The core exosome proteome of Trichomonas vaginalis

Seow Chin Ong, Hong Wei Luo, Wei Hung Cheng, Fu Man Ku, Chih Yu Tsai, Po Jung Huang, Chi Ching Lee, Yuan Ming Yeh, Rose Lin, Cherng-Hsun Chiu, Petrus Tang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review


Background: Trichomonas vaginalis is parasitic protozoan that causes human urogenital infections. Accumulated reports indicated that exosomes released by this parasite play a crucial role in transmitting information and substances between cells during host-parasite interactions. Current knowledge on the protein contents in T. vaginalis exosome is mainly generated from three previous studies that used different T. vaginalis isolates as an experimental model. Whether T. vaginalis exosomes comprise a common set of proteins (core exosome proteome) is still unclear. Methods: To explore the core exosome proteome in T. vaginalis, we used liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to identify the contents of sucrose ultracentrifugation-enriched exosome and supernatant fractions isolated from six isolates. Results: Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) confirmed the presence of exosomes in the enriched fraction. Proteomic analysis identified a total of 1870 proteins from exosomal extracts. There were 1207 exosomal-specific proteins after excluding 436 ‘non-core exosomal proteins’. Among these, 72 common exosomal-specific proteins were expressed in all six isolates. Compared with three published T. vaginalis exosome proteome datasets, we identified 16 core exosomal-specific proteins. These core exosomal-specific proteins included tetraspanin (TvTSP1), the classical exosome marker, and proteins mainly involved in catalytic activity and binding such as ribosomal proteins, ras-associated binding (Rab) proteins, and heterotrimeric G proteins. Conclusions: Our study highlighted the importance of using supernatant fraction from exosomal extract as a control to eliminate ‘non-core exosomal proteins’. We compiled a reference core exosome proteome of T. vaginalis, which is essential for developing a fundamental understanding of exosome-mediated cell communication and host-parasite interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-256
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection
Issue number2
StatePublished - 04 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024. Published by Elsevier B.V.


  • Core proteome
  • Exosome
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Exosomes/chemistry
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Proteomics
  • Trichomonas vaginalis/metabolism
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Proteome/analysis


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