Characterisation of a novel glycosylated glutathione transferase of Onchocerca ochengi, a model organism in the study of onchocerciasis


C Rose1; Z Stead1; R Taylor-Leak2; S Summers2; G Praulins1; A Casas-Sanchez2; A Acosta-Serrano1; B Makepeace3; E J Lacourse2
1 Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK;  2 Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine / UoL, UK;  3 University of Liverpool, UK


Filarial nematodes possess glutathione transferases (GSTs), ubiquitous enzymes with potential to detoxify xenobiotic and endogenous substrates, and modulate the host immune system, which may aid worm infection establishment, maintenance and survival in the host. Here we have identified and characterised a Sigma class glycosylated GST (OoGST1), from the cattle-infective filarial nematode Onchocerca ochengi, which is homologous (99% amino acid identity) to an immunodominant and potential vaccine candidate from the human parasite, O. volvulus, (OvGST1b). O. ochengi native GSTs were purified using a two-step affinity chromatography approach, resolved by 2D and 1D SDS-PAGE and subjected to enzymic deglycosylation revealing the existence of at least four glycoforms. A combination of lectin-blotting and mass spectrometry (MS) analyses of the released N-glycans indicated that OoGST1 contained mainly a paucimannose-type (Man5GlcNAc2) structure, but also complex- and hybrid-type oligosaccharides in a lower proportion. Furthermore, OoGST1 showed prostaglandin synthase activity as confirmed by Liquid Chromatography (LC)/MS following a coupled-enzyme assay. This is only the second ever reported and characterised glycosylated GST and our report highlights its potential for a role in host-parasite interactions and use in the study of human onchocerciasis

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