Analysis of Schistosoma mansoni Extracellular Vesicles Surface Glycans Reveals Potential Immune Evasion Mechanism and New Insights on Their Origins of Biogenesis

Maude Dagenais*, Jared Q. Gerlach, George R. Wendt, James J. Collins III, Louise E. Atkinson, Angela Mousley, Timothy G. Geary, Thavy Long

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Parasitic helminths are master manipulators of host immunity. Their strategy is complex and involves the release of excreted/secreted products, including extracellular vesicles (EVs). The protein and miRNA contents of EVs have been characterised for many parasitic helminths but, despite reports suggesting the importance of EV surface carbohydrate structures (glycans) in the interactions with target cells and thus subsequent effector functions, little is known about parasite EV glycomics. Using lectin microarrays, we identified several lectins that exhibit strong adhesion to Schistosoma mansoni EVs, suggesting the presence of multiple glycan structures on these vesicles. Interestingly, SNA-I, a lectin that recognises structures with terminal sialic acid, displayed strong affinity for S. mansoni EVs, which was completely abolished by neuraminidase treatment, suggesting sialylation in the EV sample. This finding is of interest, as sialic acids play important roles in the context of infection by aiding immune evasion, affecting target recognition, cell entry, etc., but are not thought to be synthesised by helminths. These data were validated by quantitative analysis of free sialic acid released from EVs following treatment with neuraminidase. Lectin histochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridisation analyses on whole adult worms suggest the involvement of sub-tegumental cell bodies, as well as the digestive and excretory systems, in the release of EVs. These results support previous reports of EV biogenesis diversity in trematodes and potentially highlight new means of immune modulation and evasion employed by schistosomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1401
Number of pages15
JournalPathogens
Volume10
Issue number11
Early online date29 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 29 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • extracellular vesicles
  • exosomes
  • secretome
  • helminths
  • glycans
  • schistosomes
  • sialic acid
  • lectin histochemistry
  • lectin microarray

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