Research Article

A female-specific cDNA sequence of Schistosoma mansoni encoding a mucin-like protein that is expressed in the epithelial cells of the reproductive duct*

M. Menratha1, A. Michela1 and W. Kunza1

a1 Institute of Genetics and Biological-Medical Research Center, Heinrich-Heine-University, Universitäts-Strasse 1, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany


Seven cDN A clones of Schistosoma mansoni containing the C-terminal part of the deduced sequence of a mucin-like protein have been identified. The protein contains 28% threonines, 20% serines, and has a pi of 3middot;4. On Northern blots of RNA of adult worms, the cDNA clones detect 2 transcripts of 1middot;65 and 4middot;2 kb which are expressed only in female worms. The tissue of gene expression, as revealed by in situ hybridization, is the epithelium surrounding the female reproduction duct proximal to its entrance into the ootype. Accumulation of N-glycosylation sites suggests that the protein, like other mucins, might form a protective layer, coating the lining of the duct. Regarding its acidic pi, we hypothesize a role in preventing premature egg-shell formation. This is the first female-specifically transcribed sequence, hitherto known in S. mansonithat is not expressed in the vitellaria.

(Received February 14 1995)

(Revised April 21 1995)

(Accepted April 21 1995)


* The sequence data reported herein has been submitted to EMBL Data Library and assigned the accession number Z 27403.

† Reprint requests to Dr W. Kunz.