Molecular basis of host epithelial cell recognition by Trichomonas vaginalis

R. Arroyo, J. Engbring, J. F. Alderete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Parasitism of host epithelial cells by Trichomonas vaginalis is a highly specific event. Four trichomonad surface proteins (adhesins) with molecular masses of 65000 daltons (65kDa; AP65), 51 kDa (AP51), 33kDa (AP33), and 23 kDa (AP23) mediate the interaction of T. vaginalis with epithelial cells. Fresh isolates, when compared with long‐term‐grown isolates, had greater amounts of adhesins, which corresponded with increased levels of cytoadherence. Anti‐adhesin antibodies reacted by immunobiol only with the respective protein and detected, by indirect immunofluore‐scence, each adhesin on the parasite surface. These antibodies inhibited the binding of live parasites to epithelial cells and protected epithelial cells from contact‐dependent cytotoxicity. The pretreatment of epithelial cells with a preparation of purified adhesins also blocked trichomonal cytoadherence. Moreover, HeLa cells possessed molecules which recognized and bound to adhesins on nitrocellulose blots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-862
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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