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Predictions of Protein-Protein Interactions in Schistosoma Mansoni



Schistosoma mansoni invasion of the human host involves a variety of cross-species protein-protein interactions. The pathogen expresses a diverse arsenal of proteins that facilitate the breach of physical and biochemical barriers present in skin, evasion of the immune system, and digestion of human hemoglobin, allowing schistosomes to reside in the host for years. However, only a small number of specific interactions between S. mansoni and human proteins have been identified. We present and apply a protocol that generates testable predictions of S. mansonihuman protein interactions.


In this study, we first predict S. mansoni-human protein interactions based on similarity to known protein complexes. Putative interactions were then scored and assessed using several contextual filters, including annotation automatically derived from literature using a simple natural language processing methodology. Our method predicted 7 out of the 10 previously known cross-species interactions.


Several predictions that warrant experimental follow-up were presented and discussed, including interactions involving potential vaccine candidate antigens, protease inhibition, and immune evasion. The application framework provides an integrated methodology for investigation of host-pathogen interactions and an extensive source of orthogonal data for experimental analysis. We have made the predictions available online for community perusal.

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