Structure of two FREP genes that combine IgSF and fibrinogen domains, with comments on diversity of the FREP gene family in the snail Biomphalaria glabrata

Gene. 2001 May 16;269(1-2):155-65. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1119(01)00444-9.


Upon exposure to infection with digenetic trematodes such as Echinostoma paraensei, the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata produces increased quantities of hemolymph lectins, some of which are unique polypeptides containing both immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) and fibrinogen domains. These unusual lectins have been termed fibrinogen-related proteins (FREPs), and recognize and precipitate digenean antigens. We here report 11 distinct FREP-encoding sequences from B. glabrata, and provide the complete genomic sequence for two of the most frequently recovered FREPs. The unique juxtaposition of IgSF and fibrinogen domains, previously known only from incomplete cDNAs, is confirmed. Sequences corresponding to known peptides derived from FREPs from hemolymph were found in one of these genes. Both genes contain four exons, the first encodes a putative signal peptide, the second and third a portion of an IgSF-type loop, and the fourth a fibrinogen domain. Cysteines, postulated to form an intrachain loop, are present in the IgSF domain and are separated from one another by 78 or 79 residues. The IgSF sequences most closely resemble V (variable)-type Ig domains, based on canonical and hydrophobic residues and predicted secondary structure. Some minor differences in genomic fragments isolated for each of the two sequences were noted and may represent allelic variants. The results may be of relevance in understanding the role of B. glabrata in transmission of Schistosoma mansoni, a digenean parasite that infects nearly 100 million people in the tropics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biomphalaria / genetics
  • Biomphalaria / immunology
  • Biomphalaria / parasitology
  • Codon, Initiator
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Echinostoma
  • Fibrinogen / metabolism*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Immunoglobulins / genetics*
  • Introns
  • Lectins / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • RNA Splicing
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Codon, Initiator
  • DNA, Complementary
  • FREP2 protein, Biomphalaria glabrata
  • FREP4 protein, Biomphalaria glabrata
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Lectins
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • Fibrinogen

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY012699
  • GENBANK/AY012700
  • GENBANK/AY012701
  • GENBANK/AY012702
  • GENBANK/AY012703
  • GENBANK/AY012704
  • GENBANK/AY012705
  • GENBANK/AY012706
  • GENBANK/AY012707
  • GENBANK/AY012708
  • GENBANK/AY012709