Both Schistosoma japonicum and S. mansoni contain 28- and 26-kDa glutathione S-transferases (GSTs). Despite their immunological cross-reactivity using rabbit antisera, the S. japonicum 28-kDa GST (Sj28) is weakly immunogenic relative to the S. mansoni protein (Sm28) in mouse immunization experiments using GSTs purified from adult worms. The difference in immunogenicity is also observed during schistosome infection in mice. Using surface-labeled living S. japonicum worms, evidence was obtained for a surface location of Sj28 comparable to that reported for the S. mansoni molecule. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of cDNA clones corresponding to Sj28 and Sm28 were compared. Despite obvious homology (77% identity), differences were found in regions known to contain T epitopes in the S. mansoni protein which may be an explanation for the striking differences in immunogenicity in regard to antibody production in mice. The 26-kDa GSTs of these two parasites (Sj26 and Sm26) are also closely related on the basis of nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences, there being 82% identity in the putative coding regions. When the amino acid sequences of Sj28 and Sm28 were compared with those of Sj26 and Sm26, the overall sequence identity was approximately 20%. However, a relatively conserved region was identified in otherwise structurally different molecules which may participate in common properties of these enzymes.
- Glutathione S-transferase isoenzyme