Ticks developed a multitude of different immune evasion strategies in order to obtain a blood meal. Sialostatin L is an immunosuppressive cysteine protease inhibitor present in the saliva of the hard tick Ixodes scapularis. Herein we demonstrate that sialostatin L strongly inhibits the production of IL-9 by Th9 cells. Since we could show recently that Th9-derived IL-9 is essentially involved in the induction of asthma symptoms, sialostatin L was used for the treatment of experimental asthma. Application of sialostatin L in a model of experimental asthma almost completely abrogated airway hyperresponsiveness and eosinophilia. Our data suggest that sialostatin L can prevent experimental asthma, most likely by inhibiting the IL-9 production of Th9 cells. Thus, alternative to IL-9 neutralization sialostatin L provides the basis for the development of innovative therapeutic strategies to treat asthma.
Th9 cells; Lung; Allergy; Parasites; Rodents
The saliva of blood-feeding parasites is a rich source of peptidase inhibitors that help overcome the host’s defense during host-parasite interactions. Using proteomic analysis, the cystatin OmC2 was demonstrated in the saliva of the soft tick Ornithodoros moubata, an important disease-vector transmitting African swine fever virus and the spirochaete Borrelia duttoni. A structural, biochemical and biological characterization of this peptidase inhibitor was undertaken. Recombinant OmC2 was screened against a panel of physiologically relevant peptidases and found to be an effective broad-specificity inhibitor of cysteine cathepsins, including endopeptidases (cathepsins L and S) and exopeptidases (cathepsins B, C and H). The crystal structure of OmC2 was determined at a resolution of 2.45 Å and used to describe the structure-inhibitory activity relationship. The biological impact of OmC2 was demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo. OmC2 affected the function of antigen-presenting mouse dendritic cells by reducing the production of the proinflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-12, and proliferation of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells. This suggests that OmC2 may suppress the host’s adaptive immune response. Immunization of mice with OmC2 significantly suppressed the survival of O. moubata in infestation experiments. We conclude that OmC2 is a promising target for the development of a novel anti-tick vaccine to control O. moubata populations and combat the spread of associated diseases.
cathepsin; cystatin; immune cells; structure-activity relationship; parasite; peptidase inhibitor
A novel family of RGD-containing molecule (Tablysin-15) has been molecularly characterized from the salivary gland of the hematophagous horsefly Tabanus yao. Tablysin-15 does not share primary sequence homology to any disintegrin discovered so far, and displays an RGD motif in the N-terminus of the molecule. It is also distinct from disintegrins from Viperidae since its mature form is not released from a metalloproteinase precursor. Tablysin-15 exhibits high affinity for platelet αIIbβ3 and endothelial cell αvβ3 integrins, but not for α5β1 or α2β1. Accordingly, it blocks endothelial cell adhesion to vitronectin (IC50 ~ 1 nM) and marginally to fibronectin (IC50 ~ 1 µM), but not to collagen. It also inhibits FGF-induced endothelial cell proliferation, and attenuates tube formation in vitro. In platelets, Tablysin-15 inhibits aggregation induced by collagen, ADP and convulxin, and prevents static platelet adhesion to immobilized fibrinogen. In addition, solid-phase assays and flow cytometry demonstrates that αIIbβ3 binds to Tablysin-15. Moreover, immobilized Tablysin-15 supports platelet adhesion by a mechanism which was blocked by anti-integrin αIIbβ3 monoclonal antibody (e.g. abciximab) or by EDTA. Furthermore, Tablysin-15 dose-dependently attenuates thrombus formation to collagen under flow, without affecting platelet adhesion to collagen fibrils. Consistent with these findings, Tablysin-15 displays antithrombotic properties in vivo suggesting that it is a useful tool to block αIIbβ3, or as a prototype to develop antithrombotics. The RGD motif in the unique sequence of Tablysin-15 represents a novel template for studying the structure-function relationship of the disintegrin family of inhibitors.
hematophagy; blood-sucking; disintegrin; thrombosis; sialogenins
The saliva of blood-feeding arthropods contains rich mixtures of ligand binding proteins targeted at inhibiting hemostasis and inflammation in the host. Since blood feeding has evolved many times, different taxonomic groups utilize completely different families of proteins to perform similar tasks. Structural studies performed on a number of these proteins have revealed biologically novel and sophisticated mechanisms used to perform their functions. Here, the results of these structural and mechanistic studies are reviewed.
