Developmental and tissue-specific expression of 2-methyl branched-chain enoyl CoA reductase isoforms in the parasitic nematode, Ascaris suum

Emilio Duran, Daniel J. Walker, Keith R. Johnson, Patricia R. Komuniecki, Richard W. Komuniecki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The 2-methyl branched-chain enoyl CoA reductase (ECR) plays a pivotal role in the reversal of β-oxidation operating in anaerobic mitochondria of the parasitic nematode, Ascaris suum. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of the purified ECR yielded multiple spots, with two distinct but overlapping N-terminal sequences. These multiple isoforms were not the result of population effects, as the pattern observed on 2-D gels of the purified ECR was identical to those on immunoblots of muscle homogenates isolated from individual worms. A full-length cDNA coding for the major ECR isoform (ECRI) has been cloned and sequenced and compared with that of the minor isoform (ECRII) which has been described previously (Duran et al. J Biol Chem 1993;268:22391-22396). ECRI contained the 22-nucleotide trans-spliced leader sequence characteristic of many nematode mRNAs, a 5' untranslated region (UTR) of 13 nucleotides, an open reading frame (ORF) of 1257 nucleotides, a 3'-UTR of 110 nucleotides that included the polyadenylation signal AATAAA downstream of the termination codon and a short poly(A) tail. The ORF predicted a 16 amino acid leader sequence not found in the native protein and a mature protein of 403 amino acids with a molecular weight of 43 698 and a predicted pI of 6.2. ECRI and ECRII were 73% identical at the predicted amino acid level and their mRNAs exhibited significant structural similarity even though they were products of separate genes. Comparison of ECRI and ECRII with the sequences of acyl CoA dehydrogenases from a variety of different sources revealed a high degree of interspecies sequence identity, suggesting that these enzymes may have evolved from a common ancestral gene. This result is surprising since the ascarid enzymes function as reductases, not as dehydrogenases. Both ECRs were tissue-specific and developmentally regulated and were found in transitional third-stage larvae (L3) and adult muscle, but not in early, aerobic larval stages or adult testis, ovary, or intestine. The ratio of ECRII to ECRI was greater in L3 than in adult muscle. Interestingly, both ECRs also appeared to be expressed in pharyngeal muscle, suggesting that branched-chain fatty acid synthesis may not be confined exclusively to body wall muscle. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-318
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Acyl CoA dehydrogenase
  • Ascaris suum
  • Enoyl CoA reductase
  • Mitochondrial metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Molecular Biology


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