The same group also identified a homologue of the C. elegans multi-membrane spanning, RNA importing protein SID-1. The gene encoding this protein contains 21 exons and spans over 50 kb to potentially selleck chemicals encode a 115 556 Mr protein (SmSID-1) (38). These findings indicate that an intact RNAi
pathway has evolved in schistosomes. It has now also been shown that RNAi can be experimentally applied in schistosomes and appropriate transformation protocols have been adapted and developed (Table 2). The first report of successful RNAi in schistosomes was published in 2003 (40) showing that soaking of S. mansoni cercariae in dsRNA resulted in silencing of the major gut-associated proteinase, cathepsin B (SmCB1 or Sm31). In the same year, Boyle and colleagues (41) reported the successful silencing of the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and of a glucose transporter (SGTP1) gene in sporocysts of S. mansoni. Here for the first time a functional phenotype was detectable as the exposure of the parasite to SGTP1
dsRNA reduced the ability of sporocysts to take up glucose by 40%. These two publications https://www.selleckchem.com/PI3K.html clearly confirmed that RNAi can be utilized in schistosomes and that the silencing effect in larval stages of the parasite was potent and specific. In short succession, RNAi studies in schistosomes were published by a number of groups. The proteins attracting the most interest were proteolytic enzymes (metallo-, cysteine, and serine proteases), genes belonging to signalling pathways implicated in adult worm pairing and/or egg deposition, or genes playing a role in reproduction. These groups of proteins are essential in the life cycle of schistosomes and therefore are potential targets for
novel anti-parasite chemotherapy and immunotherapy. A number of studies have been undertaken to understand the role of signal transduction pathways in schistosomes and their role in the interaction of the parasite with its host environment and amongst themselves. One such example is the TGF-β signalling pathway that seems to be essential for schistosome embryogenesis. Schistosomes are exceptional amongst trematodes in the way that they have evolved separate sexes, and Oxymatrine the sexual development of the female requires constant contact with the male. Blocking components of the parasite TGF-β signalling pathway by RNAi would likely abolish worm pairing and egg production, and as a consequence, egg-associated pathology will not develop. This makes this pathway a potential target for novel intervention strategies for transmission and disease control (42–45). Indeed, Freitas et al. (42) described that RNAi-mediated knock-down of SmInAct (a member of the TGF-beta superfamily) expression in eggs led to a developmental arrest indicating a role of this protein during embryogenesis of schistosomes. Another signal transduction pathway was investigated by Beckmann et al. (46). The authors silenced a Syk kinase, which is expressed in the gonads of adult schistosomes.