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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Signal transduction in larval trematodes: putative systems associated with regulating larval motility and behaviour.

The multi-host lifestyle of parasitic trematodes necessitates their ability to communicate with their external environment in order to invade and navigate within their hosts' internal environment. Through recent EST and genome sequencing efforts, it has become clear that members of the Trematoda possess many of the elaborate signal transduction systems that have been delineated in other invertebrate model systems like Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. Gene homologues representing several well-described signal receptor families including receptor tyrosine kinases, receptor serine tyrosine kinases, G protein-coupled receptors and elements of their downstream signalling systems have been identified in larval trematodes. A majority of this work has focused on the blood flukes, Schistosoma spp. and therefore represents a narrow sampling of the diverse digenean helminth taxon. Despite this fact and given the substantial evidence supporting the existence of such signalling systems, the question then becomes, how are these systems employed by larval trematodes to aid them in interpreting signals received from their immediate environment to initiate appropriate responses in cells and tissues comprising the developing parasite stages? High-throughput, genome-wide analysis tools now allow us to begin to functionally characterize genes differentially expressed throughout the development of trematode larvae. Investigation of the systems used by these parasites to receive and transduce external signals may facilitate the creation of technologies for achieving control of intramolluscan schistosome infections and also continue to yield valuable insights into the basic mechanisms regulating motility and behaviour in this important group of helminths.[1]


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