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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 1997 Mar;85(1):77-87.

Molecular cloning and characterisation of a developmentally regulated putative metallopeptidase present in a host protective extract of Haemonchus contortus.

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Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK.


Antisera from lambs immunised with the Haemonchus contortus integral membrane protein complex, Haemonchus galactose-containing glycoprotein (H-gal-GP), the lambs being refractory to subsequent challenge, were used to identify several clones from an adult H. contortus lambda gt11 cDNA library. Using gene-specific oligonucleotide primers in conjunction with primers directed to a conserved nematode Spliced Leader (SL) sequence and to the polyA+ tail of mRNA, the remaining 5' and 3' sequences of one of these clones, metallopeptidase-1 (MEP1), were amplified. The 2.4 kb full-length coding sequences was subsequently amplified in a single reaction. Sequence analysis identified MEP1 as encoding a putative zinc metallopeptidase, which shared limited homology with the mammalian type II integral membrane protein neutral endopeptidase (NEP). Southern blotting indicated that MEP1 belonged to a multigene family. MEP1 was expressed in bacteria as a glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion protein, and a specific antiserum raised in sheep. This antiserum recognised several polypeptide components of H-gal-GP. Immunolocalisation studies showed that MEP1 encoded a protein located on the luminal surface of the nematode gut. Both MEP1 mRNA and protein are developmentally regulated with expression being limited to the blood-feeding stages of H. contortus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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