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Int J Parasitol. 2003 Aug;33(9):897-907.

Molecular characterisation of the Ancylostoma-secreted protein family from the adult stage of Ancylostoma caninum.

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Department of Microbiology and Tropical Medicine, Ross Hall, Room 736, 2300 Eye Street NW, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20037, USA.


The Ancylostoma-secreted proteins are a family of nematode-specific cysteine-rich secreted proteins belonging to the pathogenesis-related protein superfamily. Previously we reported that third stage infective larvae of Ancylostoma caninum produce two different Ancylostoma-secreted proteins, a single and double-domain Ancylostoma-secreted protein, designated as Ancylostoma-secreted protein-1 and Ancylostoma-secreted protein-2, respectively. Here we report that adult A. caninum hookworms produce and release four additional Ancylostoma-secreted proteins (Ancylostoma-secreted protein-3-6). Using antiserum against adult excretory/secretory products, Ancylostoma-secreted protein cDNAs were isolated from cDNA expression libraries. Immunolocalisation experiments using specific antisera indicated that the single-domain Ac-Ancylostoma-secreted protein-3 is located in the adult pharyngeal and oesophageal glands. Ac-Ancylostoma-secreted protein-4, Ancylostoma-secreted protein-5 and Ancylostoma-secreted protein-6 are composed of two pathogenesis-related protein domains linked in tandem as a heterodimorphic repeat. Ac-Ancylostoma-secreted protein-4 is localised to the cuticular surface of the adult hookworm, whereas Ac-Ancylostoma-secreted protein-5 was found in the intestinal brush border membrane, and Ancylostoma-secreted protein-6 in the cephalic and excretory glands. All of the adult Ancylostoma-secreted proteins were identified in excretory/secretory products of adult hookworms by Western blotting and are presumably released by the parasite. None of the adult Ancylostoma-secreted proteins were detected by immunoblotting in L3 extracts, although mRNAs of Ac-Ancylostoma-secreted protein-3 and Ac-Ancylostoma-secreted protein-4 were present in the larval stage. The functions of the adult Ancylostoma-secreted proteins are unknown, although the secretion of multiple family members by the adult suggests an important role in the establishment or maintenance of the parasitic relationship.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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