Parasites & vectors

Arginine kinase from Haemonchus contortus decreased the proliferation and increased the apoptosis of goat PBMCs in vitro.

PMID 28651566


Arginine kinase (AK), an important member of phosphagen kinase family has been extensively studied in various vertebrates and invertebrates. Immunologically, AKs are important constituents of different body parts, involved in various biological and cellular functions, and considered as immune-modulator and effector for pro-inflammatory cytokines. However, immunoregulatory changes of host cells triggered by AK protein of Haemonchus contortus, a parasitic nematode of ruminants, are still unknown. The current study was focused on cloning and characterisation of Hc-AK, and its regulatory effects on cytokines level, cell migration, cell proliferation, nitric oxide production and apoptosis of goat peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were observed. The full-length sequence of the Hc-AK gene was amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and sub-cloned into the prokaryotic expression vector pET-32a. The biochemical characteristics of recombinant protein Hc-AK, which was purified by affinity chromatography, were performed based on the enzymatic assay. Binding of rHc-AK with PBMCs was confirmed by immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Immunohistochemical analysis was used to detect localisation of Hc-AK within adult worms sections. The immunoregulatory effects of rHc-AK on cytokine secretions, cell proliferation, cell migration, nitric oxide production and apoptosis were determined by co-incubation of rHc-AK with goat PBMCs. The full-length ORF (1080 bp) of the Hc-AK gene was successfully cloned, and His-tagged AK protein was expressed in the Escherichia coli strain BL21. The recombinant protein of Hc-AK (rHc-AK) was about 58.5 kDa together with the fused vector protein of 18 kDa. The biochemical assay showed that the protein encoded by the Hc-ak exhibited enzymatic activity. Western blot analysis confirmed that the rHc-AK was recognised by the sera from rat (rat-antiHc-AK). The IFA results showed that rHc-AK could bind on the surface of goat PBMCs. Immunohistochemically, Hc-AK was localised at the inner and outer membrane as well as in the gut region of adult worms. The binding of rHc-AK to host cells increased the levels of IL-4, IL-10, IL-17, IFN-γ, nitric oxide (NO) production and cell apoptosis of goat PBMCs, whereas, TGF-β1 levels, cell proliferation and PBMCs migration were significantly decreased in a dose dependent manner. Our findings suggested that rHc-AK is an important excretory and secretory (ES) protein involved in host immune responses and exhibit distinct immunomodulatory properties during interaction with goat PBMCs.