Characterization of calcineurin from Hymenolepis microstoma and H-diminuta and its interaction with cyclosporin A

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The drug cyclosporin A (CsA) exerts its immunosuppressive action by binding to the cytosolic protein, cyclophilin (CyP) and, as a complex, binding to and inhibiting the calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine threonine phosphatase, calcineurin. It is unknown whether a similar mode of action occurs during the drug's antiparasite activity. Calmodulin-binding proteins from the helminth parasites Hymenolepis microstoma and H. diminuta were purified by affinity chromatography, yielding single polypeptide bands of 60 000 M(r), according to SDS-PAGE. These proteins were tested for calcineurin activity by the dephosphorylation of the R(II) peptide (part of the catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase). Both proteins were calcium- and calmodulin-dependent and were inhibited by mammalian cyclophilin complexed with cyclosporin A (IC50 values of 0 . 75 mu g CyP for H. microstoma and 0 . 90 mu g CyP for H. diminuta). However, neither of the parasite calcineurins was inhibited by H. microstoma cyclophilin/CsA. These data suggest the anthelmintic mode of action of CsA in these helminth models does not involve the inhibition of a signal transduction pathway requiring interaction with calcineurin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-283
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997


  • calcineurin
  • parasites
  • Hymenolepis spp.
  • cyclosporin
  • cyclophilin
  • FK506
  • cyclophilin

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