An Aspartic Protease of the Scabies Mite Sarcoptes scabiei Is Involved in the Digestion of Host Skin and Blood Macromolecules

Wajahat Mahmood, Linda Viberg, Katja Fischer, Shelley Walton, Deborah Holt

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Abstract

Background: Scabies is a disease of worldwide significance, causing considerable morbidity in both humans and other animals. The scabies mite Sarcoptes scabiei burrows into the skin of its host, obtaining nutrition from host skin and blood. Aspartic proteases mediate a range of diverse and essential physiological functions such as tissue invasion and migration, digestion, moulting and reproduction in a number of parasitic organisms. We investigated whether aspartic proteases may play role in scabies mite digestive processes.

Methodology/Principle Findings: 
We demonstrated the presence of aspartic protease activity in whole scabies mite extract. We then identified a scabies mite aspartic protease gene sequence and produced recombinant active enzyme. The recombinant scabies mite aspartic protease was capable of digesting human haemoglobin, serum albumin, fibrinogen and fibronectin, but not collagen III or laminin. This is consistent with the location of the scabies mites in the upper epidermis of human skin.

Conclusions/Significance: 
The development of novel therapeutics for scabies is of increasing importance given the evidence of emerging resistance to current treatments. We have shown that a scabies mite aspartic protease plays a role in the digestion of host skin and serum molecules, raising the possibility that interference with the function of the enzyme may impact on mite survival.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2525
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume7
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Sarcoptes scabiei
Scabies
Mites
Digestion
Peptide Hydrolases
Skin
Molting
Laminin
Enzymes
Fibronectins
Epidermis
Serum Albumin
Fibrinogen
Reproduction
Hemoglobins
Collagen

Cite this

Mahmood, Wajahat ; Viberg, Linda ; Fischer, Katja ; Walton, Shelley ; Holt, Deborah. / An Aspartic Protease of the Scabies Mite Sarcoptes scabiei Is Involved in the Digestion of Host Skin and Blood Macromolecules. In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2013 ; Vol. 7, No. 11. pp. 1-9.
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abstract = "Background: Scabies is a disease of worldwide significance, causing considerable morbidity in both humans and other animals. The scabies mite Sarcoptes scabiei burrows into the skin of its host, obtaining nutrition from host skin and blood. Aspartic proteases mediate a range of diverse and essential physiological functions such as tissue invasion and migration, digestion, moulting and reproduction in a number of parasitic organisms. We investigated whether aspartic proteases may play role in scabies mite digestive processes.Methodology/Principle Findings: We demonstrated the presence of aspartic protease activity in whole scabies mite extract. We then identified a scabies mite aspartic protease gene sequence and produced recombinant active enzyme. The recombinant scabies mite aspartic protease was capable of digesting human haemoglobin, serum albumin, fibrinogen and fibronectin, but not collagen III or laminin. This is consistent with the location of the scabies mites in the upper epidermis of human skin.Conclusions/Significance: The development of novel therapeutics for scabies is of increasing importance given the evidence of emerging resistance to current treatments. We have shown that a scabies mite aspartic protease plays a role in the digestion of host skin and serum molecules, raising the possibility that interference with the function of the enzyme may impact on mite survival.",
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An Aspartic Protease of the Scabies Mite Sarcoptes scabiei Is Involved in the Digestion of Host Skin and Blood Macromolecules. / Mahmood, Wajahat; Viberg, Linda; Fischer, Katja; Walton, Shelley; Holt, Deborah.

In: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol. 7, No. 11, e2525, 2013, p. 1-9.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - An Aspartic Protease of the Scabies Mite Sarcoptes scabiei Is Involved in the Digestion of Host Skin and Blood Macromolecules

AU - Mahmood, Wajahat

AU - Viberg, Linda

AU - Fischer, Katja

AU - Walton, Shelley

AU - Holt, Deborah

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Background: Scabies is a disease of worldwide significance, causing considerable morbidity in both humans and other animals. The scabies mite Sarcoptes scabiei burrows into the skin of its host, obtaining nutrition from host skin and blood. Aspartic proteases mediate a range of diverse and essential physiological functions such as tissue invasion and migration, digestion, moulting and reproduction in a number of parasitic organisms. We investigated whether aspartic proteases may play role in scabies mite digestive processes.Methodology/Principle Findings: We demonstrated the presence of aspartic protease activity in whole scabies mite extract. We then identified a scabies mite aspartic protease gene sequence and produced recombinant active enzyme. The recombinant scabies mite aspartic protease was capable of digesting human haemoglobin, serum albumin, fibrinogen and fibronectin, but not collagen III or laminin. This is consistent with the location of the scabies mites in the upper epidermis of human skin.Conclusions/Significance: The development of novel therapeutics for scabies is of increasing importance given the evidence of emerging resistance to current treatments. We have shown that a scabies mite aspartic protease plays a role in the digestion of host skin and serum molecules, raising the possibility that interference with the function of the enzyme may impact on mite survival.

AB - Background: Scabies is a disease of worldwide significance, causing considerable morbidity in both humans and other animals. The scabies mite Sarcoptes scabiei burrows into the skin of its host, obtaining nutrition from host skin and blood. Aspartic proteases mediate a range of diverse and essential physiological functions such as tissue invasion and migration, digestion, moulting and reproduction in a number of parasitic organisms. We investigated whether aspartic proteases may play role in scabies mite digestive processes.Methodology/Principle Findings: We demonstrated the presence of aspartic protease activity in whole scabies mite extract. We then identified a scabies mite aspartic protease gene sequence and produced recombinant active enzyme. The recombinant scabies mite aspartic protease was capable of digesting human haemoglobin, serum albumin, fibrinogen and fibronectin, but not collagen III or laminin. This is consistent with the location of the scabies mites in the upper epidermis of human skin.Conclusions/Significance: The development of novel therapeutics for scabies is of increasing importance given the evidence of emerging resistance to current treatments. We have shown that a scabies mite aspartic protease plays a role in the digestion of host skin and serum molecules, raising the possibility that interference with the function of the enzyme may impact on mite survival.

KW - albumin

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KW - cathepsin D

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KW - fibronectin

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KW - recombinant protein

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KW - article

KW - blood

KW - digestive function

KW - enzyme activity

KW - gene sequence

KW - human

KW - macromolecule

KW - nonhuman

KW - nucleotide sequence

KW - polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

KW - protein analysis

KW - protein expression

KW - protein purification

KW - Sarcoptes scabiei

KW - scabies

KW - sequence analysis

KW - skin

KW - animal

KW - metabolism

KW - Animals

KW - Aspartic Acid Proteases

KW - Hemoglobins

KW - Humans

KW - Skin

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002525

DO - 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002525

M3 - Article

VL - 7

SP - 1

EP - 9

JO - PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

JF - PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases

SN - 1935-2727

IS - 11

M1 - e2525

ER -