Aspartyl protease in the secretome of honey bee trypanosomatid parasite contributes to infection of bees

Xuye Yuan, Jianying Sun, Tatsuhiko Kadowaki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The exoproteome, which consists of both secreted proteins and those originating from cell surfaces and lysed cells, is a critical component of trypanosomatid parasites, facilitating interactions with host cells and gut microbiota. However, its specific roles in the insect hosts of these parasites remain poorly understood. Methods: We conducted a comprehensive characterization of the exoproteome in Lotmaria passim, a trypanosomatid parasite infecting honey bees, under culture conditions. We further investigated the functions of two conventionally secreted proteins, aspartyl protease (LpAsp) and chitinase (LpCht), as representative models to elucidate the role of the secretome in L. passim infection of honey bees. Results: Approximately 48% of L. passim exoproteome proteins were found to share homologs with those found in seven Leishmania spp., suggesting the existence of a core exoproteome with conserved functions in the Leishmaniinae lineage. Bioinformatics analyses suggested that the L. passim exoproteome may play a pivotal role in interactions with both the host and its microbiota. Notably, the deletion of genes encoding two secretome proteins revealed the important role of LpAsp, but not LpCht, in L. passim development under culture conditions and its efficiency in infecting the honey bee gut. Conclusions: Our results highlight the exoproteome as a valuable resource for unraveling the mechanisms employed by trypanosomatid parasites to infect insect hosts by interacting with the gut environment. Graphical Abstract: (Figure presented.)

Original languageEnglish
Article number60
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024


  • Aspartyl protease
  • Chitinase
  • Exoproteome
  • Lotmaria passim
  • Secretome
  • Trypanosomatid parasite


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