Lipocalin; odorant-binding protein; D7; nitrophorin; tick; mosquito; Diptera; X-ray crystallography
Saliva of hematophagous arthropods contains a diverse mixture of compounds that counteracts host hemostasis. Immunomodulatory and antiinflammatory components are also found in these organisms' saliva. Blood feeding evolved at least ten times within arthropods, providing a scenario of convergent evolution for the solution of the salivary potion. Perhaps because of immune pressure from hosts, the salivary proteins of related organisms have considerable divergence, and new protein families are often found within different genera of the same family or even among subgenera. Fleas radiated with their vertebrate hosts, including within the mammal expansion initiated 65 million years ago. Currently, only one flea species–the rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis–has been investigated by means of salivary transcriptome analysis to reveal salivary constituents, or sialome. We present the analysis of the sialome of cat flea Ctenocephaides felis.
Methodology and Critical Findings
A salivary gland cDNA library from adult fleas was randomly sequenced, assembled, and annotated. Sialomes of cat and rat fleas have in common the enzyme families of phosphatases (inactive), CD-39-type apyrase, adenosine deaminases, and esterases. Antigen-5 members are also common to both sialomes, as are defensins. FS-I/Cys7 and the 8-Cys families of peptides are also shared by both fleas and are unique to these organisms. The Gly-His-rich peptide similar to holotricin was found only in the cat flea, as were the abundantly expressed Cys-less peptide and a novel short peptide family.
Fleas, in contrast to bloodsucking Nematocera (mosquitoes, sand flies, and black flies), appear to concentrate a good portion of their sialome in small polypeptides, none of which have a known function but could act as inhibitors of hemostasis or inflammation. They are also unique in expansion of a phosphatase family that appears to be deficient of enzyme activity and has an unknown function.
Melanoma is a highly metastatic cancer and there is strong evidence that the clotting initiator protein, tissue factor (TF), contributes to its aggressive pattern. TF inhibitors may attenuate primary tumor growth and metastasis. In this study, we evaluated the effect of ixolaris, a TF inhibitor, on a murine model of melanoma B16F10 cells. Enzymatic assays performed with B16F10 and human U87-MG tumor cells as the TF source showed that ixolaris inhibits the generation of FX in either murine, human or hybrid FVIIa/TF complexes. The effect of ixolaris on the metastatic potential was further estimated by intravenous injection of B16F10 cells in C57/BL6 mice. Ixolaris (250 μg/kg) dramatically decreased the number of pulmonary tumor nodules (4 ± 1 compared to 47 ± 10 in the control group). Furthermore, a significant decrease in tumor weights was observed in primary tumor growth assays in animals treated with ixolaris (250 μg/kg) from days 3 to 18 after a subcutaneous inoculation of melanoma cells. Remarkably, immunohistochemical analyses showed that inhibition of melanoma growth by ixolaris is accompanied by a significant downregulation of both vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and microvascular density in the tumor mass. Our data demonstrate that ixolaris targets B16F10 cell-derived TF, resulting in the reduction of both the primary tumor growth and the metastatic potential of melanoma, as well as the inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. Therefore TF may be a potential target for the treatment of this aggressive malignancy.
