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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Feb 9;1510(1-2):321-9.

Characterization of an insulin receptor-related receptor in Biomphalaria glabrata embryonic cells.

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  • 1Unité INSERM 167, Institut Pasteur, 1 rue du Prof. A. Calmette, 59019 Lille, France.


Tyrosine kinase receptors play a key role in the communication of cells with their environment. Growth hormone receptors, such as insulin receptors, are involved in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation and metabolism in multicellular organisms. Insulin-related peptides and members of the insulin receptor subfamily have been described in a wide variety of invertebrates, including freshwater molluscs. In this paper, we describe the metabolic effect of insulin on a mollusc cell line (Bge) derived from embryos of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata. Using a PCR strategy, we have cloned from Bge cells a cDNA encoding a protein (BgIR) homologous to, and exhibiting all of the typical features of insulin receptors. Northern blot analysis confirmed the expression of BgIR in B. glabrata snails and suggested its wide distribution in the snail body. Bge cells have been shown to provide the environmental conditions necessary for the in vitro development of the sporocysts of Schistosoma mansoni, a trematode parasite that uses B. glabrata as an intermediate host. The possible implication of BgIR in the activating and proliferating processes observed in Bge cells during their coculture with S. mansoni larvae is discussed.

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