C-type lectins from the nematode parasites Heligmosomoides polygyrus and Nippostrongylus brasiliensis

Yvonne Harcus, Gavin Nicoll, Janice Murray, Kara Filbey, Natalia Gomez-Escobar, Rick M Maizels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The C-type lectin superfamily is highly represented in all metazoan phyla so far studied. Many members of this superfamily are important in innate immune defences against infection, while others serve key developmental and structural roles. Within the superfamily, many proteins contain multiple canonical carbohydrate-recognition domains (CRDs), together with additional non-lectin domains. In this report, we have studied two gastrointestinal nematode parasites which are widely used in experimental rodent systems, Heligmosomoides polygyrus and Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. From cDNA libraries, we have isolated 3 new C-type lectins from these species; all are single-CRD proteins with short additional N-terminal domains. The predicted Hp-CTL-1 protein contains 156 aa, Nb-CTL-1 191 aa and Nb-CTL-2 183 aa; all encode predicted signal peptides, as well as key conserved sequence motifs characteristic of the CTL superfamily. These lectins are most similar to C. elegans CLEC-48, 49 and 50, as well as to the lectin domains of mammalian immune system proteins CD23 and CD206. RT-PCR showed that these H. polygyrus and N. brasiliensis genes are primarily expressed in the gut-dwelling adult stages, although Nb-CTL-2 transcripts are also prominent in the free-living infective larval (L3) stage. Polyclonal antibodies raised to Hp-CTL-1 and Nb-CTL-1 reacted to both proteins by ELISA, and in Western blot analysis recognised a 15-kDa band in secreted proteins of adult N. brasiliensis (NES) and a 19-kDa band in H. polygyrus ES (HES). Anti-CTL-1 antibody also bound strongly to the cuticle of adult H. polygyrus. Hence, live parasites release C-type lectins homologous to some key receptors of the mammalian host immune system, raising the possibility that these products interfere in some manner with immunological recognition or effector function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-70
Number of pages10
JournalParasitology International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Duodenum
  • Gene Library
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Larva
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Life Cycle Stages
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nematospiroides dubius
  • Nippostrongylus
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


Dive into the research topics of 'C-type lectins from the nematode parasites Heligmosomoides polygyrus and Nippostrongylus brasiliensis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this