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Cloning and characterization of a β-galactoside-binding protein (galectin) from the gut of the gastrointestinal nematode parasite Haemonchus contortus

  • G. F. J. NEWLANDS (a1), P. J. SKUCE (a1), D. P. KNOX (a1), S. K. SMITH (a1) and W. D. SMITH (a1)...


A cDNA encoding a β-galactoside-binding lectin (galectin) was identified by immunoscreening a Haemonchus contortus cDNA library with antisera from lambs vaccinated with a membrane protein complex (H-gal-GP) derived from the parasites' gut. The cDNA sequence, exhibiting a tandem repeat structure and designated Hco-gal-2, showed significant levels of similarity with galectins from several species of nematode as well as mammalian galectin type 4. Native galectin was preferentially extracted from the H-gal-GP complex and also from an insoluble membrane fraction prepared from adult worms using lactose–agarose affinity chromatography. The affinity-purified material had apparent molecular mass of around 35 kDa with 3 distinct bands visible on SDS–PAGE. All 3 bands were identified as galectins by reaction with antiserum raised to recombinant Hco-GAL-2 on Western blot. To determine whether H. contortus galectins have any protective capacity against infection lambs were vaccinated with affinity-purified galectin and subsequently given a single challenge infection. Vaccination did not confer any protection against infection with H. contortus as judged by faecal egg output or worm counts.


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Nucleotide and amino acid sequence data reported in this paper are available in the GenBank database under the accession number AF036098.


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  • ISSN: 0031-1820
  • EISSN: 1469-8161
  • URL: /core/journals/parasitology
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