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PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23786. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023786. Epub 2011 Aug 24.

Identifying Schistosoma japonicum excretory/secretory proteins and their interactions with host immune system.

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Department of Parasitology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.


Schistosoma japonicum is a major infectious agent of schistosomiasis. It has been reported that large number of proteins excreted and secreted by S. japonicum during its life cycle are important for its infection and survival in definitive hosts. These proteins can be used as ideal candidates for vaccines or drug targets. In this work, we analyzed the protein sequences of S. japonicum and found that compared with other proteins in S. japonicum, excretory/secretory (ES) proteins are generally longer, more likely to be stable and enzyme, more likely to contain immune-related binding peptides and more likely to be involved in regulation and metabolism processes. Based on the sequence difference between ES and non-ES proteins, we trained a support vector machine (SVM) with much higher accuracy than existing approaches. Using this SVM, we identified 191 new ES proteins in S. japonicum, and further predicted 7 potential interactions between these ES proteins and human immune proteins. Our results are useful to understand the pathogenesis of schistosomiasis and can serve as a new resource for vaccine or drug targets discovery for anti-schistosome.

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