ABSTRACT

The Schistosoma japonicum fatty acid-binding protein (FABP) is used in the cell membrane to absorb and transport fatty acids, which cannot be resynthesized by the organism and combined with hydrophobic ligands. Among the 5 stages of the worm life cycle examined, FABP messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression was highest in male adult worms, followed by the liver-stage schistosome, and was the lowest in the lung-stage schistosome. The fabp gene-coding region was cloned and expressed to obtain recombinant S. japonicum FABP (rSjFABP) with a molecular weight of approximately 18 kDa. Mice were then immunized against rSjFABP to prepare anti-FABP serum. Using immunohistochemical techniques, FABP protein was found to localize to the eggshell, parenchyma, and digestive tract. Double-stranded RNA-mediated knockdown of FABP mRNA by RNA interference decreased the number of transcripts by >70%. Moreover, the egg production rate decreased, whereas the abnormal egg ratio was significantly increased in the FABP-silenced group compared with the negative control group (P < 0.05). These results demonstrate that FABP localizes in adults and in various stages. FABP contributes to the egg-laying capacity of adults, which may be related to the reproductive function of S. japonicum.

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