Parasitic nematodes are important and abundant parasites adapted to live a parasitic lifestyle, with these adaptations all aimed at facilitating their survival and reproduction in their hosts. The recently sequenced genomes of four Strongyloides species, gastrointestinal parasites of humans and other animals, alongside transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of free-living and parasitic stages of their life cycles have revealed a number of protein families with a putative role in their parasitism. Many of these protein families have also been associated with parasitism in other parasitic nematode species, suggesting that these proteins may play a fundamental role in nematode parasitism more generally. Here, we review key protein families that have a putative role in Strongyloides’ parasitism – acetylcholinesterases, astacins, aspartic proteases, prolyl endopeptidases, proteinase inhibitors (trypsin inhibitors and cystatins), SCP/TAPS and transthyretin-like proteins – and the evidence for their key, yet diverse, roles in the parasitic lifestyle.
Bibliographical noteSpecial issue: Strongyloides
- aspartic proteases
- prolyl oligopeptdases
- proteinase inhibitors
- transthyretin-like proteins