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Nat Genet. 2003 Oct;35(2):139-47. Epub 2003 Sep 14.

Evolutionary and biomedical implications of a Schistosoma japonicum complementary DNA resource.

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Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai, 351 Guo shou-Jing Road, Shanghai 201203, China.


Schistosoma japonicum causes schistosomiasis in humans and livestock in the Asia-Pacific region. Knowledge of the genome of this parasite should improve understanding of schistosome-host interactions, biomedical aspects of schistosomiasis and invertebrate evolution. We assigned 43,707 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) derived from adult S. japonicum and their eggs to 13,131 gene clusters. Of these, 35% shared no similarity with known genes and 75% had not been reported previously in schistosomes. Notably, S. japonicum encoded mammalian-like receptors for insulin, progesterone, cytokines and neuropeptides, suggesting that host hormones, or endogenous parasite homologs, could orchestrate schistosome development and maturation and that schistosomes modulate anti-parasite immune responses through inhibitors, molecular mimicry and other evasion strategies.

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