Tissue factor; melanoma; ixolaris; angiogenesis; metastasis; anticoagulant therapy
Salivary glands from hematophagous animals express a notable diversity of negative modulators of platelet function. Triplatin is an inhibitor of collagen-induced platelet aggregation which has been described as an antagonist of glycoprotein VI (GPVI). Because triplatin displays sequence homology to members of the lipocalin family of proteins, we investigated whether triplatin mechanism of action could be explained by interaction with pro-hemostatic prostaglandins. Our results demonstrate that triplatin inhibits platelet aggregation induced by low doses of collagen, thromboxane A2 (TXA2) mimetic (U46619), and arachidonic acid (AA). On the other hand, it does not inhibit platelet aggregation by convulxin, PMA, or low-dose ADP. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) revealed that triplatin binds AA, cTXA2, TXB2, U46619 or PGH2 mimetic (U51605). Consistent with its ligand specificity, triplatin induces relaxation of rat aorta contracted with U46619. Triplatin also interacts with PGF2α and PGJ2, but not with leukotrienes, AA or biogenic amines. Surface plasmon resonance experiments failed to demonstrate interaction of triplatin with GPVI; it also did to inhibit platelet adhesion to fibrillar or soluble collagen. Because triplatin displays sequence similarity to apolipoprotein D (ApoD)—a lipocalin associated with HDL, it was tested as a putative TXA2-binding molecule. ITC failed to demonstrate binding of ApoD to all prostanoids described above, or to AA. Furthermore, ApoD was devoid of inhibitory properties towards platelets activation by AA, collagen, or U46619. In conclusion, Triplatin mechanism of action has been elucidate without ambiguity as a novel TXA2- and PGF2α- binding protein. It conceivably blocks platelet aggregation and vasoconstriction, thus contributing to successful blood feeding at the vector-host interface.
Mitochondria perform multiple roles in cell biology, acting as the site of aerobic energy-transducing pathways and as an important source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that modulate redox metabolism.
We demonstrate that a novel member of the mitochondrial transporter protein family, Anopheles gambiae mitochondrial carrier 1 (AgMC1), is required to maintain mitochondrial membrane potential in mosquito midgut cells and modulates epithelial responses to Plasmodium infection. AgMC1 silencing reduces mitochondrial membrane potential, resulting in increased proton-leak and uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. These metabolic changes reduce midgut ROS generation and increase A. gambiae susceptibility to Plasmodium infection.
We provide direct experimental evidence indicating that ROS derived from mitochondria can modulate mosquito epithelial responses to Plasmodium infection.
The saliva of blood-feeding insects contains a variety of molecules having antihemostatic activity. Here we describe nitrophorin 7 (NP7), a salivary protein that binds with high affinity to anionic phospholipid membranes. The protein is apparently targeted to the negatively charged surfaces of activated platelets and other cells where it can serve as a vasodilator, antihistamine, platelet aggregation inhibitor, and anticoagulant. As with other members of the nitrophorin group, NP7 reversibly binds a molecule of NO and binds histamine with high affinity. The protein differs from other nitrophorins in that it binds to membranes containing phosphatidylserine. Sedimentation and surface plasmon resonance experiments, revealed two classes of phospholipid binding site having Kd values of 4.8 and 755 nM. NP7 inhibits prothrombin activation by blocking phospholipid binding sites for the prothrombinase complex on the surfaces of vesicles and activated platelets. As a NO complex, NP7 inhibits collagen and ADP-induced platelet aggregation and induces disaggregation of ADP-stimulated platelets by an NO-mediated mechanism. Molecular modeling of NP7 revealed a putative, positively charged membrane interaction surface comprised mainly of a helix lying outside of the lipocalin β-barrel structure.
Nitric oxide; histamine; prothrombinase; phosphatidyserine; Rhodnius prolixus
The evolution of insects to a blood diet leads to the development of a saliva that antagonizes their hosts' hemostasis and inflammation. Hemostasis and inflammation are redundant processes, and thus a complex salivary potion comprised of dozens or near one hundred different polypeptides is commonly found by transcriptome or proteome analysis of these organisms. Several insect orders or families evolved independently to hematophagy creating unique salivary potions in the form of novel pharmacological use of endogenous substances, and in the form of unique proteins not matching other known proteins, these probably arriving by fast evolution of salivary proteins as they evade their hosts' immune response. In this work we present a preliminary description of the sialome (from the Greek Sialo = saliva) of the common bed bug Cimex lectularius, the first such work from a member of the Cimicidae family. This manuscript is a guide for the supplemental database files http://exon.niaid.nih.gov/transcriptome/C_lectularius/S1/Cimex-S1.zip and http://exon.niaid.nih.gov/transcriptome/C_lectularius/S2/Cimex-S2.xls
Bedbug; saliva; salivary transcriptome; salivary proteome
We have previously demonstrated that two salivary cysteine protease inhibitors from the Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease) vector Ixodes scapularis-namely sialostatins L and L2-play an important role in tick biology, as demonstrated by the fact that silencing of both sialostatins in tandem results in severe feeding defects. Here we show that sialostatin L2 -but not sialostatin L- facilitates the growth of Borrelia burgdorferi in murine skin. To examine the structural basis underlying these differential effects of the two sialostatins, we have determined the crystal structures of both sialostatin L and L2. This is the first structural analysis of cystatins from an invertebrate source. Sialostatin L2 crystallizes as a monomer with an ‘unusual’ conformation of the N-terminus, while sialostatin L crystallizes as a domain-swapped dimer with an N-terminal conformation similar to other cystatins. Deletion of the ‘unusual’ N-terminal five residues of sialostatin L2 results in marked changes in its selectivity, suggesting that this region is a particularly important determinant of the biochemical activity of sialostatin L2. Collectively, our results reveal the structure of two tick salivary components that facilitate vector blood feeding and that one of them also supports pathogen transmission to the vertebrate host.
Nitrophorin 2 (NP2) is a 20 kDa lipocalin identified in the salivary gland of the blood sucking insect, Rhodnius prolixus. It functions as a potent inhibitor of the intrinsic pathway of coagulation upon binding to factor IX (FIX) or FIXa. Herein we have investigated the in vivo antithrombotic properties of NP2. Surface plasmon resonance assays demonstrated that NP2 binds to rat FIX and FIXa with high affinities (KD = 43 and 47 nM, respectively), and prolongs the aPTT without affecting the PT. In order to evaluate NP2 antithrombotic effects in vivo two distinct models of thrombosis in rats were carried out. In the rose Bengal/laser induced injury model of arterial thrombosis, NP2 increased the carotid artery occlusion time by ≈35 and ≈155%, at doses of 8 and 80 µg/kg, respectively. NP2 also inhibited thrombus formation in an arterio-venous shunt model, showing ≈60% reduction at 400 µg/kg (i.v. administration). The antithrombotic effect lasted for up to 48 h after a single i.v. dose. Notably, effective doses of NP2 did not increase the blood loss as evaluated by tail-transection model. In conclusion, NP2 is a potent and long-lasting inhibitor of arterial thrombosis with minor effects on hemostasis. It might be regarded as a potential agent for the treatment of human cardiovascular diseases.
Animal models; Arterial thrombosis; Coagulation inhibitors; Haemostasis; Nitrophorin
A salivary protein from a malaria-transmitting mosquito uses a single domain to bind to thromboxane A2 and cysteinyl leukotrienes and prevent blood clotting and inflammation in the host on which it feeds.
