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J Biomed Biotechnol. 2010;2010:726045. doi: 10.1155/2010/726045. Epub 2010 Mar 2.

Regulation of gene expression in protozoa parasites.

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Programa Institucional de Biomedicina Molecular, ENMyH-IPN, Guillermo, Massieu Helguera, No. 239, Fracc. La Escalera, Ticomán, CP07320 México, Mexico.


Infections with protozoa parasites are associated with high burdens of morbidity and mortality across the developing world. Despite extensive efforts to control the transmission of these parasites, the spread of populations resistant to drugs and the lack of effective vaccines against them contribute to their persistence as major public health problems. Parasites should perform a strict control on the expression of genes involved in their pathogenicity, differentiation, immune evasion, or drug resistance, and the comprehension of the mechanisms implicated in that control could help to develop novel therapeutic strategies. However, until now these mechanisms are poorly understood in protozoa. Recent investigations into gene expression in protozoa parasites suggest that they possess many of the canonical machineries employed by higher eukaryotes for the control of gene expression at transcriptional, posttranscriptional, and epigenetic levels, but they also contain exclusive mechanisms. Here, we review the current understanding about the regulation of gene expression in Plasmodium sp., Trypanosomatids, Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis.

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