Schistosoma japonicum: Analysis of eggshell protein genes, their expression, and comparison with similar genes from other schistosomes

Libuse A. Bobek, David M. Rekosh, Philip T. Lo Verde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

As the egg of Schistosoma japonicum plays a central role in transmission and in pathogenesis, we sought to understand the molecular biology of egg formation. In this study we characterized an eggshell protein gene of S. japonicum and compared it with similar genes from S. mansoni and S. haematobium. To initiate studies on the eggshell protein genes of S. japonicum, a cloned genomic fragment containing an entire copy of a S. haematobium eggshell protein gene was used to identify three EcoRI hybridizing fragments of 2.6, 2.0, and 1.3 kbp in S. japonicum genomic DNA and to isolate three independent genomic clones from a S. japonicum genomic library. Two genomic clones, SJ 4-1 and SJ 3-1, contain at least two copies of the gene. The DNA sequence of a 2.0-kbp EcoRI fragment of clone SJ 3-1 showed two open reading frames (ORF), one of which showed a strong homology to the chorion proteins of insects. This ORF had 207 amino acids with a calculated molecular size of 18.5 kDa. The predicted peptide was glycine (50%) and tyrosine (10%) rich like other described schistosome eggshell proteins. Primer extension and the dideoxynucleotide sequence of the mRNA defined the cap site of the RNA and positioned the putative TATA and CAAAT elements and other cis-acting elements. Northern analysis demonstrated that eggshell protein mRNA was only detected in mature female parasites. The appearance of the female-specific mRNA was dependent on pairing with the male parasite and increased with egg production (as determined by hybridization intensity). A comparison of the DNA and deduced protein sequences of eggshell protein genes from S. japonicum with those of similar genes from S. mansoni and S. haematobium indicated that the genes are highly conserved, with S. mansoni and S. haematobium genes being more similar to each other than either is to S. japonicum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-390
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Volume72
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1991

Keywords

  • Chorion genes
  • DNA and protein sequence comparisons
  • Developmentally regulated expression
  • Eggshell protein genes
  • Schistosoma haematobium
  • Schistosoma japonicum
  • Schistosoma mansoni

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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