The highly expressed D7 protein family of mosquito saliva has previously been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory mediator by binding host biogenic amines and cysteinyl leukotrienes (CysLTs). In this study we demonstrate that AnSt-D7L1, a two-domain member of this group from Anopheles stephensi, retains the CysLT binding function seen in the homolog AeD7 from Aedes aegypti but has lost the ability to bind biogenic amines. Unlike any previously characterized members of the D7 family, AnSt-D7L1 has acquired the important function of binding thromboxane A2 (TXA2) and its analogs with high affinity. When administered to tissue preparations, AnSt-D7L1 abrogated Leukotriene C4 (LTC4)-induced contraction of guinea pig ileum and contraction of rat aorta by the TXA2 analog U46619. The protein also inhibited platelet aggregation induced by both collagen and U46619 when administered to stirred platelets. The crystal structure of AnSt-D7L1 contains two OBP-like domains and has a structure similar to AeD7. In AnSt-D7L1, the binding pocket of the C-terminal domain has been rearranged relative to AeD7, making the protein unable to bind biogenic amines. Structures of the ligand complexes show that CysLTs and TXA2 analogs both bind in the same hydrophobic pocket of the N-terminal domain. The TXA2 analog U46619 is stabilized by hydrogen bonding interactions of the ω-5 hydroxyl group with the phenolic hydroxyl group of Tyr 52. LTC4 and occupies a very similar position to LTE4 in the previously determined structure of its complex with AeD7. As yet, it is not known what, if any, new function has been acquired by the rearranged C-terminal domain. This article presents, to our knowledge, the first structural characterization of a protein from mosquito saliva that inhibits collagen mediated platelet activation.
When feeding, a female mosquito must inhibit the blood clotting and inflammatory responses of the host. To do this, the insect produces salivary proteins that neutralize key host molecules participating in clotting and inflammation. Here, we describe a salivary protein AnSt-D7L1 that scavenges both thomboxane A2 and cysteinyl leukotrienes, two substances involved in blood vessel constriction, platelet aggregation, and inflammatory responses to an insect bite. We produced this protein in bacteria and showed that it tightly binds both these molecules, inhibiting the processes in which they are involved. We then determined its structure using X-ray crystallography and showed that there is a single binding site in one domain of the protein, accommodating both thromboxane A2 and cysteinyl leukotrienes, and that this site is responsible for the scavenging effect of the protein. These studies reveal the structural features of proteins needed to bind to key molecules of potential pharmacological importance and add to our understanding of the process of mosquito blood feeding, which is essential for transmission of the malaria parasite.
In order to overcome host mechanisms that prevent blood loss, the bloodsucking bug Rhodnius prolixus has evolved a complex salivary secretion containing dozens of different proteins. A number of these have been characterized and found to have roles in inhibiting various hemostatic or inflammatory systems. Interestingly, many of these biologically active salivary proteins belong to the lipocalin protein family. A proliferation of lipocalin genes has occurred via gene duplication and subsequent divergence. Functional genomic, proteomic and functional studies have been performed to probe the role of salivary lipocalins in blood feeding. In the course of these investigations, anticoagulant, antiplatelet, antiinflammatory and vasodilatory molecules have been described.
Sequencing of an Ixodes pacificus salivary gland cDNA library yielded 1068 sequences with an average undetermined nucleotide of 1.9% and an average length of 487 base pairs. Assembly of the expressed sequence tags yielded 557 contigs, 138 of which appear to code for secreted peptides or proteins based on translation of a putative signal peptide. Based on the BLASTX similarity of these contigs to 66 matches of Ixodes scapularis peptide sequences, only 58% sequence identity was found, indicating a rapid divergence of salivary proteins as observed previously for mosquito and triatomine bug salivary proteins. Here we report 106 mostly full-length sequences that clustered in 16 different families: Basic-tail proteins rich in lysine in the carboxy-terminal, Kunitz-containing proteins (monolaris, ixolaris and penthalaris families), proline-rich peptides, 5-kDa.-, 9.4 kDa.-, and 18.7 kDa.-proteins of unknown functions, in addition to metalloproteases (class PIII-like) similar to reprolysins. We also have found a family of disintegrins, named ixodegrins that display homology to variabilin, a GPIIb/IIIa antagonist from the tick Dermacentor variabilis. In addition, we describe peptides (here named ixostatins) that display remarkable similarities to the cysteine-rich domain of ADAMST-4 (aggrecanase). Many molecules were assigned in the lipocalin family (histamine-binding proteins); others appear to be involved in oxidant metabolism, and still others were similar to ixodid proteins such as the anticomplement ISAC. We also identified for the first time a neuropeptide-like protein (nlp-31) with GGY repeats that may have antimicrobial activity. In addition, 16 novel proteins without significant similarities to other tick proteins and 37 housekeeping proteins that may be useful for phylogenetic studies are described. Some of these proteins may be useful for studying vascular biology or the immune system, for vaccine development, or as immunoreagents to detect prior exposure to ticks. Electronic version of the manuscript can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/projects/omes/.
