Characterisation of the Theileria orientalis Piroplasm Proteome across Three Common Genotypes.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Pathogens, 2022, 11, (10), pp. 1-15
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Theileria orientalis is an emerging apicomplexan pathogen of cattle occurring in areas populated by the principal vector tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis. Unlike transforming Theileria spp. that induce cancer-like proliferation of lymphocytes via their schizont stage, T. orientalis destroys host erythrocytes during its piroplasm phase resulting in anaemia. The underlying pathogenic processes of T. orientalis infection are poorly understood; consequently, there are no vaccines for prevention of T. orientalis infection and chemotherapeutic options are limited. To identify antigens expressed during the piroplasm phase of T. orientalis, including those which may be useful targets for future therapeutic development, we examined the proteome across three common genotypes of the parasite (Ikeda, Chitose and Buffeli) using preparations of piroplasms purified from bovine blood. A combination of Triton X-114 extraction, one-dimensional electrophoresis and LC-MS/MS identified a total of 1113 proteins across all genotypes, with less than 3% of these representing host-derived proteins. Just over three quarters of T. orientalis proteins (78%) identified were from the aqueous phase of the TX-114 extraction representing cytosolic proteins, with the remaining 22% from the detergent phase, representing membrane-associated proteins. All enzymes involved in glycolysis were expressed, suggesting that this is the major metabolic pathway used during the T. orientalis piroplasm phase. Proteins involved in binding and breakdown of haemoglobin were also identified, suggesting that T. orientalis uses haemoglobin as a source of amino acids. A number of proteins involved in host cell interaction were also identified which may be suitable targets for the development of chemotherapeutics or vaccines.
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