Microarray Analysis of the Schistosoma japonicum Transcriptome
Schistosomiasis, a disease of humans caused by helminth parasites of the genus Schistosoma, kills 200 to 500 thousand people annually, endangering over 600 million people world-wide with 200 million people infected in 2003 [1, 2]. Three species of schistosome are primarily responsible for human infections, namely, Schistosoma haematobium, endemic to Africa, India, and the Middle East, S. mansoni, endemic to Africa / South America, and S. japonicum endemic to China and the Philippines . The major pathological effects of schistosomiasis result from the deposition of parasite ova in human tissues and the subsequent intense granulomatous response induced by these eggs. There is a high priority to provide an effective sub-unit vaccine against these schistosome flukes, using proteins encoded by cDNAs expressed by the parasites at critical phases of their development. One technique that may expedite this gene identification is the use of microarrays for expression analysis. A 22,575 feature custom oligonucleotide DNA microarray designed from public domain databases of schistosome ESTs (Expressed Sequence Tags) was used to explore differential gene expression between the Philippine (SJP) and Chinese (SJC) strains of S. japonicum, and between males and females. It was found that 593, 664 and 426 probes were differentially expressed between the two geographical strains when mix sexed adults, male worms and female worms were compared respectively. Additionally, the study revealed that 1,163 male- and 1,016 female-associated probes were differentially expressed in SJP whereas 1,047 male- and 897 female-associated probes were differentially expressed in SJC . Further to this, a detailed real time PCR expression study was used to explore the differential expression of eight genes of interest throughout the SJC life cycle, which showed that several of the genes were down-regulated in different life cycle stages. The study has greatly expanded previously published data of strain and gender-associated differential expression in S. japonicum. Further, the new data will provide a stepping stone for understanding the complexities of the biology, sexual differentiation, maturation, and development of human schistosomes, signaling new approaches for identifying novel intervention and diagnostic targets against schistosomiasis .
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:schistosomiasis schistosoma japonicum chinese strain philippine specific differences gender
Date of Publication:01/01/2007