Ixodes pacificus; sialome; tick; blood-feeding; Kunitz inhibitor; Lyme disease; vascular biology; Ixolaris; vector biology; transcriptome; proteome
Sialostatin L (SialoL) is a secreted cysteine protease inhibitor identified in the salivary glands of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis. Here, we reveal the mechanisms of SialoL immunomodulatory actions on the vertebrate host. LPS-induced maturation of dendritic cells from C57BL/6 mice was significantly reduced in the presence of SialoL. Although OVA degradation was not affected by the presence of SialoL in dendritic cell cultures, cathepsin S activity was partially inhibited, leading to an accumulation of 10 KDa invariant chain intermediate (Ii-p10) in these cells. As a consequence, in vitro antigen-specific CD4+ T cell proliferation was inhibited in a time-dependent manner by SialoL and further studies engaging cathepsin S−/− or cathepsin L−/− dendritic cells confirmed that the immunomodulatory actions SialoL are mediated by inhibition of cathepsin S. Moreover, mice treated with SialoL displayed decreased early T cell expansion and recall response upon antigenic stimulation. Finally, SialoL administration during the immunization phase of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice significantly prevented disease symptoms, which was associated with impaired IFN-γ and IL-17 production and specific T cell proliferation. These results illuminate the dual mechanism by which a human disease vector protein modulates vertebrate host immunity and reveals its potential in prevention of an autoimmune disease.
Dendritic cells; T cells; Autoimmunity; Antigen Presentation/Processing; Cell Proliferation
Adaptation to vertebrate blood feeding includes development of a salivary ‘magic potion’ that can disarm host hemostasis and inflammatory reactions. Within the lower Diptera, a vertebrate blood-sucking mode evolved in the Psychodidae (sand flies), Culicidae (mosquitoes), Ceratopogonidae (biting midges), Simuliidae (black flies), and in the frog-feeding Corethrellidae. Sialotranscriptome analyses from several species of mosquitoes and sand flies and from one biting midge indicate divergence in the evolution of the blood-sucking salivary potion, manifested in the finding of many unique proteins within each insect family, and even genus. Gene duplication and divergence events are highly prevalent, possibly driven by vertebrate host immune pressure. Within this framework, we describe the sialome (from Greek sialo, saliva) of the black fly Simulium vittatum and discuss the findings within the context of the protein families found in other blood-sucking Diptera. Sequences and results of Blast searches against several protein family databases are given in Supplemental Tables S1 and S2, which can be obtained from http://exon.niaid.nih.gov/transcriptome/S_vittatum/T1/SV-tb1.zip and http://exon.niaid.nih.gov/transcriptome/S_vittatum/T2/SV-tb2.zip.
Simulium vittatum; black fly; sialotranscriptomes; salivary gland transcriptome; sialome; proteome; hematophagy; onchocerciasis
Cyr61 is a member of the CCN (Cyr61, connective tissue growth, NOV) family of extracellular-associated (matricellular) proteins that present four distinct functional modules, namely insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP), von Willebrand factor type C (vWF), thrombospondin type 1 (TSP), and C-terminal growth factor cysteine knot (CT) domain. While heparin sulphate proteoglycans reportedly mediate the interaction of Cyr61 with the matrix and cell surface, the role of other extracellular associated proteins has not been revealed.
