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See detailExosites Mediate The Anti-Inflammatory Effects Of A Multifunctional Serpin From The Saliva Of The Tick Ixodes Ricinus
Prevot, Pp.; Beschin, A.; Lins, Laurence ULg et al

in Febs Journal (2009), 276(12),

Serine protease inhibitors (serpins) are a structurally related but functionally diverse family of ubiquitous proteins. We previously described Ixodes ricinus immunosuppressor (Iris) as a serpin from the ... [more ▼]

Serine protease inhibitors (serpins) are a structurally related but functionally diverse family of ubiquitous proteins. We previously described Ixodes ricinus immunosuppressor (Iris) as a serpin from the saliva of the tick I. ricinus displaying high affinity for human leukocyte elastase. Iris also displays pleotropic effects because it interferes with both the immune response and hemostasis of the host. It thus inhibits lymphocyte proliferation and the secretion of interferon-gamma or tumor necrosis factor-alpha by peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and also platelet adhesion, coagulation and fibrinolysis. Its ability to interfere with coagulation and fibrinolysis, but not platelet adhesion, depends on the integrity of its antiproteolytic reactive center loop domain. Here, we dissect the mechanisms underlying the interaction of recombinant Iris with peripheral blood mononuclear cells. We show that Iris binds to monocytes/macrophages and inhibits their ability to secrete tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Recombinant Iris also has a protective role in endotoxemic shock. The anti-inflammatory ability of Iris does not depend on its antiprotease activity. Moreover, we pinpoint the exosites involved in this activity. [less ▲]

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See detailIr-LBP, an ixodes ricinus tick salivary LTB4-binding lipocalin, interferes with host neutrophil function.
Beaufays, Jérôme ULg; Adam, Benoit; Menten-Dedoyart, Catherine ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2008), 3(12), 3987

BACKGROUND: During their blood meal, ticks secrete a wide variety of proteins that can interfere with their host's defense mechanisms. Among these proteins, lipocalins play a major role in the modulation ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: During their blood meal, ticks secrete a wide variety of proteins that can interfere with their host's defense mechanisms. Among these proteins, lipocalins play a major role in the modulation of the inflammatory response. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We previously identified 14 new lipocalin genes in the tick Ixodes ricinus. One of them codes for a protein that specifically binds leukotriene B4 with a very high affinity (Kd: +/-1 nM), similar to that of the neutrophil transmembrane receptor BLT1. By in silico approaches, we modeled the 3D structure of the protein and the binding of LTB4 into the ligand pocket. This protein, called Ir-LBP, inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro and delays LTB4-induced apoptosis. Ir-LBP also inhibits the host inflammatory response in vivo by decreasing the number and activation of neutrophils located at the tick bite site. Thus, Ir-LBP participates in the tick's ability to interfere with proper neutrophil function in inflammation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These elements suggest that Ir-LBP is a "scavenger" of LTB4, which, in combination with other factors, such as histamine-binding proteins or proteins inhibiting the classical or alternative complement pathways, permits the tick to properly manage its blood meal. Moreover, with regard to its properties, Ir-LBP could possibly be used as a therapeutic tool for illnesses associated with an increased LTB4 production. [less ▲]

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