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Measuring the expression of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in Schistosoma mansoni

Grant number: 22/11434-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Program to Stimulate Scientific Vocations
Effective date (Start): January 04, 2023
Effective date (End): February 08, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Helminthology of Parasites
Principal Investigator:Sergio Verjovski Almeida
Grantee:Bruna Isabel Santos Cruz
Host Institution: Instituto Butantan. Secretaria da Saúde (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


To search for long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) possibly involved in sexual maturation and in the development of the reproductive system of adult worms of the parasite Schistosoma mansoni, we chose lncRNAs differentially expressed between mature (paired) and immature (unpaired) males and females, which we found in the re-analysis that was done in our group of the public data of Lu et al. (Lu et al., 2016), who had studied only protein-coding genes. We will perform an initial validation by RT-qPCR of the chosen lncRNAs, using the in vitro culture model of unpaired males and females that mimics the unisexual infection adopted by Lu and collaborators; it is known that a regression of reproductive organs of mated females occurs when kept under unpaired non-mating conditions in vitro (Galanti, Huang, & Pearce, 2012). We will perform RT-qPCR with RNAs extracted from paired or unpaired females to evaluate the effect of in vitro unpairing for 2, 4 or 8 days on the expression levels of the chosen lncRNAs and of the genes encoding proteins known to be involved in the reproductive system and formation of eggs. The project could point to lncRNAs with a probable role in the sexual maturation of the adult worm, with implications for the laying of eggs by females, an important morbidity factor in the infection. (AU)

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