Methods and Findings
In this report, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) experiments and solid-phase binding assays demonstrate that recombinant Cyr61 interacts with immobilized monomeric or multimeric vitronectin (VTNC) with KD in the nanomolar range. Notably, the binding site for Cyr61 was identified as the somatomedin B domain (SMTB 1–44) of VTNC, which mediates its interaction with PAI-1, uPAR, and integrin αvβ3. Accordingly, PAI-1 outcompetes Cyr61 for binding to immobilized SMTB 1–44, and Cyr61 attenuates uPAR-mediated U937 adhesion to VTNC. In contrast, isothermal titration calorimetry shows that Cyr61 does not display high-affinity binding for SMTB 1-44 in solution. Nevertheless, competitive ELISA revealed that multimeric VTNC, heat-modified monomeric VTNC, or SMTB 1–44 at high concentrations attenuate Cyr61 binding to immobilized VTNC, while monomeric VTNC was ineffective. Therefore, immobilization of VTNC exposes cryptic epitopes that recognize Cyr61 with high affinity, as reported for a number of antibodies, β-endorphin, and other molecules.
The finding that Cyr61 interacts with the SMTB 1–44 domain suggests that VTNC represent a point of anchorage for CCN family members to the matrix. Results are discussed in the context of the role of CCN and VTNC in matrix biology and angiogenesis.
Schistosoma mansoni eggs contain factors that trigger potent Th2 responses in vivo and condition mouse dendritic cells (DCs) to promote Th2 lymphocyte differentiation. Using an in vitro bystander polarization assay as the readout, we purified and identified the major Th2-inducing component from soluble egg extract (SEA) as the secreted T2 ribonuclease, omega-1. The Th2-promoting activity of omega-1 was found to be sensitive to ribonuclease inhibition and did not require MyD88/TRIF signaling in DCs. In common with unfractioned SEA, the purified native protein suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced DC activation, but unlike SEA, it fails to trigger interleukin 4 production from basophils. Importantly, omega-1–exposed DCs displayed pronounced cytoskeletal changes and exhibited decreased antigen-dependent conjugate formation with CD4+ T cells. Based on this evidence, we hypothesize that S. mansoni omega-1 acts by limiting the interaction of DCs with CD4+ T lymphocytes, thereby lowering the strength of the activation signal delivered.
Ixodes scapularis ticks transmit the Lyme disease agent in the US. Although strong anti-tick immunity mediates tick rejection by certain vertebrates, only a few antigens have been molecularly characterized. We show that guinea pig vaccination against a secreted tick salivary immunomodulator—sialostatin L2—can lead to decreased feeding ability of I. scapularis nymphs. Increased rejection rate, prolonged feeding time and apparent signs of inflammation were observed for nymphs attached to vaccinated animals, indicating a protective host immune response. Interestingly, sialostatin L2 humoral recognition does not take place upon repeated tick exposure in control animals, but only in the vaccinated animals that neutralize sialostatin L2 action. Therefore, we demonstrate an essential sialostatin L2 role upon nymphal infestation that can be blocked by vertebrate immunity and we propose the discovery of similarly ‘silent’ antigens towards the development of a multicomponent vaccine that will protect against tick bites and the pathogens they transmit.
‘silent’ antigens; immunity; protection; vaccine; vector
Triatoma infestans is a hemiptera, vector of Chagas’ disease, that feeds exclusively on vertebrate blood in all life stages. Hematophagous insects’ salivary glands (SG) produce potent pharmacological compounds that counteract host hemostasis, including anti-clotting, anti-platelet, and vasodilatory molecules. To obtain a further insight into the salivary biochemical and pharmacological complexity of this insect, a cDNA library from its salivary glands was randomly sequenced. Also, salivary proteins were submitted to two dimentional gel (2D-gel) electrophoresis followed by MS analysis. We present the analysis of a set of 1,534 (SG) cDNA sequences, 645 of which coded for proteins of a putative secretory nature. Most salivary proteins described as lipocalins matched peptide sequences obtained from proteomic results.
