The bovine immune system is known for its unusual traits relating to immunoglobulin and antiviral responses. Peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) are phylogenetically conserved enzymes that cause post-translational deimination, contributing to protein moonlighting in health and disease. PADs also regulate extracellular vesicle (EV) release, forming a critical part of cellular communication. As PAD-mediated mechanisms in bovine immunology and physiology remain to be investigated, this study profiled deimination signatures in serum and serum-EVs in Bos taurus
EVs were poly-dispersed in a 70–500 nm size range and showed differences in deiminated protein cargo, compared with whole sera. Key immune, metabolic and gene regulatory proteins were identified to be post-translationally deiminated with some overlapping hits in sera and EVs (e.g., immunoglobulins), while some were unique to either serum or serum-EVs (e.g., histones). Protein–protein interaction network analysis of deiminated proteins revealed KEGG pathways common for serum and serum-EVs, including complement and coagulation cascades, viral infection (enveloped viruses), viral myocarditis, bacterial and parasitic infections, autoimmune disease, immunodeficiency intestinal IgA production, B-cell receptor signalling, natural killer cell mediated cytotoxicity, platelet activation and hematopoiesis, alongside metabolic pathways including ferroptosis, vitamin digestion and absorption, cholesterol metabolism and mineral absorption. KEGG pathways specific to EVs related to HIF-1 signalling, oestrogen signalling and biosynthesis of amino acids. KEGG pathways specific for serum only, related to Epstein–Barr virus infection, transcription mis-regulation in cancer, bladder cancer, Rap1 signalling pathway, calcium signalling pathway and ECM-receptor interaction. This indicates differences in physiological and pathological pathways for deiminated proteins in serum-EVs, compared with serum. Our findings may shed light on pathways underlying a number of pathological and anti-pathogenic (viral, bacterial, parasitic) pathways, with putative translatable value to human pathologies, zoonotic diseases and development of therapies for infections, including anti-viral therapies.
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