Characterization of Schistosoma japonicum estrogen-related receptor beta like 1 and immunogenicity analysis of the recombinant protein.
ABSTRACT The estrogen-related receptor beta like 1 (EsRRBL1) is a sex hormone receptor. Here, we describe the cloning and expression of the EsRRBL1 gene from Schistosoma japonicum (SjEsRRBL1). Quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) and Western blot analysis revealed that SjEsRRBL1 was highly expressed in 14-, 18-, 23- and 28-days-old schistosomes at the transcriptional and protein levels, when the schistosomes were undergoing early development of reproductive organs, male and female coupling, and egg-laying. qPCR also showed that schistosomula isolated from a S. japonicum-susceptible mouse host had 3- to 4-fold higher expression of SjEsRRBL1 than that from the S. japonicum non-permissive Microtus fortis host or the non-susceptible rat host. Moreover, SjEsRRBL1 expression was 2-fold higher in schistosomula from female mice than that from male mice. Western blot analysis revealed that rSjEsRRBL1 had good antigenicity. After immunization of BALB/c mice with recombinant (r)SjEsRRBL1, partial and significantly protective efficacy was observed in two independent trials (30.84% and 30.70% worm reduction; 35.39% and 35.61% liver eggs reduction), as compared with the blank control group. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) showed that mice vaccinated with rSjEsRRBL1 produced increased levels of specific IgG, IFN-γ and IL-4, but a reduced IgG1/IgG2a ratio, as compared to the adjuvant control group and the blank control group, suggesting that rSjEsRRBL1 vaccination could induce a mixed Th1/Th2 response. The results suggested that SjEsRRBL1 might be a critical regulator of schistosome development and represent a promising vaccine target for schistosomiasis.