Hematophagy; Saliva; Transcriptome; Triatoma infestans; Feeding; Sialome
Mosquito saliva, consisting of a mixture of dozens of proteins affecting vertebrate hemostasis and having sugar digestive and antimicrobial properties, helps both blood and sugar meal feeding. Culicine and anopheline mosquitoes diverged ~150 MYA, and within the anophelines, the New World species diverged from those of the Old World ~95 MYA. While the sialotranscriptome (from the Greek sialo, saliva) of several species of the Cellia subgenus of Anopheles has been described thoroughly, no detailed analysis of any New World anopheline has been done to date. Here we present and analyze data from a comprehensive salivary gland (SG) transcriptome of the neotropical malaria vector Anopheles darlingi (subgenus Nyssorhynchus).
A total of 2,371 clones randomly selected from an adult female An. darlingi SG cDNA library were sequenced and used to assemble a database that yielded 966 clusters of related sequences, 739 of which were singletons. Primer extension experiments were performed in selected clones to further extend sequence coverage, allowing for the identification of 183 protein sequences, 114 of which code for putative secreted proteins.
Comparative analysis of sialotranscriptomes of An. darlingi and An. gambiae reveals significant divergence of salivary proteins. On average, salivary proteins are only 53% identical, while housekeeping proteins are 86% identical between the two species. Furthermore, An. darlingi proteins were found that match culicine but not anopheline proteins, indicating loss or rapid evolution of these proteins in the old world Cellia subgenus. On the other hand, several well represented salivary protein families in old world anophelines are not expressed in An. darlingi.
Ticks evolved various mechanisms to modulate their host’s hemostatic and immune defenses. Differences in the anti-hemostatic repertoires suggest that hard and soft ticks evolved anti-hemostatic mechanisms independently, but raise questions on the conservation of salivary gland proteins in the ancestral tick lineage. To address this issue the sialome (salivary gland secretory proteome) from the soft tick, Argas monolakensis was determined by proteomic analysis and cDNA library construction of salivary glands from fed and unfed adult female ticks. The sialome is composed of ~130 secretory proteins, of which the most abundant protein folds are the lipocalin, BTSP, BPTI and metalloprotease families which also comprise the most abundant proteins found in the salivary glands. Comparative analysis indicates that the major protein families are conserved in hard and soft ticks. Phylogenetic analysis shows, however, that most gene duplications are lineage specific, indicating that the protein families analyzed possibly evolved most of their functions after divergence of the two major tick families. In conclusion, the ancestral tick may have possessed a simple (few members for each family), but diverse (many different protein families) salivary gland protein domain repertoire.
Argas; blood-feeding; evolution; proteome; sialome
The salivary glands of hematophagous animals contain a complex cocktail that interferes with the host hemostasis and inflammation pathways, thus increasing feeding success. Fleas represent a relatively recent group of insects that evolved hematophagy independently of other insect orders.
Analysis of the salivary transcriptome of the flea Xenopsylla cheopis, the vector of human plague, indicates that gene duplication events have led to a large expansion of a family of acidic phosphatases that are probably inactive, and to the expansion of the FS family of peptides that are unique to fleas. Several other unique polypeptides were also uncovered. Additionally, an apyrase-coding transcript of the CD39 family appears as the candidate for the salivary nucleotide hydrolysing activity in X.cheopis, the first time this family of proteins is found in any arthropod salivary transcriptome.
Analysis of the salivary transcriptome of the flea X. cheopis revealed the unique pathways taken in the evolution of the salivary cocktail of fleas. Gene duplication events appear as an important driving force in the creation of salivary cocktails of blood feeding arthropods, as was observed with ticks and mosquitoes. Only five other flea salivary sequences exist at this time at NCBI, all from the cat flea C. felis. This work accordingly represents the only relatively extensive sialome description of any flea species. Sialotranscriptomes of additional flea genera will reveal the extent that these novel polypeptide families are common throughout the Siphonaptera.