Parasites & vectors

Exploring the role of two interacting phosphoinositide 3-kinases of Haemonchus contortus.

PMID 25388625


Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) are relatively conserved and important intracellular lipid kinases involved in signalling and other biological pathways. In the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the heterodimeric form of PI3K consists of catalytic (AGE-1) and regulatory (AAP-1) subunits. These subunits are key components of the insulin-like signalling pathway and play roles in the regulation of the entry into and exit from dauer. Although, in parasitic nematodes, similar components are proposed to regulate the transition from free-living or arrested stages to parasitic larvae, nothing is known about PI3Ks in relation to the transition of third-stage larvae (L3s) to parasitism in Haemonchus contortus. An integrated molecular approach was used to investigate age-1 and aap-1 of H. contortus (Hc-age-1 and Hc-aap-1) in C. elegans. The two genes Hc-age-1 and Hc-aap-1 were transcribed in all life stages, with the highest levels in the egg, infective L3 and adult female of H. contortus. The expression of these genes was localized to the intestine, contrasting the pattern of their orthologues in C. elegans (where they are expressed in both head neurons and the intestine). The yeast two-hybrid analysis demonstrated that the adaptor-binding domain of Hc-AGE-1 interacted strongly with the Hc-AAP-1; however, this complex did not rescue the function of its orthologue in age-1-deficient C. elegans. This is the first time that the PI3K-encoding genes have been characterized from a strongylid parasitic nematode. The findings provide insights into the role of the PI3K heterodimer represented by Hc-age-1 and Hc-aap-1 in the developmental biology of H. contortus.