In vitro silencing of a serine protease inhibitor suppresses Trichinella spiralis invasion, development, and fecundity.


Department of Parasitology, Medical College, Zhengzhou University, 40 Daxue Road, Zhengzhou, 450052, People's Republic of China. [Email]


In a previous study, immunoproteomics was used to identify a serine protease inhibitor (TsSPI) of T. spiralis excretory/secretory (ES) proteins that exhibited an inhibitory effect on trypsin enzymatic activity, but the precise role of TsSPI on worm infection and development in its host is not well understood. The objective of the present study was to use RNA interference to ascertain the function of TsSPI in larval invasion and growth. TsSPI-specific small interference RNAs (siRNAs) were delivered to muscle larvae (ML) to silence TsSPI expression by electroporation. Four days after electroporation, the ML transfected with 2 μM siRNA-653 exhibited a 75.75% decrease in TsSPI transcription and a 69.23% decrease in TsSPI expression compared with control ML. Although the silencing of TsSPI expression did not decrease worm viability, it significantly suppressed the larval invasion of intestinal epithelium cells (IEC) (P < 0.01), and the suppression was siRNA dose-dependent (r = 0.981). The infection of mice with siRNA-653-treated ML produced a 63.71% reduction of adult worms and a 72.38% reduction of muscle larvae. In addition, the length of the adults, newborn larvae, and ML and the fecundity of female T. spiralis from mice infected with siRNA-treated ML were obviously reduced relative to those in the control siRNA or PBS groups. These results indicated that the silencing of TsSPI by RNAi suppressed larval invasion and development and decreased female fecundity, further confirming that TsSPI plays a crucial role during the T. spiralis lifecycle and is a promising molecular target for anti-Trichinella vaccines.


Development,Female fecundity,Invasion,RNAi,Serine protease inhibitor (SPI),Trichinella spiralis,