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    Recent studies have demonstrated that filarial parasites contain a functional homologue of the insect ecdysone receptor (EcR). As a first step in deciphering the physiological role that ecdysteroids play in filarial parasites, adult female parasites cultured in the presence and absence of 20-OH ecdysone were metabolically labeled. Gel electrophoretic analysis of proteins extracted from the cultured parasites revealed changes in the level of expression of several proteins, indicating that adult female parasites contained an ecdysone-responsive gene network. A bioinformatic analysis was then conducted to identify putative ecdysone response elements (EcREs) in the Brugia malayi genome. A total of 18 genes were identified that contained putative EcREs located in the 4 kbp upstream from the start of their open reading frames. The most common functional classifications of the encoded proteins were factors involved in transcription and metabolism. These genes revealed a number of different developmental patterns of transcription. The promoter of one EcRE-containing gene was cloned into a luciferase reporter vector and transfected into B. malayi embryos. Reporter gene expression from embryos transfected with this construct was up-regulated by 20-OH ecdysone. Deletion and substitution mutations in the canonical EcRE resulted in a loss of the ecdysone response. These results demonstrate the presence of functional EcREs in the B. malayi genome. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Canhui Liu, Tracy Enright, George Tzertzinis, Thomas R Unnasch. Identification of genes containing ecdysone response elements in the genome of Brugia malayi. Molecular and biochemical parasitology. 2012 Nov;186(1):38-43

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    PMID: 23017214

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