Heterotrimeric G-proteins have been found in eukaryotic cells, from yeast to humans, but have received little attention, to date, with respect to parasitic organisms. We now present the first report of the characterization of heterotrimeric G-proteins expressed in a filarial nematode, Acanthocheilonema viteae. Using a combination of (i) affinity labelling with [α-32P]GTP; (ii) ADP-ribosylation with cholera toxin and pertussis toxin; (iii) Western blotting with a panel of anti-G-protein antibodies; and (iv) reverse transcriptase-PCR with degenerate G-protein oligonucleotide primers followed by hybridization analysis using oligonucleotides specific for individual G-protein subunits, we demonstrate that adult A. viteae expresses homologues of the β1-and/or β2-like subunits and α-subunits of the Gs, Gi, Gq and G12 subfamilies found in mammals. The role which these G-proteins may play in the biology of the organism is discussed.

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