A role for p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase in early post-embryonic development of Schistosoma mansoni.
ABSTRACT The importance of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MAPK) to Schistosoma mansoni miracidium to mother-sporocyst development was investigated. Western blotting revealed that phosphorylation (activation) of p38 MAPK was low in larvae after 4h development in vitro but increased markedly during transformation, with ∼2.7- and ∼3.7-fold increases after 19h and 28h culture, respectively. Immunohistochemistry of larvae undergoing transformation revealed activated p38 MAPK associated with regions including the tegument, neural mass and germinal cells. Inhibition of larval p38 MAPK with SB203580 reduced significantly the rate of development of miracidia to mother sporocysts, whereas activation of p38 MAPK with anisomycin had the opposite effect. These results provide insight into p38 MAPK signalling in schistosomes and support a role for p38 MAPK in the early post-embryonic development of S. mansoni.
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ABSTRACT: Cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase/protein kinase A (PKA) is the major transducer of cAMP signalling in eukaryotic cells. Here, using laser scanning confocal microscopy and 'smart' anti-phospho PKA antibodies that exclusively detect activated PKA, we provide a detailed in situ analysis of PKA signalling in intact adult Schistosoma mansoni, a causative agent of debilitating human intestinal schistosomiasis. In both adult male and female worms, activated PKA was consistently found associated with the tegument, oral and ventral suckers, oesophagus and somatic musculature. In addition, the seminal vesicle and gynaecophoric canal muscles of the male displayed activated PKA whereas in female worms activated PKA localized to the ootype wall, the ovary, and the uterus particularly around eggs during expulsion. Exposure of live worms to the PKA activator forskolin (50 µM) resulted in striking PKA activation in the central and peripheral nervous system including at nerve endings at/near the tegument surface. Such neuronal PKA activation was also observed without forskolin treatment, but only in a single batch of worms. In addition, PKA activation within the central and peripheral nervous systems visibly increased within 15 min of worm-pair separation when compared to that observed in closely coupled worm pairs. Finally, exposure of adult worms to forskolin induced hyperkinesias in a time and dose dependent manner with 100 µM forskolin significantly increasing the frequency of gross worm movements to 5.3 times that of control worms (P≤0.001). Collectively these data are consistent with PKA playing a central part in motor activity and neuronal communication, and possibly interplay between these two systems in S. mansoni. This study, the first to localize a protein kinase when exclusively in an activated state in adult S. mansoni, provides valuable insight into the intricacies of functional protein kinase signalling in the context of whole schistosome physiology.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 01/2013; 7(1):e1988. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001988 · 4.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic protein kinases are well conserved through evolution. The genome of Schistosoma mansoni, which causes intestinal schistosomiasis, encodes over 250 putative protein kinases with all of the main eukaryotic groups represented. However, unraveling functional roles for these kinases is a considerable endeavor, particularly as protein kinases regulate multiple and sometimes overlapping cell and tissue functions in organisms. In this article, elucidating protein kinase signal transduction and function in schistosomes is considered from the perspective of the state-of-the-art methodologies used and comparative organismal biology, with a focus on current advances and future directions. Using the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a comparator we predict roles for various schistosome protein kinases in processes vital for host invasion and successful parasitism such as sensory behavior, growth and development. It is anticipated that the characterization of schistosome protein kinases in the context of parasite function will catalyze cutting edge research into host-parasite interactions and will reveal new targets for developing drug interventions against human schistosomiasis.Frontiers in Genetics 01/2014; 5:229. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2014.00229
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ABSTRACT: Protein kinases C (PKCs) and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) are evolutionary conserved cell signalling enzymes that coordinate cell function. Here we have employed biochemical approaches using 'smart' antibodies and functional screening to unravel the importance of these enzymes to Schistosoma mansoni physiology. Various PKC and ERK isotypes were detected, and were differentially phosphorylated (activated) throughout the various S. mansoni life stages, suggesting isotype-specific roles and differences in signalling complexity during parasite development. Functional kinase mapping in adult worms revealed that activated PKC and ERK were particularly associated with the adult male tegument, musculature and oesophagus and occasionally with the oesophageal gland; other structures possessing detectable activated PKC and/or ERK included the Mehlis' gland, ootype, lumen of the vitellaria, seminal receptacle and excretory ducts. Pharmacological modulation of PKC and ERK activity in adult worms using GF109203X, U0126, or PMA, resulted in significant physiological disturbance commensurate with these proteins occupying a central position in signalling pathways associated with schistosome muscular activity, neuromuscular coordination, reproductive function, attachment and pairing. Increased activation of ERK and PKC was also detected in worms following praziquantel treatment, with increased signalling associated with the tegument and excretory system and activated ERK localizing to previously unseen structures, including the cephalic ganglia. These findings support roles for PKC and ERK in S. mansoni homeostasis, and identify these kinase groups as potential targets for chemotherapeutic treatments against human schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease of enormous public health significance.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 06/2014; 8(6):e2924. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002924 · 4.49 Impact Factor