Comprehensive Transcriptome Analysis of Sex-Biased Expressed Genes Reveals Discrete Biological and Physiological Features of Male and Female Schistosoma japonicum

Pengfei Cai, Shuai Liu, Xianyu Piao, Nan Hou, Geoffrey N Gobert, Donald P McManus, Qijun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
217 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Schistosomiasis is a chronic and debilitating disease caused by blood flukes (digenetic trematodes) of the genus Schistosoma. Schistosomes are sexually dimorphic and exhibit dramatic morphological changes during a complex lifecycle which requires subtle gene regulatory mechanisms to fulfil these complex biological processes. In the current study, a 41,982 features custom DNA microarray, which represents the most comprehensive probe coverage for any schistosome transcriptome study, was designed based on public domain and local databases to explore differential gene expression in S. japonicum. We found that approximately 1/10 of the total annotated genes in the S. japonicum genome are differentially expressed between adult males and females. In general, genes associated with the cytoskeleton, and motor and neuronal activities were readily expressed in male adult worms, whereas genes involved in amino acid metabolism, nucleotide biosynthesis, gluconeogenesis, glycosylation, cell cycle processes, DNA synthesis and genome fidelity and stability were enriched in females. Further, miRNAs target sites within these gene sets were predicted, which provides a scenario whereby the miRNAs potentially regulate these sex-biased expressed genes. The study significantly expands the expressional and regulatory characteristics of gender-biased expressed genes in schistosomes with high accuracy. The data provide a better appreciation of the biological and physiological features of male and female schistosome parasites, which may lead to novel vaccine targets and the development of new therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0004684
Number of pages24
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2016

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