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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2008 Jan;157(1):92-7. Epub 2007 Sep 2.

Orthologues of the Drosophila melanogaster E75 molting control gene in the filarial parasites Brugia malayi and Dirofilaria immitis.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI 53190 USA.


Filarial parasites cause debilitating diseases in humans and domesticated animals. Brugia malayi and Dirofilaria immitis are transmitted by mosquitoes and infect humans and dogs, respectively. Their life cycle is punctuated by a series of cuticular molts as they move between different hosts and tissues. An understanding of the genetic basis for these developmental transitions may suggest potential targets for vaccines or chemotherapeutics. Nuclear receptor (NR) proteins have been implicated in molting in the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and have well characterized roles in molting during larval development of Drosophila melanogaster. For example, the D. melanogaster E75 (NR1D3) NR gene is required for molting and metamorphosis, as well as egg chamber development in adult females. We have identified Bm-nhr-11and Di-nhr-6, B. malayi and D. immitis orthologues of E75. Both genes encode canonical nuclear receptor proteins, are developmentally regulated, and are expressed in a sex-specific manner in adults.

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