The tegument of Schistosoma mansoni plays an integral role in host-parasite interactions, particularly during the transition from the free-living cercariae to the intra-mammalian schistosomula stages. This developmental period is characterised by the transition from a trilaminate surface to a heptalaminate tegument that plays key roles in immune evasion, nutrition and excretion. Proteins exposed at the surface membranes of newly transformed schistosomula are therefore thought to be prime targets for the development of new vaccines and drugs for schistosomiasis. Using a combination of tegumental labelling and high-throughput quantitative proteomics, more than 450 proteins were identified on the apical membrane of S. mansoni schistosomula, of which 200 had significantly regulated expression profiles at different stages of schistosomula development in vitro, including glucose transporters, sterols, heat shock proteins, antioxidant enzymes and peptidases. Current vaccine antigens were identified on the apical membrane (Sm-TSP-1, calpain) or sub-tegumental (Sm-TSP-2, Sm29) fractions of the schistosomula, displaying localisation patterns that, in some cases, differ from that in the adult stage fluke. This work provides the first known in-depth proteomic analysis of the surface-exposed proteins in the schistosomula tegument, and some of the proteins identified are clear targets for the generation of new vaccines and drugs against schistosomiasis.
Keywords: Proteomics; Schistosoma mansoni; Schistosomula; Tegument; iTRAQ.
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