Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Print version ISSN 0074-0276
WILSON, R Alan et al. From genomes to vaccines via the proteome. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2004, vol.99, suppl.1, pp. 45-50. ISSN 0074-0276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762004000900008.
An effective vaccine against schistosomiasis mansoni would be a valuable control tool and the high levels of protection elicited in rodents and primates by radiation-attenuated cercariae provide proof of principle. A major obstacle to vaccine development is the difficulty of identifying the antigens that mediate protection, not least because of the size of the genome at 280Mb DNA encoding 14,000 to 20,000 genes. The technologies collectively called proteomics, including 2D electrophoresis, liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, now permit any protein to be identified provided there is extensive DNA data, and preferably a genome sequence. Applied to soluble (cytosolic) proteins from schistosomes, proteomics reveals the great similarity in composition between life cycle stages, with several WHO vaccine candidates amongst the most abundant constituents. The proteomic approach has been successfully applied to identify the secretions used by cercaria to penetrate host skin, the gut secretions of adult worms and the proteins exposed on the tegument surface. Soluble proteins can also be separated by 2D electrophoresis before western blotting to identify the full range of antigenic targets present in a parasite preparation. The next step is to discover which target proteins represent the weak points in the worm's defences.
Keywords : Schistosoma mansoni; vaccine; proteomics; mass spectrometry; antigen.