Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Vet Parasitol. 2011 Jun 30;179(1-3):137-43. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2011.01.062. Epub 2011 Feb 26.

RNA and protein synthesis is required for Ancylostoma caninum larval activation.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Nematode Biology, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine, The George Washington University Medical Center, 2300 I St. NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA.


The developmentally arrested infective larva of hookworms encounters a host-specific signal during invasion that initiates the resumption of suspended developmental pathways. The resumption of development during infection is analogous to recovery from the facultative arrested dauer stage in the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Infective larvae of the canine hookworm Ancylostoma caninum resume feeding and secrete molecules important for infection when exposed to a host mimicking signal in vitro. This activation process is a model for the initial steps of the infective process. Dauer recovery requires protein synthesis, but not RNA synthesis in C. elegans. To determine the role of RNA and protein synthesis in hookworm infection, inhibitors of RNA and protein synthesis were tested for their effect on feeding and secretion by A. caninum infective larvae. The RNA synthesis inhibitors α-amanitin and actinomycin D inhibit feeding dose-dependently, with IC(50) values of 30 and 8 μM, respectively. The protein synthesis inhibitors puromycin (IC(50)=110 μM), cycloheximide (IC(50)=50 μM), and anisomycin (IC(50)=200 μM) also displayed dose-dependent inhibition of larval feeding. Significant inhibition of feeding by α-amanitin and anisomycin occurred when the inhibitors were added before 12h of the activation process, but not if the inhibitors were added after 12h. None of the RNA or protein synthesis inhibitors prevented secretion of the activation-associated protein ASP-1, despite nearly complete inhibition of feeding. The results indicate that unlike dauer recovery in C. elegans, de novo gene expression is required for hookworm larval activation, and the critical genes are expressed within 12h of exposure to activating stimuli. However, secretion of infection-associated proteins is independent of gene expression, indicating that the proteins are pre-synthesized and stored for rapid release during the initial stages of infection. The genes that are inhibited represent a subset of those required for the transition to parasitism, and therefore represent interesting targets for further investigation. Furthermore, while dauer recovery provides a useful model for hookworm infection, the differences identified here highlight the importance of exercising caution before making generalizations about parasitic nematodes based on C. elegans biology.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk