Babesia bovis expresses Bbo-6cys-E, a member of a novel gene family that is homologous to the 6-cys family of Plasmodium

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A novel Babesia bovis gene family encoding proteins with similarities to the Plasmodium 6cys protein family was identified by TBLASTN searches of the B. bovis genome using the sequence of the P. falciparum PFS230 protein as query, and was termed Bbo-6cys gene family. The Bbo-cys6 gene family contains six genes termed Bbo-6cys-A, B,C, D, E and F encoding for proteins containing an arrangement of 6 cysteine residues. The Bbo-6cys genes A, B, C, D, and E are tandemly arranged as a cluster of Chromosome 2 in the B. bovis genome, whereas gene F is located in a distal region in the same chromosome. The Bbo-6cys-E gene, with higher homology to PFS230, was selected for further examination. Immunoblot analysis using recombinant Bbo-6cys-E protein and B. bovis-positive bovine serum demonstrated expression by the parasite and immunogenicity during B. bovis infection. Immunofluorescence analysis using anti-Bbo-6cys-E antibodies confirmed expression of Bbo-6cys-E in in vitro blood stages of B. bovis. In addition, polyclonal antisera against both recombinant Bbo-6cys-E and specific synthetic peptides containing predicted B-cell epitopes of Bbo-6cys-E, significantly inhibited erythrocyte invasion by B. bovis in in vitro neutralization assays, suggesting an important functional role for this protein. Identification of this new gene family in B. bovis and further investigation on its biological significance may aid our understanding of the bovine, tick and parasite relationships and the development of improved control methods against B. bovis infection in cattle.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)13-18
JournalParasitology International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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