Bioinformatic prediction of the exportome of Babesia bovis and identification of novel proteins in parasite-infected red blood cells

Sejal Gohil, Lev Kats, Torsten Seemann, Kate Marie Fernandez, Ghizal Siddiqui, Brian Mark Cooke

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Babesia bovis is a pathogen of considerable economic significance to the livestock industry worldwide but the precise mechanisms by which this parasite causes disease in susceptible cattle remain poorly understood. It is clear, however, that alterations to the structure and function of red blood cells in which the parasites reside and replicate play an important role in pathogenesis and that these are secondary to the export of numerous, currently unknown and uncharacterised parasite-encoded proteins. Using a rational bioinformatic approach, we have identified a set of 362 proteins (117 of which are hypothetical) that we predict encompasses the B. bovis exportome. These exported proteins are likely to be trafficked to various cellular locations, with a subset destined for the red blood cell cytosol or the red blood cell cytoskeleton. These proteins are likely to play important roles in mediating the pathogenesis of babesiosis. We have selected three novel proteins and confirmed their predicted export and localisation within the host red blood cell by immunofluorescence using specific antibodies raised against these proteins. Complete characterisation of these novel exported parasite proteins will help elucidate their function within the host red blood cell and assist in identification of new therapeutic targets for babesiosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409 - 416
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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