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Identification and functional characterization of an ABC transporter of Haemonchus contortus, the P-glycoprotein 13

Abstract : Macrocyclic lactones (ML) are paralyzing anthelmintics used in animals and humans against parasite nematodes. However, their therapeutic success is compromised by the spread of ML resistance. This might be at least partly due to P-glycoproteins (Pgps) ABC transporters that are selected and overexpressed in ML-resistant nematodes. Deciphering the role of the 10 Pgps expressed in the parasite of small ruminants Haemonchus contortus is thus of major importance to guaranty anthelmintic (AH) efficacy of various drugs. Here we focused on Hco-Pgp-13 due to the expression in the amphids of its closest ortholog in the model nematode C. elegans. Indeed, the amphids represent a putative entry route of drugs to reach AH targets in the nervous system and have been linked to AH susceptibility in C. elegans and H. contortus. In order to predict the capacity of nematode Pgps to transport drugs, including ML and otherAH, we have developed an in silico drug docking model. We have used C. elegans Pgp-1 (Cel-Pgp-1) crystal structure and have showed a high affinity binding of several ligands that have been shown to be activators of its ATPase function. ML were also found to bind with high affinity to Cel-Pgp-1, on a specific binding site. This approach provides a valuable tool to predict drug-drug interactions and to rationally design new competitive inhibitors of nematode Pgps, in order to improve anthelmintic therapeutics. We then predicted a putative 3D structure of Hco-Pgp-13 based on the recently released crystal of Cel-Pgp-1, with which it presented a high homology. This allowed the study of the interaction of Hco-Pgp-13 with potential substrates, in particular ML. We found similar affinities for various drugs previously tested on Cel-Pgp-1, supporting the good homology of these two proteins. Together with in vitro ATPase assay experiments that confirmed the substrate status of actinomycin D, this indicates a possible multispecifc recognition capacity of this parasitic transporter. The determination of Hco-Pgp-13 localization using immunohistochemistry showed a wide tissue expression consistent with a critical role for Hco-Pgp-13 in endogenous and/or exogenous substrate transport. In conclusion, this work provides insights into the role of nematode Pgps in transporting AH drugs, both at the level of the model organism C. elegans and of the parasitic nematode H. contortus. This suggests a high homology of function conserved between ABC tranporters in these species. The localization of such protein on amphidial structures and its possible involvement in drug resistance and survival of H. contortus to exposure to AH compounds remain to be precised.
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Marion David. Identification and functional characterization of an ABC transporter of Haemonchus contortus, the P-glycoprotein 13. Toxicology. Université Paul Sabatier - Toulouse III, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016TOU30206⟩. ⟨tel-01665210⟩

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