Biochemical characterisation of the 56 and 82 kDa immunodominant gametocyte antigens from Eimeria maxima

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Journal for Parasitology, 2002, 32 (7), pp. 805 - 816
Issue Date:
2002-01-01
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Two immunodominant gametocyte antigens from Eimeria maxima with Mr56 kDa and Mr82 kDa have been identified previously as potential candidates for inclusion in a recombinant subunit vaccine against coccidiosis in poultry. Here, these proteins have been biochemically characterised, immunolocalised within the parasite, and sequences for their amino termini determined. These antigens co-purify by affinity chromatography suggesting an interaction with each other. However, separation of the proteins by sodium dodecyl sulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) in the absence of β-mercaptoethanol did not reveal the presence of inter-chain disulphide bonds. The true masses of the 56 and 82 kDa antigens are 52 450 and 62 450 Da, respectively, as determined by mass spectrometry. TX-114 separations suggested that they exist, in part, as soluble proteins within the parasite, and immunolocalisation studies indicated that they were found in the wall forming bodies of macrogametocytes. Separation of the proteins by 2D SDS-PAGE revealed that they are acidic in nature and heterogeneous in charge. Cleavage by neuraminidase and O-glycosidase indicated that the presence of O-linked glycans contributed to some of the charge microheterogeneity of both proteins. The absence of these O-glycans however, did not abolish antibody recognition, suggesting that the development of a recombinant subunit vaccine is possible. A more extensive investigation of the carbohydrate moieties of these proteins revealed that they also possess glucose, fucose, mannose and galactose. There was no evidence for the presence of N-linked glycans. The 56 and 82 kDa antigens were separated from a mixture of proteins in a crude gametocyte lysate by 2D SDS-PAGE, the proteins isolated, and the N-terminus amino acid sequence determined. They showed no homology to each other at the N-terminus, or to any other previously characterised protein. Characterisation of these novel proteins has provided further insights into the molecular mechanisms of gametocyte differentiation in E. maxima. © 2002 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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