Haemonchus contortus: molecular characterisation of a small heat shock protein Academic Article uri icon


  • A cDNA encoding a predicted small heat shock protein, HSP20, was isolated from the parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus. This cDNA encoded a predicted protein of 156 amino acids, which had high sequence identity with other nematode small heat shock proteins. Southern blot analysis of genomic DNA suggested that in H. contortus HSP20 is encoded by a single copy gene. The HSP20 transcript and protein were expressed in the infective larvae (L3), early L4 and adult stages, but expression was not increased by heat shock treatment. In situ hybridisation analysis was used to localise expression of HSP20 mRNA in the adult parasite. Similar HSPs (heat shock protein) were detected by Western blotting in Ancylostoma caninum, Dictyocaulus viviparus, and Toxocara canis, but not in Trichostronglyus colubriformis. The conservation of HSP20 in several different nematode species may reflect its importance to parasites that require mammalian hosts as a part of their development. Index Descriptors and Abbreviations: Haemonchus contortus; nematode; small heat shock protein; L3, infective larvae; xL3, exsheathed L3; eL4, early L4; EST, expressed sequence tag; HSP20, heat shock protein 20; sHSP, small heat shock protein

publication date

  • August 2003

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