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Characterization of major sperm protein genes and their expression in Oesophagostomum dentatum (Nematoda: Strongylida)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 September 2004

Department of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, 250 Princes Highway, Werribee, Victoria 3030, Australia
Department of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, 250 Princes Highway, Werribee, Victoria 3030, Australia
Joslin Diabetes Centre, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
Danish Centre of Experimental Parasitology, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, DK-1870 Frederikserg C, Denmark
Department of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, 250 Princes Highway, Werribee, Victoria 3030, Australia


Major sperm protein (msp) genes were isolated from complementary (cDNA) and genomic DNA libraries prepared from the parasitic nematode, Oesophagostomum dentatum, characterized at the nucleotide and amino acid (aa) levels, and their expression was investigated. Three different msp cDNA and 2 genomic sequences were determinedThe nucleotide sequences reported in this article have been deposited in the EMBL, GenBank and DDJB databases under the Accession numbers AJ627869–AJ627873., each with an open reading frame (ORF) of 381 nucleotides. Nucleotide variation was detected at 30 positions in the ORF among all 5 sequences. Conceptual translation of the full-length msp sequences inferred 4 different MSPs each of 126 aa. These predicted MSPs differed at aa positions 15 (serine<->threonine), 101 (alanine<->glycine), 103 (glutamine<->leucine) and 126 (proline<->leucine). Southern blot analysis of O. dentatum genomic DNA, digested separately with various restriction endonucleases, displayed multiple (n=7–13) bands for each enzyme, providing support for a multigene family. Also, at the genomic level, sequence tracts consistent with a ‘substitute’ TATA box sequence motif were identified within a region (−1 to −123 nt) preceding the 2 msp genes. In contrast to other species of nematode investigated to date, no GATA transcription factor binding motif was detected immediately upstream of the msp coding region. Real-time PCR analysis demonstrated that msp mRNA was expressed exclusively in the males of both fourth-stage larvae (L4s) and adults of O. dentatum (raised in pigs after intragastric inoculation). The magnitude of expression in male O. dentatum raised in pigs in the presence of female worms was the same as in males in the absence of females. Comparative analyses showed aa sequence conservation among MSPs from various nematodes, suggesting similar functional roles for these proteins.

Research Article
2004 Cambridge University Press

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Characterization of major sperm protein genes and their expression in Oesophagostomum dentatum (Nematoda: Strongylida)
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