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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The proteinases of Psoroptes ovis, the sheep scab mite--their diversity and substrate specificity.

The sheep scab mite, Psoroptes ovis, causes severe dermatitis in infected sheep with severe welfare and production implications. The dermatitis has the characteristics of an immediate hypersensitivity type reaction which, by analogy to other mite species, including the house dust mites (Dermatophagoides spp.), is likely to be invoked by a variety of allergens including mite-derived proteinases. Here, the proteinases in P. ovis extracts were characterised using substrate gel analysis, inhibitor sensitivity and their ability to degrade a variety of potential natural protein substrates. These analyses showed that mites contain several proteinases which could be differentiated on the basis of molecular size and inhibitor sensitivity with cysteine, metalloproteinases and aspartyl proteinases predominating. These proteinases degraded collagen and fibronectin, possibly indicative of a role in lesion initiation, they degraded several blood proteins, a property which may aid mite feeding and they degraded immunoglobulin G, possibly aiding immuno-evasion. Because proteinases, particularly the cysteine class, are demonstrably allergenic in other mite infestations, these proteinases clearly merit further immunological and biochemical definition.[1]


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