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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2009 Sep;167(1):60-71. doi: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2009.04.010. Epub 2009 May 3.

Type I cystatin (stefin) is a major component of Fasciola gigantica excretion/secretion product.

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  • 1Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand.

Abstract

In the present study we describe type 1 cystatin, a cysteine protease inhibitor, as a major released antigen of the tropical liver fluke Fasciola gigantica (FgStefin-1). Immunohistochemical analysis showed that FgStefin-1 is abundant in (a) tissue of tegumental type, including oral and ventral sucker, pharynx, genital atrium, metraterm, cirrus and (b) the intestinal epithelium. Faint staining was observed in the epithelia of ovary and proximal uterus. Immunoblots showed the presence of FgStefin-1 in the parasite's excretion/secretion (ES) product and immunodepletion demonstrated that FgStefin-1 herein is partially complexed with cathepsin L. Furthermore, quantitation of FgStefin-1 in comparison to cathepsin L in ES product and crude worm extract of adults supports a major external function of FgStefin-1 with an estimated 50% being released in at least equimolar amounts to cathepsin L. Sera of an experimentally infected rabbit reacted with recombinant FgStefin-1 starting 8 weeks postinfection. Activity analyses of recombinant FgStefin-1 showed nanomolar inhibition constants for mammalian cathepsin B, L, and S cysteine proteases and released cysteine proteases of the parasite. The protein is active over a wide pH range and is heat stable. Our results suggest protective functions of FgStefin-1, regulating intracellular cysteine protease activity, and possibly protection against extracellular proteolytic damage to the parasite's intestinal and tegumental surface proteins. Considering inhibition kinetics and previously demonstrated immunomodulatory properties of cystatin in parasitic nematodes a comparable function of FgStefin-1 is suggested and is at present under investigation.

PMID:
19416741
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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