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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cloning and sequence analysis of the candidate nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha subunit gene tar-1 from Trichostrongylus colubriformis.

A T. colubriformis genomic library in lambda EMBL3 was screened for sequences homologous to the Caenorhabditis elegans unc-38 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) alpha-subunit gene. The candidate gene tar-1 (for Trichostrongylus acetylcholine receptor subunit gene 1) comprising 13704 base pairs was thus identified. BLAST comparison of the sequenced clone with GenBank, followed by comparison of translated regions in six reading frames with protein databases, identified clearly defined tracts corresponding to 12 putative exons sharing high sequence homology to other nAChR genes and able to code for sequential regions of a putative nAChR alpha-subunit protein (tar-1). Tar-1 shares sequence similarities with over 40 nAChR subunit proteins. The highest similarity (91.6%) is with unc-38, suggesting that nAChR sequences from nematodes are closely related. The sequence includes motifs typical of these molecules including adjacent cysteine residues at the ACh binding site and four transmembrane regions. The DNA sequence presents the longest genomic tract described for this organism and should prove useful as a probe source in the search for nAChR genes from this and other nematodes and for studying the molecular mechanism of resistance to levamisole, a drug which is known to act on nAChRs of worms and which is widely used for parasite control.[1]


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