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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2005 Dec;4(12):1862-75. Epub 2005 Aug 18.

Proteomic analysis of Schistosoma mansoni cercarial secretions.

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Department of Pathology and the Sandler Center, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-0446, USA.


Schistosomiasis is a global health problem caused by several species of schistosome blood flukes. The initial stage of infection is invasion of human skin by a multicellular larva, the cercaria. We identified proteins released by cercariae when they are experimentally induced to exhibit invasive behavior. Comparison of the proteome obtained from skin lipid-induced cercariae (the natural activator), a cleaner mechanical induction procedure, and an uninduced proteomic control allowed identification of protein groups contained in cercarial acetabular gland secretion versus other sources. These included a group of proteins involved in calcium binding, calcium regulation, and calcium-activated functions; two proteins (paramyosin and SPO-1) implicated in immune evasion; and protease isoforms implicated in degradation of host skin barriers. Several other protein families, traditionally found as cytosolic proteins, appeared concentrated in secretory cells. These included proteins with chaperone activity such as HSP70, -86, and -60. Comparison of the three experimental proteomes also allowed identification of protein contaminants from the environment that were identified because of the high sensitivity of the MS/MS system used. These included proteins from the intermediate host snail in which cercariae develop, the investigator, and the laboratory environment. Identification of proteins secreted by invasive larvae provides important new information for validation of models of skin invasion and immune evasion and aids in rational development of an anti-schistosome vaccine.

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