Schistosoma mansoni is one of the major agents of the disease Schistosomiasis, which is one of the major global public health concerns. Biomphalaria glabrata is an obligate intermediate mollusc host of S. mansoni. Although the development of S. mansoni occurs in the snail hepatopancreas, studies that focus on this organ remain limited. In this study, we biochemically identified five distinct carbohydrases (amylase, maltase, α-glucosidase, trehalase, and α-L-fucosidase), lipases, and peptidases in the B. glabrata hepatopancreas and focused on the isolation and characterization of the activity of α-L-fucosidase. The isolated α-L-fucosidase has a molecular mass of 141 kDa, an optimum pH of 5.8, and is inhibited by Tris, fucose, and 1-deoxyfuconojirimycin. B. glabrata α-L-fucosidase is an exoglycosidase that can hydrolyze the natural substrate fucoidan to fucose residues. It presented Km values of 48.4 μM to 4-Methylumbelliferyl α-L-fucopyranoside and 0.55 mM to p-nitrophenyl-α-L-fucopyranoside. Thus, α-L-fucosidase has a high activity in the hepatopancreas of B. glabrata, and the differential expression of this enzyme between susceptible and resistant strains indicates that besides its digestive role, α-L-fucosidase may also be important in host/parasite interactions.
Keywords: Biomphalaria glabrata; Enzymes; Fucoidan; Hepatopancreas; Schistosoma mansoni; α-L-Fucosidase.
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