autonomous AF. SmRXR1 and SmRXR2 fail to dimerize when investigated both in the yeast two-hybrid system and in immunoprecipitation experiments. In situ hybridization experiments using paraffin sections of adult worms demonstrate that SmRXR1 and SmRXR2 exhibit both common and unique cell type distribution which indicates that SmRXR1 and SmRXR2 both play a role in regulating gene expression in certain cells, yet each plays a distinct role in modulating the expression of genes in other cell types. Both SmRXR1 and SmRXR2 localize to vitelline cells. These studies provide a solid basis for improving our understanding of RXRs and their importance in female-specific gene regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Nuclear receptors
  • Retinoid X receptor
  • Schistosoma mansoni
  • Transcription regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Molecular Biology


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