Lactoferrin and lactoferricin endocytosis halt Giardia cell growth and prevent infective cyst production.
Sci Rep. 2018 12 21 ;8(1):18020. Epub 2018 Dec 21. PMID: 30575774
Lorena S Frontera
Lactoferrin (LF) is an 80 KDa iron-binding glycoprotein that plays a significant role in the innate immune system and is considered to be an important microbicide molecule. It has been suggested to be effective in the treatment of giardiasis, an intestinal disease caused by the protozoan parasite G. lamblia. However, the molecular mechanisms by which LF exerts its effect on this parasite are unknown. Most of the microbicidal activity of human or bovine LF (hLF or bLF) has been associated with the N-terminal region of the mature LF - lactoferricin (LFcin). LFcin is produced by pepsin cleavage of the native protein in vitro and likely in vivo. In this work, we analyse the participation of the endocytic machinery of G. lamblia in the internalization of bLF and bLFcin and their effects on cell homeostasis. Our results show that, when bLF or bLFcin are internalized by receptor-mediated endocytosis, cell growth stops, and morphological changes are produced in the trophozoites, which ultimately will produce immature cysts. Our findings contribute to disclose the fine mechanism by which bLF and bLFcin may function as an antigiardial molecule and why they have therapeutic potential to eradicate giardiasis.