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Braz J Med Biol Res. 2002 Mar;35(3):377-81.

Sm14 gene expression in different stages of the Schistosoma mansoni life cycle and immunolocalization of the Sm14 protein within the adult worm.

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Laboratório de Imunologia de Doenças Infecciosas, Departamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil.


Sm14 is a 14-kDa vaccine candidate antigen from Schistosoma mansoni that seems to be involved in cytoplasmic trafficking of fatty acids. Although schistosomes have a high requirement for lipids, they are not able to synthesize fatty acids and sterols de novo. Thus, they must acquire host lipids. In order to determine whether Sm14 is present in different stages of the life cycle of the parasite, we performed RT-PCR. Sm14 mRNA was identified in all stages of the life cycle studied, mainly schistosomulum, adult worm and egg. Additionally, we used a rabbit anti-Sm14 polyclonal antibody in an indirect immunofluorescence assay to localize Sm14 in adult worm sections. The basal lamella of the tegument and the gut epithelium were strongly labeled. These tissues have a high flow of and demand for lipids, a finding that supports the putative role of Sm14 as an intracellular transporter of fatty acids from host cells.

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