Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

A novel biological activity of praziquantel requiring voltage-operated Ca2+ channel beta subunits: subversion of flatworm regenerative polarity. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2009 Jun 23;3(6):e464 PMID: 19554083 PMCID: PMC2694594

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Approximately 200 million people worldwide harbour parasitic flatworm infections that cause schistosomiasis. A single drug-praziquantel (PZQ)-has served as the mainstay pharmacotherapy for schistosome infections since the 1980s. However, the relevant in vivo target(s) of praziquantel remain undefined.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: Here, we provide fresh perspective on the molecular basis of praziquantel efficacy in vivo consequent to the discovery of a remarkable action of PZQ on regeneration in a species of free-living flatworm (Dugesia japonica). Specifically, PZQ caused a robust (100% penetrance) and complete duplication of the entire anterior-posterior axis during flatworm regeneration to yield two-headed organisms with duplicated, integrated central nervous and organ systems. Exploiting this phenotype as a readout for proteins impacting praziquantel efficacy, we demonstrate that PZQ-evoked bipolarity was selectively ablated by in vivo RNAi of voltage-operated calcium channel (VOCC) beta subunits, but not by knockdown of a VOCC alpha subunit. At higher doses of PZQ, knockdown of VOCC beta subunits also conferred resistance to PZQ in lethality assays.

CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies a new biological activity of the antischistosomal drug praziquantel on regenerative polarity in a species of free-living flatworm. Ablation of the bipolar regenerative phenotype evoked by PZQ via in vivo RNAi of VOCC beta subunits provides the first genetic evidence implicating a molecular target crucial for in vivo PZQ activity and supports the 'VOCC hypothesis' of PZQ efficacy. Further, in terms of regenerative biology and Ca(2+) signaling, these data highlight a novel role for voltage-operated Ca(2+) entry in regulating in vivo stem cell differentiation and regenerative patterning.

Author List

Nogi T, Zhang D, Chan JD, Marchant JS

Author

Jonathan S. Marchant PhD Chair, Professor in the Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Animals
Anthelmintics
Calcium Channels
Gene Silencing
Platyhelminths
Praziquantel
Protein Subunits
RNA, Small Interfering
Regeneration



View this publication's entry at the Pubmed website PMID: 19554083
jenkins-FCD Prod-130 96200611f8481f0aa4f84230b11dd74d063847a3