Saskia deWalick

Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands

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Publications (4)13.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The complex surface structure of adult Schistosoma mansoni, the tegument, is essential for survival of the parasite. This tegument is syncytial and is covered by two closely-apposed lipid bilayers that form the interactive surface with the host. In order to identify parasite-specific phospholipids present in the tegument, the species compositions of the major glycerophospholipid classes, phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylserine (PS), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylinositol (PI), including lysophospholipid species, were analysed in adult S. mansoni worms, isolated tegumental membranes and hamster blood cells. It was shown that there are large differences in species composition in all four phospholipid classes between the membranes of S. mansoni and those of the host blood cells. The species compositions of PS and PC were strikingly different in the tegument compared with the whole worm. The tegumental membranes are especially enriched in lysophospholipids, predominantly eicosenoic acid (20:1)-containing lyso-PS and lyso-PE species. Furthermore, the tegument was strongly enriched in PC that contained 5-octadecenoic acid, an unusual fatty acid that is not present in the host. As we have shown previously that lysophospholipids from schistosomes affect the parasite-host interaction, excretion of these tegument-specific phospholipid species was examined in vitro and in vivo. Our experiments demonstrated that these lysophospholipids are not significantly secreted during in vitro incubations and are not detectable in peripheral blood of infected hosts. However, these analyses demonstrated a substantial decrease in PI content of blood plasma from schistosome-infected hamsters, which might indicate that schistosomes influence exosome formation by the host. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · International journal for parasitology
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    ABSTRACT: Schistosoma mansoni eggs have to cross the endothelium and intestinal wall to leave the host and continue the life cycle. Mechanisms involved in this essential step are largely unknown. Here we describe direct binding to the S. mansoni eggshell of von Willebrand factor and other plasma proteins involved in haemostasis. Using deletion-mutants, we demonstrated that it is the A1 domain of von Willebrand factor that binds to the eggshell. Our results suggest that binding of plasma proteins to the eggshell promotes binding to the endothelium, initiating the passage of the egg through the blood-vessel wall to be excreted in the end.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · International journal for parasitology
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    ABSTRACT: The schistosome eggshell is a hardened and tanned structure made from cross-linked proteins. It is synthesized within the female worm from many different kinds of proteins and glycoproteins. Once the egg is released in the circulation, the outer surface of the eggshell is exposed and hence a direct site of interaction between the parasite and the host. The major eggshell protein is p14, but about one third of the eggshell is made from common cellular proteins, some of which are known to be immunogenic. This has many consequences for parasite-host interactions. However, so far, the eggshell has gained little attention from researchers. We will discuss the structure of the eggshell and its role in granuloma formation, host factor binding and egg excretion.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2011 · Experimental Parasitology
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    ABSTRACT: In schistosomiasis, the majority of symptoms of the disease is caused by the eggs that are trapped in the liver. These eggs elicit an immune reaction that leads to the formation of granulomas. The eggshell, which is a rigid insoluble structure built from cross-linked proteins, is the site of direct interaction between the egg and the immune system. However, the exact protein composition of the insoluble eggshell was previously unknown. To identify the proteins of the eggshell of Schistosoma mansoni we performed LC-MS/MS analysis, immunostaining and amino acid analysis on eggshell fragments. For this, eggshell protein skeleton was prepared by thoroughly cleaning eggshells in a four-step stripping procedure of increasing strength including urea and SDS to remove all material that is not covalently linked to the eggshell itself, but is part of the inside of the egg, such as Reynold's layer, von Lichtenberg's envelope and the miracidium. We identified 45 proteins of which the majority are non-structural proteins and non-specific for eggs, but are house-keeping proteins that are present in large quantities in worms and miracidia. Some of these proteins are known to be immunogenic, such as HSP70, GST and enolase. In addition, a number of schistosome-specific proteins with unknown function and no homology to any known annotated protein were found to be incorporated in the eggshell. Schistosome-specific glycoconjugates were also shown to be present on the eggshell protein skeleton. This study also confirmed that the putative eggshell protein p14 contributes largely to the eggshell. Together, these results give new insights into eggshell composition as well as eggshell formation. Those proteins that are present at the site and time of eggshell formation are incorporated in the cross-linked eggshell and this cross-linking does no longer occur when the miracidium starts secreting proteins.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · International journal for parasitology

Publication Stats

28 Citations
13.25 Total Impact Points


  • 2014-2015
    • Erasmus University Rotterdam
      • Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2011
    • Erasmus MC
      • Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands