Microsporidia are obligate intracellular parasites, and a derivative of fungi, which harbor a rigid spore wall to resist adverse environmental pressures. The spore wall protein, which is thought to be the first and direct protein interacting with the host cell, may play a key role in the process of microsporidia infection. In this study, we report a protein, NbHSWP11, with a dnaJ domain. The protein also has 6 heparin-binding motifs which are known to interact with extracellular glycosaminoglycans. Syntenic analysis indicated that gene loci of Nbhswp11 are conserved and syntenic between Nosema bombycis and Nosema ceranae. Phylogenetic tree analysis showed that Nbhswp11 clusters with fungal dnaJ proteins and has 98% identity with an N. bombycis dnaJ protein. Nbhswp11 was transcribed throughout the entire life stages, and gradually increased during 1–7 days, in a silkworm that was infected by N. bombycis, as determined by reverse-transcription PCR (RT-PCR). The recombinant protein NbHSWP11 (rSWP11-HIS) was obtained and purified using gene cloning and prokaryotic expression. Western blotting analysis displayed NbHSWP11 expressed in the total mature spore proteins and spore coat proteins. Indirect immunofluorescence assay revealed NbHSWP11 located at the spore wall of mature spores and the spore coats. Furthermore, immune electron microscopy showed that NbHSWP11 localized in the cytoplasm of the sporont. Within the developmental process of N. bombycis, a portion of NbHSWP11 is targeted to the spore wall of sporoblasts and mature spores. However, most of NbHSWP11 distributes on the membraneous structures of the sporoblast and mature spore. In addition, using a host cell binding assay, native protein NbHSWP11 in the supernatant of total soluble mature spore proteins is shown to bind to the host cell BmE surface. Finally, an antibody blocking assay showed that purified rabbit antibody of NbHSWP11 inhibits spore adherence and decreases the adherence rate of spores by 20% compared to untreated spores. Collectively, the present results suggest that NbHSWP11 is involved in host cell adherence in vitro. Therefore NbHSWP11, which has a dnaJ domain, may modulate protein assembly, disassembly, and translocation in N. bombycis.

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