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Schistosoma mansoni: molecular genetic effects following inhibitor treatment

Grant number: 07/54664-6
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2008 - February 29, 2012
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics
Cooperation agreement: DFG
Principal Investigator:Sergio Verjovski Almeida
Grantee:Sergio Verjovski Almeida
Principal investigator abroad: Christoph G. Grevelding
Institution abroad: Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU), Germany
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Schistosome parasites cause schistosomiasis (bilharzia), an infectious disease of worldwide significance. Due to the success of international genome sequencing projects we actually have access to nearly complete genome and transcriptome data of different schistosome species. We intend to use these data for experimental approaches to investigate the effect of chemical inhibitors on molecular processes of adult schistosomes. One peculiarity of the biology of these parasites is the male-dependent sexual development of the female. A constant pairing contact with the male is necessary to induce mitoses and differentiation processes in the female leading to fully developed reproductive organs. In previous studies we have demonstrated that Src kinase and TGFbeta signaling-pathways play essential roles in controlling mitogenic activity, differentiation, and egg production in the female. Using microarray technology we now want to analyze the molecular processes which lead to egg production, and which are influenced by the inhibition of these signaling molecules. Since the eggs are the causative agent for the pathology of schistosomiasis, this study will not only provide basic biological knowledge, but will also open novel perspectives for the design of required alternative strategies to fight schistosomes. (AU)