Developmentally regulated expression of a unique small heat shock protein in Brugia malayi

Nithyakalyani Raghavan, Inca Ghosh, Ward S. Eisinger, Diana Pastrana, Alan L. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A screen of an expression library from the fourth larval stage (L4) of the parasitic nematode Brugia malayi resulted in the identification of a 727 bp full-length cDNA with 29-40% identity to members of the small heat shock family of proteins (Bm-hsp-s1). The open reading frame encoded a protein of approximately 18 kDA (Bm-HSP-s1). An alignment of the Bm-HSP-s1 sequence with the sequences of small HSPs from vertebrate and invertebrate species demonstrated that a majority of the identity was concentrated in the central α-crystallin domain. Bm-HSP-s1 was constitutively produced by L4 and adult parasites and at low levels by third-stage larvae (L3), but not by first-stage larvae (microfilariae). In adult parasites, Bm-HSP-s1 was localized to the body wall muscle cells and to the cells of the hypodermis/lateral cord. Bm-HSP-s1 production was induced in adult and L3 incubated at 42°C and in L3s during the developmental transition from vector-stage to vertebrate-stage parasites at 37°C. Neither increased nor decreased temperatures induced Bm-HSP-s1 production in microfilariae. Nitric oxide induced low-level, transient Bm-HSP-s1 synthesis in adults, but not in microfilariae. Bm-HSP-s1 did not function as a molecular chaperone to prevent heat-induced aggregation of a test substrate. The developmentally regulated expression and inducable nature of Bm-HSP-s1 suggests that it may have a stage-restricted role in maintaining parasite homeostasis. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-246
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 30 1999


  • Brugia malayi
  • Developmental regulation
  • Filarial nematode
  • L4
  • Small heat shock protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Molecular Biology


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