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Aquaporin 1 is located on the intestinal basolateral membrane in Toxocara canis and might play a role in drug uptake

Ma, Guangxu, Jiang, Aiyun, Luo, Yongfang, Luo, Yongli, Huang, Hancheng, Zhou, Rongqiong
Parasites & vectors 2019 v.12 no.1 pp. 243
RNA interference, Toxocara canis, adults, albendazole, aquaporins, cell membranes, drugs, epithelium, females, fluorescent antibody technique, gene expression, gene targeting, hydrophilicity, immunohistochemistry, intestines, males, messenger RNA, nematicidal properties, nutrient uptake, osmoregulation, parasites, polyclonal antibodies, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reproduction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, solutes, tissue distribution
BACKGROUND: Aquaporins (AQPs) are a family of integral membrane channel proteins that facilitate the transport of water and other small solutes across cell membranes. AQPs appear to play crucial roles in parasite survival and represent possible drug targets for novel intervention strategy. In this work, we investigated the tissue distribution and biological roles of an aquaporin TcAQP1 in the neglected parasitic nematode Toxocara canis. METHODS: Recombinant C-terminal hydrophilic domain of AQP1 of T. canis (rTcAQP1c) and polyclonal antibody against rTcAQP1c were produced to analyse the tissue expression of native TcAQP1 in adult (female and male) worms using an immunohistochemical approach. RNA interference (RNAi), quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and nematocidal assays were performed to investigate the functional roles of TcAQP1 in the adult stage of T. canis. RESULTS: Immunofluorescence analysis showed that TcAQP1 was localised predominantly in the epithelial linings of the reproductive tract and basolateral membrane of the intestine in the adult stage (female and male) of T. canis, indicating important roles in reproduction, nutrient absorption and/or osmoregulation. Treatment with silencing RNA for 24 h resulted in a significant reduction of Tc-aqp-1 mRNA level in adult T. canis, though no phenotypical change was observed. The efficient gene knockdown compromised the nematocidal activity of albendazole in vitro, suggesting the role of TcAQP1 in drug uptake. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study provide important information about tissue expression and functional roles of TcAQP1 protein in adult T. canis. Understanding the biological functions of this protein in other developmental stages of T. canis and related parasitic nematodes would contribute to the discovery of novel diagnostic or anthelmintic targets.