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Suppression of Schistosoma japonicum Acetylcholinesterase Affects Parasite Growth and Development

Molecular Parasitology Laboratory, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane 4006, Australia
Parasitology Laboratory, School of Animal Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, HarBin 150030, China
School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Gatton 4343, Australia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(8), 2426;
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 11 August 2018 / Published: 16 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomedicine/Molecular Medicine)
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To further investigate the importance of Schistosoma japonicum acetylcholinesterase (SjAChE) in cholinergic signaling for parasite growth and development, we used RNA interference (RNAi) to knock-down its expression in adults and eggs in vitro. This resulted in its reduced transcription but also expression of other important genes involved both in cholinergic signaling and glucose uptake were impacted substantially. Significant decreases in AChE protein expression, AChE enzymatic activity, and glucose uptake were observed in the SjAChE-knockdown parasites compared with luciferase controls. In vaccine/challenge experiments, we found that immunization of mice with recombinant SjAChE (rSjAChE) expressed in Escherichia coli elicited reductions in male worm numbers (33%), liver granuloma density (41%), and reduced numbers of mature intestinal eggs (73%) in the vaccinated group compared with the control group. These results indicate AChE plays an important role in the metabolism of male worms, and impacts indirectly on female fecundity leading to increased numbers of immature eggs being released and reduced sizes of liver granulomas. Furthermore, cytokine analysis showed that immunization of mice with rSjAChE elicited a predominantly Th1-type immune response characterized by increased production of IFNγ in splenic CD4+ T cells of vaccinated mice. The study confirms the potential of SjAChE as a vaccine/drug candidate against zoonotic schistosomiasis japonica. View Full-Text
Keywords: Schistosoma japonicum; zoonotic schistosomiasis japonica; acetylcholinesterase; RNA interference; vaccine target Schistosoma japonicum; zoonotic schistosomiasis japonica; acetylcholinesterase; RNA interference; vaccine target

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You, H.; Liu, C.; Du, X.; Nawaratna, S.; Rivera, V.; Harvie, M.; Jones, M.; McManus, D.P. Suppression of Schistosoma japonicum Acetylcholinesterase Affects Parasite Growth and Development. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 2426.

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