Suppression of the Insulin Receptors in Adult Schistosoma japonicum Impacts on Parasite Growth and Development: Further Evidence of Vaccine Potential

Hong You, Geoffrey N Gobert, Pengfei Cai, Rong Mou, Sujeevi Nawaratna, Guofu Fang, Francois Villinger, Donald P McManus

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33 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

To further investigate the importance of insulin signaling in the growth, development, sexual maturation and egg production of adult schistosomes, we have focused attention on the insulin receptors (SjIRs) of Schistosoma japonicum, which we have previously cloned and partially characterised. We now show, by Biolayer Interferometry, that human insulin can bind the L1 subdomain (insulin binding domain) of recombinant (r)SjIR1 and rSjIR2 (designated SjLD1 and SjLD2) produced using the Drosophila S2 protein expression system. We have then used RNA interference (RNAi) to knock down the expression of the SjIRs in adult S. japonicum in vitro and show that, in addition to their reduced transcription, the transcript levels of other important downstream genes within the insulin pathway, associated with glucose metabolism and schistosome fecundity, were also impacted substantially. Further, a significant decrease in glucose uptake was observed in the SjIR-knockdown worms compared with luciferase controls. In vaccine/challenge experiments, we found that rSjLD1 and rSjLD2 depressed female growth, intestinal granuloma density and faecal egg production in S. japonicum in mice presented with a low dose challenge infection. These data re-emphasize the potential of the SjIRs as veterinary transmission blocking vaccine candidates against zoonotic schistosomiasis japonica in China and the Philippines.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0003730
Number of pages21
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2015

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • China
  • Female
  • Glucose
  • Humans
  • Insulin
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Philippines
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protozoan Vaccines
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Receptor, Insulin
  • Schistosoma japonicum
  • Schistosomiasis japonica

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