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Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2005 May;141(1):1-13.

An oligonucleotide microarray for transcriptome analysis of Schistosoma mansoni and its application/use to investigate gender-associated gene expression.

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Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, UK.


Global profiling transcriptomes of parasitic helminths offers the potential to simultaneously identify co-ordinately expressed genes, novel genetic programs and uniquely utilized metabolic pathways, which together provide an extensive and new resource for vaccine and drug discovery. We have exploited this post-genomic approach to fabricate the first oligonucleotide DNA microarray for gene expression analysis of the parasitic trematode Schistosoma mansoni. A total of 17,329 S. mansoni DNA sequences were used to design a microarray consisting of 7335 parasite elements or approximately 50% of this parasite's transcriptome. Here, we describe the design of this new microarray resource and its evaluation by extending studies into gender-associated gene expression in adult schistosomes. We demonstrate a high degree of reproducibility in detecting transcriptional differences among biologically replicated experiments and the ability of the microarray to distinguish between the expression of closely related gene family members. Importantly, for issues related to sexual dimorphism, labour division, gamete production and drug target discovery, 197 transcripts demonstrated a gender-biased pattern of gene expression in the adult schistosome, greatly extending the number of sex-associated genes. These data demonstrate the power of this new resource to facilitate a greater understanding into the biological complexities of schistosome development and maturation useful for identifying novel intervention strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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