The effects of oxidative insult on gene transcript levels in the filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus were investigated using differential display RT-PCR. Oxidative stress was applied with the reagents paraquat, plumbagin and xanthine-xanthine oxidase. In all three cases, a cDNA fragment encoding a novel glutathione S-transferase (GST) resembling members of the theta-class was identified as upregulated (PQ29, PG112, XOD26). The subsequently isolated full-length cDNA harbors a 753-bp open reading frame encoding a GST with 268 amino acid residues and a predicted molecular mass of 31 kDa. This stress-responsive GST (Ov-GST-3) possesses only 14 and 21% sequence identity with the other O. volvulus GSTs (Ov-GST-1 and Ov-GST-2, respectively). Interestingly, Ov-GST-3 shares higher sequence identity with GSTs that are upregulated due to environmental stress. In order to confirm the specific upregulation of the Ov-GST-3 transcripts identified by differential display and to analyze the mRNA levels of the other Ov-GSTs (Ov- GST-1 and Ov-GST-2) under elevated stress conditions, a semi-quantitative polymerase chain reaction-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was performed. The Ov-GST-3 gene transcript level increased dramatically in response to xanthine-xanthine oxidase and to a lesser extent with paraquat and plumbagin. In contrast, Ov-GST-1 and Ov-GST-2 did not show any significant alterations in their steady-state mRNA levels in response to oxidative stress when examining the same mRNA samples. The present study clearly demonstrates that Ov-GST-3 is a critical enzyme in the defense against oxidative stress. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
- Differential display (DD)
- Glutathione S-transferase (GST)
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)