Journal or Book Title
Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology
The neuromuscular system of helminths controls a variety of essential biological processes and therefore represents a good source of novel drug targets. The neuroactive substance, acetylcholine controls movement of Schistosoma mansoni but the mode of action is poorly understood. Here, we present first evidence of a functional G protein-coupled acetylcholine receptor in S. mansoni, which we have named SmGAR. A bioinformatics analysis indicated that SmGAR belongs to a clade of invertebrate GAR-like receptors and is related to vertebrate muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. Functional expression studies in yeast showed that SmGAR is constitutively active but can be further activated by acetylcholine and, to a lesser extent, the cholinergic agonist, carbachol. Anti-cholinergic drugs, atropine and promethazine, were found to have inverse agonist activity towards SmGAR, causing a significant decrease in the receptor’s basal activity. An RNAi phenotypic assay revealed that suppression of SmGAR activity in early-stage larval schistosomulae leads to a drastic reduction in larval motility. In sum, our results provide the first molecular evidence that cholinergic GAR -like receptors are present in schistosomes and are required for proper motor control in the larvae. The results further identify SmGAR as a possible candidate for antiparasitic drug targeting.
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MacDonald, Kevin; Kimber, Michael J.; Day, Timothy A.; and Ribeiro, Paula, "A constitutively active G protein-coupled acetylcholine receptor regulates motility of larval Schistosoma mansoni" (2015). Biomedical Sciences Publications. 51.