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Characterization of proteolytic activities of Giardia lamblia with the ability to cleave His-tagged N-terminal sequences

de la Mora-de la Mora, José Ignacio, Enríquez-Flores, Sergio, Fernández-Lainez, Cynthia, Gutiérrez-Castrellón, Pedro, Olivos-García, Alfonso, González-Canto, Augusto, Hernández, Roberto, Luján, Hugo D., García-Torres, Itzhel, López-Velázquez, Gabriel
Molecular and biochemical parasitology 2019 v.228 pp. 16-26
Giardia lamblia, blood platelets, coculture, cysteine proteinases, diarrhea, encystment, enzyme activity, excretion, gel chromatography, host-parasite relationships, human cell lines, humans, parasites, pathogens, proteolysis, secretion, thrombin, trophozoites, virulence
Giardia lamblia is one of the most common protozoan infectious agents in the world and is responsible for diarrheal disease and chronic postinfectious illness. During the host-parasite interaction, proteases are important molecules related to virulence, invasion, and colonization, not only for Giardia but also for other parasites. We aimed to characterize the cysteine protease activity detected in trophozoite lysates. This proteolytic activity showed the ability to cleave NH-terminal sequences with either a recognition sequence for a viral protease or a recognition sequence for thrombin. This cleavage activity was detected in nonencysting trophozoites and increased with the progression of encystation. This activity was also detected in excretion/secretion products of axenic trophozoites and in trophozoites cocultured with differentiated Caco-2 cells. Based on size exclusion chromatography, we obtained a fraction enriched in low- to medium-molecular-weight proteins that was capable of exerting this cleavage activity and aggregating human platelets. Finally, our results suggest that this proteolytic activity is shared with other protozoan parasites.