Unique glycan and lipid composition of helminth-derived extracellular vesicles may reveal novel roles in host-parasite interactions

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Although the study of helminth-derived extracellular vesicles (EVs) is in its infancy, proteomic studies of EVs from representatives of nematodes, cestodes and trematodes have identified homologs of mammalian EV proteins including components of the endosomal sorting complexes required for transport and heat-shock proteins, suggesting conservation of pathways of EV biogenesis and cargo loading between helminths and their hosts. However, parasitic helminth biology is unique and this is likely reflected in helminth EV composition and biological activity. This opinion article highlights two exceptional studies that identified EVs released by Heligmosomoides polygyrus and Fasciola hepatica which display differential lipid and glycan composition, respectively, when compared with EVs derived from mammalian cells. Furthermore, we discuss the potential implications of helminth EV lipid and glycan composition upon helminth infection and host pathology. Future studies, focusing on the unique composition and functional properties of helminth EVs, may prove crucial to the understanding of host-parasite communication.

TidsskriftInternational Journal for Parasitology
Sider (fra-til)647-654
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2020

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