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In this study, a Leishmania hypothetical protein, LiHyS, was evaluated regarding its antigenicity, immunogenicity and protective efficacy against visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Regarding antigenicity, immunoblottings and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using human and canine sera showed high sensitivity and specificity values for the recombinant protein (rLiHyS) in the diagnosis of VL. When evaluating the immunogenicity of LiHyS, which is possibly located in the parasite's flagellar pocket, proliferative assays using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy subjects or VL patients showed a high proliferative index in both individuals, when compared to the results obtained using rA2 or unstimulated cultures. Later, rLiHyS/saponin was inoculated in BALB/c mice, which were then challenged with Leishmania infantum promastigotes. The vaccine induced an interferon-γ, interleukin (IL)-12 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor production, which was maintained after infection and which was associated with high nitrite and IgG2a antibody levels, as well as low IL-4 and IL-10 production. Significant reductions in the parasite load in liver, spleen, bone marrow and draining lymph nodes were found in these animals. In this context, the present study shows that the rLiHyS has the capacity to be evaluated as a diagnostic marker or vaccine candidate against VL.
SMYB1 is a Schistosoma mansoni protein highly similar to members of the Y-box binding protein family. Similar to other homologues, SMYB1 is able to bind double- and single-stranded DNA, as well as RNA molecules. The characterization of proteins involved in the regulation of gene expression in S. mansoni is of great importance for the understanding of molecular events that control morphological and physiological changes in this parasite. Here we demonstrate that SMYB1 is located in the cytoplasm of cells from different life-cycle stages of S. mansoni, suggesting that this protein is probably acting in mRNA metabolism in the cytoplasm and corroborating previous findings from our group that showed its ability to bind RNA. Protein–protein interactions are important events in all biological processes, since most proteins execute their functions through large supramolecular structures. Yeast two-hybrid screenings using SMYB1 as bait identified a partner in S. mansoni similar to the SmD3 protein of Drosophila melanogaster (SmRNP), which is important in the assembly of small nuclear ribonucleoprotein complexes. Also, pull-down assays were conducted using immobilized GST-SMYB1 proteins and confirmed the SMYB1-SmRNP interaction. The interaction of SMYB1 with a protein involved in mRNA processing suggests that it may act in processes such as turnover, transport and stabilization of RNA molecules.
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