Voltage-gated calcium channel subunits from platyhelminths : potential role in praziquantel action
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Voltage-gated calcium (Ca2+) channels provide the pathway for Ca2+ influxes that underlie Ca2+-dependent responses in muscles, nerves, and other excitable cells. They are also targets of a wide variety of drugs and toxins. Ca2+ channels are multisubunit protein complexes consisting of a pore-forming α1 subunit and other modulatory subunits, including the β subunit. Here, we review the structure and function of schistosome Ca2+ channel subunits, with particular emphasis on variant Ca2+ channel β subunits (Cavβvar) found in these parasites. In particular, we examine the role these β subunits may play in the action of praziquantel, the current drug of choice against schistosomiasis. We also present evidence that Cavβvar homologs are found in other praziquantel-sensitive platyhelminths such as the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium, and that these variant β subunits may thus represent a platyhelminth-specific gene family.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2006. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in International Journal for Parasitology 36 (2006): 625-632, doi:10.1016/j.ijpara.2006.02.002.
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