Schistosomiasis is an important tropical parasitic human disease. Although an effective anti-schistosome drug is in use, it is estimated that 200 million people are infected, 20 million individuals suffer severe disease symptoms, and 280,000 people die annually from schistosomiasis. Although the genome sequences of Schistosoma mansoni and S. japonicum have been determined, most predicted genes encode proteins with unknown function. In order to make full use of the genome sequence databases it is imperative to develop efficient and reproducible functional genomic tools. In this application we propose to develop moderate throughput imaging methodologies that will enable tissue expression localization of a gene. Because of the importance of the worm egg in transmission of the lifecycle and pathology of schistosomiasis, this proposal focuses on expression localization of genes involved in reproductive biology of the worm, which we have identified in a transcriptional analysis of worm development. By co-localizing genes of unknown function with genes with known functions we will be able to understand their functions and to develop protein interacting networks. Parasitic flatworms require a host to complete their lifecycles and have generally poorly developed functional genomic tools. Therefore, we will determine if a free living flatworm with a well-developed functional genomic toolbox, Schmidtea mediterranea, can be used to investigate fundamental processes in parasitic flatworms. Our long-term goals are to identify new drug targets and vaccine candidates for schistosomiasis control.

Public Health Relevance

Schistosomiasis is an important neglected tropical parasitic disease affecting more than 250 million people and causing more than a quarter of a million deaths annually in over 70 countries. Although the genome sequences of Schistosoma mansoni and S. japonicum have been determined, most predicted genes encode proteins of unknown function. In order to make full use of the genome sequence databases it is imperative to develop efficient and reproducible functional genomic tools. In this application we propose to develop moderate throughput imaging methodologies to enable tissue expression localization and to determine if a free living flatworm with a well-developed functional genomic toolbox, Schmidtea mediterranea, can be used to investigate fundamental processes in parasitic flatworms.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
5R21AI097529-02
Application #
8424223
Study Section
Pathogenic Eukaryotes Study Section (PTHE)
Program Officer
Joy, Deirdre A
Project Start
2012-02-15
Project End
2014-01-31
Budget Start
2013-02-01
Budget End
2014-01-31
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$191,250
Indirect Cost
$66,250
Name
Rush University Medical Center
Department
Microbiology/Immun/Virology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
068610245
City
Chicago
State
IL
Country
United States
Zip Code
60612
Rigouin, Coraline; Vermeire, Jon J; Nylin, Elyse et al. (2013) Characterization of the phytochelatin synthase from the human parasitic nematode Ancylostoma ceylanicum. Mol Biochem Parasitol 191:1-6