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A novel progesterone receptor membrane component (PGRMC) in the human and swine parasite Taenia solium: implications to the host-parasite relationship

A novel progesterone receptor membrane component (PGRMC) in the human and swine parasite Taenia solium: implications to the host-parasite relationship

Parasites and Vectors 11(1): 161

We have previously reported that progesterone (P4) has a direct in vitro effect on the scolex evagination and growth of Taenia solium cysticerci. Here, we explored the hypothesis that the P4 direct effect on T. solium might be mediated by a novel steroid-binding parasite protein. By way of using immunofluorescent confocal microscopy, flow cytometry analysis, double-dimension electrophoresis analysis, and sequencing the corresponding protein spot, we detected a novel PGRMC in T. solium. Molecular modeling studies accompanied by computer docking using the sequenced protein, together with phylogenetic analysis and sequence alignment clearly demonstrated that T. solium PGRMC is from parasite origin. Our results show that P4 in vitro increases parasite evagination and scolex size. Using immunofluorescent confocal microscopy, we detected that parasite cells showed expression of a P4-binding like protein exclusively located at the cysticercus subtegumental tissue. Presence of the P4-binding protein in cyst cells was also confirmed by flow cytometry. Double-dimension electrophoresis analysis, followed by sequencing the corresponding protein spot, revealed a protein that was previously reported in the T. solium genome belonging to a membrane-associated progesterone receptor component (PGRMC). Molecular modeling studies accompanied by computer docking using the sequenced protein showed that PGRMC is potentially able to bind steroid hormones such as progesterone, estradiol, testosterone and dihydrodrotestosterone with different affinities. Phylogenetic analysis and sequence alignment clearly demonstrated that T. solium PGRMC is related to a steroid-binding protein of Echinoccocus granulosus, both of them being nested within a cluster including similar proteins present in platyhelminths such as Schistocephalus solidus and Schistosoma haematobium. Progesterone may directly act upon T. solium cysticerci probably by binding to PGRMC. This research has implications in the field of host-parasite co-evolution as well as the sex-associated susceptibility to this infection. In a more practical matter, present results may contribute to the molecular design of new drugs with anti-parasite actions.

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Accession: 048135672

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PMID: 29523160

DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-2703-1

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