H-gal-GP is a complex; the component proteins of which have not been separated without the aid of denaturing conditions. Under native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), the complex runs as one large band of about 1 mDa and different batches show consistent band patterns on SDS PAGE (7). Visual confirmation of the complex has been provided by electron
microscopy (8). The predominant components of H-gal-GP have been identified as proteases including two pepsin-like aspartyl proteases, four metalloendopeptidases and a family of cysteine proteases (7). These proteases have been separated from the denatured complex, but when these or recombinant versions of them were evaluated in vaccine trials the degree of protection afforded was much lower than that obtained with the intact complex (9,10). Enzymatic
assays have been carried out to ascertain the function learn more of H-gal-GP and its component parts (7,11,12). The complex digests Wnt inhibitor haemoglobin with the maximum overnight turnover observed at pH 4·0; an activity which is reduced by 91% in the presence of pepstatin A. It also cleaves the aspartyl protease peptide substrate PTEFF(NO2)RL with a maximum hydrolysis rate observed at pH 5·0 (7,11). The identification of the major H-gal-GP component proteins as proteases, together with its location on the luminal surface of the parasite intestinal cells, supports the hypothesis that it is involved in the digestion of the blood meal. When sheep are immunized with H-gal-GP, they respond with high titres of antibody and it is hypothesized that such antibodies might inhibit digestion of the blood meal, leading to starvation of the parasite. The main aim of this study was to investigate these hypotheses by quantitatively monitoring the digestion of
ovine haemoglobin by H-gal-GP and to determine whether this process could be inhibited by specific antibodies. H-gal-GP was prepared from 21-day adult H. contortus as described previously with the addition of 0·25% CHAPS to the peanut elution Rebamipide buffer containing 0·5 m galactose in 10 mm Tris–HCl, 0·5 m NaCl, 0·02% NaN3 with 100 μm Ca2+ 10 μm Mg2+ at pH 7·4 and replacing Triton X-100 with CHAPS in the desalt buffer (used with the Sephadex G-25 column) (13). The resulting desalted H-gal-GP was concentrated using an Amicon Ultra-15 centrifugal device, passed through a 0·22-μm syringe filter and stored at −20°C in 100-μL aliquots. Seventeen millilitre of blood from worm-free sheep at the Moredun Research Institute, collected in sodium heparin tubes, was mixed gently with cold PBS, added to a total volume of 100 mL and centrifuged at 600 × g, 4°C for 10 min. The solution separated during centrifugation and the red blood cell pellet was retained. This step was repeated five times.