Author

Yisi Lu

Publication Date

2012

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Biological Sciences

Keywords

Nematodes-Genetics, Nematodes-Immunology-Genetic aspects, Gene expression, Litomosoides, Brugia malayi, juv-p120, Immobilized proteins, Host-parasite relationships

Abstract

The novel excretory/secretory protein family juv-p120s in Brugia malayi was found to be highly immunogenic in an immunoinformatics screening assay. The homologous Litomosoides sigmodontis juv-p120 protein, associated with the microfilarial sheath proteins, was found to be secreted by juvenile female L. sigmodontis worms and is correlated with host immune suppression. It is believed that female L. sigmodontis secretes juv-p120 protein onto the infant microfilariae, thereby helping them to evade the host immune surveillance. Given the high immunogenicity of the juv-p120 proteins in B. malayi and the defensive role of the L. sigmodontis juv-p120 against the host immune system, we explored the possibility that B. malayi juv-p120 proteins can be potential vaccine targets. Using bioinformatics analysis, we successfully identified nine distinct B. malayi juv-p120 genes with ten different transcripts. Using gene-specific primers, we determined that expression of five of the juv-p120 genes was specific to female adult B. malayi. In order to investigate the localization of juv-p120 proteins, a juv-p120 gene was expressed in an E.coli bacterial system to enable future protein purification and production of antibodies. This research has shed light on the functions of B. malayi juv-p120 proteins and has highlighted their potential as effective vaccine target.

Language

English

Comments

viii, 60 p. : ill. (some col.) Honors project-Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 51-54)

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