The major secreted protein of the whipworm parasite tethers to matrix and inhibits interleukin-13 function

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Infection by soil transmitted parasitic helminths, such as Trichuris spp, are ubiquitous in humans and animals but the mechanisms determining persistence of chronic infections are poorly understood. Here we show that p43, the single most abundant protein in T. muris excretions/secretions, is non-immunogenic during infection and has an unusual sequence and structure containing subdomain homology to thrombospondin type 1 and interleukin (IL)−13 receptor (R) α2. Binding of p43 to IL-13, the key effector cytokine responsible for T. muris expulsion, inhibits IL-13 function both in vitro and in vivo. Tethering of p43 to matrix proteoglycans presents a bound source of p43 to facilitate interaction with IL-13, which may underpin chronic intestinal infection. Our results suggest that exploiting the biology of p43 may open up new approaches to modulating IL-13 function and control of Trichuris infections.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number2344
Pages (from-to)0
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date28 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2019

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