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J Parasitol. 1997 Feb;83(1):1-5.

Proteinases secreted by Fasciola hepatica degrade extracellular matrix and basement membrane components.

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Unidad de Biologia Parasitaria, Instituto de Higiene, Montevideo, Uruguay.


The invasive stages of the parasitic trematode Fasciola hepatica release proteinases into the medium in which they are maintained. In this study, we investigated the interaction of F. hepatica excretory/secretory (E/S) products and 2 cysteine proteinases (CL1 and CL2) purified from these products with extracellular matrix and basement membrane macromolecules. Fasciola hepatica E/S products contained collagenolytic activity on fibrillar types I and III collagen as well as basement membrane type IV collagen. CL1 and CL2 were capable of degrading acid-soluble type III and type IV collagen but not insoluble type I collagen. In contrast, neither the E/S products nor the purified CL1 and CL2 showed elastinolytic activity. Fibronectin and laminin were degraded by E/S products and by CL1 and CL2. Sequence analysis of fibronectin degradation products showed that the fragments obtained corresponded to complete biologically active domains. These results indicate that the cysteine proteinases secreted by F. hepatica may be involved in the process of tissue invasion by the parasite.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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