PhD Oral Defense: Subunit diversity of the levamisole-sensitive acetylcholine receptor


Parasitology Building P-117, 21111 Lakeshore Road, St Anne de Bellevue, QC, H9X 3V9, CA

PhD Oral Defense of Thomas Duguet, Institute of Parasitology

Pentameric ligand-gated ion-channels (pLGICs) represent a large family of transmembrane proteins that play a fundamental role in synaptic neurotransmission throughout the animal kingdom. These essential mediators of neuromuscular movement appeared more than two billion years ago and through the central mechanism of gene duplication and loss, have led to a diverse family of modern-day pLGICs.

The evolution of pLGICs has given rise to a complex population of heteromeric receptors, particularly in the clade V nematode species, closely related to the free-living model Caenorhabditis elegans. Among them, the levamisole-sensitive acetylcholine receptor (L-AChR) stands out, composed of five different subunits in C. elegans. The appearance of new subunits of this receptor continues through gene duplication. Expansion of the unc-29 gene to four copies in the parasitic nematode of small ruminants, Haemonchus contortus, is proposed as a model of the process more generally.

Everyone in the McGill community is welcome to attend a PhD oral defense. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our PhD candidates.