Lakshmi C Wijeyewickrema

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is strongly associated with the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DRB1 locus that possesses the shared susceptibility epitope (SE) and the citrullination of self-antigens. We show how citrullinated aggrecan and vimentin epitopes bind to HLA-DRB1*04:01/04. Citrulline was accommodated within the electropositive P4 pocket of(More)
The newly excysted juvenile (NEJ) stage of the Fasciola hepatica lifecycle occurs just prior to invasion into the wall of the gut of the host, rendering it an important target for drug development. The cathepsin B enzymes from NEJ flukes have recently been demonstrated to be crucial to invasion and migration by the parasite. Here we characterize one of the(More)
The Type II Secretion System (T2SS) is a molecular machine that drives the secretion of fully-folded protein substrates across the bacterial outer membrane. A key element in the machinery is the secretin: an integral, multimeric outer membrane protein that forms the secretion pore. We show that three distinct forms of T2SSs can be distinguished based on the(More)
Complement is a central component of host defence, but unregulated activation can contribute to disease. The system can be initiated by three pathways: classical, alternative and lectin. The classical and lectin pathways are initiated by the C1 and mannose-binding lectin (MBL) or ficolin complexes, respectively, with C1s the executioner protease of the C1(More)
Thrombin (EC has two exosites that mediate interactions between the enzyme and its substrates and cofactors. The binding of ligands to the exosites alters the functions of the protease, for example, when the cofactor thrombomodulin binds to both exosites I and II, it converts the enzyme from a procoagulant to an anticoagulant factor. It is unknown(More)
Thrombin stimulates expression of interleukin 6 and cyclooxygenase 2 by osteoblasts, both of which enhance osteoblast-mediated osteoclast differentiation by increasing the ratio of receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) expression to that of osteoprotegerin (OPG) in osteoblasts. We hypothesised that thrombin would also increase this ratio(More)
Snake venom metalloproteinases represent unique probes for analyzing platelet adhesion receptors regulating hemostasis and thrombosis. Snake venom metalloproteinase-disintegrins consist of a propeptide domain, a catalytic domain containing a metal ion-coordination sequence (HEXXHXXGXXH), a disintegrin domain, and a Cys-rich domain. Here, we investigate(More)
Snake venom proteins that modulate platelet adhesive interactions are chiefly from either of two main structural families: the C-type lectin-like family, or the metalloproteinase-disintegrins. Snake venom probes from both families selectively target platelet adhesion receptors, including glycoprotein (GP) Ib-IX-V, GP VI, alpha2beta1 and alphaIIbbeta3 (GP(More)
Scabies is a parasitic infestation of the skin by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei that causes significant morbidity worldwide, in particular within socially disadvantaged populations. In order to identify mechanisms that enable the scabies mite to evade human immune defenses, we have studied molecules associated with proteolytic systems in the mite, including(More)
The scabies mite, Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis, infests human skin, causing allergic reactions and facilitating bacterial infection by Streptococcus sp., with serious consequences such as rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. To identify a possible drug target or vaccine candidate protein, we searched for homologues of the group 3 allergen of house(More)