Jeziorski Michael C.

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Michael C.

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  • Preprint
    Voltage-gated calcium channel subunits from platyhelminths : potential role in praziquantel action
    ( 2006-02-07) Jeziorski, Michael C. ; Greenberg, Robert M.
    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.